Pete Guerin

 

SSgt Peter John Guerin. 17th October 1944 — 24th October 2007.

Such was his determination to join 9 Squadron, Pete Guerin reverted to the rank of Sapper, passed 'P' Company and was in time to take part in the 'Ex Larchpole' exercise in Kenya in 1969. A couple of tours in Northern Ireland, a host of exercises and a construction project in Canada followed during the next three years throughout which Pete proved himself to be the steady, entirely reliable, 'good hand' that he became famous for as he rose through the NCO ranks.

He left The Squadron in December 1972 as a Lance Corporal and went to the Infantry Battle School in Brecon where two years excellent work saw him promoted to Corporal on posting to 28 Regiment in Hameln. These days we hear a lot about 'tour intervals' but, then, the phrase had not been invented and, only six weeks after completing a Northern Ireland tour, he was posted to Osnabruck and told he was going straight back to Ireland. Promotion to Sergeant softened the blow a bit but, as was his way, Pete accepted it phlegmatically and took the inevitable domestic disruption in his stride. In 1979 he was delighted, finally, to put Germany behind him and get back to 'airborne' soldiering when he was posted to JATE in Brize Norton where he spent a happy and fruitful year becoming acquainted with all manner of air-transportable (and droppable) kit, an experience that was to prove an excellent grounding for his return to The Squadron in 1980 as 2 Troop SSgt. Again, his reputation for being steady, unflappable and focused was enhanced as, patiently and with unfailing good humour, he provided the calming influence among his brood of irrepressible young 'pups'. In April 1982 his troop was warned at short notice to accompany 2 PARA as the Battalion Group prepared to sail South for the campaign to regain the Falkland Islands. Coming at such a relatively late stage in his career (he had two years left to serve) Pete might have been forgiven for seeking to avoid such an active and challenging deployment. However, never one to shirk his duty, he stepped up to the mark and acquitted himself with that calm, resigned good humour for which he was well known.

Pete spent his last two years in the Corps with the TA in Hull and, having completed 22 years service, he retired in 1984. Never one to sit still for long, he spent the next 18 months working for Hygena in Scunthorpe where he was commended for his complete reliability and begged to stay longer. However, he felt the pull of uniformed service and, in 1986 he joined the Prison Service where he served with honour for the next nineteen years before, once again, retiring. Having, by this time moved his base from Wiltshire to Lincolnshire, Pete had no thoughts of gently tending his roses and he seized the opportunity to work as the emergency response ambulance driver at RAF's Cranwell and Barkston, a job he enjoyed until shortly before his untimely death.

Pete was always proud of the service he had given during his life and none more so than his time as SSgt of 2 Troop 9 Parachute Squadron. In August 2007 he attended the Troop reunion and was looking forward to many more such occasions when, tragically, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September. A successful operation to remove this was, sadly, followed quite quickly by Meningitis and he died from this infection on 24th October. Pete is survived by his wife, Judith and his son, Matthew who were joined by his many friends from his three principal professions for a moving service at Grantham Crematorium on 5th November. A faithful and dependable servant sadly missed.

Back to Obituaries A - Z