A Huge response to the story of the Ben More Crianlarich Wessex Helicopter crash 30 years ago.

I was amazed at the incredible comments after yesterday’s blog over 3500 read it. The comments are mainly on the blog if you read through and press the comment button you will see them and I got even more through Facebook. I hope the article has not upset to many people but it is very sad to see how few know the story of that tragic night but also the huge effort by Killin to bring Harry their Team Leader of the hill. In 1987 the media was a lot slower yet we had a massive press arrive at the scene how would it be if such a tragedy happened today? Only a year later in 1988 Lockerbie happened and that was the start of immediate news we have to-day.

The remains of the Wessex and the incredible bravery of those involved who got the injured out of the burning aircraft.

The remains of the Wessex and the incredible bravery of those involved who got the injured out of the burning aircraft.

So many of the comments  on the blog were from families of the Mountain Rescue Team who were at home and heard there had been a crash. This was in the days before mobile phones and the news was on the radio or television. Many must havebeene terrified that it was their loved one that was involved and how they have commented on that night of fear. It was a tragedy that Harry was killed and Ian and Mick very badly injured it sadly could have been worse. One family had three member’s on the hill that night and their words are haunting of the fear all had that long night. The tale of getting the survivors out of the helicopter before it burnt to a shell is one of huge courage and bravery by the Killin team and one they tell in their Anniversary book Tales from Killin Mountain Rescue Team 1975 – 2013 a wonderful insight into their story.

Well worth a read a great insight into Mountain Rescue

Well worth a read a great insight into Mountain Rescue

The Killin Mountain Rescue Team were at the memorial of Ben Ledi yesterday to Harry’s Memorial to pay their respects and they have allowed me to use their photo from a dreich day on the hills.

2017 Ben Ledi Memorial Killin Mountain Rescue pay their respects. Photo Killin MRT.

2017 Ben Ledi Memorial Killin Mountain Rescue pay their respects. Photo Killin MRT.

This from their Facebook page –  Killin MRT – REMEMBERING HARRY LAWRIE BEM

6 Members of Killin Mountain Rescue Team gathered on the summit of Ben Ledi Callander today, to remember Killin MRT Team Leader Sgt Harry Lawrie BEM, who lost his life in a Wessex helicopter crash, during a mountain rescue operation on Ben More, Crianlarich, on 1st February, 1987. The team members along with his son Gordon, a former member of Killin MRT were present.

The Wessex helicopter was preparing to land on Ben More when the main rotor collided with rocks on the hillside. Sgt Lawrie was killed, and team member Constable Ian Ramsay was seriously injured, but fortunately made a good recovery.

Four of the members present today on the summit of Ben Ledi where both Harry and his wife, team member Jean Lawrie’s ashes lie, were present on Ben More when the accident occurred.

This was also on the page – Still Game Not the best hill day weather So what, we are still game.After 30 years it was a real pleasure to head up Ben Ledi With Gordon Lawrie to remember his dad, our never forgotten team leader Harry Lawrie lost on Ben More on 1st February 1987 when the Wessex crashed on Ben More.The craic was good, despite the knees getting a bit creaky, but it was a real tribute to how much he meant to Killin Mountain Rescue Team and our determination to continue the voluntary mountain rescue service he set up with Killin MRT. He loved the hills. We still do Any day, Any time, Any weather. Thank you Marky, Peter, Jimmy, Richard, Ted, and Gordon for still being game. Thank you to those unable to make it who got in touch. Your best wishes meant a lot.


2017 Comments from Facebook and Ben More Wessex Crash

A Rose – A lovely post , hard to believe I was only 9, yet older today than most members of our team were then. Such a vivid memory and today some of the team members on this day 30 years ago and Harry’s family will go to the top of Ben ledi to remember. But we should also remember that commitment in mountain rescue is not just felt by the team members, but also their families. So I will have a little moment to think about all involved with Killin MRT on that day. Thanks for being friend to the team and mountain rescue across Scotland

David Johnstone – Remember it vividly as was called out as am MRT member to assist. Thankfully our team was not required that night. Harry was sad loss to MR and our section at work. Remember being quite numb at the loss.

Graham Kelly – I remember the tragic loss well-being a teenager and finding my first trips of freedom in the hills, learning the craft and getting away with mistakes (which later translated into experience), those were the days when confidence often overstepped skills. I was shocked by the accident and instantly became aware in a way which lives in me still. Guessing like all of who remember the loss ….we pass Ben More and consider is as a poignant reminder. Thoughts to all who knew Mr Lawrie and to those who continue in his work.

Marsha Luti – Thank you for writing the blog David. Although I was only 6 at the time I remember the aftermath and the impact it had on my dad, Peter. Huge respect, thanks and admiration to MRTs and SAR helicopter teams.

Donna Bell – That was very sad to read it touched me immensely , thankyou so much for sharing your story

Roddy Neil Barclay – Incredible and very humbling story.
Knew the story but good to read it in all the detail.
Great respect to past and present MRS..
A favourite hill of ours.

Thanks you all, Harry’s memory will always be with us long after we are gone and maybe someone one day will tell the whole story and the incredible bravery of the Killin Team that sad night.

Please never take the Mountain Rescue and the SAR Helicopters for granted they are all incredible people who let us enjoy the mountains in relative safety.



About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Enviroment, Mountain rescue, SAR, Views Mountaineering, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

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