Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Procedure for reporting deaths of members and AOBA Remembrance Scrolls can be found on the right side of this page

RSM Donald McMahon RVO Grenadier Guards 1929-2016


RSM Donald McMahon MVO Grenadier Guards 1927-2016.

It is with great sadness that I report the death following a short illness of RSM Don McMahon on 27th February 2016.

Don McMahon served at the RSM of the Army Apprentices Colleges at Arborfield from 1966 to 1968.

Born at Holt in Norfolk, Don had enlisted in the army as long ago as 1945. He went on to serve in North Africa, Malta, British Guinea and the British Cameroons, before Arborfield he had competed his twenty-four years of service. In his own words he had enjoyed a most varied career including several spells of public duty that included no less than four great national occasions. He was made a Memebr of the Victorian Order when he was in charge was in charge of the escort from Sandringham to Windsor for the funeral of King George VI. He was a member of the bearer party at the State Funeral of Queen Mary and was also on duty during the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965. Perhaps his happiest duty was Her Majesty’s Robing Room in Westminster Abbey at Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953.

He was greatly respected by the Army Apprentice boy soldiers at Arborfield and in 1968 the Senior Division requested that he be allowed to “march off” with them, the very first time that an adult soldier be afforded this special honour.

On his retirement he retained his links with Army Apprentice training at Arborfield and attended several Old Boys Association Reunions.

Don will be sadly missed by so many veterans of both the Grenadier Guards and REME ex-apprentices. I found him a very wise caring and sympathetic man when I served with him at Arborfield in the 1960’s.

His funeral will be held at St James Church in Finchampstead at 1430hrs. His daughter has requested that donations be made to “Help for Heroes” rather than flowers.

Ken Anderson 58A.

Notifying Deaths of Ex Arborfield Boys and requests for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

Reporting Deaths

In the event of an ex Arborfield Old Boys death it would be most helpful if members could report as much of the following information to the Bereavement Officer or to any AOBA Committee member: The full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death. Also the full name and address of the next of kin (n-o-k) of the deceased. Normally who ever reports the death is a friend or is known to the family and it is better that they negotiate on our behalf, with the n-o-k or family, not myself or committee members to obtain all the necessary information.

Note: After some drumhead services a few members mentioned that some deaths were not read out and no crosses were planted for them. Majority of the names mentioned were found to be from the previous year and were recorded, a small number were not. The reason why we miss some is because we have not been informed or we have insufficient information to record the death. Members are reminded to report deaths as and when they are aware of them. If you know of an ex Arborfield boy who has passed away and is not listed in the AOBA Roll of Honour (Can be seen on the AOBA Website) then please let me have their details.

A request for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

I would like to remind members that I do not automatically send out a Remembrance Scroll when I’m notified of a death.  I only send them when requested by whoever has made contact with the family of the deceased and only then when the n-o-k has confirmed that they would like to receive one.  Remembrance Scrolls can be requested in the memory of the deceased for both AOBA members and non members. The minimum information required, before a scroll is sent, is listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. below:

a. Full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death.

b. The n-o-k or family member’s full name, ensuring that we have their first name, and the address to where the scroll should be sent.

c. If a member of the AOBA his membership number, if available.

When it has been confirmed that the n-o-k of the deceased has requested a Remembrance Scroll, I will only send one if I have all the detail as listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. above. I will not send a scroll until I’m in receipt of all this detail. As you can imagine, if we get any of this detail wrong, it could cause extra grief to the bereaved.

You can contact me through the completion of the short webform found here