Major-General Frank Richardson, DSO; born March 3, 1904, died August 28, 1996 aged 92

MAJOR-GENERAL Richardson or - ``General Frank'' as he was widely known - was distinguished, remarkable, and versatile in many respects. He was a classical scholar, historian, author, polo player, skier and musician.

His medical career speaks for itself, and he was arguably the most well known and respected member of the Royal Army Medical Corps in his time, in peace and war. I heard him spoken of widely throughout the Army, but it was not until I was a student at the Staff college, Camberley, that I saw and heard him for the first time.

There he was a ``hardy annual'' and spoke on almost any subject one cared to think of.

This was because he seemed first a soldier and secondly a doctor, but it was not only what he said that was always so interesting and compelling but his unique method of delivery which invariably gripped his audience (said by some to be the most critical of any college).

Later when I was an instructor and had got to know him well I asked him to come and speak on ``Morale''. He agreed ``but only if I can talk about Napoleon's sex life,'' he replied. Taken aback, I said: ``Oh, I don't think that subject would be very appropriate,'' to which his comment was: ``It will be; at the moment I can't think of anything else!''

How in the event he fitted it all together, I cannot recall but he was, as usual, in great form, humorous, sparkling, and knowledgeable; he could project his personality in a way that I have never met before or since. Only he, one felt, could attempt a study on homosexual generals, and be co-author of a definitive work on the piobaireachd, of which, incidentally, he was twice world champion performer.

When I was General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland, I used to hold ``piping dinners'' during which pipe majors would perform. Frank was always with us and as the evening wore on he and other guests, who almost invariably included the great D R MacLennan, needed little encouragement to perform themselves.

Somehow it seemed appropriate that the last time we met was when he attended the Individual Piping Competitions of the Royal British Legion Scotland and, at my request, presented the prizes.

He spoke then in his inimitable way, full of humour and with his great knowledge and experience, and despite his age and increasing deafness one sensed the same ``General Frank'', a truly great Scot who personified all that is best in our ethos and in our Army.

An appreciation by