Community Hall Honours Army Officer Killed in Road Accident

From youth clubs to military functions, a community hall will keep alive the memory of an Engineer officer killed in a road accident. The Alan Crompton Community Hall will be used by both military and civilian communities in Woodbridge. It is named in honour of Capt Alan Crompton, who died in September 2011 while serving with 23 Engr Regt (Air Assault) based in Woodbridge.

Capt Crompton’s family joined Col Mike Newman, Comd of Colchester Garrison, to officially open the hall. The building had been used as a school gym when the USAF used the base, but had fallen into disrepair. As part of their trade training sappers from 51 Para Sqn RE, which Capt Crompton served in, carried out the electrical, plumbing and decorating work required to return the hall to use.

Col (Retd) John Crompton, Capt Crompton’s father, said: “I came here a year ago and this building was in a sorry condition. It is wonderful that the Regiment has had the vision to see what it could become and achieve that. It will be a wonderful asset for the community and Alan would have been thrilled that it bears his name.”

Lt Col Jason Hones, CO of 23 Eng Regt (Air Assault), said: “Given Alan’s energy, positive character and his diverse love for sport and culture it is most fitting that he be remembered through this project. The Alan Crompton Community Hall promises to provide a venue for cultural, sporting and social gatherings for the Regt, their families and the wider community. It will also significantly enhance the facilities available to Sandlings Primary School and ultimately bring the community closer together.”

The project came about through the Woodbridge Armed Forces Community Covenant, which was signed by Suffolk Coastal District Council, Woodbridge Town Council, Sutton Heath Parish Council and the RBL in December 2011 as a statement of mutual support between the civilian community and Woodbridge’s troops.

The refurbishment of the hall was funded by the MoD and Sutton Heath Parish Council is applying for funding to equip it, with a joint management committee formed to run it.

Michael De May, chair of Sutton Heath Parish Council, said: “The military and civilian communities enjoy a very close and supportive relationship in Woodbridge. Work to develop the Alan Crompton Community Hall is an excellent demonstration of the link between us and it will provide a focus for the whole community.”

Eulogy to Capt Alan Crompton
Alan was a man bursting with life. He was positive in his every undertaking, a real team player who injected energy into all around him with his humanity and infectious smile.

As an Officer in the Army, Alan showed utter professionalism and selfless commitment. He was a man who grabbed opportunities with both hands and this is clear from his military achievements. He commissioned into the Territorial Army in 2006 and earned the Commando Green Beret. He then graduated from Newcastle University and returned to the RMA Sandhurst to earn a commission in the Royal Engineers. After the Troop Commanders’ Course he was posted to 21 Engr Regt in Yorkshire, which included a deployment to Afghanistan mentoring the Afghan National Army Combat Engineers. After a short spell with 42 Engr Regt (Geographic), he joined 23 Engr Regt (Air Assault) in July 2011 after successfully completing Pegasus Company, the arduous Airborne Forces selection course. Immediately into the thick of it as the Signals Troop Commander and Sqn Ops Officer in 51 Para Sqn RE, he was instrumental in guiding his Sqn back into the Airborne Task Force role, ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice.

Alan loved to socialise and to party and he enjoyed many hobbies, both sporting and cultural. After throwing himself into amateur dramatics and singing as a youth, he continued to enjoy the theatre, he also played hockey for the Royal Engineers, enjoyed skiing, diving and sport parachuting and dabbled in gymnastics; he really had endless energy.

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