Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Dennis (Danny) Hart


It was with great sadness the Airborne Engineers Association were informed that Dennis (Danny ) Hart had passed away on 26th December 2021. His devoted wife Jill of sixty years, was by his side.

Danny, as he was better known by his mates in 9 Parachute Squadron, joined the Squadron sometime in the late fifties early sixties and very soon became a popular member  with his tales of his life in the Merchant Navy as a deckhand, and experiences in Australia as a semi pro boxer. In the Squadron he was known as ‘a Hard Man’ one that had no fear of his contemporaries and one that could look after himself if he ran into any trouble.


He was a member of 1 Troop, who were sent up to the coastal town of Mallaig in Scotland early March 1961 to remove a huge rock face to enable a track to be built to help an isolated Scottish family to be able to visit the town by vehicle instead of a dangerous boat trip around the headland, or by climbing up over the mountain, of which was either dangerous by boat or exhausting by climbing over the mountain.  His knowledge of ropes and lashings, gained from his life in the Merchant Navy, was very useful when two Sappers had to be  lowered over the rock face in cradles to drill the horizontal bore holes for the explosives and detonators to be inserted into the hole and bring the rockface down.


On his return to Aldershot five members of the Squadron including Danny were  given an order by the Squadron Sergeant Major, to go and collect a piano from a Liverpool TA unit. When the Sergeant Major was asked if transport had been laid on the reply was ‘no ‘. For the next three days the intrepid paratroopers hitch-hiked to Liverpool and back to Aldershot, often carrying the piano on their shoulders, and nearly losing it when they stopped for a break in the early morning at an all-night night truck stop.
They had put the piano in a car parking space and had gone for a  break. Sometime later a police car arrived and were about to take it away  when one of the groups dashed outside and saved the day. On their arrival at the barracks a photograph was  taken of the group. The Story of the piano  remains as one of the best episodes in Squadron folklore!

L-R Ken Bowen, Danny Hart, Jock Brown, Kevin McGrath, &
Barry Henderson.

In 1962 Danny was a member of the very successful  Squadron shooting team taking part in the  16 Parachute Brigade competition which included all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment. The squadron team  carried off most of the trophies, nine in all. He stayed a member of the team for some years to come.

Danny decided he wanted to do something different and asked for a ‘Shallow Water’ diving course which was  granted and resulted in a change of direction in his career. Both shallow and deep sea diving is a very hazardous occupation and, in many  cases, detrimental to the diver’s health. Later in his career Danny did suffer chest and lung difficulties but he was well cared for by his beloved wife Jill, whom had been by his side for over sixty years. He had one daughter, Karen, two sons: David and Timothy, eight grandchildren: Stephen, Johnathan, Carys, Connor Jasmin,  Bradley, Madeline, and Nathen, and three  great grandchildren: Eli, Aurea, and Wade, whom he doted on and who gave him a tremendous amount of pleasure throughout their childhood and for the remainder of his life.                                                                                                                                                                                                
Danny and Jill  settled in  Barry, South Wales after his retirement, and it was there that his health further  deteriorated, and he passed
away on twenty sixth December 2021. A  wonderful character, he will be remembered for years to come, especially by those who had the
privilege of being called his mate, and there was plenty of them. but also shrinking in numbers with the passing of the years.                        

Rest in peace Danny, you played a great game.



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