Hull's Liberace Roy "Wendy" Gibson given 'unprecedented honour' with plaque in Aldershot Military Cemetery

The steward whose piano-playing kept paratroopers’ morale up during the long journey to the South Atlantic nearly 40 years ago is being given an unprecedented honour by former members of the airborne forces.

A brass plaque bearing the name of Roy “Wendy” Gibson will go up on the Goose Green memorial bench in Aldershot Military Cemetery, where Sgt Ian McKay, one of the two members of the Parachute Regiment awarded Falklands Victoria Crosses posthumously, is buried.

Daringly dressed on one occasion in an emerald dress with dangly earrings, Mr Gibson, from Nafferton, East Yorkshire, who died last week, belted out tunes like Knees Up Mother Brown and It’s A Long Way To Tipperary aboard the requisitioned North Sea passenger ferry Norland, and won over an initially wary audience.

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In a book, All In The Same Boat about the conflict, he was reported as saying: “To any hecklers I just gave as good as I got, like I did in the clubs back in Hull. That seemed to do the trick.”

Roy "Wendy" Gibson on board MV Norland during the Falklands War

Memorials organiser Tommy Simpson, an ex-Para, said Mr Gibson became a “bit of a legend” after entertaining 2 Para on the way to the Falklands, and 2 and 3 Para on the way back.

"Wendy" was famously overheard taking on the Regimental Sergeant Major when helping hand equipment down to landing craft saying: “My boys need ammo”.

Those words which will be added to the plaque, if possible, alongside the words “Our Wendy” where the Parachute Regiment - motto Utrinque Paratus (Ready for Anything) - normally goes.

Mr Simpson said all of those who fought at Goose Green in May 1982, and responded to a poll on his Facebook page, agreed that Mr Gibson should get the honour - the first of its kind from the airborne forces.

Roy "Wendy" Gibson, right, after the annual Falklands memorial service at Hull Minster where he did a Liberace-style Dont Cry for Me Argentina on the piano

He said "Wendy" would have been a guest of honour at the 40th anniversary commemorations of the conflict in Aldershot next year.

He said: “Wendy didn't fight at Goose Green, but he did help with the resupply of ammo.

"Everyone who has posted anything said what a fantastic bloke - we thought he was brilliant in a time and place when we really needed it.

"That's why people have so much respect for him.

"No civilian has been honoured in this way before and I doubt very much if there will be another one again.”

A plaque for "Wendy" will also be added to a memorial at a Parachute Regiment pub in Aldershot - the Trafalgar Inn.

Aldershot was the base for the Parachute Regiment from 1950 to 2000, when it moved to Colchester.