Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Stan Pepper, 18th August 1920 - 31st March 2021

By John Lee, President AEA


Stan was born in Fulham to a large family and at a young age considered joining the army, getting food, lodgings and a uniform as well. He married Joyce and was called up for military service on the 2nd September 1939. He initially served in 1 Recce Regt RAC and saw service in North Africa, Palestine and Jordan.

On return to the UK he transferred to the Parachute Regiment, qualifying as a parachutist in 1943 and I understand that he was injured on exercise prior to the D Day landings and thus missed the operation. During his time in the army he contracted TB and was put on permanent release leave in 1946 with formal discharge in 1951 with service to the colours of nearly 7 years.

Stan later joined 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment (TA) as a medic and served in Aden and other areas during annual camp. He was promoted to sergeant during his time with 131, and was responsible for medical and first aid training. In 1975 Stan left 131 and oined the Army Cadet Force in which he was commissioned in April 1976.

Over the years, Stan had a varied life including work as chauffeur, bus driver, TV repair man, audiologist and latterly as a rent officer in Brent Council and the GLC. He was a very well-versed gentleman, knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects and was a very interesting companion.

After his beloved wife Joyce died Stan was admitted to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea where he lived for 21 years until his death in March 2021. He was a well-known character and fully involved himself in the many activities of the hospital. When the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary was being built, Stan volunteered to be the ‘official photographer’ resulting in him being hoisted in various items of equipment to enable high level pictures of the work to be made.

He was also involved for many years in attempting to persuade the MoD that some 131 personnel were eligible for the GSM as they had been on active service in Aden. However, despite all his efforts the Mod maintained that 131 were not ‘officially’ there, despite several members being injured and SSM Lonergan killed and buried there. Luckily this matter has now been resolved so let’s hope Stan’s work was not all in vain.

Always interesting to meet and talk to till the end, this intelligent, entertaining gentleman, although losing a lung to TB and told he would always be an invalid, made his 100th birthday, and it is true to say Stan always found a way round life’s hardships.



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