Airborne Engineers Association

Bill Irving MM

 

 

Bill Irving MM

 

Bill Irving MM died in Scotland on 12th November 2006 a month before his 85th birthday. Scottish by birth he joined 3 Para Sqn RE early in 1943 as Sapper. By the time of the Normandy invasion he was a Sgt in 1 Troop, and like many others in 3rd Para Brigade was dropped several miles away from the intended DZ, and was one of the group of Royal Engineers who were on the Jeep driven by Maj Tim Roseveare DSO, who made the epic journey through Troarn to destroy the road bridge beyond the town. Afterwards along with the rest of the Sqn, fighting as infantry, he helped defend the ridge along the bridgehead perimeter at Le Mesnil and Breville. It was during the battle of Breville (Parachute Regiment Battle Honour) that he was awarded the Military Medal.

Following Normandy, he took part in the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes) and on the Sqn's return to the UK in preparation for the Rhine Crossing he was sent to Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU). On completion he was commissioned into the Black Watch as an Infantry Officer. Later he was seconded to the Parachute Regiment, and served with them until the re-organisation of the Airborne Forces when he re-joined the Black Watch.

He spent sometime in Germany and took part an active part in the Berlin Airlift during the 'Cold War'.

Leaving the Army in the early '60s he joined an industrial company in the Midlands as a management trainee. By the time he retired he was Managing Director of a subsidiary company. Shortly afterwards he and his wife moved to Spain and bought a house in the Costa Brava area where they enjoyed a very happy time until failing health compelled them to sell up and return to Scotland in February 2006 to be nearer their families.

Bill never forgot his time spent with 3 Para Sqn, and even though he retired to Spain, was a frequent attendee at the 6th Airborne Division annual dinner and the Normandy Pilgrimage.

 

 

 

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