Helen Meechie, CBE
Died 24 August 2000,
aged 62.
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Helen 16, and in uniform.
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Helen Guild Meechie, Brigadier in the British Army was born Jan 19, 1938 the daughter of John Strachan Meechie. She followed her brothers to Morgan Academy, Dundee prior to going on to study at St Andrew’s University.

She joined the army and served in Britain, Cyprus and Hong Kong from 1961 to 1976, and later in Germany from 1977 to 1982, attaining the rank of Brigadier.

Helen was appointed Director of the WRAC (Women’s Royal Army Corps) (1982 – 1986) and served as the honorary ADC (aide-de-camp) to Queen Elizabeth II (1982 – 1986) and then ADC (1986).
For this service she was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth (1986).

Helen broke down many barriers during a long and distinguished career in which she rose to become the highest-ranking woman serving with the British Army. She was known as a most efficient and accomplished lady who led the WRAC with style, commitment and devotion.

The first woman to graduate from the previously all-male preserve of the Staff College, Sandhurst, the first woman to attend the National Defence College, and the first woman to go to the Royal College of Defence Studies. She rose to the top of the women's army through ability and sheer hard work.

She loved army life, its discipline, its traditions and the friends she made there. Hers was a life devoted to service, given unselfishly, which won her much admiration and respect. Indeed many colleagues (both male and female) considered she should have been made the army's first female major-general.

In 1997 she was diagnosed as suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative brain disease for which there is no known cure. Helen, who never married, was predeceased by a brother, David, but is survived by another brother, Jack, two nieces, and one nephew.

Brigadier Helen Meechie CBE, Director of WRAC, born in Dundee, 19 January 1938, died in Wiltshire, 24 August 2000, aged 62.

Submitted by: Hugh McGrory
Source: Various including the Scotsman and The Herald.