SAS (TA) Battye, James Edgar

Craig Robertson

Staff member
James Edgar
  • UNIT
23 SAS
  • RANK
Member of the Order of the British Empire
born 17.04.1929
16.04.1989 retired
London Gazette 51578, 30th December 1988, Page 5


Member of the Order of the British Empire : Major Battye retires from the Territorial Army in April 1989 after 43 years exemplary service to the Crown and Country.

In 1945 he joined The Royal Anglian Regiment as a bugler aged 16. In 1958 he qualified as a Bandmaster at Kneller Hall. Promoted WO1 (Bandmaster) at age 30 he became the senior Bandmaster for the Queens Division during his 9 years service as a W01. He was commissioned in 1968 and held various appointments with the Royal Anglian Regiment before the retiring in 1974.

Within 6 months of leaving the Regular Army, Major Battye joined 23 SAS as the Regimental Administrative Officer working at Regimental HQ in Kingstanding. The Regiment was dispersed between Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands. There were 5 squadrons including HQ Squadron. In those days there were no Squadron Administrative Officers or Regular pay staff, so Major (then Captain) Battye soon found himself in a key job. He provided a brilliant service and his wise counsel today reflects his integrity, devotion to duty, understanding of the Territorial, Regular and civilian employees and his experience of working loyally for 6 different Commanding Officers, all of whom speak highly of him. He has seen many changes within the Regiment, including the establishment of a 6th Sabre Squadron and the introduction of Squadron Administrative Officers. He has been closely involved in the incorporation of the 5 Squadron Administrative Officers into the Regiment and is the senior manager of all Civil Service employees within the Regiment. He is the thread that links the Territorial with the Regular. He has played a central and kay part in all affairs of the Regiment with the various TAVR Associations and the Civil Service. A man of great integrity, he has given much to 23 SAS and his advice is highly valued and respected by all members of the Regiment and the SAS at large.

In 1985 he took a central lead with the West Midlands TAVR Association in the refurbishment of Kingstanding TA Centre. This project cost over a million pounds and is a fine example of what can be achieved when there is a good working relationship between a unit and its TAVR Association. Much of the credit is due to Major Battye's outstanding work.

For several years Major Battye's wife has been incapacitated due to illness. Very few people are aware of this and it has never interfered with his service to the Regiment. As a Reserve Officer his contribution to this Regiment is quite outstanding and his service is of the highest order indeed. He will be greatly missed on his retirement from the Territorial Army next year.

Place : 23 SAS (V)
Date of Action : November 1974 to February 1988
How Employed : Regimental Administrative Officer