John died on 1 March 2004 aged 75.

He enlisted into the Army in September 1945 and after a few weeks on W reserve he commenced his colour service at 15 PTC where he undertook basic military training. Thereafter he was posted to the Royal Armoured Corps where he underwent training in driving and gunnery.

Subsequently he was posted to 2 RTR until August 1948 when, in company with several hundred regular soldiers in regiments within the RAC he was posted to 4th Hussars who were about to depart for Malaya to confront Communist terrorists who began causing mayhem within that country early in 1948.

John had seen some of his earlier service outside the UK notably in Italy and Germany (BAOR). He served in ‘C’ Squadron 4H and went with his squadron under the late Maj Kenneth Hedley to Hong Kong in June 1949.

At that time the Chinese Communist army was driving the Nationalist Chinese forces south and east which put the then British colony Hong Kong at risk.

In February 1950 ‘C’ Squadron was replaced by ‘A’ Squadron and John found himself back in the humid climate of Malaya.

He continued to serve there until late 1951 when the 4th Hussars returned to the UK having been relieved by the 12th Lancers. After 20 months based on Salisbury, Plain John moved with the 4th Hussars to BAOR.

In October 1958 the 4th Hussars were amalgamated with 8th Hussars to become the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars and John continued to serve under this capbadge until his eventual retirement in August 1968. For the last two and a half years of his service John worked directly to Gen Sir John Hackett via the Special Residences Unit.

He married Heather Ann at Streatham, London on 7 July 1956 and they had two daughters and a son; Michelle, John Barrie and Fiona Jane. The family settled at Clacton on Sea.

John’s funeral took place on 16 March 2004.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Malaya 1948-51