Major George Elliott Hodge, Fiie

Born in Richmond Surrey 24th May 1928

George’s army career began as an apprenticed tradesman during the war years qualifying in telecommunication engineering in 1945. He soon specialised in Radar and served in BAOR and the Middle East with heavy air defence and mortar locating Royal Artillery Units before accepting a commission in 1965.

1944 George 16

Training formed a thread running through the whole of George’s career, he first started teaching basic electrical principles and radar equipment in the late 1940s, he designed a course on a then new air defence locating and guidance system, FCE 7, and then taught it in the 1950s, twice commanded a department at the School of Electronic Engineering teaching Radar and control equipment to all ranks, initiated the first courses in the Rapier weapon system and at one time headed a department responsible for writing training objectives and validating training. His experience of training in these areas and his enthusiasm for his work equipped him for his first civilian post as a Training Officer with the National Supervisory Council for Intruder Alarms (NSCIA) in 1981 and he retired three years early to take up the appointment.

He stimulated the production of national qualifications for intruder alarm Engineering with City & Guilds, designed and managed the NSCIA Youth Training Scheme and Skill Competence Tests and was initially involved in forming NVQ’s for the industry.

His work involved travelling to visit YTS placements and to manage short training courses and seminars in alarm engineering and related security matters. He also arranged and managed participation in security exhibitions.

At 60 years of age in 1988 he decided to change his work completely and was appointed Technical Editor of a security magazine, Security Installer, in which capacity he had to learn to type. He devised training features and testing procedures for security products which are still in use today. Eventually appointed Editorial Director he continued as a Technical Consultant to the magazine after his retirement until well into his 70s.

Once retired he became a director of the Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) which again brought him into contact with Brig Alan Needham (ex Director General of NSCIA).

His personal life was a busy one with an involvement in the local residents association and an increasing commitment to Freemasonry of which he was an active member. He published a news sheet for the Provinces of Berkshire and London as well as his normal Masonic activities, which tended to be secretarial in content.

He occasionally escaped from these duties to sail with his family and friends. During service life he conducted a number of adventurous training cruises, was a competitive dinghy sailor and at one time was Secretary of the REME Yacht Club. As an RYA Coastal Skipper he pottered the Solent in one or other of Corps Yachts. Later he purchased with a friend a 26 ft bilge keeler, Tuesday’s Child, which was brought round from the Isle of Man to Portsmouth and then cruised the West Country. She was traded in for an LM 27, a comfortable motor sailor, used to cruise the Channel Islands, the French Coastline and Brittany. His final boat was a motor yacht, Snowflake, kept on the Thames because his wife only enjoyed river cruising. However he usually went off annually to explore the waters of the East Coast of England and other places easily reached from his Thames mooring.

His highly developed work ethic kept him busy all his life and although he had a few disappointments he was reasonably content with his lot.

Career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers:

1942 – 1945 – Engineering apprenticeship in Telecommunication Engineering at the Army Technical School, Arborfield.

1945-1965 – Training, employment and management of a wide variety of radar engineering tasks including repair, maintenance, teaching and the production of technical manuals. Highest rank WO1.

1965 – Commissioned

1965-1969 – Command of Light Air Defence Weapon systems maintenance and repair platoon at the School of Artillery, Manorbier.

1969-1971 – Command of HQ 1st British Corps Light Aid Detachment maintaining the headquarters’ vehicles.

1971-1974 – Head of Department at School of Electronic Engineering teaching Radar Systems.

1974-1977 – Responsible for base workshop refurbishments of missile systems, electronic test equipment, pilotless surveillance aircraft and clean room production at 35 Central Workshop, Old Dalby.

1977-1978 – Head of Department at School of Electronic Engineering responsible for training evaluation.

1978-1981 – Head of Department at School of Electronic Engineering teaching Weapons systems.

Training received in:

Electronic Engineering, Management of Training, Testing Techniques, Validation of Training, Job Analysis.