Jimmy died on 27 February 1997, aged 79.
He enlisted into the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars in May 1937. In January 1938 he was transferred to the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars who at that time was stationed in Abbassia Barracks, Cairo.
He took part in the desert campaigns from July 1940 up to the Regiment’s move to Cyprus for six months in January 1943, before returning to Cyrenaica. In December 1943 the 8th Hussars returned to England to prepare for the invasion of Europe.
He was appointed Lance Corporal in May 1942 and promoted to Sergeant in April 1944.
Jimmy sailed with the Regiment to Normandy on D+6. He took part in the Regiment’s campaigns through France, Holland and Germany, culminating in the Regiment’s advance into Hamburg on 4 May 1945, He took part in the Victory Parade at Berlin, and his photograph appears in many publications of that event, including ‘The Desert Rats’. He was competent, courageous and immaculately turned out at all times.
In November 1945 he was promoted to SQMS, and in October 1949 to SSM. On the reformation of ‘C’ Squadron in early 1950 at Leicester East Airfield, Jimmy was appointed SSM to Maj PH Huth.
He was a lively Sergeant Major and was prone to try and control the squadron with a whistle. He also, on First Parade, asked us ‘which is the best squadron?’. If we did not reply loud enough ‘G Squadron’, he would ask again.
He was a caring and comforting visitor to those in the hospital in Tidworth and was both effective and popular as a good friend to many at all levels. He was caring and considerate to the squadron during its time in Korea. The 1800 hrs bell and Paludrine Parade was an event not to be missed.
He moved to Luneburg with the Regiment in March 1952. In March 1955 he was posted as RSM to the Yorkshire Hussars. In August 1956, he moved to the Gunnery School and then to the Depot. In January 1957 he was posted as RQMS to the Aden Levies, returning home in February 1959.
He was discharged in May 1959.
In 1959 he then started his second career as a security guard at embassies in Peking, Moscow, Jakarta and others. He was the person who raised the flag at the Jakarta Embassy, with a piper playing, after the embassy had been attacked. His old squadron leader, Lt Col PH Huth DSO MC, who became a Queen’s Messenger, often saw him, as on one occasion did John Hurst.
Jimmy, overcoming a speech impediment which would have daunted lesser men, was a loyal, caring and redoubtable 8th Hussar.
Well known for the fierce pride he took in everything connected with his squadron and the Regiment and, above all, too, for the great joy and pleasure he found in the Sergeants’ Mess, always referring to it as his home and supporting it in every way that was best.
In his last years, he suffered from very bad health and did not recognise old comrades and chums.