Page 162 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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 Colonel Brian Denney TD DL Older soldiers are tempted to look back and bemoan the changes to regiments and structures; but not Colonel Brian Denney. He was forever looking forwards, planning and supporting the next generations. With infectious enthusiasm and great generosity, he was an inspi- ration, not least for The Rifles in Yorkshire and beyond even those boundaries.
Following National Service, Brian was commis- sioned in 1962 into 4th Battalion The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and he was very proud to have been a Colour Ensign when HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother presented new Colours in 1963.
integrity. It never deserted him. He and his business partner, Terry O’Hara, set up their eponymous insurance company in 1958. It grew rapidly becoming one of Yorkshire’s best known family businesses. In 1966 it launched a wealth management division to separate the financial services consultancy from the general insurance brokerage. By the time his business partner retired Brian had become the first provincially based chairman of the British Insurance Brokers Association. He continued to expand the business eventually merging it with Henderson Insurance Brokers. He was rightly very proud to be Britain’s oldest insurance broker working well into his eighties.
He was also a very active Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire. He had a wonderful sense of fun and never lost his enthu- siasm for opportunities. He skied well into his 80s and followed rugby with enthusiasm. Game shooting was a passion to the end. His annual Care for Casualties shoot became a great day in the calendar for many. Only 2 days before his death he was driven to join the guns for lunch in the field. Too ill to take part he drank a glass of champagne, watched some sport and took particular pride in his working cocker spaniel, Percy, retrieving
one of the downed birds.
At work or play Brian lived to his creed: live life to the full and
enjoy yourself doing it. But those of us lucky enough to know Brian would add that he loved sharing his success and fun with so many other people. He always put his family first. Jill died but a few weeks before Brian. He leaves daughters Lisa and Lucy who declared at his funeral that BD stood for Best Daddy. He was most certainly a Best Daddy to The Rifles in its formative years in Yorkshire; what an example for us all to follow.
 Soon his fierce battles to stop the relentless erosion
began to take effect. A tireless campaigner within the Regiment, starting with the 4 KOYLI Officers’ Club and extending through town halls, MPs, the county Lieutenancy as well as Whitehall itself, he never gave up. The creation of 8LI was a reward, if only for all too short a time. Although Brian had retired from the TA in 1979, he returned as Honorary Colonel for The Light Infantry some 20 years later. He transferred in this role when The Rifles formed, agitating successfully for a TA presence in Yorkshire. His crowning glory was to see a company of 8 RIFLES successfully established in Yorkshire. He also dedicated considerable time to Cadets, travelling long distances to see them at annual Camp, to watch and inspect their training and activities.
His only concession to looking back was through his highly influential support for The Rifles Care for Casualties. He raised funds, awareness and a regular rhythm of activity to support the cause. Generations of Riflemen will be indebted to him.
Born in Leeds Brian’s upbringing emphasised hard work and
of the TA
   Lieutenant Colonel Richard Walter Thomas Osborne died peacefully, aged 93, at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 7 May 2019.
Richard was educated at Wellingborough School (Northants) and then underwent officer cadet training from 1944 to 1945 at the Indian Military Academy at Mau Ranipur. He was subse- quently commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and seconded to lst Battalion the Rajputana Rifles at Dehra Dun on the North-West Frontier from 1946 to 1947. After a brief period with the Ox and Bucks in BAOR he was posted to 1st Battalion The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, serving with the Battalion between 1949 and 1950 in London, Bulford and Hong Kong. His service with 1KSLI in the Far East was curtailed when, en route back to the UK to attend a signals course, he was evacuated from the troopship with acute appendicitis. Once recovered, he held the appointment of Adjutant at the KSLI Depot in Shrewsbury from 1950 to 1952, earning the lasting respect of all who passed through the Depot during those years. He went on to serve with 1KSLI in Göttingen (BAOR) as MTO and then as a Company Commander. He was still commanding a Company when the Battalion deployed to Kenya for operations against the Mau Mau. In 1956 he was transferred-to HQ East Africa Command in Nairobi where he held a G3 training appointment until 1958. He rejoined 1KSLI, by then stationed in Colchester, serving as Adjutant to Lieutenant Colonel John Hardy until 1961. His contemporaries recall him being outstanding in that role. He then transferred to 4th(TA) Battalion KSLI., soldiering for three years as Training Major. For the remainder of his Army career he served, successively, as DAAG at the LI Depot, DAAG(A) at AG2 Branch in Stanmore and OIC Infantry Manning and Records in York.
On his retirement in 1975 he managed Regimental affairs with
consummate expertise and authority as Regimental Secretary at Winchester until 1988. He was a key member of the Shrop- shire and Herefordshire Deputy Colonel’s Committee until 2006, a Shropshire Regimental Museum Trustee and Chairman of the Shropshire and Herefordshire Light Infantry Charitable Fund until 2011. He took a keen interest in local affairs outside the Regiment and was for some years much acclaimed Master of the Drapers’- Company in Shrewsbury, well known for its historic ambiance and excellent cuisine. He was also County Treasurer for the Royal British Legion and was actively involved with SSAFA for over 25 years.
Richard was a man of great integrity and uncompromisingly high standards which he passed on to countless members of the Regiment. Inexperienced young KSLI and LI officers stood somewhat in awe of him but invariably found him, with time, to be really approachable and helpful. Successive Regimental County Secretaries benefited enormously from his broad experience and wise counsel. He was a keen and accomplished sportsman, playing cricket at Battalion level for some eight years. He enjoyed riding and was a dedicated and elegant shot, hosting many a good day’s game shooting at Pitchford and Leigh Manor.
Richard Osborne’s final departure really leaves an unfillable gap in Shropshire life and particularly in the lives of those Regimental Officers who had the privilege of serving with him and enjoying his good company thereafter. We offer our kindest thoughts to his widow, June, who was, in his own words, his rock over the years. To their sons, Stephen and Simon (who accompanied their father on a number of KSLI battlefield tours) we also express our most sincere sympathy; and the assurance that they and June will continue to enjoy the affection and support of the many Regimental friends whom Richard made during his long life.

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