HAROLD CLAPTON

Major | Royal Artillery

 

Joining the Royal Artillery Regiment as a boy in 1933, Harold made regimental trumpeter within a year and after two mustered as a gunner.  These few years beginning at age fifteen lent many humorous stories to what became a lengthy career, and Harold never forgot this sense of fun nor what it was like to be a young man in the service.  When war came in 1939 he was posted to Gibraltar and later to Northwest Europe.  In Korea he served as Battery Sergeant Major and quickly after his Far East tour was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major.  He accepted a commission as a Quartermaster in 1960 in was among a select group of officers chosen to raise the 2d Regiment, Malaysian Artillery where he was faced with training personnel with hardly any experience. 

 

He filled multiple positions simultaneously and in one instance was found fulfilling the roles of Quartermaster, Tech QM, commander of Headquarters Battery and their motor transport officer as well as stepping in on another battery without a commander.  While these duties may have taxed most officers and men, Harold served his posts with zest and joy.  Always kind and understanding to all ranks and doing his best to work with the Malayans in their own language even if he struggled.  For all of his time in the service and his honest personality, he was well remembered for his excellent qualities as an officer of the artillery as well as his friendship and devotion to people.

Sources:

Webb, Brig. C M F. “Major Harold Clapton RA (Retd).” The Gunner, Mar. 1976.

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