Airborne Engineers Association

John Chappel

 

 

Maj John Chappel BA MICE Minst RE ENG (Known by his friends as Louie)

By Dennis Eagan and Donald Spiers

John died peacefully in hospital in Harpenden on 14 Apr 2010 with Jean, his wife of some 60 years, holding his hand. Their only offspring, Fergus, was on the other side of the bed.

He was cheerful until the end, and retained his life long admiration for all things concerned with Airborne Engineers and with 9 Squadron in particular. He was particularly delighted that several former colleagues from his days in the Squadron had visited him in 2008 and taken him to a typical pub lunch to reminisce over times gone by.

John had served in WW2 but rejoined the Army in 1950 and was posted to 9 Squadron in 1952 when they were stationed in Cyprus. He then moved with the Squadron to Moascar Garrison in the Canal Zone where he commanded 1 Troop. He left the Squadron shortly after it returned to Aldershot in July 1954 and was posted to become the Adjutant of 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment (TA). John finally retired from the Army in 1961 and then worked for many years in the Civil Engineering sector.

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Dennis Eagan met him again, quite by chance, in a pub in Knightsbridge, London in 1977. They both worked close by and agreed to meet the following month on the same day, the third Wednesday, to see if they couldn’t rustle up some friends from 9 Squadron in the Canal Zone days. This they did, except we met on the third Thursday and so was formed the Third Thursday Luncheon Club (TTLC). Dennis and John were determined that they would have no constitution, no rules, no committees and no subscriptions, but simply meet each month to have a congenial drink, a meal and a chat with old chums. In other words, we were perpetuating the independent spirit we had all gained in the desert.

TTLC thrives to this day and we remember John whenever we meet, which is now twice a year, in the summer and at Christmas.
Farewell Louie. “Sorry you couldn’t make it this time but we look forward to seeing you next time.”

John Chappel & Donald Spiers - Moascar 1954

 

 

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