Sirmooree 85, Spring 2024 – Supplementary Linked Content
John Lamond, who died in Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth on 21st January 2024, was a stalwart member of the 2nd Goorkhas all his active life.
He was born in Rangoon on 16th April 1930, son of John Lamond who worked in the Burma Forestry Department. He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
John was the first British Officer (along with Ian Christie) to be gazetted direct to the Regiment after the Second World War and he joined the 1st Battalion on operations in Malaya in October 1951. Throughout the campaign he served in several regimental jobs, but he specialised on the Vickers Medium Machine Gun and on and off for some years he commanded the MMG Platoon in Support Company.
He had a clever brain and, having learned to speak Russian, he was employed in listening stations in Germany and Cyprus. He commanded HQ Company in Brunei and Singapore before being finally appointed to command the British Gurkha Record Office in Hong Kong from 1979. For his excellent work there, John was appointed MBE when he retired in 1985.
From April 1985 to 1995 John was Curator of the Gurkha Museum, first at Church Crookham and later at Winchester. He was a lifelong member of The Sirmoor Club.
John’s wife Sylvia, whom he married in 1953, died in 2006. He is survived by his sons Johnny (who also served in the Regiment) and Stephen and his daughters Annie and Katy to whom we send our deep sympathy.
Mary Meadows, who died in Norwich and Norfolk Hospital on 13th January 2024, was the widow of Major Val Meadows CBE MC who served with the 3rd Battalion 2nd Goorkhas in Burma in 1945.
Mary married Val straight from school and went with him to Singapore. Val had joined the Malayan Civil Service after the War and became an Advisor to Lee Kwan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore. Mary became friends with Lee and they corresponded for the rest of Lee’s life.
In Singapore Mary became a business woman in her own right. She imported rolls of Thai Silk cloth and became an expert in Jade, early Chinese porcelain and Thai Sewankhalok ceramics.
When Val retired to Norfolk they both continued in business for some years until Val died in 1997.
Not many Sirmoorees will remember Mary, although she attended The Sirmoor Club lunches, but those who do so will remember her with great affection.
Mary was an only child and she and Val had no children. We send our condolences to her nephew and niece by marriage Mr and Mrs Cary and Ronni Meadows.