His (Swee's) granddaughter Kodie had a poem to say, but was to upset to say it, so here it is by kind permission ...
I never had the chance to say goodbye or see you one last time,
I'm so grateful to have a had you as my grandad the person who helped me swim in the ocean,
they was and are best memories I will always keep with me spending endless summers together enjoying ourselves,
he was an amazing person to me, and that he will always be.
The heavens have opened for an angle and chosen you, not a day will go by when I dont think to myself I wish I could see you once more,
but I know you will always be there by myside and forever in my heart
He was the best grandad anyone could have asked for so many funny memories that will be told forever, ones most memorable to me are when we use to stay with my grandad and grandma most summers and early in morning me and grandad would get up and go straight to the sea, jus across the road form where he lived and he'd teach me how to swim and not be afraid of the sea for hrs, theres was one time we went out into the sea and these alarms where goin off telling people to get out sea but my grandad just ignored them and we stayed in the sea when I look back on that time I cant help but laugh was definately grandad being grandad.
With out a fail every time we seen him he'd tell me and my brothers the 'during the war' story we'd sit for hours listening to them and some stories he made up and we believed him for ages, he'd also teach us to do drum beats with our hands on the table kept us occupied for hours. his memories will live on forever and he will be sadly missed but never be forgotten, so glad to have had him in my life as my grandad.
From Philip Palmer
Swee ( as we called him ) left the band and became a driver of staff cars for a few Generals including our old C.O. General G Howlett. He talked about serving in Norway at a NATO establishment. After he left the army we used to get together a couple of times a year then he went off the face of the earth. Years later he called me and told me he went to Kosovo to help fight the Serbian forces. He nearly died there of poisoning. He found settling down in one place difficult. He was bought up in life originating in Londonderry and shunted all over the UK. He referred to the army as "His family"
We were both 15 at Junior Para and I would bring him to Wolverhampton during leave. Later in 2 PARA we went out playing as a duo . We used to play at hen parties where the ladies were whipped into a frenzie by male strippers that in those days were making all the headlines in the Sun. We played for Prince Charles on a river boat in Berlin and regularly in all the messes. The corporal's mess particularly enjoyed Swee's drum solos were he would throw away the sticks and carry on with his hands.
We both had an easier time because of the duo. We played in the Petty Officers mess on HMS Undaunted on a 2 week NATO exercise. Sometimes we put a group together with a couple of the guys that went on to form" Airborne" winning Opportunity Knocks 1972.
On refection, Swee bought me out of my shell and life became an adventure. I could write a lot but I will leave that to your imagination. He was PARA REGT through and through but like me always thinking of the following day if we we to jump out the "Hercy bird".
I did'nt see Swee over the last 13 years but I made contact with him last year. He was'nt a well man and had lost the use of his legs. He joined the army before me in 1967. I left in 1979 so we we together all that time. I forgot to mention that during 2 PARA's 2nd tour of N Ireland Swee and a couple others in the band trained as dog handlers. His dog was called "MAJOR" lovely dog. Swee trained to do all sorts of tricks but then they moved us to Belfast and the dog did'nt go.