Berkhamsted Group | 13.10.2016

A tribute to Sergeant Major Des Keoghane

A tribute to Sergeant Major Des Keoghane

Des Keoghane, a Berkhamsted School CCF legend for over 40 years 

Berkhamsted School is very sad to report the death of Des Keoghane on 11 October 2016 in Watford Hospital after a valiant fight against cancer.  

Des came to Berkhamsted in 1973 as Sergeant Major in the Combined Cadet Corps but had a period away from the School after his son Kevin was tragically killed on the RFA Sir Galahad in the Falklands War in 1982. During this time away, however, Des did not miss a Yates Drill or a General Inspection Day and was a great help supporting the CCF during the following 10 years.

When Fred Charnock took over the CCF in 1992, Des returned to his former job as Sergeant Major until Steve Carter arrived in 2002. Since then, Des continued his involvement with the Yates Drill competition and assistance on GI Day.  He helped with the organisation of seating and all the silverware at these events including for the visit of Her Majesty The Queen in May 2016 by which time he was very unwell. 


 Des Keoghane and Lt Angus Cameron who presented the Cameron Cane to the Corps in 1982

Des was also a strong supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and over his years at Berkhamsted, attended most if not all expeditions including probably half a dozen to Italy where he ran the base camp in 2001, his last Italy Trip for 50+ staff and students.

Finally Des had an  unrivalled address book which he used frequently to support the CCF  and was instrumental in securing the services as inspecting officer of the Mans brothers , Major General  Simon Lalor, Dame Sarah Jones and Field Marshal Guthrie to name a distinguished few.
Des set and maintained very high standards. He was immensely loyal, totally reliable and highly respected by staff and students.  He will be greatly missed, and much mourned. 
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