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Captain Christopher Boone
Late The Blues and Royals
by Colonel Hamon Massey
formerly The Blues and Royals

Christopher Henry Boone was born on 20th November 1947, the eldest of four children, at West Acre, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk.  It was an idyllic if somewhat wild childhood while his father lived the life of a hobby farmer having retired from the City.  He grew up to be a very fine shot no doubt thanks to early archery practice which included shooting Sir William Fellowes in the backside with an arrow. 

Educated at Eton, his major claim to fame was his place in the Eight and he rowed at Henley in 1965.  He was immensely strong physically and his contemporaries named him the engine room of the Eight, something of which he was rather proud.

Chris was commissioned into The Royal Dragoons in 1967 and joined them in Germany in early 1968 where he became an armoured troop leader on Chieftain tanks.  A year later The Royals amalgamated with the Blues.  There was nothing small about him or anything he did, and it was at about this time he became known as Enoob when his troop painted Enoob’s Bucket on his oversize coffee mug.  He loved fiddling about with things and making them work and was soon sent off to become an instructor in the driving and maintenance of Chieftains.  He was very good at mechanical things which didn’t necessarily always work!  Later he became an instructor in Guided Weapons which no doubt fuelled his fascination with drones and other gadgets.  I recall his chagrin at losing one after sending it off down the line of the River Nar at tree top level on a search for anyone who was up to no good. ‘I’m sure I programmed it right….!’

He had a good brain which he applied to anything that interested him and he was soon made the Reconnaissance Troop Leader, a job normally given to the young officer with the most enquiring mind who was able to think fast and out of the box.  It was thanks to these qualities that Chris was able to lead C Squadron to attack the opposition from behind their defensive position on a divisional exercise. Those who were there said it was a marvellous sight to see the back ends of the opposition’s tanks with their guns facing the wrong way! 

In 1971 he was sent with A Squadron to Northern Ireland.  At the time, A Squadron was the Allied Command Europe (ACE) Mobile Force Reconnaissance Squadron, and the force was principally responsible for the defence of NATO’s northern and southern flanks.  The Squadron spent six weeks each winter on arctic warfare training in Norway with them, four months in the spring and summer in Ferret scout cars in Northern Ireland, and the autumn on exercise in the south of the NATO area such as Greece.

In 1973 he was posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment as a troop leader, later becoming Adjutant in 1976 when the Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Morris RHG/D.  It was in April 1976 that he married Poppet Duckworth.  He was Adjutant for 18 months encompassing The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year in which among other things he administered the sending of horses and men to furnish escorts in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff.   He was a strong horseman and rode successfully in Regimental cross-country events and other mounted competitions.  He loved his winter training in Leicestershire and the Regiment always ensured that there were some very large black horses at Melton.  In April 1978 he retired, despite having been recommended to go to the Staff College which happened in those days to the top 25% of officers in the Army; but he wanted to farm and his son, Toby, was about to be born, so he retired.  Later a daughter, Emma, was born.  He was immensely proud of his family, passionately interested in the triumphs of his children and latterly of his two granddaughters, Daisy and Flora.

After retirement he took over the farm from his father and built up a successful marquee hire company.  He also developed a highly successful mole-catching business and despatched his traps with accompanying DVD instructions all over the world.  On one occasion he was asked by The Duke of Edinburgh to go and deal with the moles at Sandringham.

He was a central part of West Norfolk society, and was the brains behind the ‘Tennis Net’, a website for organising tennis games for the more mature men of West Norfolk, as well as being the IT adviser to most of Norfolk’s female society.  He had many other attributes and lived life to the full.  He was an expert downhill skier, an extreme windsurfer, falconer, great reader, fascinated by history, a countryman with great interest in and knowledge of wildlife, birds in particular.  He was a fine and accurate fisherman, and inventor of many extraordinary contraptions around the house and farm.  He was constantly making things up in wood and bolts and string, things of which Heath Robinson would have been proud! 

In the end it was his humanity, his selflessness, his sense of humour and his sense of honour for which we will all remember him.  He had been ill for over ten years, something he bore bravely, pragmatically and indomitably. He was delighted to have reached the age of 70, which he had not expected, and he was thrilled to be taken to New Zealand by Toby at the start of 2018 in celebration.  Everybody loved him.  He was in every sense that I understand a gentleman, and the best and truest friend that I suspect many of his friends ever had.  So with apologies to Sir John Betjeman,

Spirits of well-shot woodcock, partridge, snipe and pheasant
Flutter - and bear him up the Norfolk sky

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