Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour

 

 

Ralph Young

 

Ralph Young

Ralph sadly died at the age of 80 on January 11th of this year due to complications following a fall at his Wolverhampton home. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Christine, daughter Kathleen, sons Ralph and Christopher, grandchildren Char­lotte, Alexander, Molly and Lisha, and great-grandson Rory.

Ralph was born in 1939 in Hertford into a nomadic family - his father was a sergeant in the R.A.F. His favourite place to be stationed as a boy was France, where he spent what seemed to be endless sunny days cycling the local lanes and villages and fishing - a favourite hobby. Nostalgia for this time in his childhood was such that it led to him re-visiting his Gallic haunts with Christine and the purchase and partial restoration of a farmhouse in the Charente region.

Ralph enlisted into Army Boy Service at Chepstow in 1953 aged 15 as an appren­tice draughtsman then graduated to the regular Army with the Royal Engineers 3 years later. As a member of 9 Squadron he saw service in Northern Ireland, Bahrain, Aden, Borneo and Cyprus, and was also 'helping the Americans' (his words) at one point. He then became a Plant Foreman and was deployed in Nepal building the Great Road. His Certificate of Service describes his military conduct as 'Exemplary' and he retired from the Army in 1979 with the following awards - Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, Jubilee Medal and Indonesia Medal

Ralph was a fiercely loyal man who was, according to his children, 'firm but fair1 and his sense of humour could be wicked at times. He adored his family, and the last year and a half were momentous for him and Christine as there were full gatherings for both of their eldest grandchildren's weddings, his 80th birthday, their Diamond (60th) wedding with a card from the Queen, the birth of their first great-grandchild and Christine's 80th at the start of 2020. He was a member of the Airborne Engineers Association and always looked forward to the re-unions with his Army 'family'.

Ralph qualified as a Health and Safety Officer as part of his 'demob' process before leaving the Army, touring the country inspecting operational quarries for Tarmac and RMC. He settled on the outskirts of Wolverhampton, retiring from work due to ill health in 1997. He loved to collect (and tinker with) timepieces, especially watches, had a fascination for computers including building his own, and until his mobility became compromised, he loved to rummage around antique fairs. In his latter years, spending time with his family and especially being taken to the pub for a pint or two of good Real Ale were his pleasures - well the Ale always was!

He will be missed terribly.

 

 

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23 Para Engr Regt