Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour

 

 

Capt Les Neave MM

 

Members of the Airborne Engineers Association will be saddened to learn of the death of Captain Les Neave MM, after a long illness lasting six years.

Les joined the Army in April 1945 opting to serve with the Royal Engineers. His first serious taste of soldiering came when he was posted to 55 Squadron in Korea. A few months after arriving in the Squadron he was given a Mention in Dispatches, shortly followed by the award of the Military Medal for brave conduct. He served his time as Bridging QMSI at the RSME Chatham and in 1961 was posted to 11 Independent Field Squadron as the Squadron Sergeant Major. It was in this Squadron, he could apply his knowledge of bridging, when constructing a five hundred and fifty-foot triple, triple Bailey Bridge over the River Tampasuck in North Borneo.

On his return to the UK he took up the appointment as Regimental Sergeant Major of 36 Engineer Regiment. In 1967 he was commissioned and after various appointments became the Quartermaster of 9 Parachute Squadron. At the age of forty, he was probably one of the oldest men to attempt "P" Company selection and pass. During his time with 9 Para Squadron, he completed two tours in Northern Ireland and was given the honour of taking the salute on a Squadron parade shortly before he left for civilian life. He continued in Airborne Forces for a further eight years with 131 Engineer Parachute Regiment (TA).

In civilian life, he took up an appointment as Manager of the restaurants, within the trading house of the Baltic Exchange. He continued in this employment until he was forced to retire with the onset of his illness in 1989. During his illness he never allowed it to dominate his life and he continued to travel the world with his wife Peggy. He became a great garden enthusiast and whenever possible carried on with his pleasure of sailing and caravanning. It was only in the later stages that he was forced to give up these activities.

es was given a military funeral at the Garrison Church, Brompton and is buried in the Military Cemetery. His funeral was attended by many of his friends; the Standards of the Airborne Engineers Association, Royal Engineers Association and the Chatham Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association were on parade. The bearer party was provided by soldiers of 36 Engineer Regiment and the bugler by the RE Band Chatham.

Our condolences go to his wife Peggy, sons John, Christopher, Peter and Paul, daughters in law Barbara, Kim, Wilma and Elizabeth and to his ten grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by his many friends.

 

 

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