This photo was taken yesterday – The Shackleton Memorial on Modal Harris photo taken by D McLeish taken on the 29 th Anniversary 30/4/19.

This was from a friend who ran the Crash Guard team after we left Harris we handed the site over to them and the Crash and Smash.

“Dear me Heavy is it 29 years !! I spent the best part of 3 weeks out there as Crash Guard Cdr as you know . I knew the crew too. Andy Watkins and Phil Casley built the memorial for me .

We hid the spark plug in the peat from the AAB , I was threatened with court martial by the AAB but the Stn Cdr backed us.

Tough one .

I sent the team into Stornaway to let their hair down and the police put them up in the cells, leaving the doors open and giving then bacon rolls !

And We got a ride on a C130 two days later not fair . Yes they also sent out a team of Psychiatrists to assess us after 10 days Heavy , more or less one of the first test cases in the field post Lockerbie , to say we were not that amused is an understatement .

Andy and I ran them up the hill …Andy carried a bag of cement up! I pulled in a piper and we had a memorial service once we cleared the site . ”

My reply

Thank you that is interesting as we were offered nothing in the way of Counciling and we located and moved all the casualties of the hill. That was not easy even for my seasoned troops.

That was not a task for anyone to do . I had asked for help during Lockerbie for the troops and at the time many thought I was mad especially those in charge . This was only 3 years after that and Kinloss MRT were not there so had not been subject to the horrors.

Sadly I was proved in many cases and we did need help. It took years for the military and the Emergency Services to appreciate this. It also took years for many of the team to come to terms with that as well.

Thanks for that part of the story I will add it to my piece today if that’s ok?

It’s amazing to read the responses and most will be glad to know the Memorial is looking good thanks to Dianne for visiting it yesterday.,

This is from Davy Walker

“you’ll be glad to hear that Lossie refurbished the memorial @7 years ago. I hope it’s still fairing well. We took some of the crews relations to the site and l was able to brief them on the crash etc. Very sad experience all those years ago.”

There is lots of information on this book on the crashes in the Islands including the Shackleton.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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