The Corps of Royal Engineers

(1923 - 2010)

Also known as: David.

Picture of Henry George Chalmers Davenport.


“David” Davenport gave half a century of continuous service to the Corps, held every rank from Sapper to Major, and served throughout Great Britain, Egypt, Tripoli and Germany.

David enlisted as a boy soldier at the age of 14 in 1938. He was first posted for training as a Boy Bugler to “M” Company (Boys) in the Depot Bn RE in Kitchener Barracks at Brompton. He trained as a fitter and became a Sapper in 1941.

David served in RE Training Regiments throughout WWII. He was a Staff Sergeant in 1948 when he married Margaret Longmire, who survives him, together with their sons Anthony and Bryan.

David was posted to Long Marston and promoted to substantive SQMS in 1953. His qualification of drill instructor was put to the test when he drilled the staff of No 1 Engr Stores Depot for the Coronation Parade.

In November 1953 David was drafted to join the Engr Base Group of Middle East Land Forces in Egypt, where he was promoted to W02 on New Years Eve 1954. His family joined David in Egypt in 1955, where the boys thought it good fun to go to school in armored military transport. During the Suez Crisis Margaret, Anthony and Bryan were all evacuated to England in the same plane the paratroopers had just dropped from over Egypt. David’s next posting was to 22 Fd Engr Regt in Tripoli where he was placed in charge of the Workshops of 6 Fd Pk Sqn.

On 28 March 1956 David was awarded the LS & GC medal. After time with the 22 Regt in Chisledon Camp near Swindon, in 1958 David was posted to 9 Trg Regt at Cove as Senior Drill Instructor.

In 1960 David was posted to HQ 5 Div in Verden as an Acting WO1, finishing up as RSM of 1 Div Engs in Nienburg. Whilst there, along with the rest of the Regiment, he took part in flood relief in Hamburg.

After a second tour of RSM of 105 Corps Engr Regt TA in Gateshead, in 1965 David was commissioned as Lieutenant and posted to 56 MT Sqn at Church Crookham as OIC MT Sp Tp. In 1966 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. In 1968 David moved to Hameln as OC 408 Bridge Tp and then 2IC of the Bridge Park in 65 Corps Sp Sqn. This was the NATO war games area and David trained all the RE sapper units as they came through.

In 1972 David returned to England on posting as QM of the Home Postal and Courier Depot. In 1976 David was awarded the clasp to his LS & GC medal and spent his final year on the Active List as QM HQ 11 Engr Bde, at Minley, before retiring on 30 March 1977 after 39 years of service. He then served for another 11 years at CVHQ as a Retired Officer before retiring once more in March 1988.

After moving 39 times during his service, in retirement David and Margaret moved once more, to Lancaster. There David, a keen gardener, was an active member of the Lancaster Horticultural Society. He took great pleasure in family and friends. David and Margaret celebrated their 62d wedding anniversary in June 2010. David’s death was sudden and unexpected. David is survived by his wife Margaret, sons Anthony (and wife Michele) and Bryan (and wife Laila), and his grandchildren Eleanor and Tom. He was much loved and will be sadly missed.


Added by: Anthony Davenport on 31 October 2010.


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Picture of Henry George Chalmers Davenport.
Picture of Henry George Chalmers Davenport.

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Royal Engineers

"To maintain the objects of the Association by promoting and supporting the Corps, affording assistance to its members and their dependants, and making donations to Army charities"

The Royal Engineers Association was formed under the conditions of a Deed of Declaration of Trust by the amalgamation of the original Royal Engineers Association and the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund Ltd on 19 November 1968.

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