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Everything posted by BlueBelle

  1. Things are 'heating up' on the Libya thread, no pun intended though I wonder if Libya has snow this week as many Arabic parts are having? No, by heating up I mean to say 'look', Magnakater and Kuno are are now contributing (photos please, 'little ones for here and LARGE ones to me by email or disc); isn't this wonderful, and, AndyB has got back to me with more, yes, more photos of Tripolitania sand-coloured things and the married quarters (Libyan Lodges) in Prinn Barracks, Tripoli in the snail mail to me!!!!:-)
  2. Now then, there were FOUR, yes, four, not two, 'Great' war films made in Tripolitania during 1957/8 with huge contributions from British Army units based in Tripolitania, in particular 38 Company and 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC, Queen’s Bays and to a lessor extent, by 22 Engineer Regiment RE (who kept and operated their Halftracks in DAK markings for 18 months, just in case ....), 3RHA, 6RTR and (as suggested by ‘weak’ evidence) 5 Medium Wksp REME. ‘Sea of Sand’ aka ‘Desert Patrol’ (US) ‘Bitter Victory’ ‘No Time to Die’ aka ‘Tank Force’ (US) ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ aka ‘Desert Attack’ (US) There may have been others. 3RHA in Homs also hosted cast members (Sophia Loren, John Wayne etc.) from the 1957 film ‘Legend of the Lost’, though whether or not any military vehicles were involved, I know not and as I have not seen the film. The set was Leptis Magna, Homs, my childhood ‘stamping grounds’. The DAK Sexton photo is from the defunct Illustrated London News (via Les Freathy) and shows the Sexton on the Diamond T navigating the Garian Pass, south of Tripoil on the way to or from Medenine Barracks, Tripoli and the Ice Cold in Alex film set. From the RASC Journals of the period, that Diamond T belonged to 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC, was driven by Dvr Smith..... and was the first occasion a Diamond T (laden or unladen?) had traversed the mountain pass. The 5km journey over the pass took 3 hours. The Sexton may have been a standard Sexton or a Sexton GPO (Gun Position Officer - a Sexton not fitted with a 25pdr) from 3RHA or supplied from an ordnance depot and converted to show it with a ‘fake’ gun and mantlet. For the film ‘No Time to Die’ (Tank Force), 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC used 16 DTs to transport the Queen’s Bays Centurion tanks to and from the film set and Sabratha Barracks, though the DTs were not seen in the film. My source again, is the RASC Journal of the period. Hilarious goofs throughout the film with Operation Musketeer invasion markings (H) that I saw on the Bedford QLs (though I wasn’t looking closely they may have been Austin K5s) and even the ‘Bays squadron markings on vehicles, a German picking up and firing a MG (sound effects heard) though it didn’t have a magazine or belt ammunition feed fitted, and that ‘German’ Humber 1 tonne CT ...... The Best of British film making of those times!
  3. I shall heed your advice Sean though I'm not sure about posting them all here! :-D I have to save some treasure for 'the book'! :-D
  4. I believe this is so Richard. British. A Red Cross, too. No fake DAK camouflarge or DAK palm tree insignia. Libya-based 'Lorried' Infanty battalions in the 50s were not 'lorried' at all as they were 'Halftracked'!!! Their ambulances tended to be Halftracks too. All Halftracks seemed to have been M5s, M9s and converted M14s. International. Furthermore, most sure that the ambulance Halftrack is not a 'White' (see mudguard profile) so therfore, an International.
  5. :-) I love the thread too, just havn't got the time available that I'd like to spend on it (including scanning and intelligently filing over 600 photos now in, of sand-coloured stuff) :-) I've got a book to write, didn't you know? :-D Keep on following Andy, and all other folk too. If you know of anyone 'who was there', a veteran, a relative or someone's parents or grandparents then please do send them my way via the forum. Let's capture the history!
  6. I LIKE this! :-) Would be nice to have a 'Like' facility too, here on the forum, though just a simple smiley as a response would do. Enlightenment is one thing, entertainment another though encouragement is everything!
  7. Going for it again, abridged from memory. The original was posted (somewhere!) before Clive joined the 2RTR forum. LOOK! :-D It's THAT Scammell Explorer again! No, not 94BD17 though we'll see lots more of it. Its 94BD27 again, Yay! Remember, AndyB posted a couple of superb photos of 94BD27 earlier in this thread and now, from an ex-Cyclops 2RTR Para Armoured Sqn man who jumped with Hornets (he was not a Penguin), we have this photo. That man is Robbie Monk 2RTR who has in fact, handed over his entire original Libya photo/slide collection to me to use as I wish (even, as he said, without a photo credit in his name - which I cannot omit as I want to honour him and deservedly so) and we'll see more of his collection later. You'll also see that tatty DBG 'thing' which is an upside-down Hornet/Malkara vehicle requiring recovery to at least, an upright position. To facilitate a 'managed' recovery, the Leyland Recovery vehicle you see had to be called in from Tripoli some perhaps 80 miles distant and despite the Scammell being at the 'incident' site already, there was quite a wait for the Leyland to appear to effect the uprighting of the Hornet. Photo taken by Robbie Monk 2RTR in July 1964.
  8. I love the headed notepaper Clive! Now you're on 2RTR's forum, you must make your presence felt as many will be tickled pink to learn you've joined and, for those that don't know you or of you and your Cyclops Para involvement, you'll have found new friends with a great interest in you and your work. You must produce that article for the REME Journal or, a full-blown book to cover such a neglected aspect of Hornet/Malkara. Yesterday I posted something quite substantial here, along with a pretty colour picture of sand-coloured things (not dunes) and a tatty DBG 'thing' south of Tripoli on the ranges. Humph! Today, none of it is here! What happened, I hear you say? Well I don't know, that's for sure but maybe I didn't hit the 'publish' button or whatever its called? I'd not had sundowners or snifters and I'm not that much over 21 though I confess to occasional mind-drift. Now I'll have to try and remember what I wrote and 'go for it again'!
  9. Clive, I think there is much discontent amongst the Cyclops Para community, discontent at the low level of recognition afforded them in the creation of the RAC Para Sqn, reflected in most acccounts but particularly so in Radford's book where I believe there may be just one photo of Cyclops. Donkey work at events always falls to the same few, and Cyclops at that. I don't think that the dedication stone at the Arboretum even acknowledges Cyclops and of course, there is resentment at the suggestion that Cyclops were perhaps not up to being the Para Armoured Sqn because of this that and the other, the other being arms plots for Cyclops to rejoin the regiment and to be posted to BAOR and so on. Yes, you must join the 2RTR Old Boys Forum to discover more. Scanning through the thread lists will keep you engaged I'm sure, especially anything to do with the Para Armoured sqn, but do consider the stuff may be in other threads such as: http://2rtroldboys.forums-free.com/old-times-t1456.html I have a few photos of Hornets/Malkara/ Humbers which you probably haven't seen before of Hornet/Humbers in the Tripolitania desert 1964, thanks to 2RTR's Robbie Monk who became 'one who jumped' around Hornets. I actually now have been gifted his entire Libya photo/slide collection and we shall see some on here. You do realise I'm intending writing 'the book' based loosly on this thread title so perhaps we can see some of your Libyan desert Hornet photos soon? I think Trevor would be pleased as Punch to see his Test Truck again, though I suspect even more pleased to see his old Centurion tank from Munster 1950s or his old Saladin from Homs!:-D I have their VRNs and regimental names though I've not searched anywhere for them. I hope his Saladin didn't get flogged to the Arabs after the 14/20H finished with it in Medenine (as the last armoured unit in Tripolitania Oct 1962-64)?
  10. What a small world! Trevor is a lovely man, a true gentleman who continues to inspire, especially on the 2RTR Old Boys Forum (where I post as TankGirl and I'm currently posting, drip-feeding for him his Swinton Barracks, Munster 1955-59 'tank park' photos that I've scanned for him... yes, he sends me his photos for scanning and saving to disc etc.). Through his generosity, I now own his personal copy of 'Seconds Out! - A History of The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment' (rarer than rocking horse poo), plus his illustrated report of Ex Crescent Moon down and back to the Tummo water hole (my Dad and the TQMS driving the RL Binner), Chad border to test the 'new' Saladins, and, so many photos of my Dad in the WO & Sgts messes in Munster and Homs. Ab Fab! You should ask to join the forum; I've got other 'Tripolitania followers or photo donors to join, so that you too can see some of the magnificent photos, facts and anecdotes.
  11. Hello, Welcome to a great forum. What, no Military vehicles? The sound of a tinnie turbo car engine or that of any A-vehicle you must have worked on? You must at least paint those things Light Stone; they'd look much better! DBG would be a second best. :-)
  12. Well, Magnakater sadly is playing doggo, not even answering PMs, and as no one else is playing (not even AndyB anymore), I thought I'd treat you to a drool over these two photos from Spr Frank Hallsworth, taken in Tripoli 1956-57. He was in an NS draft squad from the W.Midlands who were all posted to 22 Eng Regt Tripoli, most of whom seem to have entered into 6 Fd Pk Sqn of that regiment based at Prinn Barracks. The other squadrons were based in Gialo Barracks Tripoli, though 3 Sqn were on permanent detachment to Cyprus. Through my investigative persual, I tracked Frank down and with the kindness of one of his sons, Kevin, I now have all of his Dad's Tripoli photos and usage permissions. Sand-coloured stuff, great! Oh, look, its THAT Scammell Explorer, yes, 94BD17 that we've seen before on here. Isn't this exciting stuff as we see the machine in the hands of its first 'owner', new into service with Spr Frank Hallsworth! Yes, The RE 'owned and operated' Scammells, not just REME type bods. Apart from the affiliation with the W. Mids, you'll notice perhaps the affiliation to a regional beer (jerrycan full of it?) on his Explorer cab roof and the sign that lovingly displays the name of his wife, Jean. A Scammell Explorer named 'Jean'. Hats off to Frank and Jean! 6 Fd Pk Sqn also operated a Scammell Pioneer too, look, see! More to come of that sand-coloured Scammell Explorer soon. Can you see some Hippos? I can. Of course, I can see a white rhino too, thus indicating 25 Armd Bde and/or 10 Armd Div, depending on whether or not the photo was just prior to Operation Musketeer or just after. The Libya units of 10 Armd Div of course never deployed but did prepare and vehicles bore the 10 Armd Div white rhino on a black oval AND a white H on cab vehicle sides, roofs etc. Post Operation Musketeer, 10 Armd Div was disbanded by the end of 1957, the white rhino ceased to be seen as the 2 Districts of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were formed ... and we all know what those district flashes on vehicles and uniforms were, don't we!
  13. Well, would you believe it? We have a new comment on this exciting and captivating thread! Yay! I'm so very happy and even happier that the commentator is 'someone who was there', there in Tripolitania as a serving REME ('Yay' again) soldier! Fantastic! Greetings Magnakater on this, I presume to be your first post and thank you for posting on this thread. You are going to have to post more and more, photos and facts and annecdotes galore, please. Now then, the location for that photo, based on a batch of new photos I've received since I posted that one, confirms .... wait for it, that the location was not anywhere in Tripoli though it was without doubt, Homs Camp, Tripolitania! The car, a red Dauphine, belonged to one Lt Rob Ockenden 2RTR (a similar white Dauphine was bought at the same time by another junior officer) and I am reliably informed that the two officers in the mornings would race each other down the road from the nearby Officers Mess in their Dauphines. The duty provost would hear them approaching and open the barrier allowing them to hurtle in to the barracks and across the square to the Cyclops squadron office block, sounding their car horns and screech to a halt by the office steps. One morning the usual happened, but Lt Ockenden's brakes failed and his car hit the office steps causing considerable damage to his car, much to the amusement of the squadron who were lined up ready to be marched on to the square for first parade. See, history is a mystery, even if was written down in the first instance! For me, history always generates more questions than I'll ever get answers to! Exciting developments! I now have in my non-sticky mitts another 300 photos and slides of 2RTR Homs (some Benghazi) awaiting scanning on my new gizzmo (when I've learned how to use it properly; the old one went up in a puff of smoke!!). In amongst the cache of treasure were lots of photos of Homs barracks and 'sand-coloured stuff' in it, including shots of the bottom south-east corner of the barracks (REME had the bottom 1/4 of the barracks) which show that the wrecked car is without doubt, parked up in Homs barracks, REME area and therefore, not 'somewhere' in Tripoli. Yay! The new photos of Homs and other parts of Tripolitania, once scanned will appear here for your perusal and enjoyment. Prior to then, I expect soon to put some other sand-coloured stuff here, especially Scammell Explorers and in particular, the story of 94BD17 :-) in photos whilst in Tripolitania.
  14. Yes, unfair to me and to any other ‘punter’ who has to gamble on incorrectly advertised goods. The card was not found for me, it was there already, it had already been scanned, it was advertised as a record, it could not be previewed, I presumed it was a complete record as the museum did not say otherwise, I completed an instant payment, it was there as an instant download and was not what I paid for! Simple. Would you be happy buying something you hadn’t seen, to discover it was a complete dud? I shall not comment further on this topic/thread except to say again, “Buyer Beware’! :shocked: The museum do an excellent line in Corps Journals (though they are low-grade scans with any images almost totally indiscernible) which are semi-pre-viewable based on a key word delivering a scrambled one-liner. Not really a preview at all. I subscribe to this service and despite the failings, find the information provided very useful for my research. May honesty and openness prevail. :-)
  15. Buyer beware! I did this with the intention of gifting the card to the vehicle's first ever driver in service and guess what? The record card was blank for the first 12 years of service history! As much use as a chocolate camel in a Libyan desert! I agitated, 'goods not fit for purpose' and eventually received a refund in full (£30). The vehicle concerned, if you've not guessed in following my Libya thread in Research area, is the Scammell Explorer 94BD17. You will be seeing more of this magnificent vehicle in desert sand colours soon; sand-coloured Hippos too and and .... RL Binners galore and even more of K9s and another Scammell Explorer that we've seen before on here, 94BD27!
  16. Ah, Sean, you fell for my tease! :-D Yes, the photo is 'small', the Bedford could be, as you say though as I've not shown a Homs-based Bedford yet, 'we've' not seen it before on here. What makes you think it's an early cab? I thought you'd need a frontal view to establish cab type (hi/low headlights, radiator cowling cutout, grill, logo etc. There looks to be a hip ring gun ball mount, but I could be seeing things. Do please tell more about the cargo body types, early and late.
  17. :laugh::laugh::laugh: You are so naughty! I need more info Sean. Just a 'normal' GS? With winch? Early or late cab?
  18. Yes Richard! :yay: Not an M9A1 as the fuel tanks are 'up front' in the load compartment so it's an IHC M5/M5A1. It was tinkered with though, probably for the 'german role' as there are vertical side extensions (approx 6") to the load compartment and some sort of strip welded on below that which made me think it was an M14 (based on an M5) with its fold-down upper sides as a number of them were stripped of their Maxson gun turrets and converted back into 'normal' halftracks and command vehicles. But no, not an M14 either. 3RHA may have some at Homs.
  19. It went quiet, maybe you fell off your sandbags or got a bigger kick on here out of winter woolly combat hats? :-D Thanks to Charles Yerrell 6RTR/2RTR for the following photos and for allowing me to use them. Sandbags plumped up again, bottle of Miranda to hand, sit back and enjoy! Look what was parked up in front of the 2RTR cookhouse in Homs, Libya 1959! Far more exciting than a Katy K2 fake, Richard! There were three of these parked up (dumped), used in the film 'Ice Cold in Alex' and then returned to Homs for plunder by LAD fitters determined to keep other ones 'on the road', so to speak. They must have been 'borrowed' from 6RTR who occupied Homs 1957-59 as the film was made in 1957 to early 1958 and released in June 1958. There's just a slim chance that they were 'borrowed' from 3RHA who were in Homs prior to 6RTR. No prizes for guessing the correct make and model number (with justification for guess).
  20. Would that be the Heugh Battery Museum Stillbrew Chieftain? Minus rear side bins, rear track guards, lights and bins. No gun crutch either. I wonder if it still has an engine or runs? I bet that's a real dummy under it! More interestingly, what's that green trailer in the distance? A WW2 2ton thing? You should check out the Heugh Battery Museum, they have loads of really interesting artillery pieces, some sand-coloured too, and trailer-type things!
  21. Following my previous about S/Sgt Wally Roach, REME and the LAD fitters Saracen, Ajax, 2RTR out of D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi (Cyrenaica), here are two photos of the Saracen and Wally on a different occasion. This photo was taken by one Wilf Harrison, REME attached 2RTR, who was previously a 2RTR regimental fitter ‘forced’ to rebadge along with thousands of others when regiments ‘lost’ many of their regimental trades (mid to late 1950s). Wilf was also a dab hand with a camera and was employed as a regimental photographer who’s collection of 2RTR photos has been passed to his son and daughter and made available to me to use. This, and any subsequent photos by Wilf Harrison will be credited, as requested in memory to their dad, as ‘Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME’. Photo: Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME Photo: Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME
  22. A 2RTR Ferret Mk1, 34BA26 NOMAD displaying the Colours or Standards in 1960/1. The vehicle belongs to Nero (HQ) sqn and the vehicle name is on the superstructure front sides though not visible on this shot. The location is the old airstrip to the east of Leptis Magna and about 3 miles from the camp in Homs, Tripolitania. What, you can’t find the airstrip on the map? I can; depends also on what map you’re looking at! Behind NOMAD are the ruins of an old Italian fort. My, what a tatty 2RTR flag or an optical illusion. A rather long whip antenna? What radio set was fitted for this antenna and why that long antenna on this parade occasion? The Standards bearer is the RQMS (a family friend) and the driver’s wife baby-sat for us! How many official 'real' Standards Parades were there during 2RTR's time in Libya? I have photos of similar occasions ‘in the desert’ where the uniforms (and attendant bands – all non RTR!) wore best BDs, KDs and even, for the Standard bearer and driver, Blues! Families and guests were bussed from Homs in those Bedford SB buses that have Green Goddess-type fronts (not the flat-fronted SBs) to spectate from seats erected on the side slopes of the airstrip. Do you know where 34BA26 is now? I don’t. So much information from just one old photo, so many memories evoked and yet, so many questions, unanswered.
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