Death Of An Old Friend.

I’m a bit gutted tonight, actually i’m very fucking gutted.

I found out an old army mate of mine died today of a heart attack, at the very young age of 47. He was a legend, that word gets thrown around like its going out of fashion these days, but this fella was from another planet, the planet grime to be exact.

He was what we called a minger, a gipper, an unclean motherfucker, but he was so much larger than life it was untrue. A tough as fuck gentle giant if there is such a thing, with an aficionado’s taste for the most vulgar porn imaginable, he had a heart of gold, would fight a bull, and give you his last penny.











(Horace Higson in full glory)

He used to come in your room when you were out and rob your undies, or take your best clobber from the drying room. You would be downtown and see him. “Alright H, thats a nice top mate, I’ve got one like that”  “Yer I took it from your locker before”

Thats the way he was, I lost a t-shirt a friend gave me, I always wondered were the fuck it went, I was gutted when I couldn’t find it. 10 years later I was in an old army mates house, he was showing me some old pictures, and there front and center was Horace wearing my t-shirt, the bastard. I loved that t-shirt.

He used to wash his jeans on the floor in the shower room with a bass broom and vim, he was a classy guy, his dad was a Brigadier, his mum was a Major, they made him sleep in the shed when he was on leave, he was a classy guy.

He was so big and smoked that much, the ceiling in his car had a nicotine halo were his head used to touch the roof, and he was an adopted Evertonian. He was a classy, classy guy.

And more importantly a Rifleman in the 3rd Battalion the Royal Green Jackets.

And he will be sorely missed.

See you in the Re-org Horace.


Celer et Audax – Swif and Bold.


One Response to “Death Of An Old Friend.”

  1. Chris Higson May 5, 2014 at 1:34 am #

    Amusing recollections of my younger brother, Steve (“Horace”), who died on 24th June, 2013, aged – in fact – 49. I recognise the character you portray, and, yes, “back in the day”, he was, without doubt, a heavy smoking devotee of all you describe. Ironically, however, the man who died too young [from what appears to have been a cardiac arrythmia: very probably brought on by PTSD “night terrors” which often caused him to stop breathing for alarmingly long periods – eg only a few months previously his wife had found him curled up, unconcscious, going blue etc – medically investigated – EEGs etc – but nothing significant found] had become a fitness and healthy living fanatic.
    Steve gave up smoking some time in the 1990s; drank – only beer – in moderation (never more than 3 pints, and only at week-ends), and took masses of exercise. He was a bit of a “gym bunny” (doing CV workouts, general strength conditioning etc, 3-4 times a week), swam 2 miles at least four times a week, and often went for long bike rides. He never ate fast food; avoided fry-ups, puddings, and sweets, had given up sugar in tea and coffee, and was very keen on his fruit and veg. TBH, he could be a bit of a bore about it, especially smoking – there’s nothing worse than a convert! Fact is, though, he was fit as a lop, and to prove it would regularly run an “old style” 3 mile BFT – in boots – and invariably came in in under 20 mins – not bad for a guy in his forties!
    He’d been happily married for 18 years, had two kids, and lived (and died) in York, as you no doubt know…
    Steve’s problem, however, was that he missed the Army like you would not believe – talked of little else – and he never really settled to civilian life: he was bored, frustrated, and increasingly angry about everything. Because he was so unhappy, he brooded a lot… and things that were not so good about his Army experiences came back to haunt him big time. He saw people from “Combat Stress”, but they could do little to help – he wouldn’t really engage with counsellors etc, and there wasn’t much they could do with him. He spent more and more time visiting graves of mates who hadn’t made it, obsessing about stuff, and just getting more and more morose.
    The really sad thing about his death was that on the very day he passed away he was due to start a new job working with disabled young adults; he’d had some try outs, and loved it, feeling he’d finally found a role where he could do something useful and challenging… but there you go – as Steve used to say, “Life’s a load of shit, and then you die!”.
    BTW, the grot monster you describe was also long in the past: Steve liked clean shirts, underpants etc, and shaved and showered like such things were going to be abolished. He was a personal hygiene and domestic tidiness freak who as often as not would be found doing the hoovering or washing up…. when he wasn’t scrubbing the skirting boards or reorganising his shed! Sadly, I fear, his tendency never to do anything by halves may, in the end, have been a contributing factor to his untimely death. If only he could have kicked back a little, “chilled” more, and not given such a shit about “standards” (a big thing with him in recent years) he might have coped better with life outside “The Green Machine”. Hey, ho.
    Thanks, anyway, for the funny remembrances.
    Yours aye,

    Chris Higson.

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