Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Mel Winton


Melville "Mel" Winton passed away in February 2005. He was born in Leith in 1931. This is an important point, as anyone local will tell you as Leith is Leith and has a proud history and is not just a suburb of Edinburgh. Mel attended the primary and secondary sections of Leith Academy before leaving at 14 to join that prolific recruiting ground of the TA Airborne Engineers in Edinburgh otherwise known as the Post Office Telegraph Messengers.

Before leaving school Mel had joined the Boys' Brigade and had a lifelong association with them, particularly the 4th Leith Company where as an officer in later years his main interests were in taking the lads at football, first aid, cross country and drill. Mel's efforts were well rewarded when under his leadership the 4th Leith won the Battalion drill championship 11 years in succession. In the months before his death Mel's interest did not flag and he was the principal organiser for the BB's 2005 cross-country championship for Scotland.

After National Service in the REs, which included service in Austria, Mel joined 2 Troop 300 Para Sqn. 131 Para Engineer Regt TA. While taking a full part in the engineering activities of the Troop he was also our medic and this was not just a "classroom" activity. When an off road mine blew the front wheels and most of the engine off a 3 tonner in Aden I witnessed Mel sprint to the scene with complete disregard for his own safety to tend to the casualties.

Like a lot of us Mel was scunnered by the down sizing of the Regiment in the late 60s and transferred to the RAMC where he rose to Warrant Officer before age caught up with him and he left to concentrate his energies on the BBs, the Church and other voluntary activities. He stayed with the Post Office all his working life and got early retirement in his mid 50s which left him time for his many and varied interests, principal amongst which was his family of wife, son and daughter.

The Association Branch in Edinburgh had been going a few years before Mel found us (or we found him). Once in the Branch he was a regular attendee at meetings where he was a popular contributor to formal and informal discussion and even once temporarily discharged himself from hospital to attend.

The attendance at Warriston Crematorium where the main chapel was full and the service was broadcast to those outside unable to gain admittance bears testament to the regard in which Mel was held.

We shall miss him..



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