Obituary – Lt Col Neil Lockhart (B1 1939-43)

Lt Col Neil Lockhart, son of General Sir Rob Lockhart KCB CIE MC, was born in Edinburgh on 1st June 1925 and died in Gillingham, Dorset on 1st May 2020.

He was educated at Cargilfield School, Edinburgh and Marlborough College, where he represented the school at rugby and cricket. On leaving school in 1943, Neil enlisted at Fort George and went on to pass his War Office Selection Board. Shortly after he sailed out to India to complete officer training and commissioning. He joined 1 Seaforth in Oct 44, then part of 23 Indian Division in Burma. Appointed OC 4 Platoon, B Company, Neil returned to India with the battalion before VJ Day for assault landing training and were then despatched on Operation Zipper to recapture Malaya and Singapore. After a few months, the Battalion were embarked at Port Dickson for

Batavia to secure the Dutch East Indies. After about 10 days there, Neil was blown up accidentally by a brother officer’s booby-trap and wounded. He recovered and rejoined his platoon before, in early 1946, attending the Far East Regular Commissions Board in Singapore. He returned in time to suppress fighting which broke out between the Indonesians and Japanese Forces in West Java.

Neil then left the Battalion for 9 months to be ADC to his father, now GOC Southern Command India. He returned to 1 Seaforth in Dec 46 as 2i/c A Company and was promoted acting Captain. In 1947, Neil returned to Scotland stopping off first in Bombay to be married to Audrey. He then had a succession of training posts at Pinefield Camp in Elgin, Holywood near Belfast, Fort George with 1 HLI and the Highland Brigade Training Centre there before it moved to Cameron Barracks.

In 1951, Neil was posted to East Africa Command and joined the Northern Rhodesia Regiment in Lusaka as a training officer. Having been away from the Seaforths for 6 years, Neil opted to transfer to the Royal Army Pay Corps, although in his heart he remained a Seaforth. He served on as a paymaster successfully for 24 years and retired from the Army in 1979 in the rank of Lt Col. Neil married Audrey at Malabar Hill, near Bombay in 1947 and had three daughters.

On Neil’s retirement they settled down in Kington Magna, Dorset where they were involved with the church and he taught Scottish Country Dancing. Woe betide anyone who was out of step!