Terry "Tex" Canham

Lt Col Terry (Tex) Canham died suddenly of heart failure on 3rd October 2005. I was not able to produce an obituary for him at that time as I was imminently about to deploy to Iraq.


Terry was born in Harwich on 1 September 1928, the eldest of 3 brothers of whom one, Barry, also joined the Corps. He entered service as a boy soldier and, I believe, was Boy RSM. He was clearly talented and, although he always claimed that he broke into the safe to preview the exam papers, he was selected for officer training at Mons and received a Commission in 1947. His early tours of duty took him to Egypt followed by Cyprus where he met my mother, Sally, and they subsequently married in her home town of Belfast on 2 September 1953, exactly one day after he hit 25 and therefore able to bid for a married quarter!


He returned to the UK and his subsequent tours of duty included Beverley, Crowborough and then 7 Signal Regiment in Herford followed by 21 Signal Regiment in RAF Laarbruch. At one point he was severely electrocuted but his version of what happened (accidentally earthing a D11) does not match other accounts I have heard! In any event he was still serving on a wartime "Combatant" Commission and this was effectively a renewable 3 year contract which offered him little security in the career that he loved. The only option open was the QM roster and he successfully passed the necessary exams to emerge as a Major (QM), I think one of very few who did not pass through the ranks in the traditional way.


Terry established a fine reputation as a QM; precise, pragmatic, approachable and very knowledgeable and it is a testimony to his ability and popularity that I still get fond reminiscences of him from retired officers of the Corps in my new role as Regimental Secretary. Subsequent postings saw him play a significant part in the move of the School from Catterick to Blandford as QM (Tech), as the (then) Lt Col Henry Hild's QM (Tech) in 18 Signal Regiment in Singapore, in 3 Division HQ and Signal Regiment in Bulford and as a staff QM in HQ BAOR. His final posting as a Lt Col was back in Blandford before becoming the PRI Officer for 30 Signal Regiment. He finally retired in September 1993.


No mention of Terry is complete without football. He was an Arsenal fanatic and trialled for them. He subsequently played professionally at a lower level (under an alias as he was already in uniform) but in later years focussed on the management of various teams culminating in being manager of the BAOR side when he was serving in Rheindahlen. Many people remember the soft glow of his cigarette as the Dover Road Stadium (Singapore) floodlights went down and he contemplated tactics to avoid defeat in the next game by the 18 Signal Regiment side. I understand that his views on referees, expressed volubly from the sideline, once had him in a spot of bother with Commander School but he remained passionate about soccer until his dying day. He was a keen gardener with expertise in both cacti and fuscias, and usually left any married quarter garden far better than he found it, although the time available for both was limited in later years by the long illness of my mother and diabetes.


Terry Canham was a highly respected, able officer who had a unique career. He was also a devoted husband to Sally and a fantastic father to Terry (Junior), Katy, Sean and Tabitha. He is still sorely missed by all who knew him.

  Col (Retd) Terry Canham