Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Brigadier John Hedley Hooper OBE DL


John Hooper, who died in March 2023 aged 93, nearly didn’t become a soldier. He left school determined to be a Vet, but National Service convinced him that the Army was the place to be so he went to Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1951.

His first posting was to 9 Squadron as a Troop Officer and then, after further Engineer training at Chatham, he returned to 9 Squadron as a Troop Commander.

Altogether he served five tours with Airborne Forces, becoming Adjutant of 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment, then Brigade Major of 44 Parachute Brigade and Col(GS) at 38 Group.

Along the way he commanded 25 Field Engineer Squadron and 36 Engineer Regiment before becoming the first Welsh speaking Deputy Commander Wales. His final posting was as Commander of the British Military Mission in Saudi Arabia. John was a great linguist and spoke Welsh, German and Arabic fluently, often acting as an interpreter.

Following retirement from the Regular Army in 1984, John became the Honorary Colonel of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia). He was also appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent and later became High Sheriff of Gwent. His final appearance in Army uniform came in 2007 when he took the salute at the Double Hills parade to mark the first fatalities of the World War 2 Arnhem operation.



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