Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Walter Reginald (Wally) Clift


He was born back in 1940, one of a large family, growing up in Olney in Buckinghamshire. From schooldays, Wally trained and worked as a cabinet-maker, until joining the Army.

Turning to personal and family life, romance blossomed between Wally and his chosen one, Kathleen who he married in 1969.  Over the course of their devoted partnership, they became loving parents to son Gary, and as the years went by, Wally and Kathleen were pleased to welcome Sarah as their daughter-in-law, and later to become proud grandparents to Aiden and Ethan, and also a fond uncle to his nephews and nieces.

With Wally’s love for family, community and country, there is much to be thankful for, memories to treasure ….

Walter, known to all his military friends and colleagues as Wally, joined the Army in Northampton on 27 June 1960 aged 21 years. After basic training he was posted to Osnabruck in Germany, from where he attended a basic Carpenter & Joiners course in Chatham. On returning to his unit, he volunteered for service with 9 Indep Para Sqn RE who were based in Crookham, Hants, where he served with them from 1961-72.  He saw service in Greece, Borneo, Bahrain, Aden, Kenya, Libya, Canada, BAOR and Northern Ireland.

Wally had that rare talent of making light of tedious, labour intensive tasks or insect infected locations with that infectious grin and quick wit. He could raise a smile by just walking into the room. His never-ending comic antics would raise the spirits of those around him during dire situations at both home and abroad. He was great fun to serve with and a truly professional soldier.

He was promoted to the rank of corporal whilst serving with 9 Indep Para Sqn RE. In 1972 he was attached to the Joint Air training Establishment at Old Sarum where he was employed as a Carpenter on the experimental side of the Heavy Drop Section.

His next posting was to 35 Engr Regt in Hameln where he initially served with 29 Fd Sqn serving with them in Canada and later crossed posted to 42 Fd Sqn serving with them in Northern Ireland.

Promoted to Sgt on 1 April 1977 he was posted as the Workshop NCO to 3 Training Regt in Farnborough.

During his Army Career Sgt Wall Clift had been a rugby player, cross country runner, lightweight boxer (being champion of that weight in 35 Engr Regt).  He represented 9 Para Sqn in the 16 Para Bde boxing championships and was the Bde lightweight champion on a number of occasions. He was also a competent Free Fall parachutist completing over 350 descents.

For 18 years of irreproachable service Sgt Walter (Wally) Clift was awarded the Long Service & good Conduct Medal (Military)

Wally completed his military service in 1982 making his home in Cove where he continued to work for the Army as a civilian carpenter in Gibraltar Barracks

In his eventual retirement, Wally continued to serve his community, where he would spend hours while walking his neighbour’s dog picking up discarded litter around the local area, for which he was to receive the Hampshire’s Good Neighbours Award.

RIP Wally, you will be sadly missed by us all.



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