‘Sticky’ died on 1 June 2002 aged 88.
He left school aged 14 and he took work as a fishmonger for a little over a year before enlisting as a boy into the Corps of Cavalry of the Line in December 1929.
He did basic training at Tidworth as a Trumpeter with The Queen’s Bays where he remained until starting man’s service as a Bandsman in May 1932 at Shorncliffe.
The Regiment moved to Aldershot in 1934, and by then he was playing the euphonium and trumpet.
In September 1937 he left the Band of the Bays and transferred to the Band of 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars in November 1938, joining them in Cairo. He was promoted to corporal in September 1939.
However, soon after this the band was disbanded and he was posted to the Anti-tank Troop in HQ Squadron where, in August 1940, he was promoted to sergeant.
Before hostilities broke out he had been out on Libyan border patrols, but then his squadron joined the campaign as part of the Mobile Division which later became the 7 Armd Division; they were in the 4 Armd Brigade.
In January 1941 Sticky was in Lt John Weston-Simon’s Troop, of ‘A’ Squadron. The Squadron was at that time under Command of the 3rd King’s Own Hussars. In the Battle of El Mechili, 24-27 January 1941, Sticky was mentioned in Dispatches for his efforts in trying to capture Fort El Mechili.
Sticky was taken prisoner by the Germans at Sidi Rezegh in November 1941 and was interned first at Dema, and then at Tahoma prior to being shipped to Italy – to Servigliano via Naples.
He escaped twice from the camps in Italy. As a PoW, he played in the camp orchestra with instruments supplied by the Red Cross, both in 51 Camp in Italy and later in Germany, in Stalag 7 at Moosburg.
In 1945 he was with a marching column en route to Mittenwald where they were released by US Forces. He landed back in the UK at Brize Norton on 11 May 1945 in a Dakota, and after rehabilitation, in July 1945, he was posted to the RAC Depot at Bovington, to the D and M Wing though he was soon made Band Sergeant of the 13/18 Hussars. In March 1946 Sticky was released to the Class 2 Reserve.
It was at this time he married Mary/Bunty. In April 1946 at Windsor, he re-enlisted in the Blues to join their band as a musician at the Household Cavalry Training Regiment, remaining with them until March 1952. Then he transferred back to The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars’ Band, now stationed at Lüneburg in Germany.
After a short time, he was appointed Band Sergeant Major, under Bandmaster Cooper. He was popular and much respected in the appointment. He was appointed the Officers’ Mess Sergeant Major. He carried out the task with flair and dedication.
He retired to Bath before his final discharge in April 1955 at the end of his 25 years of service. As a civilian now, he joined the trials section of the guided weapons division of British Aircraft Corporation (which later became British Aerospace) and he trained as a technical sponsor, staying at Bristol until 1961.
He had a break then – a change – and took over the New Inn at Bromham in Wilts, before returning, eventually, in 1966, to BAC, following a spell as the steward of the Masonic Hall in Bath for a year.
He finally retired in 1979. Like all members of the Regimental Band, during his service Sticky was an active sportsman. He participated at various levels in boxing, rugby, soccer, hockey, cricket and athletics. He was a loyal and conscientious 8th Hussar who will be long remembered by those who knew him. In February 1992 he entered the Royal Hospital, Chelsea where he remained until his death.