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Founder member of 7 RHA medals on ebay


War Hero
If anyone is serving with 7 RHA this group should be with the regiment, nothing to do with me just found it on ebay WW II / PALESTINE/ KOREA WAR OFFICER MEDAL GROUP, CAPTAIN R.A. | eBay

One of the great twentieth-century British heroes, Brig John Badley led a life of honour and compassion. At his thanksgiving service, which took place at All Saints Church, Chitterne on 10 July, Maj Gen Bob Lyon gave the following tribute:

'If John Badley were running this service, there would be lots of fun and laughter. John was a special chum and, since his death, it has not been easy to laugh. I first met John in Aldershot in 1961 when we were both majors and founder members of the newly formed 7 Para RHA. He arrived with his wife, Marjorie. She was gorgeous but, as it says in the bible, 'heavy with child' - with their son, Bill. John and Marjorie had met and married when John was attending the advanced class at the United States Artillery School, Fort Sill. Marjorie had been widowed when her first husband - a pilot in the United States' Army Air Corps - had been tragically killed. With his marriage to Marjorie, John proudly inherited two small children, Dickie and the lovely Laura who from then on regarded John as their dad. When John, Marjorie and the children were due to return to UK by ship, he phoned the British Embassy in Washington to tell them that he now required passage for his wife and two children. He laughingly said: "The wretched people wouldn't believe me as they said the course at Fort Sill only lasted 10 months!"

Soon after we arrived in 7 Para RHA I remember John saying to me with pretend gritted teeth: " You so-and-so (or words to that effect!). Why did you have to be two months younger than me? This means that you get a battery and I am to be the second-in-command." For those of you who may not know the significance of his remark, commanding a battery is more fun. But seriously, John was much more equipped to be the commanding officer's right hand man as he was an experienced parachute gunner officer and I had jumped off nothing higher than a table! Let us just look at why John was the obvious chap to be second-in-command of a parachute Gunner regiment.

Let us start with his first posting, so to speak. In 1943, he attended the Army War course at Edinburgh University (I always felt he knew more about the Scots than he admitted!) After that he joined the East African Artillery and in 1944/45, served with them in Kenya and Burma. He then qualified as an Air OP pilot and flew many hazardous missions in a Palestine even then bedevilled by terrorists. He claimed that his most ha/ardous flight was trying to land his small Auster aircraft on the deck of the aircraft carrier, HMS Ocean. With his usual grin, he said: "You see, there were no damned arresting wires on the deck and the blinking ship was moving faster than my little plane!" Following that he served in airborne forces for three years in Palestine, the UK and Germany until 1951. John had also found time to become a qualified Instructor in Gunnery, taught mathematics for a year and then volunteered to to be an IG in Korea. But the powers that be decided it was time for him to go to the Staff College. Of course he passed the Staff College, and was posted to HQ 7 Armd Div as Brigade Major Royal Artillery. It was after that we met in 7 RHA and perhaps you now understand why he was so well suited to be second-in-command. After two years he left 7 RHA in 1963, and was posted to Sandhurst to command the Sovereign's Company. Subsequently, John was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became CO of 25 Med Regt RA. I have it on good authority that John was an extremely effective and highly popular commanding officer and greatly loved by his officers and men. As commanding officer, in addition to his Christian values he used all the high standards he had learned and embraced when he served with the Chestnut Troop in 1 RHA. These high standards and values, John applied to all things whether it was a military operation or throwing a really good party. His parties were always fun and especially the annual Hogmanay parties John and Marjorie gave in Syringa Cottage, these parties were memorable! His success in command brought promotion and, in 1968, he was made the first commandant of the Junior Division of the Staff College based in Warminster. That was followed by further promotion to brigadier and command of 23 Arty Bde in Chester. After that his next appointment was to be the Commander Corps Royal Artillery of the 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld, Germany. In all these jobs John's great attention to detail and infectious good humour were appreciated by all who served with him. John's last job in the Army was Commandant of the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill; a most important and prestigious appointment. Some of you may better appreciate the importance of this job when I tell you it was held during his service in the Regiment by none other than FM Viscount Alanbrooke. John loved the job and he and Marjorie adored living in Figheldean, probably the best married quarter in the Army! During their time there John, Marjorie, Laura and Jac gave great support to the riding club, the racing and the hunt. The hunt met outside Figheldean and after John retired from Larkhill, the hunt met at the Badleys' new home, Syringa Cottage, just across the road here in Chitterne. I'm told that John's stirrup cups were the highlight of each meet! Around this time both our wives were seriously ill and in London hospitals and for a few days John came to live with me in the DRA's quarter in Woolwich. It was great to have John living with me at that difficult time and our friendship grew. In 1976 John retired from the Army and became a civil servant and a principal in The Department of Energy in London. He would say that it wasn't the most exciting job in his life but it allowed him and Marjorie to make the most of all that the London opera and theatre had to offer! Then, in 1982 and for the following 10 years, he was the Commander St John Ambulance in Wiltshire. He claimed that this was one of the most rewarding jobs in his life as it meant dealing with the nicest people.

I have only just touched on an outstanding career of loyal service to his country and a life of devotion to his family and friends. John Badley was a rock; a gifted but modest man, a loyal friend and a shining example to all who knew him - an example of honesty, unselfishness, generosity, great charm, wit and good humour and above all, integrity.'

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