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Our site is here to represent all Airborne Sappers, we hope you find your visit to be interesting and informative. The association is a registered charity No: 1009201 and has a written Constitution to ensure that everything is legal, formal and abiding.

Service Not Self

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Updated: 1st May 2020

John Rock:

John Rock - The History

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Updated: 15th November 2018

AGM 2020:

it is with regret that the executive committee have decided to cancel the AGM at Harrogate and to move it to 2021. 

There were a number of reasons for the decision, all based around the Covid outbreak, but the main concern is the age demographic of the membership. 

The committee decision was unanimous 

Thanks for the work that you have done, hopefully we can pick it up again next year. 

Updated: 1st May 2020


Double Hills:

Double Hills Memorial

Who's behind it and why we should never forget

Updated 3rd April 2018

Book of Valhalla

A Register for the Unforseen

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Easter Message from Association President Apr 2020

This Easter I trust both you and your families are all well and avoiding the epidemic of this awful virus which has caused so much disruption and heartbreak throughout the country.

With the nation in lockdown during the current Corona Virus pandemic virtually all activities have been curtailed for the foreseeable future, including many of the annual commemoration services and special events such as the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This has also stopped branch meetings being held with a loss of personal contact between members. However, with modern technology it is possible for us to maintain contact these days easily and I am sure this is the case with many of you.

Your Executive Council is in contact with one another and we are hoping to be able to start video conferencing which could well be the way forward. It means your President has to learn another application but the one we are proposing to use called ‘Zoom’ is supposed to be easy to learn – I sincerely hope so!

Despite the lockdown some arrangements are already being made for future events such as the Remembrance Day service at Whitehall with your Chairman currently applying for the tickets, hopefully more than we have had in the past, and there is of course the AGM and Gala Dinner at Harrogate in October.

Nobody knows for sure how long this situation will persist, hopefully for not too long, but in the meantime remember to follow the safety guidelines and we can get back to normal in the not too distant future.

Stay safe and I look forward to meeting up with you in Harrogate if not before.

John Lee
Airborne Engineers Association

Update by the Association President Dec 2019

This year has been an eventful one, especially with the 75th anniversaries held in Normandy and Arnhem where the Association was well represented. Our outgoing Chairman, John Ferry, having being at the helm for seven years, formally handed over the reins to his successor, Steve Wallis, at the AGM in October. Also, at the AGM, a proposal for a new Branch, the Wales and West Branch was put forward and I am pleased to say an inaugural meeting to which I was able to attend was held in late October to get things going, so watch this space. The Association has many members in the area covered and I am sure it will be a success and wish it all the best.

The usual commemorations were held for the Falklands campaign, Double Hills and Cromwell Lock and articles on these events are elsewhere in this Journal.
I am pleased to say that the Royal British Legion allocated us 30 places for this year’s Remembrance Day Service and Parade at Whitehall and all places have been taken. Hopefully, the Association will be featured in the BBC coverage as they have contacted our Chairman for a possible interview on the day. I will be attending the 101st Anniversary commemorations of the ending of the First World War in Ypres, Belgium on the 11th November and will lay a wreath on behalf of the Association at the Menin Gate memorial there.

We had the Association’s AGM and Gala Dinner held in Banbury, courtesy of the Aldershot Branch and it was an excellent event all round. We were able to welcome the CO of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, Lt Col Jez Robinson, WOI (RSM) David Hird and a number of other members of the Regiment, and it was good see quite a few red jackets being worn. At the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening, there was the usual raffle which raised the sum of £1,915.00 which has been forwarded onto Combat Stress the nominated charity for this year and which was a splendid effort by all and many thanks to all who contributed.

With winter now virtually upon us and the festive season approaching I take this opportunity of wishing all members and their families the season’s greetings.

John Lee  Lt Col (Ret’d )
President, Airborne Engineers Association

Chairman's Notes Dec 2019

At this year’s AGM in Banbury I had the Honour of taking over as AEA Chairman from my good friend John Ferry.

I have known John for nearly 42 years having first met him as a young 18-year-old Sapper on Pre-Para. John was a LCpI at the time and helped the pre-para staff ‘beasting’ us around the Aldershot training area. Later in my Squadron Career I took over as 2 Troop Recce Sergeant with John as the Troop Staffy.

I could tell many stories about John, but they are best left to the Bar after a few beers. I would like to pay tribute to him for the way that he has filled the role of AEA Chairman for the best part of 8 years, he will certainly be a hard act to follow.

I am immensely proud to have been elected as Chairman of the AEA and will make every effort to be a worthy successor to John. The AEA is a fantastic institution, it brings together Airborne Engineers of all generations from Arnhem to Afghanistan with all conflicts in between. We have a wealth of History and a lot of stories to tell and each generation can learn from those who came before or after - remembering the adage The older we get, the better we were’.

I am very keen to raise the profile of the AEA, especially with younger Airborne Engineers without whom we have no future. It is little known that there are six different Airborne Engineer Facebook pages, 3 representing differing generations of 9 Para Squadron, a 51 Para Sqn page, one for 299 and an Airborne Engineers Admin page. Together these groups have a membership in excess of 1000 Airborne Engineers. Spreading the word about AEA activities on these pages is a fantastic way of reaching the wider Airborne Engineers community.

I would also like to see a greater AEA presence at the many Memorial services held around the country. This year I have
attended services at Hardwick Hall, Double Hills, Cromwell Lock, Donington for the 1st Para Sqn memorial service and the Cenotaph in London. I know that there are many others.
AEA attendance at these events, and others, has been mixed. Double hills is always well attended as is the Cenotaph. This year we were allocated 30 Tickets.

There was an excellent turn out from 131 Para Sqn and 299 Para Sqn at Cromwell Lock, on the other hand only a handful of members attended Donington and Hardwick Hall.

I would like to see National and Branch standards attend these services along with as many AEA members as possible.

I welcome the resurrection of the Wales and West Branch of the AEA. The first meeting of the branch was held in Hereford on the 25th October. Despite a deluge of monsoon proportions 12 members attended the inaugural meeting. Knowing the personalities involved, I am sure that the branch will go from strength to strength and I wish them all the best for the future.

The Aldershot Branch were excellent in organising the AGM and Gala Ball in Banbury, the location was outstanding, and it was great to see so many serving Airborne Engineers and veterans attending. I had the privilege of sitting with the CO 23 Parachute Engineer Regt, Lt Col Jez Robinson, who gave me a good listening to as we discussed the AEA and its plans.

We received a delightful letter from him after the event expressing his thanks and congratulating us on the strong ‘Airborne Ethos’ of the Association which he sees reflected in the young soldiers of the regiment.

In closing, Melanie and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Steve Wallis
Chairman, Airborne Engineers Association

Message from our site Administrator

We're always looking for content for our site. It doesn't have to be related to your time in the Squadron, though that's always good, it can be about anything you're up to now. I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has content we can post on our site. Please get in touch via the Contact page, either by the web form or email and I'll get back to you

Many thanks

Dave Pace

Life Vice Presidents

Bob Ferguson
Tom Ormiston
Fred Gray
Ray Coleman
Chris Chambers
Bob Prosser BEM
Dave Rutter

Total Membership Past and Present - 1,500



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