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Within this part of the `In Memoriam` board you will find the Obituary of those Riflemen who have made a special contribution and in consequence deserve a special mention of their efforts on behalf of the Regiment. 

Major Ron Cassidy

Major Michael Haines OBE - The Rifle Brigade and Royal Green Jackets
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Michael Haines was born in London on 30 December 1935. His brother Christopher who was to hold a regular commission in the Rifle Brigade was four years younger.

Michael was called up in 1959 having qualified as a Chartered Accountant, to do his National Service without much enthusiasm but characteristically decided to make a go of it. His arrival at Winchester was seen with some amusement; a Rifleman with silk dressing gown, velvet slippers and twelve volumes of Proust was something new even for Green Jackets. His Platoon Sergeant Frank Sainsbury (Later Major, MC) soon had these dispatched back to London!

After sixteen weeks at Mons he was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade. His life long devotion to the Rifle Brigade and Royal Green Jackets began.

His service with 1RB, the Rifle Depot and subsequently with LRBR and 4(V) RGJ was to see him make many friends. His Riflemen held him in much respect and his approach of being firm, fair with a touch of humour and understanding was a sure sign of good leadership. It was in 1967 that he was prevailed upon by Tommy Wallace and the Earl of Avon to continue his Territorial career and this he did and duly promoted to Major, Commanding Headquarter Company.

Away from the military Michael had a long and distinguished career as a partner with Thomson Mclintock, to become KPMG. He had been the acting financial director to British Shipbuilders and worked for his firm on local authorities, housing associations and finally for the National Health Service as Chairman in a succession of three hospitals. He had a considerable involvement in charitable work amongst which the Tower Hamlets Rifles, whilst the Royal Green Jackets Museum benefited from his expertise in finance and knowledge of medals. He received an OBE for public services in 2004.

He was a member of The Orders and Medals Research Society and over the years wrote many well researched articles on the regiment, his last, The Hackneys at Gallipoli is published elsewhere in this Chronicle.

He was a supporter of the Green Jacket Golfing Society, always impeccably dressed in plus fours and a doughty opponent.

It is perhaps unusual for a National Service officer to be given an obituary but over the years Michael had served the regiment well, in and out of uniform. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and he never said an unkind word about anyone. He had a huge sense of the ridiculous which some of the perceived idiotic tasks set by the military gave him every opportunity to exercise.

He died on 6 December and to Elizabeth his widow, children Frank, Richard and Rosie, we extend our sympathy. 

Major Ron Cassidy

Major A S Duncan - The Rifle Brigade and Royal Green Jackets
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Arthur Stephen Duncan was born in London on 30 March 1926 and joined 9th Rifle Brigade which was the training battalion at Ranbury Camp, Retford in May of 1944. At the end of recruit training he was selected to attend an NCO’s cadre course. Here he met Cwredwyn Seymour serving with the ATS who was to become his wife.

He reached the rank of Sergeant by 1946, a sure indication of his ambition and skill.

He served 19 years prior to being commissioned from the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major in 1963.

From the outset of his career Arthur was to make his mark, always smart he set a standard he expected others to achieve, be it on parade or the sports field. On one occasion having instructed his football team about dress code, shirts tucked in, sleeves down, socks pulled up and boots polished he was asked by one of the team ‘would it be alright to leave out cufflinks’, the reply was unprintable.

He joined the 2nd Bn at Aberporth in Wales, prior to moving with them to Flensburg in BAOR in 1946 and, during his thirty one years service served in BAOR four times and eventually joining 1RB in Celle after a spell as Training Sergeant at the Rifle Depot, in 1951.

 In BAOR he began to take an active interest in competitive shooting, representing the battalion at all levels, including Bisley and in the Prix LeClerc. His forte was the LMG on which he excelled. It was in the Prix LeClerc of 1959 when the battalion represented the British interests that the LMG pairs of John Baker, Graham Wemyss, CSM Young, CSM McGrady and Arthur with CSM Horbury rescued the team from being last after those in the rifle competition had shot so badly, to becoming a creditable second behind the Americans.

Arthur took part in the operational tours of Kenya and Malaya and was one of twenty eight members of the battalion listed as having completed the full three years tour. A remarkable statistic for the battalion had been close to one thousand strong in preparation for its posting to Korea which had been changed with the advance party on its way, for the move to Kenya and Malaya.

Promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major in April of 1959, he did much to foster the new Green Jackets Brigade and insisted that those posted in from the other two battalions were made to be part of the regiment. It could be said that his approach led to greater harmony and understanding and did much to lay the ground roots for the way ahead. He was firm, fair and never turned a blind eye to any misdemeanor, it may have only been a strong rebuke from him but it was sufficient.

Commissioned in 1963 he became the Weapon Training Officer of the battalion at Alexander Barracks Dekhelia, Cyprus, then in November of 1964 the Administration Officer of Aldershot Garrison. In 1966 Quartermaster of the battalion, by now the 3rd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets, the Rifle Depot in 1969 and 3 Inf Bde Northern Ireland in 1973. He retired from HM Forces 1st May 1975.

Arthur has been described as a typical Rifle Brigade Quartermaster, incredibly efficient, loyal and, his understanding of loyalty meant it had to be to all members of the battalion. He was forever cheerful, and a man that one never attempted to take liberties with. One of his many quotes were“RQMS, if you are working past five pm, then you can’t be doing much during the working day”.

His efficiency, commonsense and complete understanding of Riflemen made him an asset at whatever rank he held and those who served with and knew him well, were content that although he was ambitious it was never at the expense of anyone else.A keen and active sportsman, who was to break an arm playing football at Bulford prior to the Kenyan tour, which was only found out some months later in Kenya because the arm was painful.

His encouragement to others in the sporting arenas will be long remembered.

Arthur and Cwredwyn married in Hampshire on 22 February 1947 and David their son was born in the BMH Hamburg in 1948. They were a close knit and happy family.

 It is said that behind every successful man there is a woman! Certainly it is true in this instance. Cwredwyn was tireless in her support throughout his career and during the period of when he was the Regimental Sergeant Major, the responsibility of running the wive’s club fell heavily on the Commanding Officer’s and Regimental Sergeant Major’s wives. Cwredwyn was in her element for she enjoyed helping people and the battalion benefited from her dedication.

In retirement, he enjoyed an extensive social circle, with friends in both Spain and the UK. Golf and time with his grandchildren were among his favourite pastimes and he was delighted when his grandson Edward, won a scholarship to Winchester College at the age of 13 and Jessica, his granddaughter was accepted for a four year course at Edinburgh University.

Arthur died on 15 August 2004 and his funeral was on the 25th, the Regimental Birthday of The Rifle Brigade.

Our sympathy is extended to Cwredwyn, David, Edward and Jessica.


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