Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Alex (Biddy) McMillan



One of life’s real characters, Alex, more commonly known to colleagues and friends, as Biddy, passed away 6 October 2021.

His service with 9 Indep Para Sqn began in 1961 when he joined an infamous band of 3 Troop warriors. With an infectious laugh, which was more of a cross between a
chuckle and a giggle and his wicked sense of humour and wit meant he was quickly
accepted within the ranks of 3 Troop and the Sqn in general.


As a true ‘Highlander’ he was soon to introduce  the Sqn personnel with his passion of the bagpipes. Perhaps at times not always appreciated within the Sqn lines in Crookham as he piped his was up and down, but he would explain that, “Practice makes perfect”!

Those who served on construction tours, especially in Kenya will fondly recall that the night guard had no need to raise reveille each morning, as Biddy would have beaten them to it marching up and down ‘piping’ some of his favourite tunes, usually long before official reveille. This practice in particular occurred during the second construction tour in Kenya in 1968 which raised great interest for the neighbouring Masai tribesmen, who would stand in awe of this ‘strange’ sound.

Biddy left military service in 1969 and took up contract employment in Zambia and Rhodesia (as it was known then) before applying in 1984 for similar employment in the Falkland Islands.His 14 month contract was finally approved in 1985 and he packed his bags which included two vital items - his bag pipes and walking boots.

In later life he and wife Pat spent several holidays abroad usually to Crete, where he would entertain the locals and fellow tourist with his piping sessions.
A truly great character who will be sadly missed by all those who had the pleasure of his company.




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