Major Richard Hamilton

{ Grumpy }

  • General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards) medal

Major Richard Hamilton served with Airborne Forces as part of several Airborne services with 16 Parachute Brigade and later, 5 Airborne Brigade.

Richard Hamilton, sometimes known as 'Grumpy' initially joined the Royal Signals in 1963, and trained as a Radio Operator, serving with the 11 Signal Regiment and 5 Regiment RA during the mid-to-late 1960s.

He first volunteered for Airborne Forces in 1969, and passed Pre-Parachute Selection (P Coy) at Browning Barracks, Aldershot, later passing his Basic Parachute Course at RAF Abingdon. After completing his training, he was posted to 216 Parachute Signal Squadron at Arnhem Barracks, Aldershot, and served with 216 until 1976.

In 1976, he re-traded to R Tg AA Drill Course at Pirbright, and qualified as a sub-unit coach (Small Arms) with The 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA). During his career in the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s, he completed exercises with several units of 16 Para Brigade. He took part in a deployment to Ghana, Africa with The 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA), in Cyprus was various Airborne units, Turkey with the US 82nd Airborne Division), Bermuda with 1 Parachute Logistic Regiment, and 'Escape and Evasion'(E&E) exercises at Cultybraggan, Germany with The 15th (Scottish) Battalion The Parachute Regiment (15 PARA SV). He was attached to 15 PARA at the time of the Kiel Canal disaster.

Operationally, he deployed to Northern Ireland attached with 1 PARA and 16 Parachute Brigade HQ, before being posted to the BAOR in 1976.

In 1986, Richard re-joined Airborne Forces when commissioned Capt (LE). 5 AB Bde HQ & Sig Sqn as Families & Admin Offr. Completed a painful, yet another, Basic Para at RAF Brize Norton in 1987. Finally left AB Forces in 1989, posted to N Wales.

Richard Hamilton retired in 1993 as Acting Major.

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Service History

  • 1963
    11 Signal Regiment (Signalman)
  • 1964
    5 Regiment RA (Corporal)
  • 1969
    216 Parachute Signal Squadron 216 Para Sig Sqn (Corporal)
  • 1972
    216 Parachute Signal Squadron 216 Para Sig Sqn (Sergeant)
  • 1975
    216 Parachute Signal Squadron 216 Para Sig Sqn (Staff Sergeant)
  • 1976
    1 Division HQ and Signal Regiment (Staff Sergeant)
  • 1977
    Tayforth University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) (Sergeant-Major)
  • 1979
    3 Armoured Division HQ and Signal Regiment (Sergeant-Major)
  • 1982
    28 (BR) Signal Regiment, Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) (Warrant Officer Class 1)
  • 1984
    NATO Forward Scatter Station(FSS) Shetland (Warrant Officer Class 1)
  • 1986
    HQ 5 Airborne Brigade and Signal Squadron 5 AB HQ & Sig Sqn (Captain)
  • 1989
    30 CTT (Captain)
  • 1992
    Army Apprentices College (AAC) Harrogate (Acting Major)


  • General Service Medal Clasp (1962 onwards) medal GSM
    GSM with clasp N Ireland
Richard  Hamilton


  • Richard Hamilton after a training jump in Cyprus, April 1972

    Richard Hamilton after a training jump in Cyprus, April 1972

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