Airborne Engineers Association


Please Take Note

 Our next meeting will be our 21st AGM which take place at 1230 hrs. on Sunday 17 November 2019, at the Royal British Legion, Central Branch, 33 Rodney Street, Edinburgh. Please make an effort to attend.

AEA Scotland Events 2019.

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Group photo of AEA Scotland Branch Annual Lunch 7 September 2019

Group photo of AEA Scotland Branch Annual Lunch 7 September 2019.

/Gordon McLeod at the unveiling of the statue of a paratrooper at Aldershot 6 July 2019.
Gordon McLeod at the unveiling of the statue of a paratrooper at Aldershot on 6 July 2019.

Gordon McLeod and Lothian Branch PRA at the unveiling of the statue of a paratrooper at Aldershot 6 July 2019.

Gordon McLeod and Lothian Branch PRA at the unveiling of the statue of a paratrooper at Aldershot on 6 July 2019.

Scott Wilson' Memorial Service 12 June 2019
Cpl. Scott (Scotty) Wilson's Memorial Service, 12 June 2019.

Guards Club Edinburgh 12 June 2019
Guards Club, Edinburgh, 12 June 2019.

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.

Guards Club Edinburgh 12 April 2019.
54th Anniversary of the firefight at Al-Milah, Radfan

and presentation of engraved Crystal Decanter and Glasses
to John Donaldson.


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.

General Service Medal 62 with Clasp South Arabia
On 16 September 2016, an e-mail was received from the Army Medal Office saying that those killed and wounded in Aden in 1965 would be entitled to the GSM as set out in Special Army Orders of 25 July 1966.

On January 2017 a letter was received from Major General Nitsch CBE to the effect that  the men of 300 Para Sqn RE could not be awarded the GSM because they had not served 30 days in theatre. However, he went on the say that the casualties of 300 Para Sqn RE had already received the GSM, which according to him, was always the case if killed or wounded in action. No medals had been awarded.

A letter dated 31 May 2018 from Lord Howe stated that members of 300 Para Sqn RE could not be awarded the GSM because they had not served 30 days in theatre.

On Monday 18 June 2018 a letter was received from the Army Medal Office intimating that the GSM would not be awarded to the casualties of 300 Para Sqn RE because the squadron was training in Aden/Radfan. It is a pity no one told the enemy that. This is the first time in all the letters received from the MoD that the word training has been used. They must have scraped the bottom of the barrel to find that loophole. They are now using any excuse not to award the casualties of 300 Para Sqn RE the GSM. The people in the Ministry of  Defence who made this decision should hang their heads in shame.

 1 September 2018.
 The latest excuse from the MOD is, because we were not on the attached strengh of any unit we are not entitled to medallic recognition. 300 Para Sqn RE was attached to 24 Field Squadron Royal Engineers whilst at Al Milah but it seems no one told the MOD. Also, they are making further enquires into the death and woundings of 300 Para Sqn RE personnel.  They are again reaching into their barrel of excuses to find one that will cancel medallic recognition to which they are entitled under Special Army Orders 1966.

2 November 2018
On 2 November 2018 a letter from Lord Howe to Angus MacNeil MP apologised for the length of time it has taken to resolve this case and went to say that his officials have investigated the circumstances and can now confirm that although previously stated that members of 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment TA do not qualify for the award - they were not there long enough to meet the qualifying criteria - for the General Service Medal with Clasp South Arabia, those who were killed or injured ought to receive the award. This would be the case for any other individual whose service on a medal earning campaign was brought to an early end under such circumstances. Instructions therefore will be given to the Ministry of Defence Medal Office to issue the medal to the family of Warrant Officer Lonergan and to Captain maclachlainn and Sergeant Earl.

Sergeant George Gibson Earl died on 4 November 2004. His family will now receive his General Service Medal with Clasp South Arabia.

Why on earth did it take so long?

Special Army Orders of 25 July 1966, opened the door for the casualties of 300 Para Fld Sqn RE and others to receive the General Service Medal 62 with Clasp South Arabia so why has it taken 52 years for them to receive the award. I am certain the reason is that 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment was an embarrassment to the government of 1965, and to the present day government and they wanted to bury it. I am sure that had I not enlisted the help of Angus MacNeil MP the casualties of 300 Para Fld Sqn RE would never have received the award. Angus MacNeil MP has agreed to carry on the fight for the rest of the squadron to receive the medallic recognition they deserve.

South Atlantic Medal.
A change has been made to the awarding of the South Atlantic medal. The medal with rosette was awarded for one day's service within 35° and 60° South latitude or for at least one operational sortie south of Ascension Island, between 2 April and 14 June 1982 (April 2 being the date of the Argentine invasion, June 14 being the date of Argentine surrender). This, generally, denoted service in the combat zone.
 Double Standards.
Reaper Drone Pilots. Operation Shader.
Reaper drone pilots who bombed and targeted Islamic State (IS) will be awarded military medals for their work as part of Operation Shader, the Defence Secretary has announced, even though they never stepped foot in enemy territory and were never in any danger. Double Standards.

Medallic Recognition for Animals.
The MOD award General Service Medals to pony mascots. If medallic recognition is good enough for animals, then why will the government not award the General Service Medal with Clasp South Arabia to the officers and men of 300 Parachute Field Squadron Royal Engineers, 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment who fought at Al Milah, Radfan in 1965, where two men were killed in action and 5 others were wounded.
 Double Standards.

Renaming Ceremony Kingsbury ARC to "Lonergan Lines"
12 April 2016.
Please click the link to view all photographs

The Birth and Early Years
 2 Troop 300 Airborne Squadron R.E.
 "The Edinburgh Troop".
By D. H. Thomas.
The History of 131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers
1947 to Present Day


AEA Scotland Minutes Archive in PDF.

2009    11 AGM 

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

2011   16 January     20 March      15 May     17 July     18 September      13 AGM 20 November

2012    15 January     18 March      20 May     15 July     16 September      14 AGM 18 November

2013     20 January     17 March     19 May      21 July     15 September      15 AGM 17 November

2014     19 January     16 March      18 May     20 July     31 August            16 AGM 16 November

2015     18 January     15 March      17 May     19 July     20 September      17 AGM 15 November

2016     17 January     20 March      15 May     17 July     18 September      18 AGM 20 November

2017    15 January      19 March       21 May    16 July     17 September      19 AGM 19 November

2018     21 January     15 April          20 May    15 July     16 September       20 AGM 18  November

20192   20 January     17 March       19 May    21 July