Monday 22 November 2021

“Utrinque Paratus” - Ready for Anything

 The Wings of Pegasus - the emblem of the British Airborne Forces

I arrived home from work tonight to the news that Laurel’s brother (and my brother in law) had finally lost his battle against stage four cancer yesterday evening. It was not unexpected but it still has the power to stop you in your tracks. Needless to say we are all pretty raw around the edges.

Gordie was a real character, a gentle giant, fond of West Ham United and the odd beer or six, incredibly proud of the eleven years he spent with regiment and to his dying day he fought against the odds as any paratrooper would.

I have known him since 1980 and his visits to the UK from his home in Vancouver invariably involved beer and trips to military museums - naturally I was a very willing participant in both! I was quite surprised to note that out day trip to Duxford (in the photo below) was just over a decade ago - it feels like it was only recently.

We often spoke about his time in the Paras and he would regale me with accounts of incidents he was involved in during the Radfan campaign. To me he was larger than life (he was certainly larger than me at 6ft 3 inches tall and built like a tank) and for sure he will be missed by us all.

When he first received the diagnosis of his final illness he was very philosophical about it and said that he was content with how his life had gone. He resolved to fight as hard as he could but even his legendary resilience and paratrooping stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds could not overcome his illness. My thoughts are with his partner, Diane and indeed, all that knew him

At a personal level I consider it an inestimable honour to have both known him and to have shared many memorable times days out in his company.

Duxford 2011. Gordie (on the left) made a beeline for the ex paratrooper volunteer guides and they swapped stories with yours truly taking the pictures and listening from the outside.

R.I.P. Gordon ‘Gordie’ Cormack - raising a beer for you.



Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Raising a glass in your honour Gordie

We share the same nickname mate as the able Londoner's who I wargamed with in the late nineteen nineties sense of geography was so CSE Grade 5 they called this Smoggie a Geordie and it stuck


Bluewillow said...

My condolences to you and the family.


Jim Duncan Wargamer said...

Your loss is our loss.


nundanket said...

Sorry to hear of your loss David.

Paul O'G said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss mate - sounds like a larger than life character to always lived it to the full.

Tim Gow said...

Sorry to hear that. Please pass on my condolences to Laurel.

The Jolly Broom Man said...

Sorry for your loss mate.

tradgardmastare said...

Thinking of you and yours DC.

Steve J. said...

My condolences to all concerned. Not easy when you get the news, even though you know it will come one day. Take care and remember all the good times.

'Lee. said...

Very sorry for your loss David and my condolences to your wife.