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1. Name
Ian ("Bengie") WALDEN
2. Date Commissioned
1 November 1958
3. Date retired
16 October 1989
4. Rank
Colonel
5. Awarded wings
1965
6. Flying schools
Army Air Corps Centre, Middle Wallop 1964-5
7. Aircraft types flown
Chipmunk,
Hiller 12E,
Sioux

8. Squadrons

3 Cdo Bde Flt,
42 Cdo Air Tp

9. Aircraft Carriers

HMS Bulwark,
HMS Albion,
HMS Eagle

10.Decorations
MBE (Northern Ireland)
11. General

Bengie joined the Corps as one of YO 18 in Nov 58. He trained at Lympstone and at Dartmouth, and completed training in 1961. His year's probation was spent in X Tp 40 Cdo, based in Malta, a highlight of which was taking part in a long range desert patrol to Kufra Oasis in Libya.

On returning to the UK, Bengie completed YO training and then attended a Unit Intelligence Officers' Course at Maresfield. He then joined 42 Cdo in Singapore and learned a bit about jungle warfare before deploying with C Tp to the Malay/Thai border in search of Chin Peng. Later in 1962, 42 Cdo deployed to Brunei to help put down the rebellion. Their first task was to retake Limbang, which was achieved by Jeremy Moore's L company group. Later they took their turn to complete 4 month roulement tours in Sarawak and Sabah.

On return to UK, He joined 43 Cdo in Plymouth, principally to build his experience as a rifle tp commander.

From there Bengie joined the AACC for helicopter flying training, following the illustrious lead of Peter Cameron and Mike Gregson. He was on 173 Course. Having got his Army wings, he was posted to 3 Cdo Bde and joined the newly formed Bde Flt, with Nick Wise and Roger Learoyd. The highlights included being detached to support 1 RANGERS in Borneo. After about a year he took over as OC of 42 Cdo Air Tp. They covered the withdrawal from Aden from the LPH, combining with 45 Cdo Air Tp (OC Richard Hawkins) and exercised in Hong Kong.

After attending the Army Command and Staff Course at Shrivenahm and Camberley, Bengie was appointed as a GSO2 to HQ Northern Ireland. He proudly patrolled with almost every unit that rouled through, and helped to plan Op Motorman.

After a fascinating two years he returned to Dept of CGRM as DAAG (PS) - basically looking after discipline, bands and ceremonial. He was also appointed Temporary Equerry to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Captain General. He helped to plan the Massed Bands Beat Retreat on Horse Guards, and was privileged to be in attendance for the ceremony.

Bengie was next posted to 41 Cdo Gp in Malta as OC G Coy. He persuaded the CO, Keith Wilkins to let him trial a new rifle company organisation which would make better use of the company's heavy weapons and specialists, including snipers. The trial concluded with a 4 week deployment to Cyprus, during which they carried out field firing, ran a realistric exercise with light tanks in opposition, and enjoyed a week's R&R in Akrotiri.

Back to UK and he attended the NDC course at Latimer. He has a hazy memory of enjoying life a lot and not working as hard as he should have! He was then posted to MoD as Asst Dir of the Exercise Co-ordinating Staff on the Central Staffs. One of the interesting things that his small team had to do was to manage the Fuel Savings Review.

Bengie was then picked by CDS, AoF Sir Terence Lewin, to be one of his 4 briefers, and shortly after that the Falklands conflict began. He was his lead briefer for that most interesting and inspiring feat of arms.

Bengie was then promoted to Lt Col and appointed to command the Cdo Log Regt, based in Plymouth. This was a fascinating experience and a real challenge to get the disparate elements of the Navy, Army and Corps to work together effectively. They deployed to Norway for 3 months each winter, and he began to get his skiing back into shape.

For his last two jobs Bengie was DCOS to the MGRM Training, Reserve and Special Forces at Portsmouth. He served two outstanding Commanders, Julian Thompson and Henry Beverley, and once again served with Roger Learoyd who was COS. He enjoyed running the RMR day to day and helping to shape Corps training policy.

Bengie's last job was as Director of the Joint Operations Centre in the MoD, responsible for orchestrating the Defence response to crises. In his two years they stood up to full readiness about 83 times, the majority of which were for special forces commitments.

Bengie retired early from the Corps in 1989 and got stuck into the voluntary sector, first as a Church Administrator, later as CEO of 4 different charities and ultimately as a chrity consultant. He started drawing the State Pension in 2008, and now plans holidays and supports his 3 sons, 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren as best he can. He lives in Harpenden in Hertfordshire and seems to have as busy a life as ever.