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BlueBelle

Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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I used to see Trevor at reunions of Para Sqn RAC when I used to take along the Hornet I restored. But he would usually be with the 2 RTR caravan at W&P then W&PR. But he tells me the branch are selling the caravan because it was only a few of them that made the effort to set it all up. I last saw him with the caravan at the last Detling.

 

I might explore their forum then as I know a few of the Cyclops people & their role in bringing Malkara into service has never been properly acknowledged. Trevor gave me quite a few of his documents & photos, including one him with Cyrus Vance who was Secretary of Defense at the time.

 

Incidentally Trevor's Humber 1 Ton FV1622 Test Truck was owned by a good friend of mine who died a few years ago. It is now undergoing restoration, I was always hoping it would turn up at WPR & get a picture of Trevor with it again.

 

Clive, I think there is much discontent amongst the Cyclops Para community, discontent at the low level of recognition afforded them in the creation of the RAC Para Sqn, reflected in most acccounts but particularly so in Radford's book where I believe there may be just one photo of Cyclops. Donkey work at events always falls to the same few, and Cyclops at that. I don't think that the dedication stone at the Arboretum even acknowledges Cyclops and of course, there is resentment at the suggestion that Cyclops were perhaps not up to being the Para Armoured Sqn because of this that and the other, the other being arms plots for Cyclops to rejoin the regiment and to be posted to BAOR and so on.

Yes, you must join the 2RTR Old Boys Forum to discover more. Scanning through the thread lists will keep you engaged I'm sure, especially anything to do with the Para Armoured sqn, but do consider the stuff may be in other threads such as:

http://2rtroldboys.forums-free.com/old-times-t1456.html

I have a few photos of Hornets/Malkara/ Humbers which you probably haven't seen before of Hornet/Humbers in the Tripolitania desert 1964, thanks to 2RTR's Robbie Monk who became 'one who jumped' around Hornets. I actually now have been gifted his entire Libya photo/slide collection and we shall see some on here.

You do realise I'm intending writing 'the book' based loosly on this thread title so perhaps we can see some of your Libyan desert Hornet photos soon? ;)

I think Trevor would be pleased as Punch to see his Test Truck again, though I suspect even more pleased to see his old Centurion tank from Munster 1950s or his old Saladin from Homs!:-D I have their VRNs and regimental names though I've not searched anywhere for them. I hope his Saladin didn't get flogged to the Arabs after the 14/20H finished with it in Medenine (as the last armoured unit in Tripolitania Oct 1962-64)?:(

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Cyclops letter head.jpg

 

I thought I should reply on headed note paper!

 

I have joined that forum but not posted yet. The link you posted was along lines I have heard many times before. I can remember being told how there was disquiet after P Coy being required to wear, the generally most coveted, maroon beret. The view was that if a black beret was good enough for Monty, it was good enough for them to still wear!

 

Yes the book. It was quiet a task to pull everything together, originally Col Mallam had contracted a professional military writer to collate everything & I was to meet with them to add some technical details. But the engagement of the professional writer never came to fruition & Col Mallam died, so Col Radford took up the challenge. In fact he visited me & scanned quite a few pictures for the book & I ended up writing the Hornet/Malkara chapter.

 

But my bit was purely of the technical developments, mostly pre-dating Cyclops involvement & was an enhancement of articles I had done in Pegasus & Tank. Although I would have liked to have seen more Cyclops, there were 4.5 pages that included 8 photos but not a great amount I agree.

 

An ambition is to write an article on the REME contribution to the Malkara project & submit it to the REME Journal (not The Craftsman) as I have a lot of archive material from Capt Peter Russell who was Cyclops EME. There are quite a few Cyclops men in the 2001 reunion photo at the back of the book, sadly many no longer with us. I am in that group photo which includes CGS in front of the Hornet. Most of us are pleased to get any praise about the turnout of a vehicle you have worked on but particularly from veterans but to get praise from CGS was very satisfying.

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There will be loads of folk watching and reading but will have nothing to add, other than....

like.jpg

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]122956[/ATTACH]

 

I thought I should reply on headed note paper!

 

I have joined that forum but not posted yet. The link you posted was along lines I have heard many times before. I can remember being told how there was disquiet after P Coy being required to wear, the generally most coveted, maroon beret. The view was that if a black beret was good enough for Monty, it was good enough for them to still wear!

 

Yes the book. It was quiet a task to pull everything together, originally Col Mallam had contracted a professional military writer to collate everything & I was to meet with them to add some technical details. But the engagement of the professional writer never came to fruition & Col Mallam died, so Col Radford took up the challenge. In fact he visited me & scanned quite a few pictures for the book & I ended up writing the Hornet/Malkara chapter.

 

But my bit was purely of the technical developments, mostly pre-dating Cyclops involvement & was an enhancement of articles I had done in Pegasus & Tank. Although I would have liked to have seen more Cyclops, there were 4.5 pages that included 8 photos but not a great amount I agree.

 

An ambition is to write an article on the REME contribution to the Malkara project & submit it to the REME Journal (not The Craftsman) as I have a lot of archive material from Capt Peter Russell who was Cyclops EME. There are quite a few Cyclops men in the 2001 reunion photo at the back of the book, sadly many no longer with us. I am in that group photo which includes CGS in front of the Hornet. Most of us are pleased to get any praise about the turnout of a vehicle you have worked on but particularly from veterans but to get praise from CGS was very satisfying.

 

 

I love the headed notepaper Clive!

Now you're on 2RTR's forum, you must make your presence felt as many will be tickled pink to learn you've joined and, for those that don't know you or of you and your Cyclops Para involvement, you'll have found new friends with a great interest in you and your work.

You must produce that article for the REME Journal or, a full-blown book to cover such a neglected aspect of Hornet/Malkara.

Yesterday I posted something quite substantial here, along with a pretty colour picture of sand-coloured things (not dunes) and a tatty DBG 'thing' south of Tripoli on the ranges. Humph! Today, none of it is here! What happened, I hear you say? Well I don't know, that's for sure but maybe I didn't hit the 'publish' button or whatever its called? I'd not had sundowners or snifters and I'm not that much over 21 though I confess to occasional mind-drift. Now I'll have to try and remember what I wrote and 'go for it again'!

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As I'm dyslexic I always do a preview then seeing it laid out slightly differently can spot oddities. Then sometimes I forget to press Submit then wonder where my post went!

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Going for it again, abridged from memory. The original was posted (somewhere!) before Clive joined the 2RTR forum.

 

LOOK! :-D It's THAT Scammell Explorer again! No, not 94BD17 though we'll see lots more of it. Its 94BD27 again, Yay! Remember, AndyB posted a couple of superb photos of 94BD27 earlier in this thread and now, from an ex-Cyclops 2RTR Para Armoured Sqn man who jumped with Hornets (he was not a Penguin), we have this photo. That man is Robbie Monk 2RTR who has in fact, handed over his entire original Libya photo/slide collection to me to use as I wish (even, as he said, without a photo credit in his name - which I cannot omit as I want to honour him and deservedly so) and we'll see more of his collection later.

You'll also see that tatty DBG 'thing' which is an upside-down Hornet/Malkara vehicle requiring recovery to at least, an upright position. To facilitate a 'managed' recovery, the Leyland Recovery vehicle you see had to be called in from Tripoli some perhaps 80 miles distant and despite the Scammell being at the 'incident' site already, there was quite a wait for the Leyland to appear to effect the uprighting of the Hornet.

Photo taken by Robbie Monk 2RTR in July 1964.

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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There will be loads of folk watching and reading but will have nothing to add, other than....

[ATTACH=CONFIG]122960[/ATTACH]

 

I LIKE this! :-) Would be nice to have a 'Like' facility too, here on the forum, though just a simple smiley as a response would do. Enlightenment is one thing, entertainment another though encouragement is everything!

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Poor old Hornet at least it survived better than the one that JATE dropped as an experiment after the Hornets went out of service. Considered an unrecognisable pile of scrap but it can be identified only by certain characteristics of one of the doors!

 

Anyway good to see the Scammell coming to the rescue, funnily enough this morning I was going through some old correspondence dated 1962 about using a Ferret ARV to come to the rescue of Hornets & wisely it was considered by the LAD EME not to be "robust enough".

 

In 1962 only about half the Hornets had been built, but there was some correspondence from someone on behalf of CREME wanting to know if the engines were over-bored & was rather put out being told that this was not true & "the only difference was that there was a stronger timing chain".

 

If you search the internet, books, EMERs it is always stated that engine was a B60 Mk 5A this not true if you look on the engine of a Hornet it is over-stamped 5F. Signifying that the mountings provided were for a 100A alternator not the original Generator No.1.

 

I say Generator No.1 because the base vehicle was GS not FFW. The base vehicle was FV1601, Hornets were not modified Pigs. But of course the internet, books, articles etc say otherwise.

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In 1962 only about half the Hornets had been built, but there was some correspondence from someone on behalf of CREME wanting to know if the engines were over-bored & was rather put out being told that this was not true & "the only difference was that there was a stronger timing chain".

 

 

 

One wonders if the respondent to the CREME query knew what they were talking about or taking the p1ss ....... timing gears on a B Range, no chains!

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Yes I was careful to use inverted commas, not sure which was the most silly suggestion of the two, well yes the chain.

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I would love to have seen the answer :-D

 

 

 

 

Crikey, makes you wonder doesn't it. If the bores were on an oversize, it hardly matters so long as not worn.

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:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D Love the thread but sadly nothing to add .:-D

 

:-) I love the thread too, just havn't got the time available that I'd like to spend on it (including scanning and intelligently filing over 600 photos now in, of sand-coloured stuff) :-) I've got a book to write, didn't you know? :-D

Keep on following Andy, and all other folk too. If you know of anyone 'who was there', a veteran, a relative or someone's parents or grandparents then please do send them my way via the forum. Let's capture the history!

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Lizzie, you'll know this already, but if you're scanning this stuff do it as high quality and large as possible, subject to going OTT, even if it takes longer. You won't want or possibly be able to go back and do it again, so it's one of those do it once and do it right things.

 

Oh - and post them here every time.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]118341[/ATTACH]

The "White" is marked with a German cross.... assume that this is a "remnant" of filming for a movie, no?

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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]

 

 

 

Recalling an old photograph of the entrance of Hun (Jofra Oasis-group) which I do not have at hand at the moment - I suggest these photos were taken down there.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]118462[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]118463[/ATTACH]

 

I think I have seen this "pyramid" several times. It was located along the coastal road between Tripoli and Khoms (Homs). Not a pyramid actually but an old Italian fortification dating back to the time of the conquest of Libya after WWI - I had always wanted to take photos of it... and have always postponed it until I could not do it anymore. Shame on me.

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The "White" is marked with a German cross.... assume that this is a "remnant" of filming for a movie, no?

 

Hello Kuno.

The White half track with German markings is almost certainly a hangover from either Ice Cold in Alex or No Time to Die.

Both these films were made "back to back" during 1957 by Warwick Films. Ice Cold starred John Mills while No Time starred Victor Mature, Antony Newly, Leo Genn and Bonar Coleano. I have photographs of Queen's Bays Centurions in Afrika Korps livery for No Time to Die. I was temporarily attached to the Bays to supplement their LAD during the making of the latter film.

Cheers, Tony B 56:10

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The "White" is marked with a German cross.... assume that this is a "remnant" of filming for a movie, no?

 

With the circular white background to the cross, it might just have been used in an ambulance role.

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With the circular white background to the cross, it might just have been used in an ambulance role.

 

I believe this is so Richard. British. A Red Cross, too. No fake DAK camouflarge or DAK palm tree insignia. Libya-based 'Lorried' Infanty battalions in the 50s were not 'lorried' at all as they were 'Halftracked'!!! Their ambulances tended to be Halftracks too. All Halftracks seemed to have been M5s, M9s and converted M14s. International. Furthermore, most sure that the ambulance Halftrack is not a 'White' (see mudguard profile) so therfore, an International.

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Lizzie, you'll know this already, but if you're scanning this stuff do it as high quality and large as possible, subject to going OTT, even if it takes longer. You won't want or possibly be able to go back and do it again, so it's one of those do it once and do it right things.

 

Oh - and post them here every time.

 

I shall heed your advice Sean though I'm not sure about posting them all here! :-D I have to save some treasure for 'the book'! :-D

Edited by BlueBelle
Spelling, again!

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Magnakater said:
Kuno said:

 

 

The White half track with German markings is almost certainly a hangover from either Ice Cold in Alex or No Time to Die.

Both these films were made "back to back" during 1957 by Warwick Films. Ice Cold starred John Mills while No Time starred Victor Mature, Antony Newly, Leo Genn and Bonar Coleano. I have photographs of Queen's Bays Centurions in Afrika Korps livery for No Time to Die. I was temporarily attached to the Bays to supplement their LAD during the making of the latter film.

Cheers, Tony B 56:10

 

Now then, there were FOUR, yes, four, not two, 'Great' war films made in Tripolitania during 1957/8 with huge contributions from British Army units based in Tripolitania, in particular 38 Company and 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC, Queen’s Bays and to a lessor extent, by 22 Engineer Regiment RE (who kept and operated their Halftracks in DAK markings for 18 months, just in case ....), 3RHA, 6RTR and (as suggested by ‘weak’ evidence) 5 Medium Wksp REME.

 

‘Sea of Sand’ aka ‘Desert Patrol’ (US)

‘Bitter Victory’

‘No Time to Die’ aka ‘Tank Force’ (US)

‘Ice Cold in Alex’ aka ‘Desert Attack’ (US)

 

There may have been others.

 

3RHA in Homs also hosted cast members (Sophia Loren, John Wayne etc.) from the 1957 film ‘Legend of the Lost’, though whether or not any military vehicles were involved, I know not and as I have not seen the film. The set was Leptis Magna, Homs, my childhood ‘stamping grounds’.

 

The DAK Sexton photo is from the defunct Illustrated London News (via Les Freathy) and shows the Sexton on the Diamond T navigating the Garian Pass, south of Tripoil on the way to or from Medenine Barracks, Tripoli and the Ice Cold in Alex film set. From the RASC Journals of the period, that Diamond T belonged to 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC, was driven by Dvr Smith..... and was the first occasion a Diamond T (laden or unladen?) had traversed the mountain pass. The 5km journey over the pass took 3 hours. The Sexton may have been a standard Sexton or a Sexton GPO (Gun Position Officer - a Sexton not fitted with a 25pdr) from 3RHA or supplied from an ordnance depot and converted to show it with a ‘fake’ gun and mantlet.

 

For the film ‘No Time to Die’ (Tank Force), 1 Tank Transporter Company RASC used 16 DTs to transport the Queen’s Bays Centurion tanks to and from the film set and Sabratha Barracks, though the DTs were not seen in the film. My source again, is the RASC Journal of the period. Hilarious goofs throughout the film with Operation Musketeer invasion markings (H) that I saw on the Bedford QLs (though I wasn’t looking closely they may have been Austin K5s) and even the ‘Bays squadron markings on vehicles, a German picking up and firing a MG (sound effects heard) though it didn’t have a magazine or belt ammunition feed fitted, and that ‘German’ Humber 1 tonne CT ...... The Best of British film making of those times!

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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Things are 'heating up' on the Libya thread, no pun intended though I wonder if Libya has snow this week as many Arabic parts are having? No, by heating up I mean to say 'look', Magnakater and Kuno are are now contributing (photos please, 'little ones for here and LARGE ones to me by email or disc); isn't this wonderful, and, AndyB has got back to me with more, yes, more photos of Tripolitania sand-coloured things and the married quarters (Libyan Lodges) in Prinn Barracks, Tripoli in the snail mail to me!!!!:-)

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A Sexton GPO? Yes, nothing to do with the posties of yore but here's a lovely sand-coloured one that belonged to 3RHA and it's sitting on the back of a Diamond T rig. Notice the additional 'local' storage framework and, no big gun. Its the second photo, of course!

As usual, please, no copying of any of the photos I post, lest I lose the goodwill (and you and I even more?) of their donors. Photos by Dudley Carter 3RHA.

 

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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