Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



James (Dick) Barton


Dick died on 14th September 2001 following a brief illness. He was aged 61.

He joined 2 Troop, 300 Sqn, 131 Indep Parachute Regiment RE (TA) in the late 1950s. He was one of a group of young postmen - which included John Houliston, Tam Smith, Dougie Archibald and Brian McKean - who on drill nights would simply change out of their Post Office uniform into their Army uniform.

When the TA was restructured in 1967 (Dick would be more straightforward and say, "When the TA was cut back") he transferred to the newly formed 300 Troop, 131 Sqn in Grangemouth where he served for a couple of years. Not being the most competent person behind the wheel of a car and being an Edinburgh man; Dick found the travelling a bit wearisome. But he was fiercely proud of his red beret and moved to what he considered the next best thing to the Airborne Sappers - the Parachute Regiment. He joined C Company, 15 (Scottish) Bn where he finished his TA career as a Sergeant.

Dick kept in sporadic touch with some of his old 2 Troop peers and it was he, along with Jock Donaldson and Brian McKean, who was the driving force behind the formation of the Edinburgh Branch of the Association. He was our first Secretary and we are indebted to him for his work and enthusiasm.

It was therefore entirely fitting that at the funeral service his coffin was borne not by some anonymous undertaking staff, but by six of our members, all properly kitted out in blazers with AEA badges and ties. Dick, I am sure, would have been delighted with the eulogy given at the service by his long-term pal Dougie Archibald and his successor as Secretary.

Dick was always a family man and our thoughts are with his widow, Betty, and their children and grandchildren.



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