It's been a day when the spirit has been subdued. I learned from the paper on the train that an old chum died during the summer months and his inquest was held yesterday.
Bob Shaw and I were in the same platoon at Sandhurst. We were an altogether eclectic bunch, sons of both kinds of estates thrown together as only the Army can and much like any other platoon, we endured and enjoyed as one.
Among many gentleman cadets, and most deserved the description, Bob was a stand out decent and straight man the like of whom is becoming increasingly rare. Modest, keen to learn, unflinchingly loyal and good fun to have around, he was to me the very best of what we expected from colleagues and friends in the Household Division. Bob even fulfilled the expectations that the rest of us had for a future Irish Guards officer in his mild eccentricities which only endeared him the more.
Our paths went at 180 degrees thereafter, both in the Army and since I left many years ago, and I regret I haven't seen him since the eighties. Life though, has been the richer for knowing Bob Shaw and will be the poorer without him. If my own two boys leave the same indelible impression on their friends as Bob did with me then indeed, I'll have something to be proud of. Simply, a top bloke and I cherish his memory.