Billy Parkinson died on 25 September 1995.

WO1 FW Parkinson
WO1 FW Parkinson

After completing his basic training in Catterick, Billy joined The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars in Paderborn in 1972. He was posted to ‘B’ Squadron, where he settled in quickly and where he spent the next ten years of his service.

During the seven years Billy spent in Paderborn, he represented the Regiment and his squadron at rugby on many occasions. His quick sense of humour and constant flow of jokes graced many an ‘after-match’ session.

Billy married Lynne in 1973 and they took a married quarter in Dahl. The two of them became and thereafter remained stalwart members of the Regimental family.

While in Paderborn, Billy was promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal. He deployed to Canada with the squadron and also embarked on an emergency tour in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion in 1974/75.

In 1979, the Parkinsons moved with the Regiment to Tidworth, where Billy was promoted to Sergeant. During the next three years, Billy took part in all major exercises, some of which saw the Regiment deployed back to Germany. A further tour of Cyprus was to follow before the Regiment returned to Munster, Germany in 1982.

Billy was posted to ‘D’ Squadron on the move to Munster and proved to be a confident and professional troop sergeant few others could equal. In 1983 Billy was posted to London as a special recruiter, a job in which he used his knowledge and experience to provide many excellent recruits for the Regiment. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant before returning to Regimental Duty in 1985.

After a short period as the ‘D’ Squadron tank park/technical staff sergeant, he returned to ‘B’ Squadron as the SQMS.

In 1988 the Regiment moved yet again. This time, however, they were split between Catterick, Bovington and Lulworth, and Billy was posted to Catterick as the SQMS of the basic training squadron.

Shortly after, he was promoted to WO2 and sent off to Bovington to take over as the SSM Bovington Support Squadron. Billy continued in that appointment until the Regiment moved to Fallingbostel, Germany in March 1990.

Billy was appointed SSM of ‘D’ Squadron and served in that capacity during the Gulf War. His sound and practical advice helped many through those uncertain times. On returning from the Gulf, Billy was appointed RQMS, a position he held until he was promoted and appointed RSM on Balaklava Day 1992.

During his time as RSM, Billy served with the Regiment in Cyprus and Canada. He was then heavily involved in the preparations for the amalgamation. As the last RSM of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, Billy marched the Guidon onto the square for the amalgamation parade.

After amalgamation, Billy was posted back to the UK for the last six months of his service. He was finally discharged from the Army in April 1994.

Billy settled into civilian life and soon gained employment. As anyone who knew Billy would expect, he never once complained during his short illness. Shortly before he passed away, Billy had moved Lynne into their new home, where they had planned a long and happy future.

Throughout his service life, Billy’s devotion to Lynne, his loyalty to the Regiment and his zest for life were constantly evident.

He was always reliable and a good friend to all who knew him, at whatever level. Our deepest sympathies go to Lynne, who supported Billy throughout his remarkable career, and to his family, on their tragic loss.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  2. Timeline: The Gulf War 1991