I am saddened to hear the news of Ricks passing. I knew him from 68/69 onward when he was posted to HCBD as an instructor with the drums.
Rick and I were on the same Snr NCO's Cadre in Catterick. At one point we were paired off together for a long hike across the trg area at night. It was about 15km and we were in full pack. Its not until you had 'walked' along side him for a while that you realized how long his legs were. I found that I had to almost run to keep up with him. This meant that most of the time he was in front. Something happened which he made me promise I would never reveal to any one, and I kept my word ever since until now.
Rick marched straight in to a bog. Because of the large pack on his back and his struggling to get out he quickly sank up to his neck. This frightened him and me and the only light available was my torch.
I got him out some how using my webbing and rifle sling, but it was difficult. He claimed that I had saved his life and he seriously meant it. He didn't want anyone to know about it because he felt that it would 'mar' his chances of passing the Cadre, and I promised never to tell a soul.
At the time I would have said that he did nearly lose his life that night, but for me I would say that looking back at it, it was frightening and he was well in that bog, but fate was on our (his) side.
The last time Rick and I met was at a Lewis reunion in about 2002/3, and he greeted me quite enthusiastically. He told me he had never forgotten that night and still thanked me. May be it was that close, he certainly thought so but then he was 'up to his neck' in it. I'm glad that I was there. R.I.P. Rick
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