Brigadier Richard W Trigger MBE

{ Dick, Triggs }

01 Feb 2000

The following obituary appeared in the Pegasus Journal June 2000:

Brigadier Dick Trigger died suddenly on 1 February 2000.

The Army and The Parachute Regiment were his life and he loved it. He came from humble beginnings and enlisted into the 11th Hussars as a trooper and completed a tour in Northern Ireland before entering the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1972.

After passing out from the RMAS he joined 1 PARA at Mons Barracks in 1973. He completed a tour as a platoon commander before being posted to the Depot in 1975. Thereafter, with Maureen, his first wife, he was posted to Brunei as an exchange officer.

After a two year tour in the Far East he returned to 1 PARA as the regimental signal officer. Outstanding reports on both the Regimental Signal Officers' course and at Junior Division Staff College, put him firmly in the fast lane. Exercises in America, catching illegal immigrants in Hong Kong flashed by as Dick passed the staff exam and headed off to Camberley. He subsequently earned his 'spurs' as Staff Officer (Grade 2) Operations in HQ Northern Ireland for which he was awarded a well-deserved MBE. But not before he made a concerted effort to join 3 PARA en route to the Falklands which, much to his considerable annoyance and chagrin, never came to pass.

Northern Ireland was followed by company command - A Coy 1 PARA in the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force - Land (Arctic) role in Bulford. It was here that Dick really made his mark as a commander and trainer, consistently demonstrating that special grasp of tactics and manoeuvre, which instilled confidence and loyalty in all those who served under him.

Thereafter, he attended a 6 months joint warfare staff course in Virginia before taking up an appointment, on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in Military Operations in the MOD. Thereafter he commanded 1 PARA, which had been his goal. It was the 'icing on the cake' from his point of view. He spent his regimental career in the 1st Battalion and the delight on his assuming command was plain for all to see. It gave him and his many friends and admirers considerable pride. His tour as commanding officer was spent within 5 AB Bde and he relished the challenges it brought.

Unlike many regimental officers, he positively enjoyed parachuting and was an accomplished free-faller. This, coupled with a penchant for plenty of hard physical exercise made for interesting and challenging exercises. And he also found time to get married to Claire, a union which brought them both much happiness and twin boys - Alex and Jack.

However life was never easy and he was diagnosed with a heart condition whilst working in London as Col M02. Throughout this period of illness, Dick displayed that inner strength and tremendous courage that was the hallmark of his character. His fierce independence and intense pride saw him deal with this difficult period in his life in a very personal way. He was determined that it should not inconvenience anyone or detract from his work, despite the profound effect it had on him. It is the measure of the man that, despite his illness, he was selected for promotion to Brigadier at the earliest opportunity. He went on to command 48 Gurkha Brigade in Hong Kong and then to lead the British Army's Advisory Training Team in South Africa. However, the effect of his illness prevailed against him and after a short tour at HQ LAND, he retired from the Army.Latterly he worked in military research in the Army Historical Branch in London.

In sum, let us then, remember Dick Trigger as he was. A vibrant, intelligent, incisive and committed soldier and friend, because he was all of that and more, who devoted his life to his Regiment and Battalion because, in essence, it was his home. And in so doing give thanks for his life and those he loved, Maureen and Claire and his two boys.

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Service History


  • MBE
Richard  W Trigger

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Latest Comments

Victor Thorn said:
Today on 24 November 2012, I completed the P Coy ten miler, organised by the Airborne Forces Club. The final RV was Aldershot Military Cemetery, where we were all given a red rose and asked to place it on an airborne brother's grave. I had the honour of placing my rose on the grave of Richard Trigger. On reading a little of his biography, I noticed that he joined the army, the same year as myself and was a trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps. Although not known I would imagine he was a similar age to myself and considering my age, he died far too young. So RIP Richard, my Airborne brother.
shaun cassidy said:
What a wonderful picture of a man at the top of his game.
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