Sapper Brian Guest

  • General Service Medal (to 1962) Clasp medal
  • General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards) medal

Sapper Brian Guest was a member of the 9th Independent Parachute Squadron RE.

Brian Guest was the son of a Regimental Sergeant Major in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He attended the Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover.  He joined the Royal Engineers in 1955 at the age of 18, after spending three years at the Army Apprentices' School, Chepstow. He volunteered for airborne service in 1956, and was part of parachute course 421 at no.1 PTS Abingdon. 

Guest was attached to the French airborne forces' assault on Port Said during the Suez Crisis of 1956 (Operation Musketeer). His job was to sweep the Ismailia Canal to remove mines as part of a three man team. In recognition of his work, he was awarded French parachute wings along with a scroll in Aldershot. His badge and scroll were due to be awarded by General Jean Gilles, the commander of 11e régiment parachutiste de choc. However, the General had to return to France so the ceremony was overseen by Brigadier Mervyn Butler, the commander of 16th Independent Parachute Brigade. Guest and his compatriots were allegedly "the first British troops ever to receive the honour" of wearing the French wings, and did so at the Aldershot parade on May 18, 1957. 

Guest was a keen boxer, fighting as a flyweight whilst still at school in Dover in 1952. He later moved up to light middleweight, winning both individual and team novice championships in Aldershot. Finally, as a middleweight, Sapper Guest won a bout against a man from the 4 Training Regiment RE in 1959. 

Guest went on to serve in Cyprus, South Arabia and the Radfan. His medals are now held by the Airborne Assault Museum. 

Airborne Assault Archive

Photos and newspaper clippings courtesy of the family of Brian Guest

Article written by Alex Walker

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Service History

  • Date not known
Sapper Brian Guest profile

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  • Two newspaper clippings noting the award of French wings to Brian Guest

    Two newspaper clippings noting the award of French wings to Brian Guest

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