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The Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry


6 October 1959 - 10 July 1968



Osnabruck

Osnabruck 1959/61


Plymouth Sept/61

Gibraltar

Gibraltar/Tobruk 1961/63

Berlin

Berlin 1963/65

Gravesend

Gravesend 1965/68

Aden

Aden 1966

SCLI Obituaries

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Rest in Peace

Obituaries


L/Cpl Kenneth W V White – died on Wednesday 25th August 2021 aged 75

Ken enlisted into the SCLI on 8 January 1964. Following his training at the Light Infantry Brigade Depot at Shrewsbury he was posted to 1 SCLI in Berlin. He initially served in a Rifle Company before becoming a PTI in the Battalion. He was shortly afterwards promoted to L/Cpl. In 1965 the Battalion returned to the UK and was based at Gravesend until April 1966, when it was posted to Aden due to the troubles there. It remained there until October of that year when it returned to Gravesend. For his service in Aden, Ken was awarded the GSM with a bar for South Arabia. He left the Army in January 1968 and returned to his home in Bath. His funeral service took place at the Top Chapel at Haycombe Cemetery Bath on the 17th September, and was attended by his family and friends. Our condolences go to his wife Marie and family.


Pte 24005877 Graham Pothecary – died on Tuesday 11th May 2021 aged 75

He enlisted into the SCLI in 1964 and following training at the Brigade Depot at Shrewsbury he was posted to 1SCLI in Berlin where his first appointment was as a storeman for the Officers Mess. After a short time he moved to the Regimental Signals where he remained for the remainder of his service. In 1965 the Battalion returned to the UK and was stationed at Gravesend. The following year Graham saw service with the Bn in Aden returning to Gravesend in late ’66. Following the formation of the Light Infantry in 1968 he served with the 1st Bn in Northern Ireland and Lemgo. He left the Army in December 1970 and returned to his home in Bath where he worked as a driver for a car hire company before taking up employment as a supervisor with Bath City Council in the historic Pump Room. His final employment until retirement was as a van driver for a florist. He died at home as a result of respiratory disease and his funeral service, which was subject to Covid-19 restrictions, took place at Haycombe Crematorium, Bath on Monday 7th June. The limited number of family and friends were in attendance including members of the Association together with the Bath Branch Standard. Our condolences go to his wife Rose, three daughters and their families.


Cpl 23854483 Colin (Appy) Aplin – died on Tuesday 20th April 2021 aged 78

Appy, as he was always known, enlisted into the SCLI in 1961. Following training at the Regimental Depot at Bodmin, he together with the reminder of his intake was posted to Seaton Barracks at Plymouth, shortly before 1SCLI returned to the UK from their posting in Osnabruck. In August 1961 the Battalion moved to Gibraltar where he was posted to the Signals Pltn, in which he remained for his entire service. During his period of service with the Pltn, he had subsequent postings to Tobruk, Berlin and Gravesend from where he left the Army in 1966, having attained the rank of Cpl. In civilian life he worked in the building industry as a project manager for the MOD and later for Wiltshire County Council. Colin died at home after a short illness and his funeral which was subject to Covid – 19 restrictions, took place at Semington Crematorium, on Tuesday 4th May. Our condolences go to his wife Janis and family.


23431325 WO2 John Raymond (Ray) Bate – died on Sunday 4th April 2021 aged 83

Ray enlisted into the Somerset Light Infantry at Taunton in 1957 and following training at the Regimental Depot he joined 1SOM LI at Plymouth, initially serving in a Rifle Coy. In 1958 the Battalion moved to Warminster as the Infantry Demonstration Battalion. Shortly after Ray was promoted to L/Cpl and in July 1959 he was posted to Bodmin which shortly after became the Regimental Depot of the SCLI. He took on the duties as a training NCO and was promoted to Cpl in 1960. He remained as a training NCO until the closure of the depot in 1962 when he was then posted to 1SCLI in Gibraltar. He then commenced duty with the Signal Pltn in which he remained for a great majority of his service. His postings included Libya, Berlin, Gravesend and Aden by which time he had attained the rank of Sjt. The Bn returned to Gravesend form Aden and in 1968 it became 1LI. Ray remained with the Bn until August 1980 during which time he had 4 tours of duty in Northern Ireland, numerous tours in West Germany, Belize and Hong Kong. In 1980 having completed 23years service he moved to the Long Service List (LSL) and took on recruitment duties in Cornwall were he remained until finally leaving the Army in the rank of WO2 in December 1991, having served a total of 34 years 160 days. His funeral service which was subject to Covid restrictions, took place at Bodmin Crematorium on the 27th April. Unable to attend the funeral proceedings, many of his former colleagues lined the streets through which the funeral procession passed. Pre-deceased by his wife our condolences go to his son and daughter.


Pte 23769755 Brian Evans – died on Saturday 27th March 2021 aged 82

He was called up for National Service in March 1960. Following training at the Regimental Depot at Bodmin he was posted to 1SCLI in Osnabruck where he served initially in a Rifle Company. He was later he was posted to HQ Company where he remained for the rest of his service in Osnabruck and subsequently in the UK and Gibraltar. On demobilisation in March 1962, he returned to his home in Oswestry where he continued his trade as a carpenter until his retirement. Brian remained single his entire life and his closest relative was his brother. His funeral service which was subject to Covid-19 restrictions took place at Wrexham Crematorium on Thursday 15th April.

A tribute from Brian Aldridge: Brian thanks for all those good times we shared together. RIP my friend.


Colonel David Hancock MBE – died on Saturday 13th March 2021 aged 88

He joined the Army in late 1951 with the SLI at Taunton. In 1952 he attended RMA Sandhurst and subsequently was commissioned into the SLI and was posted to the 1st Bn in Malaya as a Pltn Commander. He also performed roles as Intelligence Officer and Assistant Adjutant. Prior to and after the formation of the SCLI he served with 3 PARA in Cyprus and Jordan. Posted to 1SCLI at Osnabruck in 1960, he served as 2 i/c C Coy for approximately 18 months, before moving to an appointment with HQ 7 Armd Bde, Soltau, also West Germany. In 1964 he attended the Army Staff College and later served as GSO 3 (Ops) in Brunei with HQ 51 Gurkha Bde. Following this he moved to the MOD with Army Staff Duties. In 1964 he was posted back to 1SCLI as a Coy Comd in Gravesend, this also spanned into 1LI with service with that Bn in Gravesend, Northern Ireland and Lemgo and an exercise in Kenya. He was appointed an MBE in 1971 and was selected to attend the JSSC Latimer following which he spent 6 months as OC RIT at Shrewsbury. Now as a Lt Col, he commanded the LI Depot, Shrewsbury from 1972-74. After this he had a Grade 1 staff appointment at Wilton as GSO 1 (Ops). Promoted to Colonel in 1977 he became D Comd of HQ 39 Inf Bde in Lisburn N/Ireland and was Mentioned in Despatches. His final 2 appointments were within the MOD (Army Training) and UKLF (DACOS G4) He retired from the Army in 1983. A funeral service took place on 8th April under private arrangements. Our condolences go to his wife Susan and family.


Sjt 23695428 Eric Mountstevens – died on Saturday 16th January 2021 aged 77

Eric enlisted into the SLI in March 1959 with the Junior Leaders Battalion at Plymouth. He was posted in September 1960 to the Regimental depot, Bodmin for men’s service with the SCLI. Following training he was posted to 1SCLI in Osnabruck where he initially served in a rifle company. He later joined the Bugle pltn where he served for several years. Eric was promoted on several occasions attaining the rank of Sjt. It is believed that he was the Officers Mess Sjt for several years. He was also a much respected sportsman both on the cricket field and likewise football pitch, where for sometime he was the Bn’s goalkeeper. He left the Army in April 1978 having completed just over 19yrs service. He later took employment with the Royal Household at Windsor. His funeral, which was subject to Covid – 19 restrictions, took place on Tuesday 16th February at The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park, followed by cremation at Slough Crematorium. Our condolences go to his wife Margaret and family.


Sjt 23356653 Richard (Dick) Wignall – died on Tuesday 12th January 2021 aged 83

Dick, as he was always known, enlisted into the SLI in December 1956. Following training at the Regimental Depot, Taunton he was posted to 1SLI in Plymouth where he served in the MMG Pltn. There followed several moves in the UK with the Battalion before in 1959, the Battalion was posted to Osnabruck, Germany on amalgamation of 1SLI with 1DCLI to form 1SCLI. Now in the rank Cpl he moved to the Anti Tank Pltn. In 1961 he was posted to the Regimental Depot, Bodmin working as an orderly in the MI Room. A like appointment took him to Southern Command at Wilton. In 1964 he was posted back to 1SCLI in Berlin as a Provost Cpl. The Bn returned to the UK in 1965 and was based at Gravesend. Promoted to Sjt he was posted Taunton for a short period as a Regt Recruiter before returning to the Bn as a Pltn Sjt. July 1968 saw the formation of the Light Infantry when 1SCLI became 1LI. At this time he received his final posting to St Blazey, Cornwall as Regt Recruiter. He left the Army in April 1970 initially working in the China Clay industry before moving to the Building industry for the remainder of his working life. He was a staunch supporter of the SCLI Reunion at Taunton, which together with his wife he attended for many years. His funeral which was subject to Covid-19 restrictions, took place on Wednesday 27th January at Penmount Crematorium, Newquay Road, Truro. Our condolences go to his wife Valerie and family.


Sjt Terence (Terry) Higginbottom – died on Thursday 7th January 2021 aged 81

Terry enlisted into the SLI on the 8th January 1959. Following training at the Regimental depot, Taunton he was posted to 1SLI at Warminster where he served in a rifle company. Later that year the Battalion was posted to Osnabruck, West Germany on amalgamation with 1DCLI to form 1SCLI, Terry was now serving in C Company where in October 1960 he was promoted to L/Cpl and became the 2i/c of a rifle section. He was further promoted to Cpl i/c of a rifle section in 7pltn C Coy. During this period the Bn had several moves to the UK, Gibraltar and Berlin where in March 1965 he was promoted to Sjt. The Bn was posted back to the UK in May of 1965 and was stationed at Gravesend. He remained at Gravesend until 1968 where on formation of the Light Infantry he was posted to 3LI with whom he saw service in The Middle East, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. He left the Army in November 1973 having completed 15 yrs service. His funeral, which was subject to Covid-19 restrictions, took place on Thursday 18th February at Busbury Crematorium, Wolverhampton. Our condolences go to his wife Elma.


Lt Col Richard Vyvyan-Robinson MBE – died on Saturday 31st October 2020 aged 83

Col Vyvyan – Robinson was granted a Short Service Commission in the DCLI in 1956, which was converted in 1958 to a Regular Commission in the Regt. His initial posting was to 1 DCLI serving in the West Indies where he commanded 5 Pltn based in Jamaica. In March 1957 the Bn moved back to the UK on the Troopship ‘Dilwara’ and was based at the Regt Depot Bodmin where it was housed in Walker Lines, a wooden hutted camp. In July of that year the Bn moved to Osnabruck. After a short while Col Vyvyan – Robinson returned to Bodmin where he became the training officer with new intakes. He later departed to the Middle East College for Arab Studies (MECAS) in the Lebanon to learn Arabic, after which he did a tour with the Trucial Oman Scouts. Following this he returned to 1 SCLI in Gibraltar but more importantly was employed with the company detachments in Tobruk where his knowledge of the language proved invaluable. Further postings took him to Berlin and Gravesend with the move in 1966 to Aden where he was the Intelligence Officer. He conducted numerous operations, both overt and covert, many at extreme personal risk, which provided valuable intelligence. For this outstanding work he was appointed MBE. Many other appointments followed such as the OC Junior Soldiers Bn at the LI Depot, Trg Major with 1 UDR, Coy Commander with 2 RGJ, and finally Officer Commanding The Army Junior School of Music. He retired from the Army in 1989. In 1996 he served as Regimental County Secretary for Cornwall based at The Keep, Bodmin. He retired from this post in 2003. Our condolences go to his wife Ginny and family.