Master Roger Buckley would put top of his list of favourite people those with four legs. I think his reasons for this would be twofold, in this order: an inborn love of animals (any sort), and the fact that they don’t talk. I’d like to say that Roger would prefer them because they can’t answer back but that wouldn’t be fair, he had his own way of communicating with animals and when small animals came into our house, they usually fetched up on Roger’s lap or at his feet after surveying the territory and deciding on the most attractive.

Below is a photo of Roger with his favourite animal, a horse. As soon as he earned enough at the Bar (well actually not quite enough), he began to hope to fulfil his dream of owning a horse. Not any old horse, a racehorse. Then he had an unexpected piece of luck; he gambled on a double win in the 1000 Guineas and the Derby on Fleet and Royal Palace in 1967 and collected what seemed to us an enormous sum of money. The dream grew closer.

Then another piece of luck. I was teaching law at UCL, and in 1967 five police officers were selected from Bramshill Police College to join our Law Degree Course. The five concerned were current Inspectors who were expected to rise in the Force, as indeed most did, others became professional lawyers of one type or another. Staff and students were encouraged to mix and socialise (remember this was in the sixties, the Faculty staff numbered about thirty and students about three hundred), and at one of these evenings Roger got into conversation with one of the police students who loved horses and followed racing, a friendship was formed which lasted throughout their lives. The young barrister became a HCJ and the young Inspector became a Chief Constable. I think both would accept that their spare time was largely taken up following form in the Racing Post. They went to many racecourses together, chasing equestrian delights as Roger collected racehorses, very few were winners, some were placed, and some were donkeys. I think I can sum up the whole scene by quoting a line our friend wrote to me after Roger’s death ‘he was a valued friend, and we had such fun in our equestrian ventures. So many, many great memories’.

Who would have thought that in 1967?

By Lady Margaret Buckley