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Thread: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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    Default Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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Name:	Smashed car on vehicle park Tripoli Libya 1961-2 small.jpg 
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ID:	118243
    I know you're all as keen as Richard to see 'those' Libya vehicle photos that I wrote about, so lets start with this: (All photos belong to me unless otherwise indicated/accredited, and where this is the case, I have express written permission to show them. so please, no copying).

    The year is 1959/60 or summer 1961. The car photographed is parked up at a barracks in Tripoli, Tripoli it is as (I know it’s not Homs Barracks or D’Aosta Barracks, Benghazi) I can see the Tripolitania Dhow flash on the Bedford RL and on the Landrover (can you?). There’s also a Ferret Mk? and a couple of 1ton trailers (Brockhouse or Sankey – I can’t make out the panel x ribbing?). I’m guessing this was the Tripoli Station Workshop? I also know who the car belonged to (a 2RTR officer) and that it did end up in Tripoli Station Workshop. In which Tripoli barracks though, were the workshops located? The workshops were known in the early 50s as 1 Base Wksp, then 1st Infantry Wksp, then 5 Medium Wksp, then Station Wksp and finally, from 1960 to 1966 and withdrawal of British forces from Tripolitania by March 1966, as 61 Station Wksp though trying to find ‘official’ corroboration is not easy or as yet, complete. The question also is, were the workshops always in the same barracks? Don't be shy in coming forward as I don't know and can't find the answer anywhere, yet. Besides, the REME Museum don’t want to play as they’re busy reorganising their furniture and polishing exhibits having recently moved from Arborfield to Lyneham.

    An accredited critic once said of this car that it was the most ineffective bit of engineering since the Maginot Line. The metal was so thin and rickety that you could hear rusting taking place. Its most salient feature was its slowness, a rate of acceleration you could measure with a calendar, frequently losing in drag races with vintage farm equipment. The car was made world-wide and over 2 million of them were sold, thus proving how desperately people wanted cars. Any cars. The car is, of course the Renault Dauphine.

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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Name:	Bedford RL wreck Welch Regt Benghazi Libya 1958-1960-ish small.jpg 
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ID:	118244
    Now for .....another photo. Here’s an RL that’s come a cropper shewn as belonging to The Welch Regiment who were based over at Benghazi 1958-60. Either the truck was visiting Tripoli for the photo to be taken or, the truck was actually in Benghazi and ‘our’ intrepid photographer, whoever he may have been (suspect a REME bod), was there as well as being in Tripoli where most of the other photos were taken (proven by being able to see Tripolitania vehicle flashes and not those of Cyrenaica District. Who knows? Getting closer though to Scammells all the time....

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Hi Lizzie,
    Think you are teasing us a bit, looking forward to seeing more . And the anecdotes!

    cheers Richard
    Richard Farrant

    1943 Bedford QLD - 1941 BSA WM20 - 1943 Daimler Scout Car Mk.2
    MVT no. 1087 - IMPS no. 57 - AMVCS hon. member and Comms. officer
    KVE President and Newsletter Editor

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Thats a poorly RL! Thank you for sharing, any K9 pics?!
    1956 Austin K9 Radio Relay
    1955 Bedford RL GS
    1951 Fordson E4 x2

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    I was in Tripoli at the end of that era and lived near to the REME workshops on the Azizia road, to the South-East of the city (well away from the other barracks). I'm fairly sure it was the only workshop then.

    I was a pupil at the Army Children's School and on Wednesday afternoons (I think) a few of us were taken to the workshops where, under the watchful eye of 'Q' Hayward (fading memory but I think that was his name) we were allowed to play with all sorts of lovely stuff. It was the first place I drove a car - an Alfa Romeo 2600 straight six (probably worth a fortune now) which one of the school teachers had rolled and we (with much help) stripped to the chassis to drive around in/on.

    Happy days.
    Stranger than friction - first of a tribology

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Best place for a Dauphine. Cross ply tyres, rear engine and drive, safer to drive backwards in the rain.
    Leading the charge!
    Jeeps posed for pictures Dodges were to busy working. I'm not mad! My voices say I'm sane! And I am not in the pay of Jersey tourisim No longer a 101. Now a Dodge WC54. If there is one thing makes me angry, its all the Incredible Hulk Films!! (Tony Banner)

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Richard, Austin and Phil,
    Thanks for commenting, you drive me on to post more.
    Austin K9s? None in current tranche but the stuff I’m presently posting, wait for it, should be eye candy enough to overcome the K9 shortages! Besides, this is history, isn’t it?
    The barracks you’re geographically alluding to Phil, is I suspect Prinn Barracks. Going north, north west on the Azizia road, from the bottom end of Tripoli (outskirts, very rural in 50s/60s) there was a smallish barracks called Miani Barracks (so named after an Italian Colonel Antonio Miani) on the right hand side of the road, immediately followed by the much larger Prinn Barracks (Muaskar Birin in Arabic) to the left (another arabic word for ‘Barracks’ seen on maps is ‘Hamiyat’). Prinn housed, it seems, a multitude of units though if that included 61 Station Wksps or not I don’t know, yet.
    I have a series of 1943 (some updated around 1962) Royal Engineer/US Army large scale maps of Tripoli (and Homs, Misurata etc.) that show barracks everywhere! Some old Turkish, the remainder, Italian and all occupied by the British Forces, primarily the army. I can see (the outlines) of all but two or three of the Tripoli barracks on Google maps and satellite view. I’m not going to ‘guess’ which Tripoli units occupied which barracks until I am able to corroborate the ‘fogged’ memories that are to be found on the web with facts..... may take more effort than I have the strength and willpower to proceed with! There, set everyone on a ‘barracks hunt’ in Tripoli now!

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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Name:	REME and civvy mechanics Bedford RL Tripoli Libya 1962-ish small.jpg 
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ID:	118245

    Here's another Bedford RL, this time in Tripoli as I can see two Tripolitania vehicle flashes. A REME chap and some, I take it, locally employed civilians, one who seems infamously familiar. No, surely not?

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueBelle View Post
    Here's another Bedford RL, this time in Tripoli as I can see two Tripolitania vehicle flashes. A REME chap and some, I take it, locally employed civilians, one who seems infamously familiar. No, surely not?
    Could that be a Morris Commercial MRA1 in the background? Pretty sure it is not a K9
    Richard Farrant

    1943 Bedford QLD - 1941 BSA WM20 - 1943 Daimler Scout Car Mk.2
    MVT no. 1087 - IMPS no. 57 - AMVCS hon. member and Comms. officer
    KVE President and Newsletter Editor

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    Default Re: Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

    Quote Originally Posted by philb View Post
    I was in Tripoli at the end of that era and lived near to the REME workshops on the Azizia road, to the South-East of the city (well away from the other barracks). I'm fairly sure it was the only workshop then.

    I was a pupil at the Army Children's School and on Wednesday afternoons (I think) a few of us were taken to the workshops where, under the watchful eye of 'Q' Hayward (fading memory but I think that was his name) we were allowed to play with all sorts of lovely stuff. It was the first place I drove a car - an Alfa Romeo 2600 straight six (probably worth a fortune now) which one of the school teachers had rolled and we (with much help) stripped to the chassis to drive around in/on.

    Happy days.
    Phil,
    The army school in Tripoli used to be in Azizia Barracks until the barracks were handed back to the Libyan army (under terms of the Treaty of Friendship 1953, the British Army had to remove themselves from the centre of Tripoli to outside a 5 mile radius by 1958) and moved to, I believe, Miani and the location also it seems, of BFBS radio. So you wouldn’t have had to go far for your day with REME. Interestingly, the car you mention may have been ‘liberated’ by the British Army REME in 1942/3 who occupied the ‘near to Miani Barracks’ Lancia and Alfa Romeo car factories (assemby plants and workshops) for some time afterwards.
    I went to the Army School, a regimental one for children of all ages, in Homs, 80 miles or so East of Tripoli on the coast. 1959 to 61. The regiment there were the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment where my Father was the WO1 (ASM) REME. 2nd RTR vacated Homs in Oct 61, with Cyclops going to Medenine Barracks, Tripoli and the remainder from Homs and D’Aosta Barracks, Benghazi to Wavell Barracks, Benghazi.

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