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Posts posted by BlueBelle

  1. Time for a TANK! A Centurion ARV Mk1 with 6RTR some 300 miles south of Homs on TA 24. There was a need to contact RHQ at home by morse so with the assistance of the regimental Signals officer, the ARV became, it seems, a command post, of sorts.

    There has very recently been some blagging on the forum about antenna size so this photo is a counter to those proceedings :laugh: Just look at the ARV's antenna! A 'standard' method or a 'Heath Robinson' job? I'd be interested to understand how the mast was fixed to the superstructure top, thinking that the mast base may have been a ground spike. Anyway, if I've linked up correctly with what The Tank says for this time and occasion with the photo timing, it didn't work then. No contact. I believe the set was a No19. Communications were also a hit or miss affair in those parts at that time (probably before then too), whether by morse or voice (I've yet to confirm what set was used for long range voice). Will this photo expand or not, who knows? I hope you enjoy seeing it nevertheless.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


  2. Nice photo Richard, expandable too, unlike mine when I want them to be and where those I don't care to be expandable, turn out to be so, and all despite following exactly the same uploading procedure from the same source (my laptop) each time. The length of file title has nothing to do with it, the file path neither (short and simple) and all irrespective of the same medium-to-small file size.

    I also wouldn't mind knowing how to remove an 'inappropriate' photo and duplicate thumbnail that has been dumped on 'my' thread, spoiling in my view, the view!

  3. A K9 K9. I presume you've seen the black K9? Not native to the desert, but taken along for the ride. Yes, there's one one on the bonnet and I bet its backside and paws are very hot as noon temperatures on this adventure reached 50.2C most days, so hot in fact that motoring ceased between noon and 16.00hrs.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


    'Whiskey' The K9's name was 'Whiskey'. Obvious really. I found out after a deluge of Tank Journals fell on me this morning when I opened the ''so strange' outdoor remote mailbox that these Canadian fellows make us have. Yes, everything covering 6RTR and then, 2RTR 1956-1962 inclusive and, in a 6RTR one there was 'Whiskey goes on scheme' with B Sqn. From Ron Gill REME, who took the photo, though he couldn't tell me the K9s name, did tell me that it belonged to a Major Barker (now, settle down and paws a while) who was the OC B Sqn at that time.

  4. Having made the sweeping statement that all black-painted jerrycans were for water, drinking and engines 'for the use of' and assuming they'd not be marked in anyway other than by the white paint infills to the side pressings, take a look at THIS black jerrycan!

    Whilst you're doing that, do notice the lovely Centurion ARV Mk 1 belonging to one of the squadron LADs attached to 6RTR from Homs whilst deep down in the desert on Training Area 24 (battle group size) in 1959. In doing that, you'll notice a man in a rather snazzy jump suit affair, a suit that you may wish to comment on as I've not seen anyone in the desert dressed in such an outfit. Is it a BAOR item? Standard issue? 'Borrowed' from a Libyan Army soldier? No matter what, the most important aspect of the photo is the man himself for he is no other than Sgt Ronald Gill REME through whose generousity we are able to see some of his suberb 6RTR Tripolitania Libya photos. Thanks Ron.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


  5. The lorry is definitely not a Hippo, I think it is an AEC Militant 10 tonner


    That's two of us that agree, AEC Mk1 Militant :-D The photo though was sent to me with 'Hippo' in the title written on the back (oh, no it wasn't, I was writing about another similar photo; the one we see here was sent as a jpg).

    I know of only one other photo of a Militant in Tripolitania and that is in the online RASC journal archive of the RLC Museum where sadly, as is the norm for all their low-grade scans of the periodicals, most photos are virtually indistinguishable though I could make out that what I saw was indeed, a sand-coloured Militant cab with a Barbary dhow flash!

  6. Swiftly moving on and sticking to the spirit of the thread title, let's 'do' more jerrycans, some even 'dug in' out in the desert. We're at a 'not long arrived in Libya' 1 Royal Scots exercise fuel dump far south in the Tripolitanian desert late 1961 where support was provided by 38 Coy RASC and 219 (Tripolitania) Sigs Sqn RS. Oh, REME too, from 61 Station Wksp at Gurgi. The Royal Scots took over at Medenine Barracks from the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Seen is an Austin K9 Radio shack and the rear of a Leyland Hippo ..... or is it an AEC 10 T, which were in theatre then? X body panels are a clue! I could tell you but I thought I'd let you, dear viewer decide what that lorry (I like that word, 'lorry', rather than 'truck' even though I'm not sure if a lorry is the same as a truck ;)) really is. 1/4 T trailers and tents!


    Photo by John Davey REME


  7. Stanag 2027 is a most useful reference document. Thanks Clive.

    I bet the painting of 'unofficial' names on vehicles is not covered :-D

    Look at this Champ 62BE61 from the same unit, 6 Fd Pk Sqn RE, same year as the sand-coloured one previously posted, this one with Spr Frank Hallsworth at the wheel in Prinn Barracks. 'TIGER' with what seem to be, little paw prints underneath each letter. Hmm, Arabic VRN too and what about that blank bridging plate! No bumperettes or white front diffs either :-D

    Tented accommodation at Prinn too.

    Both Champs display the 'soon to be removed', white rhino of 10 Armd Div. In this thread,

    Hansard was mentioned in relation to jerrycan quantities; again Hansard quotes a 1957 Parliament debate where it was noted 10 Armd Div had been disbanded in July 1957 yet, according to other sources, regimental journals and photos included, the Division in name only 'hung on' until November 1957. Thereafter, many Generals and their subordinates were 'hung out to dry', surplus to requirements just as large quantities of vehicles were sent to disposal parks as regiments were subjected to amalgamations and cap badge disappearances.

    Not the best quality photo but just an as important one nevertheless as is the previous Champ photo.

    Photo by Frank Hallsworth RE


  8. Now it’s time to show you Champ chaps and chapesses a Champ! This one belongs to 6 Fd Pk Sqn RE based at Prinn Barracks (it’s what the vehicle flashes, amongst other information I have, are telling me) though we see it outside 5 Medium Wksp REME Gurgi whilst on a REME ‘road’ test following a repair by the said workshop. The REME chap driving it is John Middleton, a National Serviceman who joined up the same time with Tony Burton REME. Both were in the same 56:10 intake and posted to workshops in Tripoli. They became best friends and it is through Tony’s generosity that I can show some of John’s Tripoli photos.

    Not sure what the H1 sign means and I can’t make out all the wording on the road test sign. On the top blue bar I believe I see ‘5 Med Wksp ****’, on the yellow bar the word(s) are impossible to read and, the red bottom bar has ‘Road Test’ written on it. Sadly, despite best efforts at remediation, the photo remains, blurred.

    Notice the state of the workshop wall; the physical state of the barracks were well below par compared to others used by the British in Libya (as confirmed in official journals of the period). Accommodation was tented apart from a bungalow for the OC.

    Photo by John Middleton NS56:10 REME


  9. Richard Farrant said:
    Hi Clive,

    Not sure how long that Sec. of State for War had been in office in 1956, but I have come across quite a number of jerricans dated early 50's (prior to 1956).


    Here are some 1952 ones in the desert around 1961. Notice the mess tins (year unknown) and the visiting pretty bird.

    Photo by CH Bloxham REME


  10. I am guessing a sheet would be laid over the 'bathtub and turning the night and change of temperature, water will form and collect in the tub.

    Could 'well' be Richard, a reverse process (almost) to the canvas evaporative water cooling units on the trucks! We'll be doing chemistry equations and physics principles next!

    These tub-type stuctures were often found next to a well in the middle of nowhere, as some photos I have show where about 8 troopers from 6RTR are are in a tub about that size happily splashing about enjoying a desert opportunity for a scrub down.

  11. Lizzie, great photo of a hard worked late K9 in the real world. I like all the additions - put those on for a show and I'm sure you'd be told they never had them. Wonder if the channel was for use as a pusher bar or for unditching, or a bit of both - can't quite see if it's held on with wingnuts or something that would need a tool. I wonder what happened to the driver's side wing mirror, and what the big pile of canvas on the locker is?


    Clive, comparing the jerrycan to the front of the body it certainly looks light stone. However I think if I had a convenient rack, particularly if packing up quickly after a job or loading up quickly, I might not worry too much about mixing fuel and water cans if they were clearly distinguished as these are, and if I knew I could rely on those with me not to confuse them. It's interesting that there doesn't appear to be a jerrycan in the proper holder.



    This isn't that same truck that'd had a new driver's side screen in a previous image, is it?


    Glad you like the photo Sean, I do too.

    A pusher? No no Sean, you need BUMPERETTES for that! Ha ha! Joking of course, especially as we've 'done' bumperettes already in this thread and the bumperette topic seemed a little 'heated' in another. So yes, quite possible that the sand channel was for pushing and shoving, held onto the front bumper by threads protruding from it and with securing nuts so one would need a spanner to take the thing off. Come on Sean, I created a 'special' expandable photo just for you so blow your photo up and you'll see what I mean ;) The steel wire strop and hooks for pulling.

    Like you, I spotted the windscreen 'new' black rubber and wondered if this K9 is the same one that we've seen here later on with 2RTR in Homs. As for a wing mirror missing, it wasn't me photoshopping it out!

    The rolled-up canvas I'm guessing, is tentage for REME when setting up camp or when parking up against broken down customers for lengthy repairs to be undertaken whilst everyone else trucked on. Sun shade.

  12. fv1609 said:
    I'm interested in the four jerrycans. Three are black & clearly for water, but what about the other one is that stone or a light brown? If it was stone or olive drab then it would be for fuel, it seems a bit odd that it is stored mixed in with water jerrycans?


    If it was for water then it should not be painted stone as this could have unfortunate consequences for either people or engines as it could be confusing. In the immediate post-war period jerrycans for water were to be painted brown & then later black.


    Brown jerrycan denyers will sometimes quote a section of the Materiel Regulations that cover jerrycans suggesting they should be olive drab or stone, but this is in the section on painting POL equipment not water.


    The jerrycan of worms is here for those who want apoplexy this early in the morning:




    So Lizzie are there any side on views or indeed any photos you have illustrating brown jerrycans for water as this is in the changeover period?


    Thanks Clive; jerrycans are indeed an interesting topic, more so for me because a 2RTR person we both know had the water jerrycan on the back of the Centurion he was commanding shot to 'colandar' status with a service revolver fired by his troop leader following behind in another Centurion. Heard nothing, saw nothing but the evidence was ample, an empty, perforated jerrycan (it was assumed the target was the water jerrycan, and of note, the this officer whose aim was true, went on to become a Brigadier).

    More recently, were not brown water jerrycans made of brown-coloured polythene (to a different pattern) and not simply original metal jerrycans painted brown then black? Ha ha! Jerrycan worms!


    No, I do not have any photos of brown water jerrycans that I know of though I'm receiving photos of Tripolitania sand-coloured stuff every week. I shall be on a lookout for brown water jerrycans from now on. In the K9K9 photo, the jerrycan to me appears to be light stone though a shade different to the vehicle. The vehicle also has the same rack arrangement on the other side, full of black jerrycans. It must be noted that the water jerrycans contained water for human consumption as well as for vehicle cooling systems. Priorities?;)

    On the water topic, most vehicles utilised one or more canvas evaporative water cooling units, usually strung from the wing mirror arms. Hi-tech at its best! Also, if navigation was spot on and vehicles managed to keep going, an oasis would 'spring' up in the most unlikely of places in the seemingly arid wastelands.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


  13. Hi Lizzie,

    The 'sand channel' on the front of the K9 is actually a Ferret ditching channel. Not supplied with any other vehicle (that I am aware of).

    Hello Richard,

    Thanks for the answer. Is a ditching channel used for crossing ditches (little ones) or, for putting on the ground against wheels that are tractionless in sinking sand? In practical terms, is just one ditching channel any use? Not knowing about these matters, I would have thought you'd need two, one for each wheel side, to be of any real use in getting a vehicle out of soft sand and on the move again?

  14. Let's get out into the desert and sunshine with 6RTR who in 1958/9 were out from Homs with a few B vehicles 'doing' desert navigation exercises. They took Dreamy REME with them, just in case and, one of them Bluebells was our superb C Sqn Sgt fitter, Ronald Gill REME who took the photo and loads more besides.

    This is the REME wagon, a K9 K9 FFW and, just look at the modifications to carry jerrycans and that 'strange' sand channel. Have we seen sand channel like that before? Probably, though it to me seems different. maybe it's a K9 pretending to be a Ferret? :-D I bet you're wondering what the VRN is? So am I :-D

    Tears in the canvas (more obvious on another few photos of it), antenna deployed and looking quite 'different' to your 'bog standard' K9, don't you think? Sean.:-D A K9 K9. I presume you've seen the black K9? Not native to the desert, but taken along for the ride. Yes, there's one one on the bonnet and I bet its backside and paws are very hot as noon temperatures on this adventure reached 50.2C most days, so hot in fact that motoring ceased between noon and 16.00hrs.

    Do you like the cupola spotlight? I think there's a sun compass in the cab too. Looks overall quite 'war-like' rather than being a simple little cargo truck on mundane duty.

    Oh, do remember the colour of the canvas on this K9 K9, for reference a little later.

    A great shot of (which 'blows up' nicely for K9 aficionados everywhere though how I did it this time I don't know) a sandy-coloured truck and a dog in the deserts of Libya.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


  15. Popping back to 19 Armoured Workshop at Gialo Barracks (Annexe) and the storm damage, look what else was under the collapsed workshop roof!

    Yes, there's the MP LR again, and next to it are, to quote the photographer "The Standard Vanguard is a Phase 1 model identified as such by the spats fitted to the rear bodywork/wheel arches.

    This vehicle was in it's civilian colour being a beige cum pink shade so reasonably compatible with our local sand camouflage colour. The black Humber Pullman must have been frightfully hot in the Summer months since it was not air conditioned!".

    That scenario would have been worth a few 'extras' for someone, I'm sure! Who parked 'prestige' cars like that under a rickety tin leanto? It wasn't our photographer, I'm sure! :-D

    Photo by Tony Burton 56:10 REME


  16. Red triangles! A very BIG thank you to Wally and Clive for so happily shedding light, knowledge and wisedom yet again! True gentlemen and such an asset to those of us in the dark. To think they're not even LR 'experts' or aficionados per se (oh bumperettes, what if they are? :red:) and that there wasn't a LR expert (nor an MP) who came to the rescue!

    When I get (notice the positivity) a BIG photo of that Homs LR, we'll take a peak at what's inside the red triangle as I'm sure everyone will want to know :cheesy:.

  17. wally dugan said:
    Lizzie still a series one but now is a 86 wheel base and fitted with a two litre engine and called a mark three it was one of a batch of numbers from 00 BR 01 to 07 BR 59 for contract 6/v/8599 can you please enlarge the DIV sign




    Great stuff, thanks Wally.

    The 'larger' photo I have will not produce the result we need ..... it's not large enough! I am gently cajoling, and repeatedly so, the intrepid and very generous photographer who 'was there' and who took the photo(s), to either 'scan BIG' or send me the originals for scanning. Most folk send me their originals, hence whilst the subject matter is usually excellent, the ‘my way’ scanned photo quality invariably becomes or has the scope, to be excellent too. It is an unnecessary battle but one worth standing my ground for as the results show. Hi-res photos needed for scrutiny and of course, for ‘The Book’.

    Now then. The MP’s LR is not displaying a Divisional flash. No, not even an Arm of Service black rectangle for an MP unit and nor is it displaying the Formation flash which should be, for a Tripolitania-based unit, the Tripolitania District, Barbary dhow. That ‘thing’ we see is a ‘peculiar to RMPs’ sign for an Escort sub-unit (usually VIPs) in that part of the World at that time. Two star generals were worthy of an escort; maybe the two little red rectangles in the red triangle represent '2 stars'? I may be barking up ‘that’ tree again, though by way of ‘deep mining’ the web I saw on this site:


    the photo below, for discussion/interest etc., as it’s not mine, of an early MP LR in Malta, similarly ‘badged’, though with ‘proper’ Formation and Arm of Service flashes. I know nothing more, though I have asked the Libya photographer, Ron Gill REME for more info if he has it. Where are the MP experts when needed? :-D


  18. Let's have another white-painted LR Series 1(?) front diff! Look, its even got 'proper positioned' sidelights too and no bumperettes!

    A spick n' span MP one again, in 1959, photographed by Ron Gill REME, as it headed a convoy of plush and not so plush staff cars from Tripoli into the barracks at Homs, home then to 6RTR. In the cars were many bigwig Generals, a Brigadier and, the then British Minister of Defence, Christopher Soames.

    Barrack Dress for winter months, KDs with shorts and/or trousers in summer. Smart webbing and holsters packing Webley (? I do know for sure, but forgotten and can't be bothered to dig for reference- do you realise how much Libya 'stuff' I have amassed? ) service revolvers.

    I have never seen that 'flash' on a Libya vehicle or on any other elsewhere and so, dear experts, I turn to you for your assistance please. Is the flash something to do with 3 Division? No, they weren't in Libya. 19 Brigade? No, they weren't there either. Has that LR been shipped over from Cyprus just for the 'visit'? Mr Soames visited Cyprus (Apr 59) just before or just after visting Homs.

    What fun!


  19. And what was interesting is that it appears to have its front diff painted white. I have seen this many times on restored vehicles - a result of a misunderstanding, but never on an actual military vehicle.


    Of course, as forum users will know only too well, the reason for a white-painted diff is so that it reflects the light from the convoy lamp when in use at night, but that applies, of course, only to the rear diff not to the front. So, I suspect, if the colour is indeed white, some bored military policeman, told to smarten up his Land Rover - and in all other respects, and notwithstanding the crushed windscreen, it is immaculate - took a tin of white paint to the front diff either by accident or design (and, of course, many MP Land Rovers, used for escorting senior officers were routinely "bulled" with additional painted "detailing", even white-wall tyres (ugh))


    Anyone else got a better theory?


    Oh and it has interesting tread on the tyres.


    10 68


    I say! A white painted front diff! Thank you for that 1068, though did you not see the same on the MP LR Series 1 (with 'proper postioned' sidelights) in my page 25 photo? No, nor did I. :-D

  20. Thank you Wally, Gordon and Sean. Do you know that the 'missing' sidelights had me burrowing the web (my goodness, so many really good and authorative sights, even just for Series 1 LRs) for evidence to show where the sidelights were, and yes, I found info and photos aplenty. The sidelights are indeed on the front bulkhead just under the windscreen. Armed thus, I again looked at the modified LR above and there's a sidelight there! Do look again! So exciting (I jest, of course, who could be so excited by finding a sidelight?)!

    That LR was in 19 Armoured Workshop, Gialo Barracks (Annex) when the photo was taken.

  21. There’s an unusual church in Deepcut. It’s St Barbara’s, the garrison church of the Royal Logistic Corps (I meant, the RAOC!). The Church was built in 1901 to serve the Deepcut and Blackdown army training camps, and was dedicated as St Michael and All Angels Garrison Church. It was only in 1967 that the church was re-named St Barbara’s Garrison Church.

    Built from wood and corrugated iron, it’s an interesting, and quirky church. No good as an aircraft hangar though. As you would expect in a garrison church, it contains flags, memorial plaques, and has some wonderful stained glass windows. My REME father married his first wife, a WRAC, there in 1950 or 51.

    St Barbara Tin Church Deepcut.jpg

  22. I forgot to add, the photo is probably 1957, post Suez as the H mark that would most likely have been on it has been 'scrubbed' off. Though there were still vehicle running around with a H markk well into 1958 and beyond. The standing white rhino on a black oval at that point in time indicates the 'in terminal decline' of 10 Armd Div prior to its Nov 1957 termination and the formation of the Tripolitania and Cyrenaica Districts, though yet again, them rhinos could still be seen mid 1958 on some vehicles. Of course, had the photo been taken very early 1956, then the rhino would have been that of 25 Armoured Brigade which morphed into 10 Armoured Div for the Suez Debacle.

    The white 43 indicates an RMP Company and the Arm of Service patch it's on is black.:cheesy:

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