Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



The Life of Ken with Marilyn by Marilyn Maybee & Derek Taylor

Ken passed away in 2009

Ken and Marilyn first met in 1956 when they were youngsters of 17 years and fifteen years old. at a Valentines Dance in Gosport, their home town and he introduced himself with the "Teddy - Boy " casual comment of "Hi - don't forget to save the last dance for me". From then on they were inseparable spending all their free time together. Ken started working for the Forestry Commission and Marilyn was still at school.

Ken decided to join the Army and entered into the Royal Engineers doing his Basic training here in Southwood Camp Cove. He was then posted to Germany where he made the decision to ask Marilyn to marry him on his return back to the U.K. As Marilyn was under the age of consent they decided to make a run for it and got married in Gretna Green in Scotland in February 1959.

Carol their first daughter duly arrived in 1960. Ken was stationed at Chatham for a while and during his time there he was given the opportunity to play for Gillingham Football Club. He then joined 9 Squadron Para Engineers taking Marilyn & baby Carol to Aldershot with him. Soon after his joining he was sent to Bahrain for 11 months before returning back to Aldershot.

In January 1964 Ken was sent to Cyprus with the Squadron and second daughter Sue made an early arrival 3 weeks later. The girls grew up idolising their cherry berried Para Dad and soon learnt the art and skills of surviving camping holidays and many treks across the Peny-fan and Brecon Beacons, as any "para" will understand. They also followed the second love of Ken's life, which was Football and often went to watch their Dad play although it is still doubtful that either of them actually grasped the Off-Side Rule of play.

Marilyn, Carol and baby Sue joined him for his second tour of Bahrain. During this time the family got to know many of the Squadron lads. They taught his blonde haired blue-eyed little 13 month old daughter Sue to swear like a Trooper and even to this day she still hones her skills. Carol remained the almost perfect little lady for most of the time.

From the Squadron Ken was posted to the Diving School in Marchwood. And then to the Diving Centre in Kiel Germany. On his return to the UK he was attached to 131 Para TA Squadron in London. From there he returned to Gibraltar Barracks here in Cove as a Sergeant Major. He settled here in Yateley with Marilyn and the girls. He became a familiar figure riding his BMW motorbike around the village. The final posting he was given was back to the Diving School at Marchwood and was very much involved with the finding and raising of the "Mary Rose". Ken left the Army in the middle eighties. He swapped his BMW motorbike for a MGF sports car and headed out into Civvy Street.

Civvy Street was not really for him. His heart was still with the squadron but he settled down. Luckily his wicked sense of humour got him in and out of trouble on many occasions. As he slowed down into middle age he took up golf and as always entered into the sport with a determination to play well and preferably win but was often devastated when beaten by the younger ladies! He reckoned Julie was a bandit. His other great interest was his photography. He was given the opportunity to join Jonathan Scott and Simon King in Kenya photographing the Big Cats of the Masi Mara.

By this time he had two fantastic grandsons Dan & Matt who were following in his love of football. He followed and supported them right up until the end. He saw the boys go through to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup just days before he became too weak to travel but he loved every second of the games he saw and was often heard shouting "Come on you Baggies"

Ken was also very proud of his two beautiful granddaughters Hannah and Yaz. He went and watched them dance at their big school dance functions with enormous pride.

Although he was becoming very poorly he insisted on photographing Hannah on the Eve of her Prom Night in June and was so very pleased to learn that Yaz had decided to pursue photography as her career. He was a family man through and through. He was at his happiest when any of the kids dropped in on passing. He enjoyed a fantastic relationship with both his sons -in-law. Derek and Paul - sharing his love of football with Derek and discovering an interest in Formula One Racing with Paul. He loved his family dearly and was proud of them all and often said so.

Ken & Marilyn had celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary this year - and Marilyn was with him when he died peacefully in the early hours of Thursday.

In her own words, "The bond we had still holds us close - a bond made long ago, I don't regret a single word I said upon our day. In sickness and in health my love, I'm here with you to stay".

He was deeply loved and will be sadly missed.



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