Memorial Service Major Tony Hibbert MBE MC


A memorial service for Major Hibbert is being held at The Royal Garrison Church of All Saints, Aldershot.

Details are available on the official Facebook event page and attendees are asked to notify RHQ PARA in order for the family to have an idea of the numbers.

Link to the Facebook Event


A Memorial Service for Maj (Retd) Tony Hibbert MBE MC is due to take place at 1100hours on Saturday 28th February 2015 in The Royal Garrison Church of All Saints, Farnborough Road, Aldershot, GU11 1QA.

Tony Hibbert was one of the founding members of Airborne Forces and played a major role in the setting up both the Arnhem Veterans Club and the Arnhem Fellowship which represents the future of the Arnhem Commemoration.

The eulogy will be given by Lt Col John Boyd and the service will be led by Lt Col Jerry Sutton, who until his recent promotion has led the Ginkel Heath Memorial Service over a number of years.

The Colonel Commandant will attend and wants to encourage as many serving and retired members of the Regiment and wider airborne family as possible to join him in paying respects to this enormously committed soldier. .

The Service will be followed by a reception at Potters International Hotel, 1 Fleet Road, Aldershot GU11 2ET and all are invited to attend.

The family would be helped by having advance notice of the likely numbers so please could I ask you to register your attendance through RHQ PARA if you are intending to attend:

Central Registry
Merville Barracks
Circular Road South

01206 817082

Obituary: Major James Anthony Hibbert MBE MC – Trebah Gardens

Major James Anthony Hibbert MBE MC (Tony) passed away peacefully at home with his family on Sunday 12th October 2014 aged 96.

Born in 1917, Tony left school at 16 to become an apprentice in the family Wine and Spirits merchants. As part of his training, he was based in Germany during the early 1930’s where he became alarmed by the militarisation he saw around him. Abandoning his apprenticeship, much to the anger of his father, Tony returned to England in 1935 and applied to the Royal Military Academy (RMA). In January 1938, he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and six days after the start of World War Two (9th September) Tony landed at Cherbourg with the British Expeditionary Force.

Trebah Gardens: Full Article

Major Tony Hibbert, MBE MC (1917-2014)



It is with great sadness and regret that we inform you all that Major Tony Hibbert, who founded the club in 1960, has died at the age of 96. He passed away at his home in Cornwall on Sunday 12th October 2014.

He was an energetic and charismatic man, who made a lasting impression on all who met him,” said his daughter Gill Pipkin.
During the Second World War, he launched an astonishing escape from the Nazi’s, hidden by brave Dutch civilians.

And it was his actions later on during the war, leading an 800-strong team of Commandos in capturing the key German port of Kiel that prevented it from falling into Russian hands.

He persuaded a large German garrison to surrender along with military personnel in Denmark and Schleswig Holstein.

It led to him becoming the first Englishman to receive freedom of the German city – The Great Seal of Kiel, granted in 2010 for his bravery and diplomacy.

Source: West Briton



Pathe Film

A fantastic old clip of Salterns from Pathe Film was recently discovered by a current SSC member. The clip filmed in 1960 shows Moth sailing and some faces which I’m sure some of the more mature Old Salts will recognise.

Various LSs. and MSs. Moth class yachts under way. MS. Children on bank watching. LS. Pan round the harbour at Lymington showing yachts. Various shots of children in yachts and of the yachts, under way. MS. Children on bank applauding. CU. Children on bank applauding. CU. Girl in bikini waving. MS. LS. People on bank watching. Two LSs. (gag shot) as boy falls out of boat and swims after it. Various shots, children in yachts, girls and boys. LS. CU.s people on bank watching. LS. Yachts under way. Various shots (gag shot) as yacht capsizes and boy trying to right it.

We would be interested to know if anyone can name some of the people featured or even remember this being filmed!

Salterns SC 50th Anniversary

Salterns SC 50th Anniversary
On 4th September 2010, Salterns held a 50th Anniversary regatta and celebration evening attended by nearly 400 past and present members.  During the evening Major Tony Hibbert presented Salterns with his MBE for services to sailing.  Jeff Dudley responded on behalf of the Club.

On behalf of Salterns Sailing Club I am delighted to accept this MBE from Major Tony Hibbert, our founder.  I know that he looks upon this as Salterns’ Colours – rather like regimental colours – and we are honoured.

Salterns is a special place.  As we have heard from Tony it was made – excavated from old salt pans. But it is so natural now and is a SSSI and more. It is a magical place. It is a unique sailing venue that has been a home and water playground for thousands of young sailors over the years. Some of these sailors have reached the pinnacle of sailing –for example Pippa Wilson 2008 Olympic gold medallist.

But it is the people that have made Salterns what it is. Hundreds of people have helped to run Salterns over the years.  The Junior Committee, where youngsters learn to organise, to give their time, to share responsibility and to lead.

The Senior Committees, where so many have given so much of their time.  John Claridge, Geoff Stock, and Tony Harris stand out in my memory over the last 15 years but it is invidious to leave out many, many others and I apologise for doing so.  But there is one man to whom we all owe a huge debt of gratitude – our founder Major Tony Hibbert.

Many of you may not realise what a remarkable chap he is.  In the war he was at Dunkirk.   He was one of the officers at Arnham parachuted behind German lines with the 1st Paras.   Youngsters, if you do not know about Arnham, ask your parents to get the film “A Bridge too Far” and when you have watched it remember that you have met one of the officers shown in the film – Tony here – and that he founded Salterns.  In May 1945, just days before the war ended, he persuaded the German army in Kiel to surrender and so stopped the Russians from seizing Denmark.  Let me read you an extract from the Telegraph 20th June 2010.

“Major Tony Hibbert… who had already won the Military Cross for his heroism, was given the Great Seal of Kiel by Germany’s UK Consul in a ceremony at Trebah Gardens near his home in Cornwall…..Hibbert was given the order to go with 500 commandos “to take Kiel, hold it and stop the Russians”.  “I was given no explanation (Tony said) but was told that the order had come direct from Eisenhower and the other allied leaders, so I presumed it was very serious.”…..His duty officer, who was kept in the dark, told him he could not go to Kiel , behind enemy lines, and he disobeyed orders “for the first time in my life” .…Once they arrived in Kiel, the commandos embarked on several missions including a search for Admiral Doenitz, commander of the German fleet, who had taken over from Adolf Hitler following the Fuhrer’s suicide.  Major Hibbert and his aide drove to the German naval headquarters.  The major was in plaster and on crutches at the time, following an earlier crash in a jeep under German fire and was unable to get up the steps.  “A German naval officer stood at the top of the steps watching me with disgust”, he said. “I put up my hands and said, “I have come to help you to end this..war”.  He helped me up the stairs and within 10 minutes he spoke to his leaders and agreed the surrender of the German west Baltic fleet and troops in Schleswig- Holstein and Denmark.  “The mission was successful because we stopped the Russians who wanted to take Kiel, Denmark and, as I discovered only recently, Norway too.”  (The Russian tanks arrived 24 hours later but after a brief confrontation, they withdrew.)  After the incident Major Hibbert was arrested for disobeying orders (actually, Tony says, he was arrested twice) but he soon was freed when the full story emerged and he was then taken to hospital to recover from his broken leg.”

A man of substance indeed.  So when Tony Hibbert gives Salterns his MBE it is a rare honour for which I thank him with all my heart.

Not content with these achievements Tony Hibbert went on to found Salterns and them in 1981 to buy and then rescue Trebah Gardens. So what – just another garden I can almost hear the youngsters thinking?  Well, no.  Trebah is a 26 acre semi-tropical ravine garden running down to the Helford River.  After a huge restoration project it is recognised as one of the 80 finest gardens in the world.

So Salterns is just one of Tony’s achievements in war and peace.
Salterns has done so much for so many young people.  I am confident that it will continue to do so for many years to come.  I thank all of you who have helped to make this so.  And above all I thank you Tony.

On behalf of Salterns Sailing Club I am pleased to present this picture of Salterns to Tony as a small token of our thanks and esteem (cheering and applause).

Jeff Dudley
Trustee SSC
4th September 2010

The way things were 2005 – 2007

Salterns was thriving.  The Junior Committee (JC) was active and effective.  We started Saturday afternoon sailing in April & May to ease the early season rush and it proved very popular.  The club house and kennel roofs were replaced successfully.  The number of club Oppies and Moths increased.  Organised events were well attended and both numbers and sailing standards at Moppy Camps were kept at a high level.

The key event was the conclusion of a 5 year struggle to get the Lease renewed.  After threats from joint landlords NFDC & HCC to allow only a 1 year lease at the same rent as the RLymYC (I do not jest) and years of obstruction we got a 10 year lease at a fair rent.  It took the threat of a 2nd Ombudsman complaint to get it, but get it we did.  The crowning idiocy was a last minute demand that we fence the 8 acre pond “in case a member of the public falls in”.  Protests that it was tricky launching boats over a fence cut no ice, but our demand that they must therefore fence the Solent next to Salterns – as the risk was the same or worse – did the trick.

As always it is the people that make Salterns what it is.  We were so lucky in having enormous input for more than 10 years from Geoff Stock (with Mandy), Tony Harris and John Claridge – “the big three” in my memory of Salterns.  This in no way is to belittle the help received from so many others.
Jeff Dudley
(Co-President with Kay Batten)