Bill Howard started his Army life as a boy soldier in the South African Army.

Maj B Howard
Maj B Howard

He joined the 7th Hussars in Soltau in 1946 before being posted to the Leicestershire Yeomanry.

He married Kath in 1948 and rejoined the Regiment in 1949. He was never to leave then until just before he retired from the Army – 33 years of unbroken service at regimental duty. He was too useful, in all ranks, and no one wanted to let him go ERE.

He progressed through dozer troop, tank troop sergeant, QM’s staff, MT sergeant, SQMS, SSM, RQMS, RSM, QM Tech and QM serving wherever the Regiment was in Barnard Castle, Luneburg, Fallingbostel, Tidworth, Hong Kong, Munster, Detmold, Catterick, Berlin, Maresfield, Aden, Hohne, Northern
Ireland, Bovington. and Detmold. He was to become a regimental tower of strength.

He has been well described as a “likeable rogue”. He had been up to most tricks while a young soldier and this put him in a strong position later to smell out trouble and deal with it promptly. If there was a problem Bill was the man to sort it out.

He was a man who made things happen. Personal smartness was not one of his priorities – someone else had to polish his chinstrap.

He enjoyed varied extra mural activities such as rabbit farming and mushroom growing. Bill was adept at chatting up anyone resulting in a fund of stories to regale the younger members of the Mess even if there were some mild embellishments.

On the quartermaster side, he had a refreshing approach to accounting meaning that the Regiment, and even our cadets, lacked for nothing.

Resettlement after the Army did not come easy to him. He occupied himself with various gardening and landscaping activities for others to enjoy the physical activity. But soon he had to spend his time nursing Kath in a devoted way for many years.

One of his many nicknames, ”Uncle Bill”, reflected his intense interest in the welfare of all ranks. Many will be indebted to him for the rest of their lives for his good advice, example and encouragement. Bill is survived by his three daughters, seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 7th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Own Hussars
  3. Aden 1967