Johnny Bulkeley joined The Queens Own Hussars from Mons in late 1963. The Regiment was in Detmold but almost immediately moved to Catterick. Johnny loved regimental soldiering and was very popular with his soldiers.

Lt Col J Bulkeley, MBE
Lt Col J Bulkeley, MBE

Catterick gave him the chance to couple his enthusiasm for the Regiment with his love of horses. He had ridden in races and at Catterick, he hunted and played polo. Later in his career, he managed the racing syndicates for the horses given to the regiment by the Queen Mother.

His regimental service included tours in Aden and Belfast and he also spent two years with the squadron in Hong Kong.

When he was a squadron leader in Detmold, his squadron was chosen as the British entry in the Canada Cup tank gunnery competition. No one could have worked his squadron with more enthusiasm or coped better with the problems of the Chieftain tank.

His final job at the Regiment was as Second in Command. This coincided with the Tercentenary and he was immensely proud to uncase the new Guidon and present it to the Queen Mother.

On his first tour away from the Regiment, he went to the Junior Leaders Regiment at Bovington where he was made the bicycling officer and could be seen panting around the local roads. While at Bovington, he met and married Susie in 1972. Johnny and Susie became one of the most generous and popular couples in the Regiment and played a full part in every aspect of Regimental life. Susie even rode as part of the musical ride in the Tercentenary.

Further tours on the staff were spent in Wilton, Germany and finally in Washington. There Johnny was responsible for the visit programmes of the many senior officers who came to Washington. This was a job demanding close attention to detail and a great sense of humour to cope with the many last-minute changes. As a result of his efficiency, Johnny was awarded the MBE.

Johnny’s final job in the Army was to command Castlemartin.

He was hugely popular with the British and German troops who used the ranges and he played a full part in Pembrokeshire life.

After retirement, Johnny continued at Castlemartin as a Retired Officer and Johnny and Susie gave great support to the local community. Johnny was Treasurer to the Angle lifeboat and Susie was DC for the pony club.

Sadly Johnny contracted cancer. He fought it bravely but died in 2008.

His huge popularity was shown by the congregation at his Memorial Service that overflowed into the churchyard and included representatives of every aspect of his life.

Johnny Bulkeley was the best type of Cavalry Officer – devoted to his soldiers and he always worked as hard as possible for them. He was a keen and enthusiastic horseman and a great supporter of every aspect of country life. Everyone who knew him has the happiest memories of a man who lived life to the full.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Own Hussars