Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Major Roy Whittaker by Eric Blenkinsop

Roy passed away on 8th June 2016. He was a former member of 1 Para Sqn RE and 9 Indep Para Sqn RE. On commissioning from the ranks he was given the appointment as the first ever Admin Officer in 9 Indep Para Sqn.

Roy Whittaker

I was so sad to learn from the last Journal that Roy had passed away. I wish now to express my memories of Roy in those early days in the Sqn.

When 9 Sqn was at Malta Barracks the Chief Clerk was Sgt Fogg an eccentric Scotsman (non para) who liked to refer to himself as Fogg of Edinburgh. When he left Roy became our Chief Clerk and a very good one at that, he was also a good mess member and I wish to recall my memories of him in Moascar in 1952. If there was any sky larking taking place he would be at the centre of it for instance when in our cups he decided to try his hand at fire eating but not very successfully.

On another occasion we visited the Marine Commando HQ WO's & Sgts Mess for a Gala evening courtesy of QMSI Reg Orton who would also visit our mess from time to time. Well it transpired that one of their WO's was a hypnotist who called for a volunteer and up stands Roy. I cannot recall what the hypnotist got him to do but it was most amusing at the time. The following photographs show Roy's total involvement in a bit of fun.

Roy Whittaker

Roy was a Lancastrian and a staunch Wigan Rugby League supporter and on our return to the U K to Waterloo Barracks East he organised tickets for three of us to go to the old Wembley Stadium to watch the Rugby League Cup Final.

Well it was the most boring game of rugby that I have ever seen as the losing side had 80% of the possession without getting out of their half of the pitch. But of course that was before they brought in the six tackle rule which transformed it into a very entertaining game.

Roy's Eros pose with Eric Blenkinsop
Roy Whittaker
Roy Whittaker
Drinks in the WO's & Sgts Mess, Moascar 1952
Wimp Martin, Roy, Steve Crane & Eric Blenkinsop
Roy christening Eric in the company of Steve Crane, Harry Brown RAEC & Wimp Martin

Then Roy met this young nurse who worked at one of the Aldershot hospitals and after a while proposed to the lady and arrangements were made for the marriage. Rose came from a small Hampshire village of Binstead just south of Aldershot. Roy agreed to pay for the reception in the village hall and off we went to set up the reception and Wimp Martin and I ran the bar and also made sure that he tied the knot properly. All went well and off they went on their honeymoon with a large tub with a tree in it balanced precariously on the boot of the car which in those days was hinged from the bottom.

Come 1956 I was moved on as a PSI to 301 Para Sqn in Croydon and I was never to see Roy again. But knowing his character as I did I am sure that he would have made a valuable input to the Officers Mess following his commissioning. He was to become the first ever appointed admin officer in 9 Indep Para Sqn and later served as QM in 28 Amph Regt, Hameln. Farewell old pal. Rest in peace, Eric.



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