George Halewood enlisted as a Territorial Army soldier in 1938 and served in the Royal Artillery throughout the Second World War, volunteering for airborne forces in 1944.
He completed parachute course 133 at RAF Ringway, which ran from 9 to 23 September 1944. His instructors’ comments: "Good performer, quietly confident". He was posted to No 2 Forward Observer Unit, Royal Artillery.
George Halewood saw active service in Normandy, the Ardennes, at the Rhine Crossing and in the Far East. He was awarded the Military Medal for his part in the Rhine Crossing operation where he showed ‘exemplary devotion to duty and steadiness under fire.’
In 1947, he joined the 13th Battalion (TA) The Parachute Regiment and became Company Sergeant Major of A Company in Liverpool for many years. Due to his influence and enthusiasm his company achieved the highest level of recruiting and efficiency within 16th Airborne Division (TA). George was described as a ‘good soldier, hard but fair, who never expected anyone to do what he would not attempt himself.'
The battalion was later amalgamated with the 12th Battalion to become the 12th/13th Battalion, which in turn was amalgamated with the 17th Battalion to become 4 PARA (V) in 1967.
He was granted a Quarter Master’s commission during this reorganisation and awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 1971 for his military services.
He retired from 4 PARA in 1980, with the rank of Major (QM), after 41 years continuous service
In civilian life, he was a director of a tool hire firm formed by Keith Harrison, another ex- officer of the 12th/13th (TA) Battalion.
George died in December 1985 after a short illness.
Compiled with assistance from Bob Hilton and Mark Hickman