Academy Sergeant-Major Raymond Huggins

Academy Sergeant-Major Raymond Huggins

Huggins as a pensioner in a painting by Andrew Festing

Blenheim Palace

He was often seen at the window of his flat above the main door portico

Raymond Huggins, MBE, Grenadier and Academy Sergeant Major
(22nd March 1928 - 13th May 2022 - died age 94)

"Grenadier with a voice more powerful than that of 50 men and a reputation as ‘one of the greats’ of the Sandhurst parade ground …"

When Rayrnond Huggins completed his time as regimental sergeant major of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in 1970, he was offered a commission. To the surprise of the regimental lieutenant colonel and assembled staff, he turned it down. … "Tell me what you do want to do," demanded the exasperated lieutenant colonel. Huggins asked to be posted back to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, as the academy sergeant major.

Grenadiers have a way of getting what they want (and few would question their right to do so), and so Huggins began a ten-year posting as the British Army's most important warrant officer, the man who was the key to the formation of its future officers, 5,471 in all during his tenure.

On leaving the army in 1980 after his King's Company of the 1st Battalion, ten years at Sandhurst, the longest continuous tenure of any academy sergeant major, he became first deputy administrator at Blenheim Palace then master of ceremonies.

[Extract from: The Time Obituaries - 3 June 2022]

An interview with Sergeant Major Huggins can be found in:
The Guards Magazine