Airborne Engineers Association

Raymond Jardine

 

 

Raymond Jardine

Raymond passed away August 2011

When War broke out he lied about his age to enlist, but was thwarted by his mother who informed the Army he was just 16. Two years later he once again enlisted, this time with the Royal Engineers at Aldershot and volunteered for the new Airborne Unit. Having qualified as a parachutist he was assigned to 9th Field Coy.

During a brief posting to Bournemouth in 1944 he met his wife to be Phyllis, a 22-year-old widowed mother of a young son, Tony. Ray, then 19 told her he was 21 and the romance blossomed.

That September, Ray took his seat in a glider on a mission to pick up reconnaissance troops and to make their way to the bridge at Arnhem. He shared a trench during the battle of Arnhem with George Fairs. When ordered to 'dig in' he and George dug their trench so deep that they had to stand on empty ammunition boxes to see over the parapet. During the battle, Ray assisted George as a stretcher-bearer recovering wounded colleagues. Ray was eventually captured and interrogated, but managed to escape. He was one of only 2,000 to return from the 10,000 men who went to Arnhem.

Ray and Phyllis married in July 1945 and son and daughter together. In 1953 Ray joined Dorset Fire Brigade becoming Assistant Divisional Controller by the time he retired 30 years later. Always a fit man, with weight training, steel strands (chest expanders) and as a black belt 6th Dan it was a forgone conclusion that he should run a karate club with Elaine, his daughter, until he was 81.

He died at 87 after 68 years of happy marriage and a very proud great grandfather.

 

 

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