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Catch 22 LBDR

Morris gun tractor history and markings

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Hi all, I have decided to try (against the odds) to find out some history about my Morris quad. Its a MK 3 beetle back. My Quad was still sporting its Desert colours (Portland stone all over) when I got it and had wondered how the vehicle had made it into civilian hands this way. Was it In Aden maybe? I also wondered if Mk3's were ever used in North Africa. I am going to paint her up as per the picture, but will this be accurate. Also I had assumed that tracing its history next to imposable. If I were to try how would I go about it?

 

Chassis number 1929 F.W.D. 8580 (8)

Engine number LH30990

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=83226&d=1382987672

 

Hear are some pictures of the original markings, Any idea's??

 

The cycle (weight disc) has a square or shield divided diagonally with a silver line. The top left triangle was gold then latter yellow, or framed in yellow. and the bottom right triangle is blue. There is evidence of a letter or number on the gold (but not on the blue) painted in silver. Its all panted onto the Portland stone (desert yellow). The whole disc was once painted yellow and also green. The green looks to be the factory paint.

 

The Square is painted a grey colour all over with the letter painted in yellow and repainted in silver. The letter could be the Greek omega symbol and the picture could be up the wrong way.

 

Chassis number is 1929 F.W.D. 8580 (c8) Engine number is LH 30990.

attachment.php?attachmentid=83225&d=1382987538&thumb=1

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=83224&d=1382987487&thumb=1

 

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Someone has told me on another thread that the symbol on the square could be a post war symbol for the 72nd Indian Infantry Brigade. But we couldn't find out any information about the 72nd after 1945. Does anyone have any Ideas?

 

img243.jpg

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Not having much luck finding out any information. Have fired off a good few emails to different organisations and museum's. but no joy. I knew it would be difficult. :beatenup:

 

Someone said to try out these two books, I know they are wartime ones but maybe worth a try. “Formation Badges of World War 2” and “British Military Markings1939-45” by Hodges. If anyone has the books could you take a look for me. I dont fancy forking out for two books that may or may not hold any answers. :thanx:

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COPIES out of HOWARD COLES book on the 72nd indian could the fact that there is little on this unit due to the fact that INDIA got independence after ww2 l have several books on british army formation marking and historiesif no one else comes forward l will lok for you

 

REGARDS WALLY

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Thank you Wally, I would be most grateful. Your statement makes sense. That would mean that more than likely all the vehicles would have bean handed over to the Indian Army for there use, in witch case it would not have made it back to the UK to be sold, or the vehicle would have bean brought back and struck off in 1945, but then this would mean it should be painted green? and the markings are incorrect.

 

If the markings are post war then we need to be looking at desert campaigns between 1945-59 (my paper work suggests the Quad's saw service well into the 50's). That really only leaves the "Iran Crises of 1945-46" and the Greek civil war 1946-49. I think Aden is to late for Quads to be used.

 

Alternatively the markings could be war time. this would mean it would have needed to have finished up in North Africa, grease or the middle east before being brought home and struck off. Or the vehicle could have stayed in these areas with British garrisons post war (unlikely)

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IT seems the 72nd indian infantry brigade was part of the british indian army and as such was disbanded after ww2 for the reason l gave as it comprised of three british battalions is not possible they retained there vehicles if so they would remain in use with the british army also the yellow and blue on the bridge plate is post war as during the war this was

red and green for the RASC but the yellow and blue was not seperated by a diagonal line in a other colour l have looked at

peter hodges book not alot of use STILL looking for post war history on the 72nd to see were they served have a friend who served in greece during the troubles so he may remember who was out there at that time

 

 

REGARDS WALLY

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If the markings are post war then we need to be looking at desert campaigns between 1945-59 (my paper work suggests the Quad's saw service well into the 50's). That really only leaves the "Iran Crises of 1945-46" and the Greek civil war 1946-49. I think Aden is to late for Quads to be used.

 

Alternatively the markings could be war time. this would mean it would have needed to have finished up in North Africa, grease or the middle east before being brought home and struck off. Or the vehicle could have stayed in these areas with British garrisons post war (unlikely)

 

Hi, could I ask if there's any reason why you seem to be discounting Palestine (up to 1948), Trans-Jordan or Egypt (to mid-1950s) as possible service locations? The first & last were certainly subject to large British deployments post-war.

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Hi, could I ask if there's any reason why you seem to be discounting Palestine (up to 1948), Trans-Jordan or Egypt (to mid-1950s) as possible service locations? The first & last were certainly subject to large British deployments post-war.

 

Other than I am an uneducated swine I cant think of any reason :blush:

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Other than I am an uneducated swine I cant think of any reason :blush:

 

My Dad was there, so they tend to be the first places I think of when anyone mentions the British Army in the late '40s to mid-'50s :)

 

I have a book on the last days in Palestine which lists quite a few of the units there - if I can find it, I'll see if there are any specific RA units mentioned that might have owned your Quad. As for Egypt, there's a good photo site here: http://www.suezcanalzone.com/pics01.html - I haven't been through them all for a while, but do remember quite a few MVs in evidence, so there might perhaps be some with markings similar to yours if we're lucky.

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THIS is all l have found when the 72nd was disbanded the british element been the 6th south wales borderers the 9th

royal sussex regiment and lastly the gloucester regiment where incorprated in to the 1st infantry division 1n 1946 there were in egypt for two months before going to palestine until 1948 there is mention of this in the history of the royal sussex regiment they returned to egypt then went to libya until 1951 the 1st infantry division was disbanded in 1960

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Thank you Wally for taking the time and looking that up for me. I found this on Wikipedia, more or less the same as what you have said. However the 1st Infantry Davison's symbol is a blue triangle with a black border and a white spot in the centre. This doesn't match the markings on my vehicle.

British_1st_Division_Insignia.png

 

[h=2]Post war[/h] After the war the division only remained in Palestine for a short time. It was transferred to Egypt for a few months before going back to Palestine in April 1946. Two years later as the British mandate over Palestine ended the division returned to Egypt, also spending periods in Libya up until 1951. In October of that year, as British forces pulled out of Egypt outside of the Suez Canal Zone the division garrisoned that small area. After British forces withdrew from Egypt the division returned to the UK for a short while in 1955 and 1956. Whilst in the UK it was reduced to one brigade in 1956.

In 1960 it was disbanded before being reformed as the 1st Division based in Verden an der Aller in Germany as part of British I Corps in the British Army of the Rhine.

 

 

It does explain how the desert painted vehicle could have made it to Ireland. It could have easily bean struck off in 1955/56. I also discovered that the Gloucester regiment was the 10th Gloucester regiment (during the war when the 72nd came under the 36th Indian Division).

 

Do we have any way of connecting the markings found on my vehicle with the 1st infantry division?

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Thank you Wally for taking the time and looking that up for me. I found this on Wikipedia, more or less the same as what you have said. However the 1st Infantry Davison's symbol is a blue triangle with a black border and a white spot in the centre. This doesn't match the markings on my vehicle.

 

Hi again. I must confess, I'm not familiar with that symbol in connection with the 1st Inf. Div. at all - I'm pretty certain that the badge used on both vehicles & uniforms from the '30s to the '50s (at least) was a plain white equilateral triangle (with point uppermost), as shown on one of my Dad's (rather battered) KD slip-ons:

 

1st Inf Div formation badge (on 'slip-on').jpg

 

 

Is there any sign of a plain white triangle anywhere on your Quad?

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Yes I have also come across the white triangle you mentioned but it does not appear on my vehicle, the only markings are the ones I posted at the start of this thread. The symbol I posted for the 1st Inf came off the Wikipedia site. >:(

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while looking into this l came across mention of the white triangle badge and the the 1st {regular} division it is my opinion that the one you posted to day is post war and when the division was reformed with elements of the 72nd indian as to the first picture said to be the divisional sign l cannot locate a picture in any of my books on the subject also

it is not quite the same as the picture you posted one its in white over yellow two the curl looks more like horns than a twist the arm of service is not quite right ie the white line seperating the two colours is no possible some one has touched up the originals badly

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I agree Wally. The 72nd might be a wild goose, I have sent a PM to Ivor, the guy who gave me the information first to see if he can shed some more light on the subject. I had thought the symbol is more like an upside-down Omega letter. It's also on a dark gray or dark green background not blue and the letter was originally painted yellow and then repainted in white.

 

As for the other badge I have no Idea. The silver line may have bean white at some stage and there is evidence of white paint under the blue. It's odd that it was painted onto the bridge plate. There is a symbol in silver painted on the gold/yellow part. It looks like the top left corner of a capital "D"

Edited by Catch 22 LBDR

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IVOR will know if you ever want the blue and yellow transfers give me a shout l have loads of them and if you ever get to the bottom of who had the quad let us know l may have the original transfers as l used to collect them

 

REGARDS WALLY

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This info was posted on my other Quad thread. Thought you might like it.

 

Hi Catch22

 

Your correspondents are looking in references rather too modern! Me, I'm only a modeller, but two of my valuable books are 'Heraldry in War' and 'Badges on Battledress' by Lt Col Howard N Cole. He has published at least one more book since those two which were in 1946 and 1953 respectively.

 

Anyway, enough history. Badges on Battledress states: 72 British (no Indian units, see) Brigade Group was formed in 1946 when the 36th Division was disbanded. 72 Bde, which prior to its incorporation in the Division had as its sign a red circle on a square black background, did not, however, revert to this badge, but adopted the central part of the 36 Div sign (which was two interlocking circles, left one red, right one white, on a black rectangle) - the interlocking part of the two circles. This design in yellow was set on a blue shield with a narrow yellow border (just as, with a little allowance for artistic licence, you see above). The formation was stationed in Bangalore and was composed of Ist Battalion the Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn the Leicestershire Regt, 2nd Bn the Manchester Regiment and 6 Field Regt Royal Artillery. Until it was disbanded (presumably in 1947 on Indian Independence) the Brigade was occupied on internal security duties in Mysore. 1st Essex had a detachment in the fort at Madras and was the last British unit to be stationed in that ancient stronghold.

 

Note that the words in brackets above have been added by myself to help your understanding.

 

It would appear likely that your Quad was owned at one time by 6 Fd Regt RA, but please do not ask me how it has come to have some sort of an RASC Arm of Service square, let alone why that was painted on the bridging circle!

 

Hope this helps

 

Chris

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Thanks Chris. That has given me food for thought. It is the first a bit of concrete evidence as to the blue shield. Do you think the symbol painted on my Quad is the 72nd symbol? There is, after all, only so much leeway that can be given to "artistic licence". Could it be something else?

 

I did find some info on 6 field Regt RA from 1938-45. In 1947 it seams that it was re designated as 67 Training Regt RA. Consisting of 165, 155 and 74 Field Bty's It also had "B" bty from 112 Regt RA. This Bty was latter replaced by "B" Bty from 188 AAFC Regt.

 

However nothing from 1945-47. 74 Bty is still around, so I might be able to get a Bty history from them.

 

My plan is to find out what unit the vehicle served with before it was struck off, then work backwards from there, cross referencing the info where ever passable. For example, I know the Quad started out in green paint and finished up in Portland stone, so logic would say it didn't finish up in N.W. Europe. I know its not a very accurate way to do it.

 

Regards Ross

 

:-D:-D:-D

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I did find some info on 6 field Regt RA from 1938-45. In 1947 it seams that it was re designated as 67 Training Regt RA. Consisting of 165, 155 and 74 Field Bty's It also had "B" bty from 112 Regt RA. This Bty was latter replaced by "B" Bty from 188 AAFC Regt.

 

However nothing from 1945-47. 74 Bty is still around, so I might be able to get a Bty history from them.

 

My plan is to find out what unit the vehicle served with before it was struck off, then work backwards from there, cross referencing the info where ever passable. For example, I know the Quad started out in green paint and finished up in Portland stone, so logic would say it didn't finish up in N.W. Europe. I know its not a very accurate way to do it.

 

Regards Ross

 

:-D:-D:-D

 

Hello Ross, as briefly mentioned in an earlier post, I have a booklet titled "The General Service Medal: Palestine 1945-48", that in addition to listing medal recipients, also has an Order of Battle list for the units involved in the conflict. It's not infallable, in my experience, as there seem to be a few typos here & there, but I think the bulk of the info is probably accurate.

 

Anyway, 6th Field Regiment, RA is listed as divisional troops belonging to 3rd Infantry Division (along with 7th & 33rd Field Regiments), which was in theatre (in whole, or in part) from November 1945 until June 1948.

 

 

Kevin

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Hi Kevin, So by that rational did the 72nd infantry brigade come under the 3rd Infantry Division at that time? and do you know what Bty's made up 6 field RA?

 

I found reference to the 6th under the 3rd Inf Div on 17.08.1945 - 31.08.1945

Edited by Catch 22 LBDR

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Hi Kevin, So by that rational did the 72nd infantry brigade come under the 3rd Infantry Division at that time? and do you know what Bty's made up 6 field RA?

 

I found reference to the 6th under the 3rd Inf Div on 17.08.1945 - 31.08.1945

 

No, the infantry brigades in 3rd Infantry Division at the time were 1st Guards Brigade, 185th (later 7th), 8th & 9th Infantry Brigades - there's no mention of 72nd Infantry Brigade at all, I'm afraid.

 

Also, no mention of the batteries making up 6 Field Regiment, sorry.

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OK. A slight development on the history front.

 

On the front of the vehicle there was the remnants of a Irish civilian registration number. ZD 317.... Is the best I can make out. I never got a log book with the Quad so it is imposable to know what the number should be. I am involved in a letter writing process with the Irish motor tax division, to try and retrieve a copy using the Chassis number but they are proving to be most unhelpful.

 

Anyway using good old Google I was able to find out some information about the issue of Irish number plates. It turns out that "ZD" was a Dublin prefix and was only used between Jan 1940- Jan 1947. The numbers ran from 1-9999.

 

Assuming the Quad saw service to the end of the war (or at least V.E. Day) and the vehicle was struck off by Jan 1947, then it is unlikely that it saw any post war action, and it would seam there is only an 18 month period between May1945 to Jan 1947 where the Quad was struck off.

 

This would also imply that (since the Quad finished up in Portland stone paint) that it finished the war somewhere in the middle east or north Africa.

 

Of course this still leaves the question about the strange markings. But it is unlikely to be post war. Perhaps The vehicle was used or attached to a non British unit like the Greek army, And was repatriated back to the UK as the size of the Allied forces shrunk at the end of the war?

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it would seem now from what you have found out that if it was sold by 1947 the only number you may find under the layers

of paint is of course the wartime cenus number beginning with the letter H as to the markings of the RASC yellow and blue

these would have be used after it left military service as at the time of sale it would still be green and red l think the markings must have been applied after it left military service by a former owner

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