Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

12 Good

About BlueBelle

  • Rank
    Warrant Officer 1st Class

Personal Information

  • Location
    Calgary, Canada, for now!
  • Interests
    British Army vehicles 1950-1990. Unit histories 1950-1990. Travel. Writing. Music. Cooking. Politics
  • Occupation
    Brit Businesswoman and owner at www.taylorandtaylorconsultants.com
  • Homepage

Recent Profile Visitors

2,157 profile views
  1. It sure looks like something quite unlike say, a Saladin or a nest of Ferrets under the scrim. Maybe another Scammell? The photo was taken in Tripolitania. Exercise Starlight (1960) took place in Cyrenaica, near Timimi, Bomba, Tobruk, El Adem and the Jebel Akdar with Ajax 2RTR and the Royal Welch (both from Benghazi) as enemy. The two Hornets would have been 'confined' to that district and surely would not have ventured west some 1,000 miles to the the TA24 300 miles south of Homs in Tripolitania? So, "no" to Starlight Hornets but a possible 'yes" to a Hornet of the 1961 'Hot Trials', some of which we've seen before on here. The 'Hot Trials' did have a 'tactical' element (that means I think, that they played at being soldiers) which meant hiding under scrim, pretending to be a sand dune and learning the hard way why not to fire from under scrim!
  2. Well, I am easily enough persuaded to post again by Andy, Armoured Farmer and Enigma though at least one forumer, a 'new one' will be disappointed that through his actions and subsequent inactions, there'll be no more Champs again from Tripolitania. You too, dear faithful follower of all things Light Stone may be dissapointed that the Champs will not be seen again except perhaps hidden under a scrim net or disguised as something else. Now, let's have a scrim net photo! We're deep into the Jebel, far south of Homs in 1960 or 61. What could be under the scrim one wonders? There's a 'surrender' flag fluttering above it ..... though more than likely a marker for umpire/neutral forces or recovery. No Champs though as 2RTR didn't have any! No sign of the Eggie man either. I was amazed to discover this slide in the collection I have, amazed that it was a Pioneer and one in use with 2RTR in Libya. What was it doing there? 2RTR's predecessors, 6RTR and 3RHA didn't have any Pioneers so I can only summise that this recovery vehicle was drawn from stock at 595 Ord Depot, Kassala as a temporary stopgap whilst an LAD Explorer was BLR'd to Gurgi Station Workshops. Or, the scheme was a BIG one and more recovery assets were required? I have several other very long distance shots of presumably the same Pioneer by the same photographer. What is odd is that none of my other photos and slides from other photographers have captured this or a similar vehicle with the regiment in Libya. The fellow in the foreground looks to me like Wilf Harrison 2RTR-REME whose photos we have seen here previously (the ex-regimental fitter 'forced' to transfer into REME as many regimental trades were abolished). Where's my Pop? Neither he the ASM, the AQMS nor the EME and EMElet feature very often on my 2,000 or so 2RTR photos/slides of Tripolitania ..... obviously far to busy to be 'captured' on film! There's my 'favourite' type of trailer with a Ferret aboard. Now what was the trailer type again? Ah, 'Trailer 20 ton 8W-2L Low Loading FV3621A'. Looks like overkill for a little Ferret though there were no other loader trailer types in use out there at the time that I've come across. Big enough though (only just) for a poorly Saladin and certainly not big (width-wise) to carry a Wessex called Mike that landed in the desert south of Misurata to disgorge Royal Marines but just did not want to take off again. Now there's another story to tell and, I have all the photos of the REME rescue featuring said trailer type (fail) and a lovely Scammell Explorer we know so well on here. In time, dear viewer, in time. Photo by John Empson REME
  3. Tanks

    The Libya-Tripolitania thread on here does a nice line in Light Stone Centurion tanks ...... and of course, in those little 'tanks' with wheels called Saladins!
  4. David Sands did not upload anything to the Champ website. If a recent addition to your website, the likelyhood is that someone on here saw my posting of it and 'stole' it for your site. On the other hand, there could be more than one copy of the same normal-size photo that some person has expanded as often it seems 'many' soldiers of those times received a copy of the same 'original' normal sized one. Maybe your uploader has one of those 'originals' from the 1950s? I have the original normal sized photo from David and exclusive rights to use his entire Libya original photo collection that I have now scanned and returned to him. The expanded views of the Champs and Centurion are my work to make it easier for our forum Champ aficionados to view and comment on. If you've followed this thread, you'll see that theft of photos, at least of those I have put on here, has happened already and it is thanks to others that the incidence was bought to my notice. If you wish to discuss further, please do so through the messaging service which is really where this belongs. Now, shall I post another fine photo of Light Stone coloured things or not?
  5. I did it, yes, I bought the report ‘WO 194/1003 Centurion Mk 7 tank cooling air louvres trials, with photographs, dated 01/01/1962 - 31/12/1962’ from TNA and, it has nothing to do with my ‘Tripoli’ Centurion Mk7 43BA03 on extreme heat trials in the desert. Transpose the extreme heat of Libya for the ‘extreme heat’ of the FVRDE test track at Chertsey and a test Centurion Mk7 42BA25. I am now in a position to become an ‘expert’ on engine deck louvre designs, pagoda-v-chevron types, air flow, volumes, temperatures and other ‘non-exciting’ stuff. Never mind. Adding to my chagrin, I bought the record card for 43BA03 from the Tank Museum in the full knowledge that it probably wouldn’t go back far enough in time for any entries that may have been indicative of the tank’s location for those ‘extreme heat trials’. Sure enough, nothing before 1967. Struck off and sold Mar 1973 – GHQ-JAF Aqaba. Oh, the Jordanian Armed Forces bought it, it seems. My search for the verified location of 43BA03’s extreme heat trials and those photos I posted goes on and on.
  6. Grandstand Camp

    Well before 1953, the racing car track, pits and stadium had been absorbed by the Wheelus airfield. Here's a photo from which shows the stadium in the airfield so the British Army would have left quite some time before, lest they be rudely disturbed by the roar and wheels of jets running into them and flying over them: https://www.facebook.com/WheelusAirBaseTripoliLibya/photos/a.578567442195827.1073741828.575585985827306/1567492866636608/?type=3&theater Photo credit to Donald Earl
  7. Grandstand Camp

    Hello FHRG. Who are you? What unit were you with? Never heard of Grandstand Camp. It is not referenced in TNA, nor in 1953 Treaty of Friendship. Not even in any of the RAOC/RASC journals from 1943 to 1965/66. There's a chance that your camp name was an unofficial one and that the official name may have been Keren or Kufra Barracks. I imagine your accommodation was tented. The RAOC were at that time in Keren, Gurgi and Mareth barracks, later, in 1956 vacating Mareth for Kassala Barracks at Km21. They may have been elswhere too, as were lots of other units who were still in locations requisitioned directly post-war or hired then and later from the newly formed independent Libya Government or private owners. The 1953 Treaty brought about some significant changes to the barracks, buildings and lands that Britain used throughout Libya, not just in Tripolitania. Around then, the hutted camp (used by the British) and Mellaha airfield (used by the US forces and referred to as Wheeus Airfield)) and land was officially handed over to the US who from then on struck their own deal regarding use/expansion with the Libyans. The Grande Prix stadium, tower and most of the track was then subsumed into Wheelus Airfield. Your unit, whatever it was, would have moved elsewhere, been assimulated into another or disbanded. Try researching for some clues here: http://treaties.fco.gov.uk/docs/fullnames/pdf/1954/TS0003%20(1954)%20CMD-9043%201953%2029%20JUL,%20BENGHAZI%3B%20TREATY%20OF%20FRIENDSHIP%20&%20ALLIANCE%20BETWEEN%20HER%20MAJESTY%20IN%20RESPECT%20OF%20UK,%20NI%20&%20LIBYA.pdf http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_dss=range&_ps=60&_ro=any&_p=1950%7C1925&_q=%28mellaha+%29+AND+%28+wheelus%29 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C2860515 FO 371/103047 Negotiations between Libya and UK for a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance and military and financial agreements. Code JT file 1052 (papers 21 - 29) http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1953/jul/30/treaty-with-libya http://www.rlcarchive.org/ Don't be dismayed if you don't find anything. Keep trying or, hire a qualified researcher to come up with the goods. Oh, if you can't remember what unit you were in, then why not obtain your service records for around £30 or so. The record will tell you. Go here: https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records In the meantime, why not look at my Libya-Tripolitania thread somewhere on here (not risking trying to find it and having a disastrous link pasting experience) for some better informed Tripolitania stuff which may or may not be a pleasurable experience and encourage you somewhat. Happy Hunting and please don't forget to tell this wonderful forum who you are, your unit and what you findout. Lizzie
  8. Thoughts on the New Forum Layout?

    Hmmm, I thought my avatar now looks un-seaworthy, not quite fitting tidily as before but your Orange William certainly no longer appears flight-worthy! "Misfire"! Yes, please can you fix the avatars, Joris.
  9. Thoughts on the New Forum Layout?

    Whilst I was probably the first to benefit from Trevor's 'duh moment' as he shared his findings on my Libya thread! Every day is a new learning opportunity, some of which come to fruition by the good grace of others. Thank you Trevor.
  10. Well I never! Another forum lesson taken on board, in the most welcomed of ways. Very many thanks to you Trevor. Amazing things happening here on this thread, thanks to the viewers and wonderful participants. Stay tuned.
  11. The water trailer above. The more I think about it the more I doubt that the REME RL would have been towing the water trailer in the first instance. More likely the water trailer was ditched on the track by a 2RTR vehicle to await REME rescue. The RL shown is not a FAMTO truck (no bins, besides, that's what RL Binners are for!) so not much in the way of spare anything on that lorry. It looks like the trailer is a 'Trailer Water 180-gall, 20cwt-2 wheel'. I found the HMVF page for you here: Page 5 has a picture of one in a handbook. I wonder if the restoration is completed? Would look much better than just 'very good' finished in Light stone! Funny how I only wanted the hyperlink to the page that I copied and pasted in, and not a big picture box that the hyperlink became of the wrong trailer! Page 5 and on other pages too.
  12. Info on markings

    Plenty of photos of Barbary Dhows, NO red borders (as per my profile picture), here:
  13. Info on markings

    I'm so sorry Julien, I don't have any amazing knowledge about your LR in Libya. Not even a photo. It may be worth a try contacting The Hawks on their forum at: http://www.1420h.org.uk/Forum/index.php Good luck!
  14. Info on markings

    Alas, I don't have a picture of your LR but you must take solace from knowing it served in Tripolitania, certainly post-1957/8 with that formation flash and, perhaps earlier too if the formation flash was 10 Armd Division's or the earlier 25 Armd Brigade's 'left-facing standing white rhino on a black oval. The Guards Brigade, 1 Inf Division served for quite some years in Tripoli/Zavia prior to the formation of 25 Armd Brigade in 1952, but I think that period up to 1952 may be too early for your vehicle. I hope you solve the mystery!
  15. Now let's have some colour, Light Stone of course as we view a desert breakdown scenario where REME have come to the rescue with their Scammell Explorer 92BD92. The LAD belongs to 2RTR and the location in 'somewhere in the Jebel south of Homs', 1961. The casualty is a veritable WW2 veteran water trailer, one and the same type that someone on this forum is restoring (my bookmarks to everything HMVF no longer work in this new format so I can't guide you to it, nor can I remember if its a 180 or 200 gallon bowser). It looks to me that the RL was towing the water trailer when something happened to the far side trailer wheel. Perhaps the Scammell is going to lift the trailer to enable a repair to be made, or for a tyre change assuming someone remembered to bring a spare on scheme! Would the broken trailer, with or without water have fitted into the cargo bed of the RL? What if the RL was the the cooks truck and ....... you can see where I'm going with this. Photo by John Empson REME