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BlueBelle

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Posts posted by BlueBelle


  1. 3 minutes ago, 10FM68 said:

    Interesting about the callsigns "Niner" for the OC and Eight Bravo for the SSM.  Not what I would have expected.

    10 68

    For Echelon and SHQ, callsigns were not what I would have expected either. Extra resources (vehicles) seem to have made up some of these two elements of Cyclops on this exercise. If your're eagle eyed, you'll note that at least one RL at the aircraft sports the Cyrenaica District flash, which more than suggests Cyclops didn't have enough RLs to support the exercise so RLs from other squadrons and locations were bought in at least as far as Sebha, including, I can confirm, 19 Royal Marine RLs from HMS Bulwark anchored off Homs (jerrycanned fuel supplies to pre-positioned dumps).

    The OC (Maj Harris) was 9, 2i/c (Capt Sheppard) 8A, SSM 8B, Mr Bunce's Ferret 18, Saracen Ambulance 16, RS K9 FFW 10A, LAD REME Group 12 and 12A. The Troops, 1 to 6 were call signed 'normally'.

    Exercise Crescent Moon was a very big exercise in terms of trialling Saladins, Saracens and Ferrets and the logistical, support and political interventions were on a scale that no other resident unit in Tripolitania or Cyrenaica had ever seen previously ...... and this was just for one squadron!

    • Like 1

  2. The hardtop LR in the aircraft photo was not a 2RTR vehicle, none were in service at that time in that configuration with the regiment. I believe it is a Libyan Police LR 'coming to collect' if you know what I mean, and the figure to the far left is a Libyan policeman, judging by the uniform.

    Only two Series 1 LRs went on Crescent Moon, 68BP13 (OC Cyclops) and 79BR94 (SSM Cyclops-callsign 8B)

    The Thames ambulance went no further than Sebha. There was a Saracen used as an ambulance, 98BA81 though whether or not it was built/configured as an ambulance or just a 'normal' Saracen pressed into service as an ambulance, I know not though somebody 'somewhere' will know, I'm sure!

    83BA12 was the Saracen CP vehicle for Cyclops, manned by the 2i/c and I believe was indeed named CIRCE.

    On the topic of 'Dog on a Ferret', can you see said hound in the photo below of Crescent Moon?

    Photo by Charles Yerrell 2RTR

     

    • Like 1

  3. The majority of Keith's photos here are of Cyclops 2RTR whilst on Ex Crescent Moon Apr-May 1960. A very long distance jaunt from Homs to the Toummo water hole in the Tibesti mountains bordering Chad and French Niger. My father, the REME ASM was on this expedition to test out the 'new' Saladin in 'operational' hard and hot desert conditions. Mr Bunce, a civvie test bigwig engineer accompanied the expedition.

    I have the full official report and another version complete with full colour photos plus another 100 or so separate colour slides and photos. The dog you see in the Cyclops leagre was a 'dog on a Ferret' quite literally as he belonged to a chap named Legarde and travelled from Homs to Toummo and return on the back of his Ferret.

    The LR with the Padre was the OC's (callsign 9) who for the expedition had his Saracen towing his 'caravan' and his LR which for a few hours was loaned out to the Padre who flew in and out on two separate USAF flights to Sebha on the same day (the later one at sunset), conducting a service whilst there. The flights were purely for the benefit of 2RTR bringing canteen supplies, the mail, fresh rations etc. Oh, also the CO, Col. Percy Hobart 'popped in and out' on these flights!

    Cyclops' vehicles, the Saladins, Saracens, Ferrets and certain LRs were named, as you see. 

    Great photos!


  4. Wonderful to see your photos Keith. Come on, spill the beans please with a storyboard or I'll have to provide one and, might get it wrong!

    I see Starlight. A Starlight Beverly at perhaps Bomba airstrip. A Padre with an RTR driver, a sun compass (Padre not looking to happy), Sebha and it's ex-Foreign Legion fort, re-supply at Sebha airstrip from the USAF (chocolate, beer, mail) etc,. Ajax 2RTR Ferrets with 'enemy' white crosses (Starlight). Two Ferrets with a Rodney-type fellow tucking his shirt in and a banana hat on telling me he's not RTR (a Hussar?). Do please tell all and, with what were you doing out there. :imsmilin:


  5. 1 RHA, A Battery 'The Chesnut Troop' who were in Munster 1952 on. A Sexton and an International Command Post halftrack. Before 1 RHA replaced Sextons with M44s. Beret badges RHA too. Perhaps I should stick to Light Stone stuff.

    Great photos! Note the 74 on the RA arm of service flash and compare with 3 RHA vehicles in Libya (and Egypt) that also bore a 74 to denote ......

    • Like 1

  6. 9 hours ago, fv1609 said:

    Judging by the irregular outline, the need for discretion & the date. Could it be one of the two prototype Hornets taken over in July 1960 for 'Starlight'?

    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! :noyay:

     


  7. 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

     

     

    • Like 1

  8. 2 hours ago, Andrew W said:

    The big photo of the Champs and the Centurion is on the Champ website somewhere but until now we'd no idea where it came from.    I edit Champ World and would like to get in touch with David Sands (6RTR) who is credited with it.  Not sure if the person who uploaded it is the same guy.

    We're always on the lookout for information and photos of Champs, especially from people who experienced them in service.

    Hope anybody out there can help.  Cheers.

    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?

    • Like 1

  9. On 29/07/2017 at 11:51 AM, BlueBelle said:

    Hmmm, it looks like I’ll have to part with some spondulicks to see if I can obtain a better result about 43BA03. I’m guessing that the National Archive report I list here below relates to ‘the tank’ and that there is something about the photos we have and what Wally has told us that relates to ..... louvres as they, the pagoda type, were of course instrumental in providing cooling air for the engine and transmission on these marques plus. I could of course be totally wrong, again and, I think I am due to my wondering about the time lapse from the time the tank went back to FVRDE/issue to Bovington and, the report’s date. How long did it take for a trials report to get written up and presented?

    Maybe then, this tank was one of the ‘reported’ 12 Mk7s manufactured (I think around 1956/7) that had direct drives for their cooling fans rather than the belt drives as norm? Surely trials, in the desert too, would have been conducted on these tanks?

    I just hope that I’m not buying another pig in the poke that tells me next to nothing useful just as my very expensive report on 595 RAOC Depot Tripoli proved ..... monthly stats on boot repairs! :laugh: I’m an expert in doing that, which of course I wouldn’t be if I lived nearer Kew and could see the report FOC with no need to purchase. So many drawbacks to living in the back of beyond that is Canada, including giant carnivorous mosquitos. Roll on winter.

     

    WO 194/1003 Centurion Mk 7 tank cooling air louvres trials, with photographs, dated 01/01/1962 - 31/12/1962

     

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6144529

     

    Don’t you just like a good mystery, just as history is, even when written down.

    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.


  10. 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

    Il Duce stadium Grande Prix Track Tripoli Feb 1953-Photo by Donald Earl.jpg


  11. 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


  12. 10 minutes ago, GeePig said:

    No one is asking you to use Facebook, and this forum is not even close in structure to Facebook, or purpose. Spending time hating other people and their efforts is non-productive, as is trying to prove the past was better when you and I both helped to make the world what it is today.

    Just do not give up on the people around you, we can all help. Today I figured out how to put a plain link in a post rather than getting a small summary of the link - and kicked myself for not noticing before the option that appears after I pasted the link to choose which format... another duh moment.

    trevor

    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.

    • Like 1

  13. 54 minutes ago, GeePig said:

    http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/20590-ww2-20cwt-water-trailerbowser-restoration/?do=findComment&comment=304568

    You mean you wanted this link?

    Try:

    Click the 'share' symbol in the top right of the post

    Copy the link that comes up

    Paste it in your post - and then the following appears underneath it:   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    So click: 'Display as a link instead'.

    trevor

    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.

    • Like 1

  14. 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.


  15. 10 hours ago, Fusilier said:

    Sorry I was unclear do you have a pic of .....A Tripolitania District formation flash, a Barbary dhow. Would it be the same as your profile pic? but with a red border?

    Plenty of photos of Barbary Dhows, NO red borders (as per my profile picture), here:

     


  16. 2 minutes ago, Fusilier said:

    yes I am still looking in to the history thank you very much for the id of the markings do you have a pic of what it should look like ?

    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!


  17. 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

     

     

    • Thanks 1

  18. 4 hours ago, 10FM68 said:

    14/20H were in Wavell Bks Benghazi, Libya between late 62 and Dec 65, having previously been in Hohne West Germany.  They left Libya for Cachy Bks Perham Down from Jan 66.  While in Libya, A Sqn was detached to Cyprus, for a tour with UNFICYP in May - Nov 65.

    10 68

    Correct. They were also in Medenine Barracks, Tripoli. B-Sqn, definately Oct 1962 to perhaps Jan 1966. The first date is 100% correct, the leaving date is not verified, yet. They took over from Cyclops 2RTR. Saladins, Saracens, Ferrets, RLs, K9s, LRs, a Scammell Explorer 93BD96 and 20t trailer and, a few odds and ends. All lovely Light Stone - coloured, bearing the Barbary Dhow flash of Tripolitania whilst the other squadrons over in Cyrenaica bore the Cyrene Pillars flash of that District.


  19. But I have a vision of you as a Brigadier, rather fetching, don't you forumers think? :imsmilin:

    Maybe in a little tank too?

    I'll be happy to stick with whatever I have, WO1 I think it is. But I would like my posts posted number to be returned, whoever's got it.


  20. 51 minutes ago, wally dugan said:

    yes mine has dropped and lizzie [ bluebell ] raised this question

    I did indeed report as you said Wally, but also missing from my Libya-Tripolitania thread are the 'Viewed' counts. The 'Viewed' counts were quite useful and provided some of the inspiration to keep posting. I did have 60,000 which was pretty good for a special-focus thread that has run for about a year.  Still, early days yet for this splendid new forum format.

    "Come on Joris, give us a 'fix' please". Thank you.

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