Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Ralph Pedder BEM by Bob Wardle


Ralph passed away peacefully on 27 January 2014.

Aldershot born and bred, his father being a serving soldier Ralph began life in a married quarter.

Born eight years before me, despite living only a few yards away our paths eventually crossed in 1959.

Having a passion for aircraft he joined the air cadets, and spent many hours assembling various aircraft models.

He did the first of two tours with the RAF in the 1940s. On leaving the RAF he landed a job at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough. There he found his niche.

Ralph joined the Parachute Regiment (TA) — this made three times he'd served his country!

Common sense later prevailed and he joined the Corps of Royal Engineers as an Airborne Sapper. He attended all exercises and all that was available. Serving for a total of 9 years he achieved the rank of Sergeant.

On being awarded the BEM for services to industry, he first thought it was one of his mates playing a practical joke. He said, "I thought it was one of you buggers messing about!" Humility or what — such was the man.

Never to rest on his laurels he became a local volunteer driver; transporting local residents and colleagues to hospital for appointments or visits, shopping trips and meals on wheels.

Fortunately for us all, he spent a brilliant weekend at the Bournemouth AEA reunion in October and spent many happy hours chatting to friends old and new.

While at the gala dinner a message came to our table for Ralph to meet the Mayor and other dignitaries. In his absence (he'd gone for a smoke) we said that Ralph had gone off to participate in the Line Dancing at another function in the hotel. When he eventually returned the Mayor queried him about doing line dancing at his age (92 years). The Mayor looked over his shoulder seeing us laughing, shaking his head, the Mayor was obviously switched on!

That's how I will remember my dear friend — so easy to get along with and always ready to help. Farewell old friend.



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