Jimmy was born on 24 September 1955. He joined the Army on the 27 March 1973 and carried out his training in Catterick before joining his regiment, The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars in Paderborn later in 1973.

WO2 Jimmy Hayden
WO2 Jimmy Hayden

On arrival in Paderborn, he found that he was just in time to participate in the Emergency Deployment from Paderborn to Cyprus as part of the United Nations response to the Turkish invasion of 1974.

Whilst with UNFICYP, Jimmy drove a ferret Scout car as part of 4th Troop ‘C’ Squadron.

Returning to Paderborn Jimmy remained in ‘C’ Squadron serving in 1st Troop. Specialising in D & M he began a steady ascent through the ranks, LCpl in 1976, Cpl in 1978, Sgt in 1982, SSgt in 1989, finally reaching WO2 in 1991.

This steady progress started in Warminster where ‘C’ Squadron provided the Armoured Demonstration Squadron for The School of Infantry. Munster followed and then to Catterick as the RAC Training Regiment.

Once this posting was over it was off to Fallingbostel and it was from there that the Regiment was called upon to serve in The Gulf with the 7th Armoured Brigade wearing the famous Desert Rat with pride. Jimmy played a full and active part in this operation bringing credit to himself and the Regiment.

Upon return to Fallingbostel Jimmy served firstly as SQMS ‘HQ’ Sqn and then moved to RHQ as the Training and Intelligence Warrant Officer, it was in this final role that Jimmy finished his service just prior to the amalgamation with the Queen’s Own Hussars.

He was awarded The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on 31 March 1988 and also holds the UN Cyprus 1974 medal and the Gulf Medal with Clasp 1990/91.

Jim lived for the Regiment and spent his spare time collecting Militaria at which he became something of an authority. In 1977 Jimmy married Sylvia they had two sons David and James, and on leaving the army they settled in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Jim joined the Prison service, he made the news headlines while serving at Whitemore Prison about four years ago when he was taken hostage by two prisoners armed with knives and he received a Commendation for the way he handled the situation.

Jim was very highly regarded in the prison service and on his death after a long brave fight against Cancer on 8 June 2005 they provided a guard of honour for him at his funeral.

Related topics

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