The Battalion would find it very difficult to function without it’s attached personnel; Paymasters, Chefs, Padres, REME, APTC and many more all had an impact, and some more than others. It is difficult to name specific individuals for fear of leaving somebody out, however there are some who stand out and deserve a mention. Many more will get a mention if you send in the relevant information.
Major Bert Ambler Maj Bertie Ambler MBE MSMPaymaster
Maj Bertie Ambler MBE MSM: Bert Ambler was a paymaster extrodinaire. He very much considered himself a Viking and provided all members of the Vikings with a service above and beyond the call of duty. No problem was too much for him, however he did like to play the role of a grumpy old paymaster who was being inconvienienced by you at the wrong time, which invariably he was. However, if you took him serious and to heart he would be devastated. Maj Bertie Ambler MBE MSM died on 28 July 1995. He was captured by the Japanese during the Fall of Singapore in 1942 while serving as a bandsman in the East Lancashire Regiment. Bertie joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as the Paymaster while the Battalion was serving in Aden and continued to serve with the 1st Battalion during its tours in Celle, Catterick, Northern Ireland and Cyprus. He was awarded the MBE and MSM and, a unique award for an officer, the Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Bertie was an excellent Paymaster, well liked and respected by all who knew him.
More Royal Anglian than most, Bertie liked nothing better than relaxing while listening to Regimental Bands and in particular his own records of the Royal Anglian Bands.
Maj Bertie Ambler MBE MSM died on 28 July 1995. He leaves his wife Avril and daughters Jane and Kathleen. Bert maintained his contact with the Vikings when he left the Battalion and a member of the Corps of Drums sounded Last Post at his funeral. A lovely man and a legend.
WO2 SQMS John Carson ACC
“An Army marches on it’s stomach”, is an old saying and it still bears truths when you are on skiis. In naming John Carson, who was a pefectionist during the AML (F) period, it also gives me the opportunity to raise the names of others within the catering world. During this period companies would operate independently and each company would have an ACC Sergeant attached. Dave Pusey, Jim Sangster, Jock Ervin all helped to make life a little bit more bearable.
Cfn Ernie Drodge REME
Ernie was attached to the Battalion during the AML (F) tour as an armourer and his support to the Battalion Shooting Team was much appreciated at all times. The Armourer SSgt at the time was Ted Fitzgerald who insisted on the highest possible standards and his men were there to work and that they did. This unfortunatly meant that the Shooting Team missed one of the biggest opportunities they would ever have; when Ernie left the Vikings he was posted to the Guards Depot and went to Bisley as part of their team. He turned out to be an outstanding shot and represented the Army VIII until his tragic death from cancer.