Airborne Engineers Association

Raymond Conway Sands

 

 

Raymond Conway Sands

 

Ray was born on May 3rd 1927, was the youngest of three children of Nellie and John Thomas Sands. Ray was bought up in New Spring Street in the Brookfields area of Birmingham and attended the local school. His first job, aged 14, was at nearby Hockley Goods Station and eventually he learned to drive a Scammell mechanical horse. In February 1945 he enlisted into the Coldstream Guards and was stationed at Wellington Barracks, taking part in ceremonial duties, in addition to routine sentry duties. In 1946 he was serving in Palestine and was involved in the hunting down of terrorists who had bombed the King David Hotel.

In the 1960s he served with 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers and
spent time in Aden and Cyprus. Attaining the rank of WO2 in 301 Squadron. As a
parachutist he was following in the footsteps of his older brother, Harold. Harold had served with the 13th Battalion Parachute Regiment and was dropped early on D-Day to clear the landing zone at Ranville in preparation for the landing of the main airborne force. Ten weeks later, aged 19, he was killed at the battle of Putot an Auge.

Raymond was an enthusiastic member of the Anvil Chorus (the West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Club) for many years in the 1980s and '90s, travelling with them all over the country and abroad. At the time he was employed as a sales rep. for David Hill, a supplier to the license trade. After retirement he eventually settled down in Kenilworth where he spent his final years.

Ray's funeral was held on Monday the 15th October 2018 in Coventry. Several AEA Members were on parade along with the Branch Standard and Standard bearers and Bugler from the Coventry area. A fitting tribute to Ray and especially for his family.

 

 

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