Ted Loden was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in April 1960 and joined the Parachute Regiment in July 1961.
He was awarded a Military Cross for his actions in Aden while serving with 1 PARA. The citation in the London Gazette, dated 23 January 1968, recorded:
"Captain Loden is the Intelligence Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment stationed in Aden. This young Officer, besides carrying out his normal task, showed exceptional coolness, courage and devotion to duty on three separate occasions during June 1967.
On the 1st June 1967, the terrorist organisation in Aden called a general strike. Early that morning shooting broke out in Sheikh Othman and a violent battle was fought all day between a large number of terrorists and roof top observation posts manned by 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. By early afternoon our positions were short of ammunition, Captain Loden, who knew the best routes and entrances to all the observation posts, immediately offered to take an armoured vehicle and replenish all our positions with ammunition and water. Regardless of his own personal safety and often having to expose himself to sniper fire, he succeeded in his task. His action helped considerably to ensure the victory of our troops in Sheikh Othman that day. Finally that evening Captain Loden was placed in charge of a group of armoured vehicles sent to recover the observation post parties and replace them with fresh troops. This recovery operation was carried out skilfully and without incident Throughout the whole day this young Officer's conduct and personal bravery was of the highest order. He set a fine example and was an inspiration to all.
In June 1967, Captain Loden, acting on his own initiative, obtained information that a certain house in Sheikh Othman was being used by terrorists as headquarters. He followed this up and, by the 27th June, he was able to give his Commanding Officer complete details. Acting on this information an operation was ordered for late that night. The raid, carried out by a platoon of D (Patrol) Company, 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment and a platoon of of 1st Battalion, The King's Own Royal Border Regiment, was directed and co-ordinated by Captain Loden. It transpired that the house was being used by the National Liberation Front as a secret hide-out in which to keep kidnapped members of the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen, the rival terrorist organisation. On the arrival of our troops the National Liberation Front guard shot his four prisoners, killing two and wounding two. He then tried to escape but was shot and captured. The whole operation was carried out with great skill. Its success was primarily due to Captain Loden's determination and perseverance in gaining the information and following it through with a well directed and coordinated raid.
On Tuesday 20th June 1967, Captain Loden was commanding one of three officer led patrols sent out of Radfan Camp in armoured three ton vehicles, to search for and recover, wounded and dead in the area of the sand dunes outside Champion Lines following the mutiny of the Federal National Guard. In spite of the area still being under fire the Officer personally recovered bodies from an exposed three ton vehicle belonging to 60 Squadron, Royal Corps of Transport. Throughout Captain Loden showed considerable ' personal bravery and a high standard of leadership."
During the events in Londonderry in 1972, later named “Bloody Sunday” he was in command of a Company in an action during which thirteen civilians were killed.
The Saville Report later exonerated Col Loden, concluding:
"At the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat.”
He went on to hold several other airborne posts including Brigade Major to 44 Para Brigade, Commanding Officer of 4 Para, and Colonel, Depot Para.
Ted Loden retired from the Army on 30 September 1992.
He was tragically killed in Kenya on Saturday 7 September 2013, during a robbery whilst visiting family.
Compiled by Harvey GrenvilleRead More