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 Â£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/news/topstories/display.var.1336572.0.longserving_soldier_hangs_up_his_cap_after_45_years.php Anyone know who was the longest serving soldier?