Thursday, 24 April 2014

A reminder that not all losses are from the world wars

It is important to remember, that not all losses are those of the big campaigns. Britain has been involved in small wars, police actions, UN interventions etc, for almost as long as we've ventured beyond the sea to trade and colonise. On the whole, the losses in modern small conflicts are, for want of a more appropriate word, 'moderate'. Hence it is less likely to come across an interment for such a death outside of the large military and municipal burial grounds.

This one almost passed me by. We had a family day out last week, and whilst looking at Marmion tower, we chanced to explore the church beside it, St Michaels, West Tanfield, North Yorkshire. With my little boy to watch over I only gave this one a cursory glance, and due to the slightly different headstone style and the date, 1994, initially thought it was a normal family interment but with service details recorded, not uncommon, especially for a high rank.

But afterwards, it niggled me, this was a Major, aged 33. Thats young for a non service death. So I did some online research -

Maj Christopher Dockerty (33) PWOR 2 June 1994 West Tanfield Parish Church, West Tanfield, Ripon. N. Yorks.

Major Dockerty, of the Prince of Wales Own Regiment, was aboard the RAF Chinook that crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994.

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