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Nicholas Scott
Late The Blues and Royals


Nicholas Jack Scott was born in 1950 at North Runcton Hall, King’s Lynn in Norfolk.  He had a wonderfully happy childhood. The youngest of five children living in a large house full of animals and toys with fun and laughter everywhere. This paradise was shattered by death: first of his mother Ruth in a car crash in 1962 when he was only 12; shortly followed by the death of his eldest brother, Iain, who was killed on military duty in Aden in 1965; and the death of his father Archie in the same year; and then in 1988, when his brother Jim died, and in 1997 his devoted sister Fiona.  The only remaining member of that wonderful covey of Scotts is Andrew who has borne these sad losses so bravely.

Jamie McGrigor recalls first meeting Nick during a cricket match at Eton on the playing field Agars Plough.  He was batting and was given out LBW.  It was not difficult to see he disagreed with that decision and his reaction was to smash down the stumps with his bat which he then hurled into the distance and strode off the pitch muttering loud obscenities; he had a built-in disrespect for authority.  On being asked about the origin of his family, he averred that the Scoti tribe arrived from Ireland in 550AD and battled with the indigenous Picts to create Scot-land. They had travelled from the east through central Europe; some people think the Scoti were the missing tribe of Israel.  His branch was the Scotts of Greenock, one of the best shipbuilders on the Clyde who built big warships which tussled with mighty vessels such as the Graf Spee and the Scharnhorst.

After losing his parents, Nick spent many holidays with his aunt Anethea and uncle John who lived at Eredine House on Loch Awe in Argyll.  He spent his teens with Jamie chasing elusive grouse and stalking red deer, and fishing for brown trout in the numerous hill lochs on the land he affectionately christened Ardchonnel crags. He invented the first anti-midge machine, a cardboard box with a slit for his eyes and nose in which he smoked a cigarette.
Nicholas joined the Army, The Blues and Royals, where he was popular. In Belfast, at RAF Aldergrove, his Squadron Leader, Jeremy Smith-Bingham, called for a piano to lift the boredom. Nick said he would get a piano and then play it in the Mess, which was duly agreed.  One was found for sale in some village the other side of Belfast.  An escort was authorised of a 4-tonner and two Ferret Scout Cars.  Away he went, bought the piano, loaded it onto the lorry into which he had already placed a chair and merrily came back through Belfast playing happy tunes all the way; excellent community relations.  He also later had an armoured car in London in which he transported his latest dates for dinners, etc. On exercise in Norway, for which RHG/D provided a squadron to the ACE Mobile Force, during a formal orders group, the young officers were given permission to smoke. Nick lit a pungent cigarette, and informed his Squadron Leader, Henry Hugh Smith, that it was only Turkish herbal tobacco.  It is likely that Henry was the only one to believe this explanation.

He attended the Weber Douglas Drama School; he was a natural actor.  As Jamie’s best man, he stuffed his cheeks with cotton wool and pretended he was the Godfather as portrayed by Marlon Brando, commiserating with the bride having to marry a Peruvian railway ticket collector, having discovered that the groom had an ancestor who had built railways in Peru, leaving everyone in tears of mirth.  On return from some time in Australia, he came back to Argyll in 1973 and bought a house in Glen Shira near Inveraray, endeavouring seriously for nearly a year to write pop songs; the house became a legendary weekend resting place for London lads and beautiful girls.

After Scottish and romantic episodes, later he met Charlotte at the White City dog track.  This blossomed and they bought a wonderful olive finca in the Spanish hills.  Nick had found a soul mate in Charlotte and in no time, they had four beautiful children: Giaconda, Jackson, George, and Amber.  There was no electricity; they survived with tilley lamps and hot water bottles; Nick loved Spain and the Spanish people.  They had a tennis court and a ping-pong table.

Nick’s competitive streak was so strong that he would happily thrash his young children at these games with no mercy. It was not advisable to go on the backgammon board with him either or play poker.  This idyll came to an end, and in 1999 he started a happy new romance with Chantal, Princess of Hanover.  In May 2017, they had gone trekking in the Himalayas for ten days before going to the Maharajah of Jodhpur’s son’s wedding. There Nick had fallen off the wagon, and subsequently fallen into a coma from which he did not recover: he was cremated in India.  His Thanksgiving Service in Chelsea had standing room only, the packed congregation being informed and entertained by three orators. 

There was an amusing tribute to him by Taki in The Spectator which amongst the stories described him as ‘ … slender, tough and very elegant. He was also as mad as the proverbial hatter. and probably the best unpublished writer of his generation. He was funny as only few people can be funny, with a straight face and via cartoonish exaggeration.’ 

His email address began with the phrase agoodmaninAfrica taken from the title of his favourite book by William Boyd.  A good man indeed, and a gifted amateur par excellence.

Based on the address given by Major Jamie McGrigor at Nick Scott’s Thanksgiving Service

© Crown Copyright