2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
Gary David Bingley was born on 28 February 1958 at 11 Alexandra Park Road in Muswell Hill, a fact that he tended to keep to himself. For the whole of Gary’s life, he was a staunch Tottenham Supporter and would proudly tell people he was born there. He was also a proud Cockney. It did not matter to him one iota that he was not born inside the sound of the ‘Bow Bells’. His death certificate even
states that he was born in Tottenham.
As a young child Gary’s family moved to Coventry and Gary became firm friends with three other schoolboys who went to school with him at Caludon Castle, Wyken in Coventry. Gordon, Kev, Dinger and Gary played footie together and all of them decided to join the Army. Three out of the four friends passed P Coy and made it to the Parachute Regiment. Gordon and Dinger went to 3 Para and ‘Gaz’ as he was then known went to 2 Para.
Gaz met his wife Jay in a quirk of fate as he went for a pint with his best friend on his 19th Birthday whilst on R & R from his Belfast tour. Though he used to joke that he won her on the toss of a coin and that’s how they met, there is a truth in that. By May he was back on leave prior to the Berlin posting and within a week of dating had moved in with the woman who was to become his wife less than 2 months later. He proposed in his first ‘bluey’ and organised their wedding (normally the bride’s job) when he arrived home on his first leave in June 1977. They married on Saturday 9 July 1977 at Taunton Register Office and spent the rest of the weekend in Somerset. The couple then had a brief four day honeymoon in Billingham, Stockton On Tees, where Jay was on a course. Gaz returned to Berlin on Thursday 14 July alone until a married quarter became available.
Gaz had the whackiest humour and was an odd mix of Sagacious and Capricious in character. He could be so wise at times and was truly an old soul, but few people got close to his deeper Piscean nature that could be as deep as an Ocean. The Capricious side of his nature could see him turn from a competitive footballer to a lethal killer, a comedian to a serious paratrooper and at home from a clown to a loving husband who would often leave notes about the place for his wife to find. The man who kissed toothbrushes with his wife at night belied his alter ego who could live off the land, tab for miles on end and preferred a pheasant to bacon……….
The eldest of five Gaz was good at taking some of the younger crows under his wing and that included a seat at his Sunday lunch table at times. He is remembered as a clown, a likeable rogue, a sound bloke, a real trooper, a generous spirit, a professional, a leader, an airborne warrior, cheeky, upbeat, the list goes on……’Machine Gun Bingley’ once met never ever forgotten.
Gaz was known by many because he moved from B Coy to A Coy to D Coy during his service and even did a stint in the Officer’s Mess which he hated. He was a soldier through and through and wore his wings with pride.
When the Falkland Islands was invaded in April 1982 Gaz was in 11 Platoon D Coy and travelled on the long trip ‘Down South’ with 2 Para on the MV Norland. Gaz loved the journey, an avid Jaques Cousteau fan he was at home on the Ocean and wrote home about the sightings of Dolphins and Flying fish.
He was an experienced soldier who had already served over 7 years and completed two tours of Northern Ireland. He was eager to go and was excited at the thought of a real-life War.
Between the 26th and the 28th May the plan for Darwin and Goose Green changed more than once. Whatever plan followed, Gaz was up the front and it was fate that it was his time. It should be remembered that he would always want his life celebrated because of the upbeat character he was.
Because of the haste of their marriage Gaz and Jay had planned a church blessing for their fifth wedding anniversary so that Garys family could be present this time. War intervened and sadly Gaz was one of those who did not make it back. Gaz and his wife had one daughter during their marriage, born in 1978 during their Berlin posting, at this time she wishes to be not be included in his memorials.
His story has been immortalised in the book ‘And She Danced’ dedicated to both him personally and the Parachute Regiment.
Perhaps he should be nicknamed ‘Maroon Machine Gun Bingley’…..
Credit Jay Morgan Hyrons
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
HONOURS AND AWARDS
MONDAY, 11th OCTOBER 1982
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the Posthumous award of the Military Medal to the undermentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during the operations in the South Atlantic:
24347663 Lance Corporal Gary David BINGLEY, The Parachute Regiment
Throughout 28th May 1982, the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment were engaged in fierce fighting to take well entrenched enemy positions in the area of the Goose Green settlement on the Island of East Falkland. Lance Corporal Bingley was a Section Commander.
During the battle his section came under fire at close quarters from two enemy machine-gun posts. To destroy the enemy positions he led his section in the assault and whilst leading was fatally wounded.
His heroic action enabled his company to continue their advance and was significantly instrumental in defeating the enemy.
I am Pete Stubbs (24282945) ex 2 para and was a good friend of Gaz and Jane Bingley. The man was amazing. I was his section commander in Berlin and as far as I am concerned, he will always be `Machine gun Bingley`.
He could strip/assemble and use the GPMG better than any man I know. (Sorry MMG platoon). He was admired and liked by everyone who knew him, was always laughing and was a typical airborne soldier + 100%. If I could have been half as good as Bingley I would have been a bloody good soldier.
I was a friend of Gaz and was totally amazed to see his name on the web. I think it is just brilliant. I am ex 2 para 1974-1986. I often think of Gaz. I went to the SHOT for the first time in years the main aim to see a mate and also visit Gaz’s grave and take a photo (just to remember). I hope his widow Jane and his daughter are doing fine, also his parents.
In 2022, as part of the 40th Anniversary commemorations, geographical features were identified and named after the fallen of 1982. BINGLEY BAY is a on the west coast of Cape Dolphin on mainland East Falkland.
It is in position
51° 15′ 30.18″ S, 058° 57′ 23.12″ W
Also Gary was chosen to have a street named after him at the Mount Pleasant Complex (MPC). MPC is the base for British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI). BINGLEY ROAD is located at
51° 49′ 31.36″ S, 058° 27′ 49.78″ W