Drew Young

Drew Young

United Kingdom
About: Lockerbie Policeman, First Responder, Scout Leader & Resident
Bio: Andrew "Drew" Young was working as a police sergeant stationed in Lockerbie on the night of the terrorist attack. He was one of the first emergency responders to arrive on the scene, where he stood guard over the nose cone of the plane at Tundergarth. Drew spent weeks working in response to the attack, and as Scout leader, he also recalls the role the local Scouts played.
  • First Responder
  • Hometown Hero

Lockerbie Policeman, First Responder, Scout Leader & Resident

The day of the attack

12/21/1988

Drew Young was working as a police sergeant and was stationed in Lockerbie on the night that Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the town. 

He began his shift in the Lockerbie town center, before moving to Tundergarth, where the plane's nose cone had crashed.

Drew begins his story with his memories of what happened on the night of the attack:

 

Drew arrived at Tundergarth to guard the nose cone around 8.45p.m. and he stood watch throughout the night until 6a.m. on December 22. 

He was joined by four officers from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. In total, they found 17 bodies inside the nose cone:

 

As more and more bodies were being found in the 845-square-mile crime scene, the police introduced a system that would ensure that each person could be associated with where they were sitting on the plane:

There was also another indicator of where the victims were seated when the bomb exploded—the injuries found on their bodies:

Every resident in the town had been affected by the attack, regardless of where they lived in Lockerbie. 

The areas where the plane had crashed caused widespread power outages, and the telephone lines were cut off to free up communications for the emergency services. Drew also recalls water supplies being damaged:

 

Within hours of the attack, the town had been inundated with emergency responders. Members of the police force, fire brigade, and Army had been sent from all over Scotland and the UK to help with the search and recovery efforts creating a mass of humanity:

In the aftermath of the attack, the local community wanted to ensure that emergency responders were being well watered and fed. And soon, donations of food were arriving from far and wide:

 

The role of the Scouts

12/21/1988

Police Sergeant Young was also the Scout leader in Lockerbie. He had been finishing up his Christmas Scout duties moments before the attack happened.

The Scouts played an integral role when all phone lines were cut in the days following the attack. They were enlisted by their Scout leader to deliver important messages between the command posts of numerous authorities and ferry supplies across the town's disaster sites. 

Later, they delivered Christmas cards and oranges to local families' homes to try to bring a little "festive cheer" to the townspeople. 

The Lockerbie Scouts went on to form relationships with other Scout groups from across the world. Drew recalls a chance meeting with a group in Switzerland, that soon blossomed into a lasting friendship.

One of the Scouts in particular, Cammy Lauder, had provided some entertainment on the trip. 

Drew held the post of District Commissioner for the Annandale and Eskdale District of the Scout Association for many years. Lockerbie Scout Group-9th Dumfriesshire Branch was one of the branches under Drew's leadership, and his wife Annette also played an instrumental role in the organization. 

 

Drew and his wife Annette

In 2016, one of the local Scout leaders, Robert Humes, received the highest honor in scouting: the Queen's Scout Award. He was presented with his award at a special ceremony held at Windsor Castle in England.

After receiving his award, Robert thanked Drew Young and his wife Annette for the part they played in his life as a Scout:

"Drew Young and his wife Annette have always kept me right and have been a massive support to me over the years and still are- even though they have both retired from scouting themselves. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they had a big part to play in me receiving my Queen Scout Award." – Robert Humes

Robert Humes with his wife Rebecca. Photo credit: DNG Online

The days following the attack

12/22/1988

In the days following the attack, Drew and his police colleagues from Lockerbie were asked to resume some of their normal duties. 

As the official investigations began, they were tasked with looking after the hoards of global media that had descended upon the town:

Another of Drew’s jobs during the first couple of weeks after the attack was to meet victims' families who were arriving from across the world.

Some of the families had expressed anger and frustration at a lack of communication about unfolding events.

Drew used photographs to demonstrate just how desperate the situation was, and why communications had been poor in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Ed Blaus' Christmas Party

6/5/1989

As Lockerbie began to recover in the months following the attack, people were determined to bring some joy back to the town. 

Drew tells the story of a young American teenager, from upstate New York, who traveled to Lockerbie to host a special Christmas party—in June 1989. After the bombing, all the Christmas events and parties had been canceled, so 14-year-old Ed Blaus wanted to ensure that the children didn’t miss out. He wrote to Pan Am and asked if they would send some donations in the form of gifts for the children. 

The party featured live bands, bagpipes, and food and drinks stands and was well attended by the people of Lockerbie—despite the controversy it had caused due to the involvement of Pan Am.

Drew believes it was a real turning point for the town and brought a day of joy after months of misery. 

 

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