P. J. HEDICKER
3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
Peter was born on May 25th 1960, in the Louise Margaret Hospital, Aldershot. He was the second son of Rita and the late Bill Hedicker; his father was a career soldier who spent 27 years in the Royal Army Service Corps, later the Royal Corps of Transport. As an "Army brat" Peter went to eight schools, finishing up at the Heron Wood school in Aldershot. During his school years he was a keen Cub and Scout. On leaving, he did a number of different jobs in and around Aldershot, including time as a barman in the Royal Exchange public house, where he met and made friends with a number of young soldiers from the Parachute Regiment. This prompted his decision to join up in September 1980, the same month in which his father hung up his own beret on retirement. Peter's pre-induction haircut was a major sponsorship event, supported by the regulars and staff of the Royal Exchange!
On completion of his training, which was completed without incident or injury, Private Peter Hedicker was posted to 3 PARA, then in Aldershot, but which was subsequently moved to Tidworth. He chose to specialise in Infantry Support Weapons, and became an expert member of a Milan ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) fire team.
In this role he deployed to the South Atlantic in ss CANBERRA, landing on the Falkland Islands with 3 PARA on Friday May 21st 1982 as part of the amphibious assault conducted by 3rd Commando Brigade. Peter then took part in the epic "tab" from Port San Carlos to Estancia House, and subsequently across the Murrell River to the start line for the battle of Mount Longdon. During that long, hard fight on the night of June 12th Peter was killed, along with Corporal Keith "Ginge" McCarthy and Private Phil West of his Milan team, by a direct hit from an Argentine 106mm recoiless weapon. Peter was temporarily interred with his 3 PARA colleagues at Teal Inlet, then repatriated by sea to Southampton in November. After a funeral with full military honours, his body now lies in the Aldershot Military Cemetery, next to that of Sergeant Ian McKay VC. His name is also recorded on the nearby granite memorial to the members of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces who gave their lives in the cause of Freedom.
Peter is survived by his mother, Rita, and by his brother Stephen and sister, Nicola. In his name, they are all Special Members of SAMA82.