Billy was born in Londonderry in 1944 and left to join the Irish Hussars in 1963 following the family tradition.

Sgt W Cruickshank
Sgt W Cruickshank

After seeing service in the Far East it was when the Regiment returned to Wolfenbuttel in Germany that I first met him.

I got to know Billy really well when I started playing regimental football in 1965. One of the best football coaches I have known – Taffy Helps, a former BSM – once described Billy as “a man-made of steel who will always give 100 per cent on the football pitch”.

Billy played left-back for many years carrying on his career from Derry City into the Army and there were not many wingers who could get past him in his early days.

Our first major achievement was winning the Cavalry Cup in May 1970 with many other Tournament wins over the years.

Billy will always be remembered for all his loyal work at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess. He was a trusted barman and an excellent Mess manager.

There are a lot of ex RSMs and PMCs who will remember seeking advice on Mess business from Billy.

During his service, Billy was awarded the GSM with Bar for Borneo and Malaya, the UN Cyprus Medal and the LS and GC Medal.

Billy left the Army in 1985 and moved to Aberdeen to be near his sister and began working for Aberdeen University until his retirement in 1997.

Billy married in 1986 and is survived by his wife Brenda and their seven-year-old son Liam to whom he was devoted and passed on his love of football (Manchester United), golf etc.

Unfortunately, he did not enjoy good health in his retirement and sadly he died on 15 October 2007.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  2. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64