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Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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And where are the photos of said Austin?

 

:cool2:

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:

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Land rover two stretcher ambulance contract KL/H/O390 trails vehicle one of ten numbers 05 DE 35 to O5 DE 44

Thank you Wally, as ever, relied upon for more great factual information :yay:

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As a wanna be Land Rover Anorak as you Brits like to say, the Land Rover has civilian style sidelights and indicators and no over rider / upper bumperette on the front that one would associate with the production ones most often. Also the patch above the windscreen is typically where the production VRN tends to be placed rather than down on the wing in some cases.

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ROBIN

The side light look to me as the one's fitted to the series 2's Lucas glass screw in military pattern but lam sure some one

will correct me if l am wrong

 

WALLY

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HERE is a picture and details of the Land rover Ambulance this is from the 1962 CHERTSEY catalogue 05 DE 37

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HERE is a picture and details of the Land rover Ambulance this is from the 1962 CHERTSEY catalogue 05 DE 37

 

Superb stuff, Wally, thank you! Oh, look, it's VRN is just two numbers after 'my' photoed LR. Sisters! What came first, I wonder, the issue of 05DE35 for trials, or the photo of its 'sister' in the 1962 catalogue? When did production versions first appear?

Oh, just wait 'till I post a photo of ANOTHER Libya-sand-coloured LR, with NO military bumperettes nor, ANY sidelights for folk to deliberate over! In-service too! ;)

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In a Rover 7 Ambulance the rectangular area above the windscreen is not an alternative location for the registration plate, it is a grill for the input of the ventilation system.

 

In the Rover 9, which now had bumperettes, the vertical registration plate changed to a horizontal one mounted above the bumper between the bumperettes. There was no longer a central air intake above the windscreen, but a smaller one at each corner of the front of the roof. The RAF version still had a central air intake & the registration plate was also central above the bumper.

 

Later versions of Rover 9 together with Rover 11 & Series 3 had the front registration plate above the windscreen. The rear registration plate continued to be mounted below the departure angle of the rear body & was moved in 1969 above the RH rear door. Subsequent vehicles already had this on manufacture.

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In a Rover 7 Ambulance the rectangular area above the windscreen is not an alternative location for the registration plate, it is a grill for the input of the ventilation system.

 

Great stuff Clive, thank you. In 'my' photo too, of the trials LR2A, the rectangular area above the windscreen is not an alternative location for the registration plate, it is very much a grill for the ventilation system. The 'big' photo I have shows the mesh beyond doubt.

See photo and, one of side lights.

LR 2A Ambulance cab top Air Vent.jpg

LR 2A Ambulance side lights.jpg

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Ah super detail of the grill Lizzie, I was hunting around for a detailed shot but that really does beat anything I have here.

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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:

 

And Tripoli District was MELF 57! Magnakater.

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And Tripoli District was MELF 57! Magnakater.

 

MELF 57? One thinks you may be thinking of BFPO 57, the postal address which covered all locations in Tripolitania, even when the few remaining locations became part of NELF, headquartered in BFPO 51, Malta (later becoming Malta & Libya Command). So when I was a far younger 'uman bean' than now, I lived in Homs, Tripolitania, Libya BFPO 57 where, one could sometimes hear the simultaneous distinctive purr of more than 80 B-Series engines of the regiment's armoured cars and APCs. Not that one was old enough to realise, know or be interested in those sorts of things then. Tapping one's Wheetabix, pre-milk addition, was such fun as we competed to see whose cereal would produce the greatest number of weevils! And, if you didn't get them all out, they floated to the top, if you waited long enough! :red:

MELF to my limited knowledge, was MELF, without numbers, headquartered first in Egypt then Cyprus (with their own BFPO numbers based on their locations).

In Cyrenaica District, all locations were covered by Tobruk BFPO 56 and Benghazi BFPO 55.

Of course, there may have been other BFPO numbers assigned to Libya locations though I’m not aware of them, nor do I profess to know when the locations were first allocated a BFPO number. Perhaps a philatelist would know.:cool2:

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Oh, just wait 'till I post a photo of ANOTHER Libya-sand-coloured LR, with NO military bumperettes nor, ANY sidelights for folk to deliberate over! In-service too! ;)

Well I know you've given up trying to see those other 'blended in to the desert landscape' ambulances so I thought perhaps you'd do better with a B&W photo of that other LR, you know, the in-service one with NO military bumperettes (I like that word, bumperettes, for some unknown reason) and NO sidelights or winkies. Can you see them? I can't. No winkies, then perhaps handsignals and illuminated batons at night?

This LR has been 'modified' by a local storm; a section of the workshop collapsed. Tripoli winters could sometimes be quite severe, usually with high winds and torrential rain waterflows through wadis which flooded vast areas, even downtown and, causing loss of life on occasion (a REME chap driving a 2RTR Saladin out of Medenine, Tripoli drowned when a flooded culvert collapsed as he drove over it in Feb 1962- RIP Dieter Brown REME).

I am able to show you this photo, and a number of other forthcoming photos due to the privilage and generosity afforded me by Tony Burton NS56:10 REME (National Service intake 10 of 1956) who served in Tripoli, first with 19 Armoured Workshop at Gialo Barracks (Annexe) and subsequently with 5 Medium Workshop at Gurgi Barracks. You may have seen a post or two by him in this thread with his secret 'nom de forum' handle.

Photo by Tony Burton NS56:10 REME

LR storm damage 19 Armd Wksp Gialo Tripoli 1956-b-Photo by Tony Burton REME.jpg

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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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Posted (edited)

Very early series one when this came in to service it would have had a wartime type number census number starting

with the letter M in 1949 this was changed to the post war series ZC. if I remember rightly the side lights are below

the windscreen

Edited by wally dugan

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Correct, early 80s, and this is one, headlights behind the full width grill, have the side lights on the bulkhead. No winkies though. Semaphore indicators were an optional extra, mounted on the windscreen frame. It also has the very early front springs with the shackle at the front of the spring not the rear. it will be a 1600cc engine.

 

Gordon

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In a Rover 7 Ambulance the rectangular area above the windscreen is not an alternative location for the registration plate, it is a grill for the input of the ventilation system.

 

In the Rover 9, which now had bumperettes, the vertical registration plate changed to a horizontal one mounted above the bumper between the bumperettes. There was no longer a central air intake above the windscreen, but a smaller one at each corner of the front of the roof. The RAF version still had a central air intake & the registration plate was also central above the bumper.

 

Later versions of Rover 9 together with Rover 11 & Series 3 had the front registration plate above the windscreen. The rear registration plate continued to be mounted below the departure angle of the rear body & was moved in 1969 above the RH rear door. Subsequent vehicles already had this on manufacture.

 

Just to add to Clive's comments, I've seen odd Rover 11 and Series 3 ambulance with two registration plates, one above the bumper and one above the windscreen! I suspect these are probably local variation rather than anything orthodox.

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

6 RTR Homs MP LR Escort to Christopher Soames-Defence Minister-Honour Guard- Spring 1959-b-Photo.jpg

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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

 

REGARDS WALLY

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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

 

REGARDS WALLY

 

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:

http://www.redcap70.net/616SMPS.html/slides/AlfElwell15.html

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

616 SMPS Malta LR flash AlfElwell15.JPG

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LIZZIE my reason for a better image was I had come across this before on RMP vehicles the inverted triangle was

displayed front and rear of the escort vehicle so it could be easily seen. The one in the attached is a later Land Rover

of which we had two at the Museum the other was the same model but a review one in the centre of the triangle is the crest

of the RMP's

 

REGARDS WALLY

rmp.jpg

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