Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Robert (Tam) Hepburn


Sapper Robert (Tam) Hepburn died after a brief stay in hospital at his hometown Dundee on 7th January 2008, aged 86 years.

Tam, as he was generally known, was a long-term member of A Troop, 1st Para. Sqn. R.E. dating back to November 1941. He served with the Sqn. In North Africa, Sicily, Italy and finally Arnhem.

He was a pleasure to serve with, a good Sapper and the type of man who could raise a laugh no matter how tricky the situation.

Many stories could be told of Tam's escapades, most of them hilarious. For example – after escaping from their POW camp Tam, Gus Woods 9nd 'Poacher' Payne found themselves in a difficult situation. 'Poacher' was suffering badly from haemorrhoids and could hardly walk. So, what did they do? Scrounged a wheelbarrow, dumped `Poacher' therein and continued on their way towards the British/American lines. AND they were shot up by enemy aircraft!

On return to the U.K. in December 1943, the Sqn. was based in the village of Donington, Lincs. where Tam met Doreen, his wife to be, who at that time was a serving member of the Women's Land Army.

After his discharge from the army the happy couple decided to try their luck in Canada but returned to the U.K. after a brief spell. In 1951 Tam joined his local Police Force where he served for twenty-five years, retiring with the rank of sergeant.

There is no doubt Tam was a much loved family man who will be sadly missed by his wife Doreen, son and daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren and his Para comrades. To them all – we offer our heartfelt condolences.



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