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Captain (QM) Albert (Stan) Holloway
Late Grenadier Guards
by Colonel John O’Connell JP
formerly Grenadier Guards

Stan Holloway died this year aged 87. I first met Stan at the Guards Depot in 1964. He was the Platoon Sergeant of the Grenadier platoon and I was the Platoon Commander. We looked after 120 Junior Guardsmen aged between 14 and 16; it was a challenging job full of potential problems. Stan was the perfect choice; he had great presence, could be forceful when he needed to be, but equally sympathetic and had a kindly twinkle. He was affectionately known by many as Uncle Stan. He never swore but if someone upset him, he would simply call them a ‘paillard’, which I think means boneless chicken; they invariably got the message. 

As well as being a drill and training instructor, his appointment required him to gainfully manage young recruits who needed to be kept busy. He threw himself into this by teaching rugby, football and boxing.  A particular success was the winning of the inter-platoon boxing competition. Under his leadership the platoon won all but one bout. I have clear memories of him during adventure training, climbing Snowden followed by 120 youngsters, taking them out into the Irish Channel in canoes in freezing weather, and swimming before breakfast in March.

Stan was born in North Molton in Devon in 1932. He first joined the Regiment in 1951 serving in Germany, the Canal Zone and England. He had a short break between 1957 and 1959 trying life in the outside world. He quickly realised this was not for him, missing the Regiment and his friends.

He spent much of his service at the Guards Depot and RMA Sandhurst being, as he had shown in early days, ideally suited to training young recruits and potential officers. He also served in battalions in Northern Ireland, Kenya and Germany.

He was a College Sergeant Major in Sandhurst and Regimental Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion under, uniquely, both Bernard Gordon Lennox and his successor, David Gordon Lennox, as Commanding Officers. He was proud and privileged to be the Sergeant Major of the Battalion at the Trooping of the Colour in 1975. He was commissioned in 1976, returning to the Junior Guardsman’s Company as second-in-command. His last appointment was as DOPT London District; interestingly he had been a PTI in the 3d Battalion in 1952 and, as a light heavy weight, was one of the Battalion’s boxing stars.
He is well-remembered for his impromptu speeches in the Sergeants’ Mess and was a loyal member of the Sergeants’ Past and Present Club and the Quartermasters’ and Riding Masters’ Dining Club.  My last meeting with him was when he generously invited me to one of their memorable dinners in St James’s Palace.

He married Gladys in 1956, who was a teacher during her working life and, for many years, a head mistress. They were married for 63 years. She survives him with their two sons, Rex and Guy. He loved the West Country and spent much of his retirement living in North Devon.

Reports on him over many years describe Stan as being thoughtful, conscientious, hardworking, invariably cheerful and loyal. He was all of that and much more. He was a highly respected Grenadier.

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