Simon Stewart (JR 72-74) died on 20th Sept 2023. The following valedictory was prepared by Simon himself and edited by Nick Ofield..
Simon grew up militarily in BAOR during the Cold War as a troop leader in the Royal Tank Regiment on Saladin armoured cars and Chieftain tanks and with David Shillinglaw he commissioned the first Swingfire anti-tank guided weapons troop.
He volunteered for secondment to SAF and joined the Jebel Regiment as Ops Officer shortly before their roulement down to Dhofar. Based at Manston, he was involved in ‘Op Dragon’ in Feb 73 and afterward he worked as Ops Officer on ‘Simba’
He remained at Sarfait until the end of his secondment, and his picture in the Sarfait museum/ops room (above) is the only one of a seconded officer.
His favourite recollection was of one amusing occasion in Nizwa when a sand grouse shoot was arranged by Richard John and Chris Bentall-Warner, with General Tim Creasey the VIP guest. The conditions were perfect. There had been no rain for many days and the water holes to the south were drying up, and large number of grouse had been seen during the recce the week before. Unfortunately, a freak rain storm arrived just as the shooters were leaving Nizwa camp and they arrived to washed out butts. Not many cartridges were fired, not many grouse were seen, and the post shoot breakfast was dismal as the mess tent had blown away – happy days!! General Tim thought it was hilarious!
On return to the Regular Army and having transferred to 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, Simon served in Northern Ireland, BAOR and then commanded the first British contingent into Beirut in 1983, where he was awarded the OBE.
He left the Army in 1994 and moved to Northumberland where he joined a barristers’ set in Newcastle until retiring in 2018.
A thanksgiving service for Simon's life will be held on Friday 1st December 2023 and the details are below: