Sunday, September 21

A Very British Brigadier

The life, military career and example of an eminent Jersey soldier has been commemorated by the presentation of a trophy, to be awarded annually to the ‘best senior cadet’ at Jersey’s public school (founded 1852), Victoria College.

Brigadier Terence (‘Terry’) Troy CBE, who died on 1 December 2007 at the age of 85, had not only a very distinguished army career, but also the capacity if inspiring great loyalty among those whom he met or who served under him both as an army officer and during his active retirement in Jersey.

The trophy was presented by his nephew, Peter Anthony Troy, to Calum Forrest, sixth-former at Victoria College and Chief Warrant Officer in the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force. After leaving Victoria College he is going to Bath University to read biology, and hopes later to join the RAF.

The CCF is the successor of the Officers Training Corps, in which the young Terence Troy served as a schoolboy in the late 1930s, before escaping from Jersey in 1940, just before the Occupation, to enlist in the British Army.

Brigadier Troy was commissioned shortly afterwards in the 15th Punjab Regiment, Indian Army; he fought in the Arakan Campaign, the Battle of Kohima, and later took part in the advance through Burma to Rangoon, including the battles of the crossing of the Irrawaddy and Pegu Yoma.
Above right, Terry Troy at 15 (front row on the left) in 1938 in the OTC.
He was selected by the Commander of the XIV Army, the then General William Slim, to be an aide-de-camp, and in 1946 at the age of 24 became the youngest Brigade Major in either the British or Indian Armies.
In 1947 he transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and became the Commanding Officer of the First Battalion. Staff appointments followed, and he was promoted to Brigadier in 1973. Upon retirement in 1977, he returned to Jersey, where he became President of the Jersey branch of the Royal British Legion.
During the Battle of Kohima he experienced the atrocious conditions imposed by heavy casualties, monsoon rain, mud and entanglements of barbed wire. On one occasion as he bivouacked overnight in a small crevice, and was awoken by the discomfort of an obstruction underneath him. He shone a torch, and realised it was the body of a dead British soldier on top of which he had been sleeping.
In his retirement years, he regularly recited the Kohima Epitaph at Remembrance Services at Jersey’s Cenotaph: ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today’.
Left, The Brigadier in October 1999. (Photo PT)

Peter Troy presented the trophy at the Victoria College annual prize giving ceremony on Monday 8 September, in the school’s historic Great Hall, in the presence of the Island’s Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache, the Earl of Jersey, school governors, head master, senior boys and parents.

He said later: ‘The family of my late uncle were very keen for there to be a living memorial to him – and his own character meant that a park bench would have been a very inappropriate choice!

‘This award is in keeping with his own eminent military career. As a youth he was a member of the Victoria College Officer Cadet Corps, the forerunner of the present Combined Cadet Force, and I am sure he would have approved of this trophy. As a family, we hope that competing for it will provide inspiration for young people to train to serve Queen and Country in the Armed Services.’

Mr Troy, who lives in the North-East of England, commissioned the shield, which is of silver mounted on Brazilian wood. It was designed by Diane Ellis, who knew the Brigadier for 20 years and bears the crests of Jersey, Victoria College, and the Combined Cadet Force.

His company (Peter Troy The Publicist Ltd) is also arranging the publication of the late Brigadier Troy’s autobiography, which has a preface written by Jersey’s Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant-General Andrew Ridgeway CB, CBE

The Brigadier TM Troy CBE Trophy - Commisioned by Peter Troy, Designed by Diane Ellis, manufactured by Clockworks (Hartlepool) under instructions from Advocate Brian Troy (Royal Court of Jersey) the Executor of the Brigadier's Estate. (Photo Mike Gibb)

Above, Peter Troy addresses the Victoria College Combined Cadet Unit - 5 September 2008 on the life and times of Brigadier Troy aided by extensive notes from the Brigadier's Brother (Peter's Father Kevin Troy - also late of Victoria College)

A tribute to the Brigadier - Advocate Brian Troy (Executor to the Brigadier's Estate) with Peter Troy place a wreath of Jersey Lilies on the Grave of Terry and Patrica (died 1979) Troy, saluted by Calum Forrest, Chief Warrent Officer CCU Victoria College Jersey.

We did it bloody properly

On the morning of Terry Troy's death Brian Troy and I opened a file we found amongst my Uncle's personal papers marked '' Funeral Arrangements and other instructions''. The extensive document concluded: ''I do not expect that all my wishes will be complied with but please do it bloody properly''. I truly believe we complied with all of my Late Uncle's wishes and indeed we did it properly.

Peter Troy, Sedgefield,County Durham.


All photos (unless otherwise stated) photo reportage, Jersey. 01534 858751.

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