Great to see the Tripoli badge/logo again after all this time! I used to have several of these lying around but they have now all disappeared.
Perhaps I should start by explaining our role in the RAPC at the District Pay Office. Prinn Barracks,Tripoli and my small part in this.
The Office was formed to take care of Pay and Allowances of the British Army serving in the Middle East making sure that all received their proper entitlements . I think there were around 30 Other Ranks working there and these were mainly Nat. Service conscripts with approx 6 Regulars. We had an Office Commanding (lt.Col Skeates).a Major (Griffiths), W O 1 (Offord) and a couple of Sergeants.. My job was that of a Postman which involved collection and delivery of mail around the Tripoli area and despatch of mail to various bases around the Middle East. I had the use of a civilian driver along with use of transport, usually a Land Rover,Standard Vanguard Car, Wilys Jeep, Austin Champ or whatever small transport was available. That completes my knowledge of Military vehicles so any enthusiasts can stop reading now!
The Barracks at Prinn were pretty basic and perhaps typical of British Barracks generally. I think they were built by the Italians at the time when it was an Italian Colony. There were some married quarters for Regulars on the base and we had a Food Hall, Naafi, a Tailor and Hairdresser along with a large Dhobi Tent . There was a transport Unit based there (do not remember Unit) along with a Military Police Unit. So there were always all types of vehicles around.. The camp certainly bore no resemblance to the nearby American Air Force Base at Wheelus Field which was like another world in comparison!
My memories of the area have become a little hazy as it is about 60 years since I was there but I'll let you know what I can recall of the various barracks.
Almost daily I had to collect mail from the RAF base at Idris Airport which at the time was the only Airport serving Tripoli for military and civilian flights. On the way back towards Tripoli centre we would pass on the left the large British Military Hospital which was operated by QARANC's . Approx 2/3 miles before Tripoli Centre we would take a right towards Prinn Barracks (I do not know the name of this road). On the left hand side of this road we would pass what I believe was the REME workshops and after this. again on the left came the Military Corrective Establishment (M,C,E) which was quite a large Camp. Eventually coming to Prinn barracks on the right hand side set back.
The MCE was run by the "Redcaps" and was a scary place to visit and I was always glad that I was only a visitor and not an inmate! Some years later I saw a film called "The Hill" which starred Sean Connery and I' m sure the film was based on this MCE.
You will know how hot it could be in Libya and I felt for the inmates as they were marched everywhere "on the double" usually carrying buckets of water for no apparent reason..
More to come in due course. I will post some photos when i have sorted out how to do this on the website!.