Lt-Gen Sir David Young, KBE, CB, DSC; born May 17, 1926, died January 9, 2000

LIEUTENANT-General Sir David Young, KBE, CB, DSC, who died on January 9, 2000, aged 73, was formerly GOC Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle. His distinguished Flying Cross, a fairly rare distinction for an Army Officer, had been won in the early 1950s when he was serving with 656 Air Observation Squadron during the earliest and worst period of the Malayan ''Emergency''. At that time 5000 communist terrorists had established camps in the jungle from which they emerged to kill planters and tin

miners, intimidate tappers on the rubber estates, and disrupt the economy of the country with a view to staging a communist takeover. Locating their camouflaged camps in the jungle was an arduous and dangerous task, for it involved low flying in unpredictable and rapidly-changing weather conditions. Young's citation noted his disregard of personal safety, his skilled airmanship, and his leadership of Army non-commissioned pilots operating over rugged jungle terrain in hazardous weather conditions.

David Tod Young was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He was commissioned in to the Royal Scots (the Royal Regiment) in 1945 and served with the 2nd Battalion in Egypt, Palestine, Italy, and Malta, before being seconded to the Glider Pilot Regiment in 1949 and qualifying as a pilot. Subsequently he graduated from the Staff College Camberley in 1956, served in Germany and the Middle East, in 1964 became Military Assistant to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff in the Ministry of Defence.

From 1967 to 1969 he commanded 1st Battalion, the Royal Scots, in Osnabruck, Germany, then returned to the Staff College Camberley as Colonel, General Staff, 1969-70, before commanding 12th Mechanised Brigade in Germany (1970-1972). In 1972 he became Deputy Military Secretary at the MoD and in 1975 was posted to Northern Ireland as Commander, Land Forces, an appointment requiring careful judgment and a common-sense view of priorities.

As the Army was being overstretched by the need to provide units for periods of counter-terrorist work in Northern Ireland, its forces assigned to Nato in Germany were regularly depleted and operational training disrupted. The official answer was to transfer more responsibility to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, but this had to take into account the ability of the RUC to handle this extra duty at short notice.

Happily, Young was able to work closely with the Chief Constable, Sir Kenneth Newman, ensure the RUC had the expertise and resources for its larger task and also resist the demands of Whitehall for faster progress than the local situation warranted.

Young's next posting was Director of Infantry (1977-80), after which he became GOC Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle (1980-82), during which he was also Colonel Commandant of the Scottish Division.

He was appointed CB in 1977 and KBE in 1980.

He was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Scots (1975-80) and of the Ulster Defence Regiment (1986-91). He was chairman, and subsequently director, of Cairntech (security) from 1983 to 1986. Among the many charities he supported was the Marie Curie Cancer Care for which, on August 4 and 5 this year, there will be a millennium march in Edinburgh which will see the largest collection of pipers ever mustered in Scotland.

In 1950 he married Joyce Marian Melville, who died in 1987. They had two sons. In 1988 he married Joanna Myrtle Oyler (nee Torin), who survives him.