Topper, as he was very affectionately known to all 4th Hussars, died on 23 April 2004 aged 77.

His going left a large gap in the equestrian community where he was well known as a first-class horseman.

He enlisted into the Army on 23 March 1945 and after completion of the usual basic training at No 9 PTC, he was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps.

After further training as a driver/gunner, he was posted to the 4th Hussars. The regiment was then stationed in Northern Italy (CMF).

On 15 April 1947, the regiment was moved to Germany (BAOR) where it was stationed at Lübeck near Hamburg. By this time Topper’s talent as a horseman had been recognised and he became the stalwart of the Stables Troop HQ Squadron; he remained in this position for the rest of his service up to November 1952.

Even then he remained ‘connected’ to the 4th Hussars by becoming groom to a well-known Commanding Officer at his country estate.

During the three years of service in Malaya, Topper and his staff in the ‘stables troop’ departed Gunong Panjang camp very early each and every morning for the trip along the Tambun Road and down a track alongside a rubber plantation to the 4th Hussars stables. Here they toiled all day with a pitchfork in one hand and a loaded sten gun slung around their backs, being fairly isolated they were an easy target for the communist guerrillas.

At the end of 1951, the 4th Hussars returned to the UK and were stationed at Tidworth. The stables were several miles away at Perham Down. Topper and company spent all their duty hours at the stables.

Topper married Jean in Gateshead on 5 January 1952 which was merely three weeks after his arrival at Southampton on the ill-fated Empire Windrush. Shortly afterwards Jean joined Topper in married quarters in Tidworth. Throughout their lives together Jean was a great support to Topper and to their children.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Malaya 1948-51