A CLOSE friend of the Duke of York, and a Scots veteran of the

Falklands war were two of nine servicemen killed when their Royal Navy

Lynx helicopter crashed into the Kenyan bush, it was revealed yesterday.

Lieutenant Commander Christopher Fessey served with the Duke on HMS

Osprey where the Royal Navy Lynx helicopters are based. The Duke himself

is an experienced Lynx pilot and is due to return to flying later this


The Scot, leading seaman Colin Roy, 26, whose home was in Newquay,

Cornwall, had been married for just five months. His parents live in

Station Road, Bearsden. Roy, who had been in the Navy for eight years,

was a Falklands war veteran and, more recently, had been stationed in

the Gulf.

His parents, who could not be contacted last night, were believed to

be travelling to London to meet their widowed daughter-in-law, Connie,

on her arrival from Kenya.

Accident investigators flew out to Kenya yesterday to probe the cause

of Sunday's accident which happened as the Lynx was heading for the

Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. The helicopter was from the Type 22

frigate HMS Brilliant, which was sailing for Mombasa for maintenance and

a period of crew rest from its role with the Armilla Patrol in the Gulf.

The Lynx was flying ahead of Brilliant when it came down at Vipingo,

18 miles from Mombasa. There were no survivors.

Brilliant, which made a vital contribution to the success of the South

Georgia operation in the Falklands conflict, left Devonport in January

and is due back in mid-July.

Commodore Christopher Craig, in command of the shore-based HMS Drake

at Plymouth said the helicopter was on a routine flight, travelling

across country when it crashed into the bush. He did not have any

details about the cause of the crash.

Lynx helicopters have been fully operational for more than 11 years,

and there had only been one previous fatal accident, he said.

Friends and relatives of the dead men were being comforted yesterday

as the full scale of the tragedy emerged.

Victim John Savage, 21, an only child of Ferngrove, Bury, lived for

his service life, according to his aunt. Mrs Agnes Kennan, of Linnet

Drive, Bury said: ''He was a great lad. He was very quiet, didn't drink

or smoke. He just lived for the Royal Navy.'' She said the young Able

Seaman's parents were ''absolutely devastated''.

Chief Petty Officer Simon Banks-Popple, 29, of Hillcrest Close,

Plympton, near Plymouth, another of the victims, had been in the Navy

since he was 16. His wife Rosemary, 29, was yesterday trying to console

children Sarah, five, and Julia, three.

She said: ''We spoke last about four weeks ago and he was getting on

fine. The whole family was really looking forward to seeing Simon when

he came home in July. This is so terrible.''

Chief Petty Officer Colin Simpson, 25, had followed his father's

footsteps into the Navy, and seemed set for a flourishing career.

Father Norman, 53, of Cole Lane, Ivybridge, Devon said: ''Colin always

wanted to be in the Navy and in the last few years served with the

Armilla Patrol, in the Indian Ocean and in the Falklands.''--PA.