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The commanding officer of the Lochaber Sea Cadets, Lieutenant Derrick Warner, has died.
Mr Warner died on Tuesday April 11 following a sudden heart attack on Monday.
Mr Warner, who was a member of the sea cadets for almost 13 years, was last week described as a ‘great man’ and ‘a true gentleman’ by friends and colleagues.
The Sea Cadets Northern Area issued a statement saying: ‘It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the untimely passing of Lt (SCC) Derrick Warner.
‘Derrick had been a member of the Sea Cadets for almost 13 years, and spent 12 of those as the CO of TS St Christopher at Lochaber. He saw the unit achieve Burgee status in 2015, the same year that he was runner-up as volunteer-of-the-year in his community, and he took the unit to the record numbers that it holds today.
‘He was kind, gentle, and he gave hugely of his time to help young people prosper. Not only did be command TS St Christopher, he was an assistant district officer and was ever-present at Redford Barracks as a key member of the area training team.
‘He will be missed sorely by his fellow volunteers and by the hundreds of cadets he encouraged and supported throughout his all-too-short time with us. Our condolences to his wife Tanya and family.’
Mr Warner was a prominent member of the Lochaber community.
He was president-elect of the Rotary Club of Lochaber, and current president Paula Ross said: ‘Derrick was such a great support to me in my presidential year.
‘Kind, helpful, generous and with a cracking sense of humour. Nothing was ever too much trouble.
‘Our thoughts and condolences to Tanya and family. We will miss you, Derrick.’
As well as his work with the sea cadets, Derrick was the operations officer at Scottish Natural Heritage.
His background was in ecology and, during the 1990s, he had been the warden of Glencoe.
George Hogg, SNH’s South Highlands unit manager, added: ‘We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Derrick.
‘He was a mainstay of our Fort William office for 12 years, and his vitality, geniality and knowledge of Scotland’s natural heritage will be remembered fondly by his many friends and colleagues.
‘Derrick developed an early interest in nature while growing up in Fife, and joined SNH after many years managing busy countryside properties at Arran and Glencoe with the National Trust for Scotland.
‘He had real passions for birds, geology and the marine environment, and loved enthusing others while working with local community groups and young people.
‘Our thoughts are with his wife Tanya and their two sons.’