E. T. WALPOLE
22nd Special Air Service Regiment
Edward Thomas Walpole (known as 'Wally' to his comrades, and 'Ted' to his family) was born on September 30th 1945 in North London. He was the fourth child, but only son of Frances and George. Ted was a typical boy, always in one scrape or another, and spent most of his childhood playing soldiers and football. Living alongside the Arsenal Football Club, it was no wonder that he was an ardent supporter of 'The Gunners' from a very early age.
After going with a friend to an Army recruitment office, he signed on for 22 years in the Royal Green Jackets. As a soldier, Ted revelled in new challenges and, with his IQ of 165, he easily mastered most aspects of training and enjoyed the discipline of signalling. His missions took him to Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Brunei, Belize - and 12 tours of Northern Ireland. Sport was his passion and main recreation during his army life; football (naturally), climbing, canoeing, skiing, badminton and golf, all played with determination to win, as coming second was not an option.
Seconded to the SAS in 1979 his talent as a 'gifted scrounger' made him a natural for the Quartermaster's office. During the Falklands Conflict, he was a member of a team who played a vital and outstandingly successful part in the operations that preceded the landings. His was a support role with groups gathering intelligence prior to the action on South Georgia, Pebble Island and the landings in San Carlos. They used many ships including Tidespring, Antrim, Hermes and Intrepid, so cross-decking was vital. To accomplish every move, around 50,000 lbs of stores or more had to be transferred in this way, and then sorted to ensure that the correct kit was available for immediate action.
On May 19th, while cross decking from Hermes to Intrepid, he was in the Sea King helicopter which crashed into the sea with a loss of twenty-one lives. All these brave men were Ted's friends and colleagues.
Ted is remembered by his family as a loving brother and an uncle with a love of music, an irreverent sense of humour, a love of football and a desire to excel at all he tackled.
To say that all his family and friends still miss him would be an understatement, because something very special has gone from all their lives.