The Highlanders 1st Battalion

Highlander Dale Cowie

Aged 19

Highlander Dale Cowie

Highlander Dale Cowie of the 1st Battalion The Highlanders, died during a battle-group live-firing exercise at the British Army’s training area at Suffolk in Canada on the night of 16/17 June 2005. Hldr Cowie died while taking part in a large armoured exercise on the prairie near Suffield in Canada. His Company (D Coy of The Highlanders) was attached to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for the exercise. Commanding Officer of The 1st Battalion The Highlanders, Lt Col James Hopkinson OBE, gathered together those of the Battalion not in Canada and informed them of the tragedy. The Regimental Flag was lowered, and was flown at half-mast in respect and memory of Hldr Cowie.

Lt Col Hopkinson has since released the following statement: "It is with deep regret that I have to report the tragic death of Highlander Dale Cowie (D Coy 1 HLDRS). His death occurred during a routine training exercise in Canada (BATUS). Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends. He shall be sorely missed by all of us in the Battalion." 

THE REGIMENTAL TOAST The Land of Hills, Glens and Heroes; Where the Ptarmigan thrives And where the red deer finds shelter. As long as mist hangs o'er the Mountains And water runs in the glens. The deeds of the Brave will be remembered Health and Success forever To the Lads from the Highlands Cabarfeidh gu Brath ! (The Deer's Horns Forever !)

Why do you still march old man, With medals on your chest?  Why do you still grieve old man, For those friends you laid to rest?  Why do your eyes gleam old man, When you hear those bugles blow?  Tell me why you cry old man, For those days so long ago?  I'll tell you why I march young man, With medals on my chest.  I'll tell you why I grieve young man, For those I laid to rest.  Through misty fields of gossamer silk Come visions of distant times.  When boys of tender age Marched forth to distant climes.  We buried them in a blanket shroud, Their young flesh scorched and blackened.  A communal grave, newly gouged, In blood-stained gorse and bracken.  And you ask why I march young man? I march to remind you all,  That but for those apple-blossom youths You'd never have known freedom at all REMEMBERING (Submitted by Crichton Reynolds, Pembroke from "Dekho!", magazine of the Burma Star Association)

Dale Wood Cowie was one of five brothers and two sisters, all of whom live in Buckie in Morayshire, Scotland. His parents, who also live in Buckie, were informed of their son's tragic death this morning. Dale attended Buckie High School. After a period working in a fish processing factory he was persuaded by his cousin (Hldr Ben Moore, who also serves with The Highlanders) that The Highlanders would offer a more challenging and worthwhile career. Dale joined the army in April 2004. He enjoyed his Basic Training in Catterick, Yorkshire and was delighted to be posted to The Highlanders in Germany, joining his cousin and several old friends from Buckie, in November 2004. Since arriving in Germany, Hldr Cowie had served with D Company, a rifle Coy of The Highlanders, training extensively as a rifleman and becoming an expert on the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle and other weapon systems. Hldr Cowie showed great promise during his career in The Highlanders, and was liked and respected by all the officers and soldiers of the Regiment. Despite his young age and short length of time in the Army, his potential had been clearly identified. When not training Hldr Cowie enjoyed football, and was keen to work his way into the Highlanders team. A popular soldier, he spent much of his free time socialising with friends and keeping himself fit. First Cousin of Hldr Cowie, Hldr Ben Moore was told the news separately and, in a short statement, said: "Dale will be missed by me, his family, all the soldiers of The Highlanders and by the whole of Buckie."