Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



James (Darcy) Benson


James Benson, better known as "Darcy," died after a short illness on the 3rd December 1995, aged 64. "Darcy" was a local lad, born and bred in Whitehaven, Cumberland. He left school at 14 to work in the local coal mine, where he remained until he was 17. Being the adventurer, he was, "Darcy" left the pit to join the Regular Army and enlisted in the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders in January 1948. Twelve months later he re-badged and joined the Royal Engineers. He volunteered for and was transferred to 22 SAS (Malayan Scouts) where he saw active service for several years in Malaya. After completing 3 tours with the SAS, "Darcy" then joined 9 Indep Para Sqn RE in January 1959. After three years with "The Squadron" he felt the urge for more excitement and volunteered for another tour with the SAS, which he completed in 1965, after seeing action in Borneo. "Darcy" then rejoined "The Squadron" where he remained until his demob in May 1971, having served a total of 23 years.

After leaving the Army, "Darcy" worked in various security jobs, until he teamed up with fellow ex-Para and in 1984 they set out to drive overland to China. After several scary situations, they arrived at the Afghanistan border, only to be turned back because of the dangerous situation in that country.

"Darcy" was stalwart of the West Cumbrian Branch of the PRA, very rarely missing a meeting and always turned out on parade. The branch turned out in full for his burial service, with four members of the branch, acting as bearers, while the remainder of the branch formed a guard of honour at the entrance to the Church. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family, relatives and his dear friend Elaine.



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