John died on 6th July 2010, aged almost 72 years.

Capt JG Threlfall
Capt JG Threlfall

His preparatory school was Abberley, then Wellington.

In July 1944 he will have learnt of the death of his half-brother Major GWG Threlfall, who was killed in action in North West Europe.

His brother was an 8th Hussar, won an MC and was Mentioned in Despatches.

John grew up seeing his brother looking down on him from the wall of the dining room at Ruyton Manor.

He went to Sandhurst on 19 September 1956. He was commissioned into The 8th Hussars on 2 August 1958, joining them at Hohne on 31 December 1958 as a Queen’s Royal Irish Hussar, as The 8th Hussars had amalgamated with The 4th Hussars on 24 October 1958 to form The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars equipped with Centurion Tanks.

He joined ‘C’ Squadron. He moved with the Regiment to Tidworth on 19 June 1961, where the Regiment converted to Armoured Cars and prepared for the move to Aden.

He arrived in Aden on 3 December 1961, having spent 6 weeks at the RAC Centre. ‘C’ Squadron were in Little Aden. They had no vehicles for six weeks. The Squadron then moved to Sharja in July 1962. Bun and ‘C’ Squadron spent a month exercising in the Nairobi National Park and were based at Kahawa.

The Regiment sailed for Penang and he spent about 8 weeks at Ipoh before boarding an LSL, crossing the South China Sea and landing at Sarawak, the land of the ’White Rajah’. Sarawak was handed over to the UK in 1940/50 for administration and defence purposes, and its neighbour, Indonesia and the Communists, began to infiltrate the country.

The troops in ‘C’ Squadron took it in turns to carry out a number of roles. When it was Bun’s turn to man the outpost at Simmangang, he decided to improve the intelligence gathering by recruiting a band of informers, subsidised by his own pocket. Whether anything useful came from this is debatable, but his benevolence was much appreciated by the local Iban and Dayaks.

It was also rumoured that the waiter delivered local Curries which were much appreciated by anyone visiting Simmangang. Bun must have been considered by the locals as the natural successor to the ‘White Rajah’. Unfortunately his reign lasted only 4 weeks when he was replaced by a less generous troop leader.

‘C’ Squadron moved to Ipoh in early July 1963, being relieved by ‘B’ Squadron. In February 1964 ‘C’ Squadron sailed down to Singapore, relieving ‘A’ Squadron, who sailed to Sarawak.

John left the Far East for The Junior Leaders’ Regiment Rhyl on 4 July 1964.

Bun retired from the Regiment on 20 February 1965 and worked in the Family Brewery in Manchester. He met his future wife Marion at this time an they married in July 1966. They had two children, Chloe and Arabella.

Soldier, Farmer, Estate Manager, Brewer, Businessman, Financier – Bun did them all. He was much loved and respected by all those he served with in The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars,

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Aden and The Persian Gulf 1961
  4. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64