DAVID LORIMER – HONORARY MEMBER


David Lorimer was born in 1945 and educated at Leeds Grammar School. He started work as a trainee/ junior reporter on the Keighley News in 1964 and on gaining a distinction in the journalists' Proficiency test, moved to the Telegraph and Argus in Bradford in 1968. David then joined the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough as a senior reporter and that is where his connection with our Regiment began.

In 1964 he made his first visit to the battalion – a company exercise in Malta – and when later that year the late Tom Leonard decided to step down from his role as XIX's unofficial camp follower he took over. And despite promotions to chief reporter, assistant news editor, deputy news editor, news editor and senior writer he remained in that post until made redundant in June 2001. During that time he visited the battalion in Northern Ireland around a dozen times, and also to Cyprus, Canada, Osnabruck, Berlin, Norway, Crepon, Kenya, the Falkland Islands, Poland, Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo.

For that latter coverage he received a North East Press Award. The citation for this read;

'Reporting from one of the world's major trouble spots in 1999 required solid filed copy and mature writing. The winner demonstrated the capacity for both during two lengthy visits to Macedonia and Kosovo.

'He wrote movingly of the horrors he saw, the displaced and frightened people he met, the Green Howard soldiers who served and the daily terrors the forces faced from those who regarded them as foreign aggressors.

'This was features writing of the highest class. As good as any in the press coverage of the Balkans crisis. For some the finest pieces of journalism that year, the Fred Hurrell prize for feature writing went to David Lorimer.'

Because no-one at the Evening Gazette filled David’s Green Howards boots, he volunteered to visit the battalion in Afghanistan in 2004 on a no-fee basis and again in 2006 in Bosnia when the battalion switched cap badges. During those sometimes exciting years, David has been shot at near the Irish border, stoned in almost many Northern Irish towns; been spat at on the Falls Road and in Crossmaglen; and he chased a gunman through the back alleys of night-time Kosovo Polje in Kosovo. He visited refugee camps and watched the disinterment of ethnically-cleansed bodies, and has supped coffee and slivovitz in a flat next door to a booby trap. And he recalls Roddy Bailey ringing up one day to say that Ulster's Premier Brian Faulkner was dead – Roddy knew because he was out riding with him and the Mid Ulster Hounds!

David was an early member of the Friends. When Roger Chapman began the Newsletter, David was an occasional contributor. When John Powell took over as editor, David Nicholson asked him to be his deputy, and he became a Friends' committee member and later trustee. For David Lorimer this has been a long association – 45 years and counting. The most memorable thing about it, he said, has been the extraordinary people he met and the friends he made.

#50YEARBADGEWINNERS

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