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BlueBelle

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Everything posted by BlueBelle

  1. Thank you Wally, as ever, relied upon for more great factual information :yay:
  2. Parked right next to the LR. Can't you see it? See then, how well that sand blends in with Light Stone to the degree that things become invisible! :-D Maybe next time it will reveal itself? Oh, whilst replying, I must point out, in my helpful 'mistress of information' capacity, that the badge 'MELF' is the abbreviation for Middle East Land Forces, just in case you were wondering :laugh:
  3. Last go! You have been to the railway museum, Clive, in Swindon and seen Class 4073 Caerphilly Castle and photoed a worn wheel on it. It was a famous Castle in its day during the 50s. I don't 'do' trains but I can sleuth or guess reasonably well though I'm probably miles off on the wrong side of Offa's Dyke on this one! :-D
  4. Englishmen approaching! Raise the drawbridge, drop the portcullis! Archers to your posts! They want our easter Eggs! Boil the oil! I really haven't got a clue to be honest! :-D
  5. Notice too, how the Tripolitanian landscape, the sand, is a perfect colour match to the Light Stone paint applied to the LR :-D
  6. Now a little something for the Land rover, or is it Landrover or, Land Rover aficionados amongst you, especially sand-coloured ones. There was a time, of which I'm not really sure as I know nothing about the type, when the army in Tripolitania received (from the Trials 'department' at 595 Ord Depot RAOC, Kassala Barracks Tripoli at kilo 21) a Series 2A (I think?) Ambulance for desert testing. Yes, isn't this exciting. A 'noo' ambulance taken on by 38 Coy RASC at Prinn Barracks Tripoli, who, at around the same time, took on a Trials Austin K9 Multifuel Ambulance (sand-coloured too) for desert testing and pitched them both against an in-service Ford Thames E4 ambulance (sand-coloured too!). Many wheeled traipses through the deserts of Tripolitania ensued, some maybe into the Fezzan. I think I'm correct in saying that a noticeable difference between the trial LR ambulance and the production 'in-service' type is the central air intake/outlet on the cab overhang of the trials version and the ommission of it on production versions as two smaller corner intakes/outlets were evident. I feel the year of these trials was 1961 as plastered on the windscreen of the LR is a stenciled A/F 12/60 marking which surely means ...... Antifreeze checked/filled December 1960. Have I sleuthed that correctly, I wonder? Also, there is a sticker or 'homemade' badge on the LR nose that says 'Trials', then 'MELF' (on a red pennant) and under that the word 'Vehicle'. The very same 'homemade' badge appeared on the nose of at least one Homs-based sand-coloured FV421 Cambridge Load Carrier 3 years earlier. Pay no attention to the scruff in attendance. No, cancel that. His appearance is worthy of note; issue brown daps that have not been (as 'normally' required to be) boot-polished black, grey issue socks which preceded green ones, KD shorts, a shirt 'scratchy' KF or jungle green tropical all hanging out, the RASC lanyard, beret and non-issue shades. A Sgt too, who should have been given a month's worth of weekend extras as Orderly Sgt in full ceremonial best dress! Not that I 'do' uniforms or am pedantic about items of service uniform clothing like some folk are! Photo by CH Bloxham REME
  7. A 50 pound lump of charcoal you found in the fire pit of that famous Welsh castle at the bottom of your garden? Pasg dedwydd ichi i gyd ac efallai y bydd y gwningen Pasg fod yn hael i chi. :yay:
  8. Update! Don't you just love 'getting it right'! I can confirm the RL belongs to 42Regt RA, Cyprus 1959-62, who with their 25pdrs, visited Libya frequently, even venturing from Tarhuna into the Tibesti mountains bordering French Equatorial Africa and Niger. :-D
  9. Lynn, whoever she is, may be perplexed, just as Ron may now be too!:laugh: Kind regards, Lizzie
  10. See, I was on the right track with 'engine cowl' and, Wally has to have a BIG Thank You!:yay: Odd thing to do with it though. Maybe used as a visual aid for when an FV421 'moved'?
  11. Lucky me! I have a new source of many, previously unseen by Jo Public, 6RTR Libya photos! I'll show some here too, but as you know, I'm saving the very best for 'The Book'. Taken by yet another REME bod (they were so good with their cameras weren't they, the REME folk), one Ronald Gill, then a REME Sgt Fitter (were they called A Mechs by then, and not 'fitter'?) with the 6RTR LAD. So, don't get too excited but here we have one of those FV421 Cambridge Load Carriers getting fixed up in the LAD of Homs camp. Can't make the VRN out but you can see the Tripolitania District flash clear enough. I'm negotiating on getting my hands on the original transparency to produce a better image. Fingers crossed (OK, Ron? He's looking in!). Can you see the LAD Halftrack? Can you see a cement mixer? But what is that DBG thing standing on the concrete? Is it a detached engine cowl or bonnet and, from what? Another 6RTR bod tells me that the 421s spent most of their time in Libya, broken down. One was parked up and 'forgotten', another, in his squadron had only 1 mile on the clock and when the OC found that out, he went ballistic and had him (his troop) take turns for days on end driving around the tank park and up and down the beach (just outside the front gates) in order to notch up track mileage. The regiment did not appreciate having these 'things' foisted upon them, so he said. Photo by Ronald Gill REME
  12. 2RTR Homs. Unaware, it seems, until last year when I pointed the boo boo out to them. They then blamed REME!!!! Ha Ha! Thanks for sticky sticker info. Yes, I'd forgotten about the army trade of Signwriter.
  13. Good to know, thanks Wally. I wonder who made those vinyl-type sticky ones? And now? Not that I'd get away with plastering our cars here with them! :-D
  14. A two-masted Tripolitania District formation flash, facing East with a cargo of British slaves. Seen in 1960 on the rear end of Saladin ...... 00BB75!!! What happened to the 3rd mast and sail? Why is the dhow facing the wrong way? Were these flashes self-adhesive vinyl-type sticky things, were they water-slide transfers (QDGs had them in silver for their double-headed birds), or, were they painted on? Maybe a bit of everthing! When were vinyl-type sticky formation/arm of service flashes first used if used at all? :-D
  15. Yes, point taken about dhows and lions facing 'the wrong way'. These two lions I found straying on the web; billed as MELF post war. I would go further and say, post early 1956 and the British withdrawal from Egypt (maybe even post Suez?). The lions are slightly different in that one appears to be 'bullion' (no pun intended in composition of that word) perhaps for a commissioned soldier's uniform (or mid-east ceremonial No 3s or 4s, whatever they were .... I don't 'do' uniforms) whilst the other is just plain. Quite some size though, over 3'' top to tail! The lions and their backing colours are what I think I see (squint) on that Warpaint Saladin and as what I squint at on those tank transporters. The flash I believe, would have been assigned to those vehicles, sub-units and personnel at HQ Command level, i.e; those not assigned to specific divisions, brigades or .... regiments. I am most willing to be corrected on my jottings here so please don't be reticent or slow in providing more wisedom than I have done on these markings. Experts lurking are for me like the chocolate frog in a teapot!
  16. You are so naughty, again, Sean! I do though, concur with your view. Have you ever seen such a lion before, and if so, where? Scotland (I jest)?
  17. Thanks for the reply, David. Let's look at another DT trailer with a 6RT Centurion aboard at Homs 1957/8, the front end close-up of what seems to be a lion with its four legs sticking out to the right, a crown above its head and perhaps something (a globe?) under its bottom, all on a rectangular patch which may be a single unknown colour or a say, red above dark blue? Can anyone throw more light on this please? Photo by Peter Doyle 6RTR.
  18. Now it’s time for a first, yes, something from 6RTR who were based in Barce (Cyrenaica, Libya) from July 1957 to November 1957, and who then, apart from a squadron and their tanks who were deployed to Cyprus, found themselves stationed in Homs, Tripolitania just in time for Christmas. Their arrival in Homs permitted 23 Sqn RE, who’d been sent there on ‘empty camp’ guard duty since the departure of 3RHA in May 1957, to return to their parent unit in Tripoli, 22 Eng Regt RE, who then, as a regiment, promptly departed Libya for the UK (and Christmas in Blighty) as the rapid (and ‘massive’) drawdown of British forces from Libya really began to take effect. There, that’s set the scene; now we see some of 6RTR’s Centurions (early Mk3s), complete with their mono-trailers, sat on Diamond T transporters ‘somewhere outside Homs’ (so the photographer informs me, though I have my doubts as will be evident later on), either very late November 1957 or very early in 1958. Any later and the 25 Armd Bde/10 Armd Div flash and the red rectangular armoured 52 flash (applied to the tanks and other vehicles when they first arrived in Barce from the UK) were soon replaced by, yes, the Tripolitania District flash (rectangles and shields) and the RAC red/yellow/white bar 6 R TKS flash (as we’ll see in some other photos later). Several things to note, if you’re of a mind to do so. First is the mono-trailer wheel on the ground; this was apparently transported just as you see without the trailer being screwed up and held in place with locking bars between the tank rear upper hull eyelets and the eyelets on top of the mono-trailer rear plate. Yes, driven like that; I have a photo of such on a main road in BAOR, not mine so I can’t show it here. Astonishing? Some of us know that 2RTR hoicked their mono-trailers up and locked them mid-air so as to permit easy and safe loading, unloading and driving of transporters. To be fair, the photographer, then a subaltern, hasn’t answered my question as to whether or not the trailers were lifted and locked or not. If you look closer again, the tank rear upper hull eyelets are already occupied by the tie-down chains to the transporter deck. Hmmm. What else? Well, whilst the photo quality makes close scrutiny a little difficult, can you see the Division/Command flash and the Arm of Service flash on the Diamond T trailer? I can. One is the RASC flash and the other is a Command flash, the latter which looks like to me, a lion facing right, with its four legs sticking out to the right, a crown above its head and perhaps something (a globe?) under its bottom, all on a rectangular patch which may be a single unknown colour or a say, red above dark blue? Hmmm, does anyone know what it is as I have a suspicion that this is (where I go wrong again) something to do with the Command at that point still being MELF transitioning into NELF Cyprus HQ and the shifting of Libya Districts to Malta Command. There appears to be a fuzzy photo of such a lion flash on a 3RTR Cyprus Saladin 1987 (page 100) in Warpaint V3, which by the way is a generally good reference overall, though totally lacking on the colour schemes and marking of Libya-based formations and vehicles other than the reference to Light Stone (omitted camouflage schemes, tut tut) and the two District flashes which we all know about. I’ll have to write it myself I suppose. So, back to my doubts about where the photo was taken; could it just be that the photo shows the 6RTR squadron in Cyprus on Cyprus-based tank transporters? Could be perhaps, as the photographer spent some months there in 1957 with his regiment. The Tripolitania-based tank transporter unit around that time was 1 Coy RASC Tripoli, who were part of, or who had been subsumed into 38 Company RASC, though not for long. I have evidence to suggest that by December 1958, there were no tank transporting capabilities in Tripolitania, borne out by 6RTR, as the last tank regiment in Libya with tanks becoming tankless around the same time as their armour was shipped back to the UK from Tripoli on the heavy lift ship BenalBanach. They certainly were tankless in April 1959, though I can’t substantiate if that event occurred earlier. 6RTR seemingly were left with just trucks and Champs for five months (or more) before setting sail for the UK on the Dunera at the end of August 1959! I shall get the low-down on that period, fear not! Please remember, some of what I write is from memories of those who were there, suppositions based on their photos and could be subject to a pinch of salt here and there and in some cases, whilst intriguing, is as much ‘intellectual’ use as a well educated chocolate frog in a teapot. Can you see a slave lead? Do tell me please, what you can see and what you know. Photo by Peter Doyle 6RTR
  19. I take it as read that you all spotted the differences in the same Saladin in the previous two colour photos? Well done! :-D Now we can see the same 07BB75 AGAIN, which at first had no 'name', then became 'Coyote' and has now become 'Cougar' in this line up outside the main gate of Homs camp. The building behind the line up is the Sgt's Mess and RHQ. We're on parade with the 2 Troop, Cyclops 2RTR 'Honour Guard' for King Idris who would motor past along the main road (Via Balbia) you see between Tripoli and Benghazi. There's a Libyan policeman in the road. The second Saladin is callsign 2A, VRN 00BB34 and is Trevor Dady's 'panzer' now named 'Cheetah'. That's him (Troop Sgt) standing in front of it with his crew. Hmm, I wonder if the vehicle Tripolitania District flash has changed shape from rectangle to shield, vice versa or indeed, whether all are the same shape at the same time? Can you see a bridging plate anywhere? Can you see the name plates on the Saladins (Ferrets had them too)? Photo by Trevor Dady 2RTR
  20. Saladins in Light Stone as featured in my thread were first in Libya late 1959 to late 1962 with 2RTR. The same vehicles were passed on to 14/20 Hussars for use in Libya, and then on to 5th Skins. I have seen a photo of Saladins being shipped out of Tobruk in 1969/70 adorned in Light Stone and DBG or possibly Black camouflarge. I may get round to Saladins with 14/20 H in due course. My photos of Saladins do not provide all round views of any one single vehicle, so one would have to have a series of photos of different vehicles to build up what any single vehicle stowed externally or what markings it may have worn. Those photos are appearing from time to time (still got many hundreds more of Libya vehicles to scan/resize, annotate etc) on my Tripolitania thread. Any specifics regarding any aspects of Saladins in Libya I'll address in that thread in a bid to keep the sandy-coloured stuff together in one place. There's information aplenty there on unit markings and more appearing all the time. I take it you have the external (and internal) stowage diagrams from the User Handbook? Here are two external views:
  21. Solid Tan? What colour is that? Which army? Think Light Stone. You should be looking here for authentic in-service wonderful Light Stone painted real Saladins with real markings and ...... http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?54778-Libya-Tripolitania-vehicles-barracks-1950s-to-1966/page27 :) Photo by John Empson REME
  22. Oh! Look again! It's THAT Saladin, now 6 months 'old' trundling gingerly down the escarpment towards the Tummo waterhole on Ex Crescent Moon. They had to get up it on the way back! Now, notice just how much of a difference in appearance 6 months make! I'll let you, dear viewer contribute by telling us of the visible differences Aren't Light Stone Saladins particularly delightful to behold! Photo by Trevor Dady 2RTR
  23. The dangly thing is a giant REME capbadge casting or molding! :laugh: I looked at the master photo, a big one, and saw them quite clearly. Also, one of the Scammells appears on another photo at its previous unit, 10 Base Ord Depot Geneifa, Egypt which closed in Jan. 1956.
  24. Shall we have a Saladin now? Yes, let's as it seems an in vogue topic. Rather fetching, don't you think? Brand new, fresh Light Stone livery, as indeed were all the Saladins. No problems with markings here either! The RAC flash has stencilled (crudely) in the white band '2 R TKS'. The Trip Dist flash is, at this point, a rectangular version. It changed and changed back and changed again and it appeared to be a right hodge podge of rectangles and shields, some with dhows missing a mast and sail, some dhows facing east instead of west! There is a 4"x4" (or 6"x6"?) RAC silver and black tank badge flash on the mantlet to the side of the main gun barrel and a much smaller version in the barrel end cap. Notice there's no bridge plate! I know it did arrive in Homs with one on the front wheel guard, a yellow circle and a number 11 in black though rather an odd font similar to an earlier Saladin I posted earlier. Can you see a neat O on the turret? Yes, Cyclops sqn and there's a 2A inside the O. This means it was the 2 Troop Sgt's Saladin though it soon became the Troop Leader's with the 2 Troop Sgt (Trevor Dady ) being allocated 07BB34 'Cheetah'. The Saladin shown soon also received a name, as did every armoured vehicle eventually except those of Badger who for an unknown reason, never named them. 'Coyote' in 4" white lettering on a black rectangle painted low down under the callsign on either side of the turret. Ajax sqn, in the beginning, and being 'different', had a smaller version of the name plate, one either side of the driver's vision blocks (see my 'Afridi' Saladin photo earlier) and they relocated their silver and black RAC badges from the mantlet to the front wheel guard. Oh look! There's Ajax behind Cyclops and, in the background, the Braithwaite tower. Photo by John Empson REME.
  25. Pukka = real, genuine. Also associated with a brand of pie favoured by Britons, probably soldiers too. NAM = National Army Museum (London) The Tank Museum and regimental archives will hold photos of Saladins in pukka markings.
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