Town sapper tells of happy memories

Royal engineers from the Chesterfield barracks pictured in the 1960s on Ben Nevis.
Royal engineers from the Chesterfield barracks pictured in the 1960s on Ben Nevis.

A north Derbyshire ‘sapper’ who spent almost 40 years in the forces has described how he “enjoyed every minute”.

Ted Lowbridge, 70, of Pilsley joined the army in 1958 - a career which saw him travel around the world.

Royal engineers from the Chesterfield barracks on board RAF ship Sir Lancelot.

Royal engineers from the Chesterfield barracks on board RAF ship Sir Lancelot.

He also spent 12 years as quartermaster of the TA squadron in Chesterfield.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Engineers Association and to mark the celebration Ted has shared photographs from the 1960s and 1970s, of Chesterfield soldiers.

Ted, who retired in 1996, said: “I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. You took the rough with the smooth and if you put something in to it you got something out of it.”

In June the association marked its milestone anniversary with a party at the B2Net Stadium. More than 100 people attended.

Ted hopes to raise the profile of the Chesterfield barracks, on Boythorpe Road and appeal to new royal engineers.

He said: “It’s a very skilled job and the army gets its value out of you.

“First of all you are a soldier handling a rifle and can take up the infantry role, secondly you’re a tradesman, all engineers are trained in electrics, plumbing and bricklaying and finally you are trained as a combat engineer to do dangerous jobs of mine clearance, bridge building and demolition.”