Airborne Engineers Association
Scotland

News


Please Take Note

Dear Members, due the current pandemic the AGM due to be held  on Novevember 15 2020, has been cancelled.
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Gordon McLeod and Bob Hamilton
Armistace Day Knightswood
8 November 2020
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Cromwell Lock Memorial Service
Zetland Park Grangemouth 20 September 2020
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General Service Medal 1962 with Clasp South Arabia

Dear former members of 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment, and in particular former members of 300 Parachute Field Squadron Royal Engineers who were in the firefight at Al-Milah, Radfan on 12 April 1965, when WO2 John F. Lonergan of 300 Para Sqn and Sgt Cyril Atfield of the RAPC attached to 24 Field Squadron Royal Engineers were killed in action and five others were wounded.

I have to inform you the fight for the General Service Medal 62 with Clasp South Arabia has now come to an end after six years of trying. Those of us who fought for the medal have gone as far as is possible. The last resort was for an Internal Review with the Ministry of Defence. The Internal Review was carried out by Air Commodore Nigel Bradshaw MSc BEng RAF who admitted several failures in the MOD for which he apologised, but said those soldiers who were in Aden in 1965, that had not completed 30 days in theatre, were not entitled to the GSM62. However, he said that those who were killed or wounded in action or through non combat injuries which resulted in repatriation without serving the required number of days in theatre, were entitled to receive medallic recognition.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman was unable to assist in any way.

How can it be fair that a soldier in a medal earning area for one day, can have non combat injuries, and be awarded medallic recognition, whereas a soldier in a medal earning area can be in combat, not injured and not serving the required number of days in theatre, is not entitled to receive a medal?

This point is being raised because on the day 300 Para Sqn were deployed to Al-Milah in open 3 ton trucks one of the trucks overturned slightly injuring some of the Sappers, with Sapper Lawrence Leach suffering a severe leg injury which necessitated him being airlifted by helicopter to Khormaksar Hospital and later repatriated to the UK. In that scenario Sapper Leach having served only one day in Aden and not having combat injuries would be entitled to be awarded the General Service Medal with Clasp South Arabia.
Surely any fair minded person would find this extremely unfair and discriminatory, but not the Ministry of Defence.

Lawrence Leach or his family are entitled to the GSM62 with Clasp South Arabia. If you are out there please claim your medal.

 The aforemetioned begs the question. How many others have fallen foul of the Ministry of Defence's incompetence, when it comes to awarding medallic recognition?
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Sunday 12 April 2020 will be the 55th Anniversary of the firefight at Al-Milah, Radfan, when Squadron Sergeant Major John F Lonergan 300 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers and Sergeant Cyril Atfield Royal Army Pay Corps were killed in action.  Five others were wounded.

We will remember them.
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In keeping with The Scottish Governments suggestion that we curtail our movements and only
travel for necessary journeys the Committee have decided to suspend all meetings and events until further notice.
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AEA SCOTLAND EVENTS 2020.


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Gil Nicol receiving Presidents Commendation from
 Gordon McLeod, Chairman AEA Scotland.

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Lest we forget
Saving Private Robert (Bob) Urquhart “C” Coy 15 (Scottish) Battalion The Parachute Regiment.



On 7 May 1966, members of 300 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers and 15 (Scottish) Battalion The Parachute Regiment parachuted into Black Bog, Northern Ireland.
 While 15 Para were due to carry out their exercise, 300 Para Sqn RE were on DZ clearance.

During the drop, those already on the ground were horrified to witness that someones parachute had failed to develope properly and he plunged into Black Bog. Only his legs were above ground and everyone thought he was dead, until his legs moved. Had it not been for the quick actions of Sappers Gordon McLeod and Alex Cockburn and others from 300 Para Sqn RE, who have sadly passed away, pulling him out of the bog, there is no doubt Bob Urquhart would have perished. Although Bob later thanked those Sappers who had saved him, they were not fully recognised for their actions.
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Major General Michael Lawrence Riddell-Webster CBE DSO Governor of Edinburgh Castle, presenting former Captain Eoghann maclaclainn with the General Sevice Medal with Clasp South Arabia, at Edinburgh Castle on 16 December 2018.



Captain Eoghann maclachlainn was deployed to Aden on 1 April 1965 as part of 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment (TA), tasked with making road improvements to the main supply route running from Aden to Dhala in the North. Captain maclachlainn was serving in 300 Para Sqn RE (the Scottish Squadron), numbering around 90 strong at this time.
In the early hours of Monday 12 April 1965, while based in a camp near the village of Al Milah, along with 24 Field Sqn, Royal Engineers, 300 and 24 Sqns came under prolonged and accurate small arms and mortar fire from a nearby ridge.
The dissidents were eventually driven off by a combination of browning machine guns mounted on Ferret armoured cars and by individuals firing from the camp sangars. During this firefight, Sergeant Major John Lonergan of 300 Para. Sqn and Sergeant Atfield, Royal Army Pay Corps attached to 24 Sqn, were killed.
Captain maclachlainn and Sergeant George Gibson Earl, both from 300 Para Sqn, were among 5 others seriously wounded.
Whilst those serving in 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment were not in theatre long enough to be awarded the GSM with South Arabia clasp, Captain maclachlainn’s injury under these circumstances means he qualifies to be presented with the medal, as has now been recognised by the MOD Medal Office.
ADC/GofEC
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Renaming Ceremony Kingsbury ARC to "Lonergan Lines"
12 April 2016.
Please click the link to view all photographs

http://mod.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4223c93d7a2d2a26bb3e084f4&id=de603cab27&e=bb52c688e6
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The Birth and Early Years
 2 Troop 300 Airborne Squadron R.E.
 "The Edinburgh Troop".
By D. H. Thomas.
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The History of 131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers
1947 to Present Day
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AEA Scotland Minutes Archive in PDF.

2009    11 AGM 

2010    17 January     21 March      16 May     18 July     19 September      12 AGM 21 November

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2019     20 January     17 March       19 May    21 July      15 September       21 AGM 17 November

2020     19 January     15 March