14th May 1925 - 1st May 2003
Ian Robbie, the Airborne Engineers Association's link-man with 147 Airborne Park Squadron personalities, died on 1st May 2003.
Ian joined 6th Airborne Division in Palestine in early 1947. He was posted to the newly redesignated 147 Airborne Park Squadron, where he took over the Field Stores Troop. His initial training was glider oriented as he only completed parachute training at Upper Heyford after the Division returned to the UK. He renewed his parachuting skills with the Far East Parachute School RAF Changi in 1956-9.
Ian served in the Regular Army until December 1961, holding a variety of regimental and works appointments. He also commanded 238 Corps Field Park Squadron (TA), based at Paisley in Scotland from 1963 to 1967.
Contact with 147 Squadron personnel always attracted Ian and he has tried to 'keep tabs' on the 147 chaps, not an easy task! I incidentally, over the years, Maurice Richardson has nobly assisted Ian in this respect. Maurice and Ian shared many memories of the operations to board the "Pan York" and the "Pan Crescent" on the "high seas" and dock the thousands of immigrants at Famagusta Cyprus on New Year's 1947 plus the first 2 or 3 days of 1948.
In later life, as a businessman Ian visited Israel several times. He usually called at 147's old base; St Jean's Airfield, Acre. On the last occasion the water tower area housed an Israeli Mobile Radar Station. He also took in Haslar Hak Carmel, AT Tira, Nahariya, Azzib, Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Mettula, always managing to meet locals who remembered St Jean's MESA and the divisional battle school, plus the helpful dozer/grader operator from John Collyear's Mechanical Equipment Troop.
To his widow Jane, son Alistair and daughter Jennifer, we offer our sincere sympathy.