Richard Garnet Eccles



Pay Respect

Col Richard Garnett Eccles (1933-1995)

From Patrick Pontet-Piccolomini

As Major Eccles, Richard was my boss in 652 Sqn, Bunde, 1973-75 (‘ish). I remember his concern when, in that short silly period when we wore those ridiculous golf-shaped caps on exercises to preserve our blue berets, we were packing up to return to base and as I was extracting something from beneath a 4-tonner I cracked my head as I was withdrawing, which knocked me out.

When I regained consciousness Richard flew me to BMH Rinteln for a check up, and then back to Bunde. Those peeked caps disappeared soon thereafter, though I don’t think it was a result of that incident; I am aware there were many such incidents. I later served with him again Mar-Dec 1979 when he was CO 1 Regiment in Hildesheim, when he asked Comd Avn BAOR Brig Jamie Crowe for me to replace his CC (for reasons I won’t go into).

Richard was unimpressed when my temporary period with 1 Regiment was drawing to a close and I was to be posted to an independent Sqn in the UK as a Sgt – having been acting SSgt in his Regiment. He went ballistic and with the support of Jamie Crowe I was posted as SSgt to AACC as CC. It might not have happened if it wasn’t for Richard Eccles standing up for justice.

He retired as Colonel 17/03/1989. I used to bump into Richard occasionally in Andover (“Richard, I’m retired now”) and his lovely wife Inge, who I still see fairly regularly. Died November 1995 at Winchester hospital aged 62. A lovely man, a true gentleman. May he rest in peace. I hope you will add him name to the memorial.


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