Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Charlie Edwards


Charlie passed away on Friday 19th January 2007 after a very short illness in his adopted home of South Africa.

Charlie joined 9 Squadron as the cook corporal in the early fifties and soon became known as one of the great characters of the Squadron. With his broad Lancashire accent, his experience in the Merchant Navy and having played professional rugby league for Bel Vue Rangers prior to his Army service, he was nobody's fool and was a great asset to the Squadron.

Along with Rick Mogg and Denis Scott as the props they formed a formidable front row and helped the rugby team to many successes during the late fifties and early sixties. Off the field Charlie, Rick and Denis became firm friends and that friendship lasted for over fifty years. Together as a team they sometimes sailed very close to the wind in their money making projects but it was always done with a sense of humour that was unique to the Squadron.

One of Charlie's most famous exploits was when he, with two other Sappers sold the "Sevastopol Bells" to a local scrap merchant. The three bells (one weighing seventeen hundredweights and the other two ten hundredweights each) had been brought back from the Crimea in 1854 had hung safely in the Cambridge Military Hospital bell tower for over sixty years. 3 Troop had removed them in 1957 prior to the expected demolition of the hospital and stored them in what was thought to be a safe place in the Squadron MT garages. After weighing up the possibilities of not getting caught the three would be salesmen sold them for £30. Needless to say they did get caught and had to buy them back. It wasn't a straightforward matter of paying the scrap merchant the £30 as by this time the police had become involved. Only by the intervention of the OC and 2i/c of the Squadron were the police persuaded to drop the charges against the intrepid three. After the return of the bells life returned to normal. The incident did not seem to affect Charlie's military career as he went on, many years later, to achieve the rank of W01.

After he left the Squadron he was posted to 7 Parachute Regiment RHA and later to BAOR were he continued with his rugby playing and money making schemes. On leaving the Army Charlie first went to work for the Gas Board in the catering department, and later he managed a social club in Staines. He then went into business for himself and opened a sandwich bar in Egham not far from Heathrow Airport. During those years his very popular wife Dorothy tragically died after a long illness.

Sometime later Charlie sold his business and moved to a Lydney in Gloustershire. After a few years he was on the move again. Whilst on holiday in South Africa he saw a farm that he liked so he bought it and went to live there on an alternative six months in the UK and six months in SA. Whilst there he was able to meet up with his brother who lived in Zimbabwe and also his great friend Denis Scott who settled in neighbouring Namibia.

Charlie will be very much missed by Michael his son, Kath and Trish his daughters and by his grandsons and grand daughters as well as his many friends that he made during his twenty two years Army service. He will be sadly missed by us all.



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