My brother, Ian Mackintosh
Lawrie Mackintosh sheds
light on the life of his brother.
My brother Ian Mackintosh was born on July 26, 1940. His father,
James, was a naval officer, his mother, Annie (maiden name Lawrie),
a governess. Both our parents were born in the Highlands of Scotland,
and apart from a brief period living in Glasgow, Ian was also
brought up in the Highlands.
was educated at Inverness Royal Academy, and although not an academic,
he was an above average student, and excelled at languages. Ian
was also a good all round sportsman, and for a period played soccer
for a local club. His real interest was, however, aircraft and
As a child he made model aircraft from balsa wood, often using
his own designs, and was an avid reader of aviation magazines
or anything related to flying. As soon as he was old enough, Ian
applied to join the British Fleet Air Arm as a pilot, but was
rejected as his eyesight was not up to the standard required for
combat flight. He immediately applied to join the Royal Air Force,
but again was rejected for the same reason, and returned to spend
a further year at school.
At the end of that year (1958) he applied for entrance to Dartmouth
Naval College, the training establishment for Naval officers,
and was accepted. It was during the early years of Ian's naval
career that Ian began writing, to relieve the boredom, first at
sea and later when posted to remote Naval base in Scotland.
His first novel, A Slaying in September, was published in 1967,
and he went on to write four other novels between then and 1970.
At this time the Royal Navy was experiencing difficulty in recruiting
the right calibre of young men and women. The Navy was moving
into areas of high technology, but few young people saw life at
sea as an attractive option, and many questioned the role of the
Navy, now that Britain had lost its Empire and there was a nuclear
My brother approached the naval authorities and the BBC with an
idea for a television series that would provide good visual effects
and drama for viewers, and also show the new face of the Navy,
and that the service still offered exciting and rewarding careers.
The series Warship was born, and it was very successful, both
as a drama series and in changing the public perception of the
A second 'Warship' series was commissioned, and although Ian
was still then a career naval officer he was seconded to the BBC
to act as scriptwriter, script supervisor and technical advisor.
However, Ian had eventually to decide whether to continue in the
Navy or pursue a new writing career on a fulltime basis. He chose
to write (or did he? see below), and following the success of
Warship, was approached by Yorkshire Television to join them.
At Yorkshire he produced Wilde Alliance, a comedy thriller series;
¦Thundercloud,˛ a naval comedy; and The Sandbaggers. In September
1969, he married Sharron Carter, daughter of a Royal Navy officer,
and they had two daughters: Zoe Lorelei (1970), now a sculptor,
and Zemma Gail (1974) currently at university studying medicine.
Ian and Sharron subsequently divorced. In 1976, on his official
retirement from the Royal Navy, he was honoured by the Queen with
the award of an MBE.
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