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The Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry
6 October 1959 - 10 July 1968

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Website Tribute to

The High Sheriff of Somerset 2006-2007
Brigadier Alastair Ian Hayward Fyfe DL

Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry


The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old, having its roots in Saxon times, before the Norman conquest. It is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown.
Originally, the Office held many of the powers now vested in HM Lord-Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and even the Inland Revenue.
The Office of High Sheriff remained first in precedence in the counties until the reign of Edward VII, when an Order in Council in 1908 gave the Lord-Lieutenants the prime office under the Crown as the Sovereign’s personal representative. Lord-Lieutenants were created in 1547 for military duties in the shires. The High Sheriff remains the Sovereign’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.

Brigadier Alastair Fyfe was born in Misterton, Somerset on 21 October 1937. He was educated at Lancing College and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

He was commissioned into the Army in December 1958 and then followed a military career for the next 32 years in the Light Infantry – his County Regiment. He saw service in many parts of the world including Germany, Gibraltar, Zambia, Berlin and Northern Ireland. After studying at the Army Staff College, he served in Belize and Northern Ireland (again) before going to RMA Sandhurst as an instructor. After serving as an instructor at the Nigerian Staff College, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Light Infantry which was part of the United Nations Force in Cyprus. The Battalion later returned to the UK and then moved to West Germany.

From 1988 to 1991, during the final crucial years of the Gorbachev regime, he was the British Military Attache in the former Soviet Union, serving at the British Embassy in Moscow. He also held the appointment of Honorary ADC to HM The Queen from 1989 to 1991.

He retired from the Regular Army in 1991 and served as the Regimental Secretary at the Light Infantry Office in Taunton. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset in 1995. He was appointed High Sheriff of Somerset in March 2006. He is Vice-Chairman of the School Council of King’s College, Taunton and of King’s Hall School, Vice-Provost of the Woodard Schools (Western Region) and a Fellow of the Woodard Schools Corporation. He is an Honorary Deputy Colonel of the Rifle Volunteers (TA) and Chairman of the Somerset Military Museum Trust, the Somerset Army Cadet Force Trust and of the Somerset County Committee of the Army Benevolent Fund.

Alastair Fyfe was a keen athlete and represented the Army, the Combined Services and Somerset at both athletics and cross-country running. He also represented Gibraltar in the Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia in 1962. He is a keen supporter of Somerset CCC and of Yeovil Town FC.

He is married to Deirdre (known as D). They have a daughter, Nicola, aged 39, who is a school teacher in the Midlands and a son, Andrew, aged 38, who is the County Emergency Planning Officer for Buckinghamshire, both of whom are married.


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