Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Jim Middlemas BEM


It is with great sorrow we have learned of the death of Jim Middlemas. He died suddenly on the 18th June 1995, in Oman. Jim was 61 years of age.

Jim joined 9 Parachute Squadron in 1953 and served the whole of his career with Airborne Forces. He served with 131 Para Engineer Regiment TA at Kingsbury, for two years, during the late sixties. However, nineteen years were spent with the Squadron. His first tour abroad was the Canal Zone in 1953 and he subsequently served in Cyprus, Kenya, Libya, Singapore, Suez, Canada, Bahrain, Jordan and Aden. For most part he was the MT Sergeant and it was in that capacity, he will be remembered by his many friends. A very experienced person in the MT field, there were very few problems he could not overcome. This long military experience stood him in good stead in civilian life.

Jim left the army in 1974 and immediately took up employment with the Costain Group as a stores manager. For many years he worked in Hong Kong, Dubai and the Oman, often meeting friends from the Squadron. He intended to settle in the Philippines, where he had business interests. His untimely death has ended those dreams.

Jim has been brought back to his birthplace in West Lothian. He lies buried next to his father, who served in the 1st Parachute Squadron in North Africa and Arnhem. Our condolences go to his mother, Mrs Isabelle Middlemas, sister Moira and brother Alistair, son James and daughter Janet. He will be sadly missed by his many friends.

Extract from Soldier Magazine 1974

S/Sgt Middlemas has been the MT Sergeant of the Squadron for the past ten years. During the last three years he has completed three operational tours in Belfast, directing a large transport fleet there. Despite shortages of manpower and the tempo of operations, the service his Troop gave could not be faulted.

In the Summer of 1972 he was responsible for the vehicles supporting Exercise Waterleap in Canada. The twenty dump trucks on which the project depended all dated from the Korean war and had inadequate spares backing. He earned the admiration of the Canadian Forces for the high serviceability rate the Squadron achieved. The excellent relationship he built with the Canadians contributed greatly to the project and to the reputation of the British Army.

For two years S/Sgt Middlemas commanded Support Troop in the absence of an Officer, carrying responsibility far beyond his rank and discharging it with admirable drive, energy and skill. It is through his hard work, management and example that his Troop have always maintained an excellent performance and high morale; his loyalty to the Army, his NCOs and men has been an inspiration to all.



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