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BlueBelle

Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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Hi Lizzie,

I had to check the number of that Scammell, and nearest one to it that I worked on when it was in service (early 80's) was 94BD41 .... not close enough!

That trailer, there was one of these on the Recovery Section of the Command Wksp, when I started there in early 70's, not a very practical trailer for carrying lorries as the bed was a bit short, mainly meant for RE plant. I think that would be a FV3621(A) Trailer 20 ton Low Loading, the FVRDE book for 1956 shows it being made by Taskers, Hands and British Trailers.

 

Richard

 

Ah ah! FV3621 (A) it is then! Thank you Richard; every day is a new learning experience!

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The Australian equivalent RAEME is colloquially refereed to as Royal Australian Easy Money Earners

 

I went from RAA to RAEME and there was a distinct difference :-D

 

Great pictures, thanks for sharing

 

So glad you appreciate them Mike. More to come!

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This is a list of BD allocated numbers for the trailer fv3621 {A}

08 BD 86 to 09 BD 50 CONTRACT NUMBER 6/V/5592 made by British Trailer

12 BD 30 to 12 BD 73 contract number 6/V/5948 made by HANDS

20 BD 43 to 20 BD 98 contract number 6/V/5947 made by TASKER yours is in this batch

31 BD 90 to 31 BD 99 contract number5592 made by British Trailer

This all there is in the BD range

As to the Scammell Explorer the RANGE of VRNs in BD ran from 11 BD 51 to 94 BD 17 contact number 6/V/7443

The series of BD numbers came in 1950/51

as to a drawing of this type of trailer l do have a builders drawing dated 1951 which measures three feet by four

 

Wally, thank you so very much! Just look at all the great info you've given me (and to you too, dear viewer). The photo details too, provide the measurements. How nice a copy of your builders drawing would be, in my collection! Ha Ha, just a bit too big for a home scanner and a pdf copy, I guess? ;)

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I am enjoying reading this thread:-D

 

So glad that's the case John. Stay tuned, more to come!

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This could be the same group of vehicles? photo taken by my late father (REME) about 61-62.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118414[/ATTACH]

 

Andy, what a great shot! Yes, it most certainly is the same group of vehicles with the photo being taken from the top of a Scammell Explorer (possibly 94BD17?) hitched to an FV3621 (A) 20 ton low-lowder trailer carrying jerrycans! The confirming factor about the two photos is for me, the tall tree! Yes, a tree! Andy, please, please can you tell me what the unit was and the barrack name that your late father served in whilst in Libya (I'll say its Tripoli) where this photo you have was taken? That little piece of info will cement much of my fragmented 'British Army in Tripoli' puzzle together.

Now, I'll call upon you all, to pay attention to (not the issue rabbit/tortoise hutch) the angled stone cairn-type structure as you're going to see it again and what, in relation to Scammell Explorer 94BD17, it was really useful for! :-D

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Now, I'll call upon you all, to pay attention to (not the issue rabbit/tortoise hutch) the angled stone cairn-type structure as you're going to see it again and what, in relation to Scammell Explorer 94BD17, it was really useful for! :-D

 

Was the stone cairn used to drive the front wheels of the Scammell up to check full movement of walking beams, and again for front axle?

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Was the stone cairn used to drive the front wheels of the Scammell up to check full movement of walking beams, and again for front axle?

 

Ha ha Richard, you are so funny......... though quite correct! Stolen my thunder.... and I wonder now if you were there at the time Ha ha! Now I'm going to make you wait to see the photos ...... not long though 'cos I'm itching to post them!

:-D:-D:-D

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Great thread , thanks for sharing :-D

 

So glad you like the content Andy. More on the way.

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Ha ha Richard, you are so funny......... though quite correct! Stolen my thunder.... and I wonder now if you were there at the time Ha ha! Now I'm going to make you wait to see the photos ...... not long though 'cos I'm itching to post them!

:-D:-D:-D

 

Oops, sorry Lizzie ......I thought it may have been a silly suggestion ! Never been to Tripoli so had no idea.

 

cheers Richard

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Here are a few more photo's showing the trailer.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118436[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118435[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118434[/ATTACH]

 

Superb photos again, Andy. Keep them coming, anything that fits in this thread!

Scammell Explorers going outside the barracks area in Tripolitania (probably Cyrenaica too) are often pictured dragging an FV3621 (A) 20 ton low-loader trailer (notice how I like using the terminology for the trailer, now I know) laden with jerrycans for its own fuel resupply (Scammells are thirsty, maybe more so in hot desert climes?) and sand channels, for obvious reasons. It was not uncommon either to be seen with no front mudguards, though for what reason I know not. Strange to see the planks across the cab roof top, maybe there to stow cam nets etc. on the rare occasions Station Wksps ever went out to 'play at being soldiers', after all, Libya was a holiday posting, for most, wasn't it? Certainly was for 2RTR in Homs, Tripoli and Benghazi!

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Oops, sorry Lizzie ......I thought it may have been a silly suggestion ! Never been to Tripoli so had no idea.

 

cheers Richard

 

It is refreshing being in the good company of 'people in the know' and who 'challenge' and 'contribute'. Thank you.

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Remember that stone cairn/mini pyramid structure in Andy B’s photo of the Tripoli camp (still waiting for you Andy to tell us where in Tripoli the photo was taken/your father was based)? Well, the next two of 94BD17 show that it seems to have been manoeuvred into a sticky position on purpose, something to do with getting the angle of the dangle on the front swivelly axle in order to do some specific adjustment, maybe. Oh, it's really just exactly as Richard said, though in somewhat more technical terminology. These splendid photos and scenarios lend themselves perhaps as subjects of hilarity, humour, mirth and numerous gags, especially about REME capabilities and prowess as tradespeople, soldiers, drivers etc., though we know better, don’t we! ;)

 

 

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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Now we know why the front mudguards go missing, probably ripped off the right hand ones on the building next to the pyramid, then took the other off to match. With four sides to the stone construction you would think they would have driven up the other side! ;)

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Now we know why the front mudguards go missing, probably ripped off the right hand ones on the building next to the pyramid, then took the other off to match. With four sides to the stone construction you would think they would have driven up the other side! ;)

 

The rabbit hutch was in the way? :cheesy:

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Now I remember what the REME letters really represented .....

 

The Australian equivalent RAEME is colloquially refereed to as Royal Australian Easy Money Earners

 

I went from RAA to RAEME and there was a distinct difference :-D

 

Great pictures, thanks for sharing

 

REME -Royal Engineers minus experience.

That goes along with ACC - Andy Capps Commandos

or RCT - Rickshaws, Camels and Taxis

 

Echo all the comments about the photos and comments.

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Now I remember what the REME letters really represented .....

 

 

REME -Royal Engineers minus experience.

That goes along with ACC - Andy Capps Commandos

or RCT - Rickshaws, Camels and Taxis

 

Echo all the comments about the photos and comments.

 

The now amalgamated RAOC - Rag and Oil Company

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Now I remember what the REME letters really represented .....

 

 

REME -Royal Engineers minus experience.

That goes along with ACC - Andy Capps Commandos

or RCT - Rickshaws, Camels and Taxis

 

Echo all the comments about the photos and comments.

 

Rough Engineering Made Easy, then there was the All Girls' Corps and the Rather Large Corps!

 

10 68

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Meanwhile, back in Libya.......

Oh, just because I said in a previous post that the HMVF chap's dad drove Scammell Explorer 94BD17 around in 1956/7, we have to remind ourselves that it was perhaps not then a REME vehicle as the driver was a Sapper (there’s another Sapper too, who drove this vehicle in 6 FD Pk Sqn RE, do look up a Frank Hallsworth on Forces Reunited to see his two poor quality photos of 94BD17 – he doesn’t answer requests for info, just peeps back at my profile!) with 6 Field Park RE and, said Scammell then had two mudguards which didn’t sport a REME flash but that of an RE Blue rectangle (or was it a square?) with a white 42 superimposed thereon (correct marking for a Fd Pk Sqn RE in an Armd Divisional HQ and Troops unit). The other mudguard was embellished with the white standing rhino facing left on a black oval (correct marking at that time for 25 Armd Bde). 6 Fd Pk Sqn RE were, I am lead to believe, co-located with the 5 Medium Wksp REME (became the smaller Station Wksp REME by 1958ish) in Tripoli, were part of 22 Engr Regt RE based also in Tripoli (Prinn Barracks) though if all other Sqns were there or not, I don’t know. The entire regiment exited Libya for the UK by 1958. A resident Tripoli RE Sqn in 1960 (maybe there earlier?) was 33 Independent Fd Sqn RE though I not much more about them other than they with their trucks and another 19 Bedford RLs from the Royal Marine Commando group aboard HMS Bulwark who landed at Homs (Apr 1960) to put in place fuel dumps in the Fezzan for 2RTR Cyclop’s epic desert trials to the border with French Equatorial Africa (Toumo water hole in the Tibesti mountains) with their new Saladins, Alvis’s Mr Sydney Bunce and other, some very old, vehicles! Ex Crescent moon it was called and perhaps more of it with vehicle photos, another time. 10 Armoured Division in Libya existed for 10 months - prep for the Suez (no Libya units took part), though immediately prior to then, 25 Armoured Brigade (an expanded one) with the same white non-rampant left facing rhino ruled the roost (or paddock). Once 10 Armd Division ‘dissolved’ and approx. 6,000 troops departed (by 1958/9) from Libya to leave around 2,000, there soon were no more white rhinos on serving vehicle markings or on uniform shoulder flashes. Instead, troops in Libya came under a Malta and Libya Command, split into two Districts, Cyrenaica to the East with it’s black and white Cyrene roman pillars as rectangular vehicle marking and shoulder patches, whilst in the West, Tripolitania District adopted the blue, white and black barbary dhow on rectangles and/or shields for vehicles and just shields for shoulder patches. The barbary dhow insignia had first been used (stolen, I think, from the Italian rulers of Tripoli in 1944) on stationery, though whether or not on vehicles/uniforms in the early years of British military government, I know not.

 

Do you know who this fine REME fellow is though? I don't. Note, we've switched back to the REME 94BD17...... and its FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer :-D

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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Strange to see the planks across the cab roof top, maybe there to stow cam nets etc.

 

I wonder if they put the wood across the roof to cool the cabs down. To this day in Malaysia you can still see trucks they've ripped the roofs off and put wooden ones on.

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IMG_0275.jpg

The view from a Scammel at 25 mph ?????

IMG_0278.jpg

Scammel 94BD27 looking rather pristine.

 

IMG_0044.jpg

On the back of the photo is written (The last vehicle "AJAX" 2 RTR) note the Divisional sign is not a sailing ship?

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"On the back of the photo is written (The last vehicle "AJAX" 2 RTR) note the Divisional sign is not a sailing ship?"

 

Yes, we've gone to Cyrenaica. Not a Divisional marking but a District one, just as the Barbary dhow represented the Tripolitania District. 2RTR and little me (my Father was their WO1 (ASM) REME) arrived in Homs, Tripolitania in August 1959. Ajax 2RTR though, went to D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi, Cyrenaica and swopped over with Badger from Homs a year later. Then, in October of 1961, the camp in Homs was handed back to the Libyans; the regiment moved into Wavell Barracks, Benghazi (including Badger from D'Aosta Barracks with the exception of Cyclops who went west to Tripoli and Medenine Barracks (co-located with the Royal Scots inf.). The regiment left Libya around October 1962. Maybe your Father was attached to 2 RTR? If you provide his name I can post onto the 2 RTR Old Boys forum to see if anyone remembers him (I'm very active on that forum, particularly the Libya thread in efforts to get those who were there to dig out their photos and memories).

Maybe I've already posted a photo on this thread here, of your Father? I've some more to put up on here, including a sad looking 2 RTR Cyclops Saladin in a Tripoli Wksp with REME 'jokers' messing about in it! Circa Oct 1961/62

Edited by BlueBelle

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Meanwhile, back in Libya.......

6 Fd Pk Sqn RE were, I am lead to believe, co-located with the 5 Medium Wksp REME (became the smaller Station Wksp REME by 1958ish) in Tripoli, were part of 22 Engr Regt RE based also in Tripoli (Prinn Barracks) though if all other Sqns were there or not, I don’t know. The entire regiment exited Libya for the UK by 1958.

 

 

22 Engineer regiment became established at Perham Down Tidworth in the 1970's

Not sure if they went to Tidworth direct from Tripoli or via another location.

There was a 6 Fd Sqn with them at that time, along with 8, 52 and 1 other, but 6 were in 1978 an AMFL Sqn geared up for service in the Arctic and Norway. Bit of a change from Tripoli if it is the same unit.

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