Soldier retires after 45 years of unbroken service

#1
The Northern Echo
Long-serving soldier hangs up his cap after 45 years
By Catherine Jewitt

ONE of the British Army's longest serving soldiers has retired from a distinguished and decorated career.

Don McLennan, of Hutton Magna, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, retired after 45 years of unbroken service as a soldier when he turned 60 this week.

Mr McLennan, who is originally from Aberdeen, fulfilled a boyhood dream when, on his 15th birthday on April 17, 1962, he enrolled in the Army.

And when he left, he held the Army's most senior non-commissioned rank of Warrant Officer Class 1.

He said: "I'd already decided long before I turned 15, the age you could enrol in those days, to join up and had gone through all the medicals and tests you needed to pass. I was so proud."

Mr McLennan was posted to the Army Apprentices School, in Harrogate, where he trained as a communications operator in the Royal Corps of Signals.

He served with various signal regiments and squadrons throughout his career and was posted in the UK, Germany, Canada, Norway, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Jordan and Northern Ireland.

In the mid-1980s, he was attached to the Sultan of Brunei's armed forces after being selected for his expertise to establish a £20m communications system.

That role enabled him and his family - wife, Joan, and son, Stuart, now 25 - to visit Asia, Australia, Hawaii and the US.

In 1986, he was awarded the British Empire Medal, and in 1996 earned the Meritorious Service Medal, which no more than 100 Army, Navy or Air Force personnel receive in a year.

He also holds the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, awarded in 1982, and was subsequently awarded a bar to the medal in 1997.

His final Army post was working at the Northumbrian Universities Officers Training Corps, supporting students preparing for careers in the forces.

He said: "I feel 45 years unbroken service and my medals are quite an achievement, and I must be one of the only ones to do that.

"I have spent 75 per cent of my life as a soldier and I am very proud."

Mr McLennan is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, with whom he has just celebrated 30 years of marriage, and will start his retirement with a tour of Scottish whisky distilleries

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/ne...g_soldier_hangs_up_his_cap_after_45_years.php

Anyone know who was the longest serving soldier?
 
#2
That's some stint and maybe somebody more knowledgeable could tell me why he's not been commissioned.

And when he left, he held the Army's most senior non-commissioned rank of Warrant Officer Class 1.
 
#5
"will start his retirement with a tour of Scottish whisky distilleries"

Well done Sir, and when you recover I can think of a forthcoming vacancy which someone with your experience would fill admirably.

Step aside Swiss Des.
 
#6
He also holds the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, awarded in 1982, and was subsequently awarded a bar to the medal in 1997
LSGC and Bar 8O Bet you dont see many of them knocking about
 
#7
Social_Handgrenade said:
He also holds the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, awarded in 1982, and was subsequently awarded a bar to the medal in 1997
LSGC and Bar 8O Bet you dont see many of them knocking about
let's get him on here and find out why it took him 20 years to get his LS&GC. might be a story there :)

visited a unit last year with an ancient NRPS armourer. reggie number began 231*****.

maybe they joined together lol
 
#10
Stand at Ease...Stand Easy.....All the best for the future..

Even though you finished as WO1..

I salute you Sir...
 
#11
Exceptionally well done, WO1 McLennan, you have a truly enviable service record. Clearly an example to all. All the best for the future and especially your tour of the Whisky Trail.
 
#12
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
Let's get him on here and find out why it took him 20 years to get his LS&GC.
Because his service time didn't count until he was 17½ (1964) and he would've been under the pre-1975 medal regulations, i.e. eighteen years service. So 1982 is bang on for his LS&GC.
 

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