William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD


Goodbye to Major Bamford; this is a Rifle family farewell
Derek was my Adjutant who’s suffered cancer’s hell
The big C finally captured him and in the light now he dwells
He was fair and you can compare about these things I tell

He crawled up on the marquee tent to get back his bush cap
lost his grip and like a sled he slipped down the tent flap
Snuffy Mountain grabbed his cap and threw it in the air
it snagged upon the marquee pole; the cap it hung up there

Both had been a’ drinking in the Officers’ Mess Tent
and I sat in the BOR and saw the hat throwing event
Derek went into the puddle and was covered up by mud
Snuffy laughed to kill himself I heard each knee slap thud

and after thirty seconds when he did not appear
I worried ‘cause they both had drank an offal lot of beer
I jumped up, and then I ran into the puddle deep
that was back in ‘61 on the Sennelager heath

He came up a’ sputtering, and spit out muddy water
in the background Snuffy roared, I heard the sound of laughter
Derek he had remembered this, and treated me real well
after a fight, t’ was two weeks pack drill, instead of a DB cell

I never mentioned this before, I kept it between us pair
but now he’s with the Regiment, on the square up there
I wanted to say a fond farewell to one, so just and fair
God bless you Derek Bamford; an Officer with flair!

Capt Derek Bamford (r) and RSM (WO1) Kenrod “the Rod” McLeod (l)
Chilcotin Training Area, 1964
Author’s Note: For those who remember the Germany rains and the deuce and a half mud puddles in the tent lines of the training area, you will recall how deep those mud puddles were. I am a bit of a worry wart and when I saw bubbles rising from the puddle I thought Derek might be drowning so went out, up to my knees in muddy water, and pulled him to the surface. He was okay – just swallowed a bit of mud and drank a bit of mud water

RIP Captain Bamford
LCpl Willbond (1st Bn QOR of C)

Lt Mick Brown, Lt Wally Ratz, Capt Derek Bamford, Major Charlie Belzile, Lt Peter Busby
Lady Blackhall’s Castle in Kyrenia, April 1965

Derek Bamford (Left) and fellow officers

Last Post to Derek Bamford
Front Row (L to R): John Tolley, Fred Mercer, Jim Carroll, Bill Fowler, Len Cross, Pete Colby, Bill Brayshaw, Ira MacDonald, Ernie Grant, Herb Pitts, Bill Westfall, Ron Kinnersle. Rear Row: (L to R): Stan MacMillan, Kevin Walsh, Willie Willbond, Harold Drinkwater, Gordie Hie, Bill Sears, Tim Towers, Ed Titus, Don MacDonald, Frank Chevrier, Jim Duberry, John Royanne (face partly turned), God Hryhoryshen (face not visible), Bill Mountain, Dave Stones, Bob Drinkwater, Vic Tweedy, Ron Werry, Howard McCabe, Mick Brown, Jack deBruijne

A large crowd (many in Rifle Green sports jackets) gathered at the PO’s mess in Esquimalt at 1300 hrs this date (February 19, 2005) to remember one of our own, Major Derek Bamford. The BAMFORD family were pleased that so many Riflemen were in attendance and Derek’s children and grandchildren joined the members putting poppies on the cross and cushion on the table of remembrance.

Master of Ceremonies was Ernie Grant who, along with the Bamford Family, hosted the event. The QOR of C Association Major General Herb Pitts and the PPCLI Association’s Jack Debruyne as well as Captain WG Mountain and Derek’s brother laid special poppies, as did the family, to the tune of Amazing Grace. Letters were read from HQ and William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD’s poem “Last Post to Derek Bamford” was recited. Good friends and comrades met and Derek stories were exchanged.

Last Post to Derek Bamford

Last Post to Derek Bamford