Jump to content
SirLanceUK

25 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers. Any information?

Recommended Posts

Hi All, I have an CVRT Spartan that was used by the 25 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers. I have looked on line and found a little information about the squadron, but not alot. I have found the "sappers" website but it really does not have anything "useful".

I have also descovered their emblem  (below) but I have not had any luck finding out what it means, of even managed to find an electronic version of it (this was taken from a polo shirt :) ) can anyone please help me out ?

Lance

thumbnail_image1.jpg

Edited by SirLanceUK
I should learn to spell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

25 sqn was part of 26 Engineer regt Based in Iserlohn BAOR. Also 5 Sqn & HQ sqn & the REME LAD made up the Regt.

In about 1978 I think it was? 2 Armd Engineer Regt was disbanded & joined the Regt in Iserlohn. They were then 2 Armd Engr Squadron. Because they Brought all thier many Armoured Vehicles with them as well. The Barracks became quite 'crowded'!....The Regt was then Retitled 26 Armoured Engineer Regiment.

I was attached to 26 to expirience all of the above at that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ferretfixer said:

25 sqn was part of 26 Engineer regt Based in Iserlohn BAOR. Also 5 Sqn & HQ sqn & the REME LAD made up the Regt.

In about 1978 I think it was? 2 Armd Engineer Regt was disbanded & joined the Regt in Iserlohn. They were then 2 Armd Engr Squadron. Because they Brought all thier many Armoured Vehicles with them as well. The Barracks became quite 'crowded'!....The Regt was then Retitled 26 Armoured Engineer Regiment.

I was attached to 26 to expirience all of the above at that time.

You forgot 2 Sqn, they were there too. I've been trying to look them up too, as an ex RE I have been phoning friends who were there too. 25 went to 23 Engr Regt at Osnabruck in the eighties and then became Armoured Engineers at some point with 32 Regt. Finally disbanded mid nineties with options for change

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did the "boxer" come from and does anyone one what the "Chinese"? characters mean?

I did some research and seem to think it means "Fist" but the symbols were not quite the same

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I thought the same thing and looked around but the character does not translate at all in anything but Japanese,

but then it is not close. I was more wondering if anyone "knew"  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zero-Five-Two said:

You forgot 2 Sqn, they were there too. I've been trying to look them up too, as an ex RE I have been phoning friends who were there too. 25 went to 23 Engr Regt at Osnabruck in the eighties and then became Armoured Engineers at some point with 32 Regt. Finally disbanded mid nineties with options for change

Er, Read my post again Buddy......2 ARMOURED ENGINEER SQUADRON. I was THERE!....😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SirLanceUK said:

Hi, I thought the same thing and looked around but the character does not translate at all in anything but Japanese,

but then it is not close. I was more wondering if anyone "knew"

 

I'm no expert, but it looks as though it is a version of the classical Chinese character for "Fist" (Quan), what Europeans call 'Boxers' being known to Chinese by a name which translates as 'Righteous Harmonious Fists'. Modern printed Chinese (Pinyin) uses a different character set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What can I say Noel7 thank you, another piece to the puzzle that is my question. I am being asked to attend charity functions and I expect people to ask questions and really want some background :) the bullet holes make an interesting talking point to :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I was part of 25 Field Squadron from March 85 through to April 1990. Originally I joined 23 Engineer Regt (25 Squadron) when they were based in Osnabruk. The whole squadron moved to Iserlohn in 1986 to become part of 26 Engineer Regt. 

The emblem if I remember correctly does come from the boxer rebellion but I only heard that off the old sweats at that time. 

We did of course run CVRT Spartans at that time. I think we had two per troop (SSgt and Reece Sgt) used them. Spent many an hour in one of them. I do remember an incident when there was an engine fire on one of them. The driver did get badly scorched but recovered well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2019 at 5:39 PM, Tony P said:

Hi I was part of 25 Field Squadron from March 85 through to April 1990. Originally I joined 23 Engineer Regt (25 Squadron) when they were based in Osnabruk. The whole squadron moved to Iserlohn in 1986 to become part of 26 Engineer Regt. 

The emblem if I remember correctly does come from the boxer rebellion but I only heard that off the old sweats at that time. 

We did of course run CVRT Spartans at that time. I think we had two per troop (SSgt and Reece Sgt) used them. Spent many an hour in one of them. I do remember an incident when there was an engine fire on one of them. The driver did get badly scorched but recovered well.

Tony, thanks for the information. I did find the driver and his instructor. The instructor happened t be down with an old officer of mine so we meet for a beer. It was him that connected me to the driver, who has s coming over for a reunion.. somewhat delayed as he can’t drive at the minute 

I have had great fun and frustration working on this beast, but everywhere we go it is well received 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know its historical by quite a large margin but I was with 25th sqd at Minden St Georges Barracks BAOR I think.. 19th Regiment

Royal Artillary were there too. Badge was a sort of 'battle axe'.

Harry O 

Sapper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't quite know how I missed this thread, so sorry about the delay in contributing.  26 Engineer Regiment received Spartans to replace its Ferrets in 1981, or possibly early 1982.  At that time the field squadrons were 5, 25 and 30 while 2 Sqn had become the field support squadron with Bridge Troop and Plant Troop - it was no longer armoured - but the G1098 still retained many of the armoured bits and pieces - the pixie suits and armoured pattern steel helmets for example.  Anyway...

As I recall, at that time the Spartans were allocated three per troop - one for the troop commander one for the troop staff sergeant and the third for the troop recce sergeant.  I could be wrong about the troop staff sergeant - he may have had an FV432, in which case, the allocation was only two per troop - it was a long time ago.  The sections, of course, retained their FV432s.  All the Ferrets were parked, unused, at the back of the tank park (along with the rotting flotation screens which had been removed from all the FV432s)  prior to being sorted out for backloading. 

25 Fd Sqn had a rather dynamic OC, so for the first major exercise (Eternal Triangle, perhaps?) after receiving the Spartans, he ordered that the squadron would also take all its Ferrets on exercise with it as well.  Of course, the Spartans soon began to appear beside the road with little yellow flags flying waiting for the arrival of the LAD (ie they had broken down) so the troop "management" were able to take over their Ferrets again and retain their independence of movement.  Had they not had their Ferrets with them, their troop leadership would have had, like the other squadrons, to hitch lifts everywhere with the section 432s.  Not an easy way to run a troop which constantly requires the troop management to be in different places from the sections. 

As the unit got more familiar with them and the vehicles were run-in, so the Spartans' reliability improved, but, when they first arrived it was shocking.  Reliability, though, with complicated bits of machinery always improved the more it was used.  In units with both Ferrets, for example, and Land Rovers, it was all too common to use the Land Rovers for all the domestic travel and the Ferrets would, therefore, sit on the tank park until they were required on exercise when their oil seals would fail after very few miles.  If, however, they were run regularly, even when this was inconvenient, they were much better.  There were problems after the winter of 1980 in BAOR when there was a moratorium on the use of fuel - once it was eased and vehicles could be used again, so many of them blew seals and hydraulic hoses, which was hugely frustrating. With tracked vehicles it was always a problem as the track-mileage was restricted anyway.  This, of course, didn't apply to Ferrets, so they could be used relatively freely for "running about in" - provided you were prepared to go as a pair - you needed a driver and a commander - and were prepared to get wet and cold in inclement weather! There's nothing like a Ferret driver's lap for collecting rain water!

10 68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in 5 sqn at Iserlohn for my last 6 months service.

Cannot recall any Ferrets, but do remember the Bedford MK's, Couple of CET's and some Stalwarts.

I was in HQ troop from Jan 83 - Jul 83.

How I hated the run up to the Bismark Turm, especially after being a planty in the UK.

Outside the gate to the left was the beer shop and across the road was a Scnellie van. Jaeger Scnitzel, mit frites mit mayo, bitte.

A mile down the road to the shops in Hagen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly thank you chaps for the your information, none of it is wasted and is making its way into information sheets for when my spartan "Oddball" ( I am sure that really is my nickname) goes to the various local shows. She looks so good amongst the rovers. But I was told their is a sappers facebook page which if you are not members of you might wish to join.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

I was 2IC 25 Fd Sqn from their return from Ireland to the end of the Belize deployment - which the Chief Clarke and I planned as we waited their return from NI.  Around 140 of us and 11 Tonnes of kit deployed for the 6 month emergency tour. I was based at Airport Camp with the OC and I ran the Boat Patrols with the Rigid Raiders. Our main role was to complete the Ammo Compound as well as some MACC projects. 
 

This posting followed a year as OC HQ Sqn at 26, then Ops Officer 30 Sqn and a fleeting session at 5 Sqn before Junior Division of the Staff College (JDSC). I was delighted to return to 26 after that course - and being at 25 meant I had the full set of Squadrons. 
 

Harkins was OC I think for most of the time and he was a x-country Army Vet runner. His first act was to take the whole squadron on an 11mile run - including twice up Spew Hill. We had bodies in the woods for days lol. 
 

All ended up a bit bitter when 26 Engr Regt wasn’t selected for Iraq and 21 Engr Regt went instead. Turned out CRE was better chums with CO 21.  That CRE (Col Mike Evans) was the former CO of 32 Armd Engr Regt and known as the ‘second hand car salesman’ for his sheepskin coat and attempts to sell his crappy car to new Troop Commanders. 
 

 Lt COL Tim Hoddinott was CO of 26 and a much loved and respected CO. He died a few years back after a short illness. Donald LD Biggar was the larger-than-life Adjutant and he retired to conduct battlefield tours around France and Belgium. 
 

Maj Albert Whitlock commanded 5 Sqn.   Struggling to recall OC 30 Sqn (Maj James Hignet??) but 2IC was Captain John Newsome. 
 

Incredibly enjoyable few years at a great Regt and feel immensely honoured to have played a small part in the history and commanded such fine soldiers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afternoon Gents,

I was with 25 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers from January 1970 - November 74, they had just moved from Paderborn to Iserlohn, at this time there was HQ Squadron, 5 Squadron & 2 armoured. We were based in Corruna Barracks and was part of 26 engineer Regiment. 

The Chinese symbol associated with 25 squadron does indeed come from the Boxer rebellion, and was associated with a group of Chinese called the "The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists", this was a group who were intent on overthrowing the outside dominance of China.Image result for What is the chinese symbol for fist

 

They were defeated by multi national force and China had to Pay 330 million dollars in compensation, this was later returned on the proviso China built universities.

I am still in contact with quite a number of Sappers from that period, we were supposed to have been in Coventry this weekend for another of our reunions, but sadly due to the state of things at the moment we had to cancel it. Not to worry we are going to have a 50th anniversary gathering next March.

I hope the above has been of some benefit.

 

Pete C

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2020 at 2:42 PM, Pete C said:

Afternoon Gents,

I was with 25 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers from January 1970 - November 74, they had just moved from Paderborn to Iserlohn, at this time there was HQ Squadron, 5 Squadron & 2 armoured. We were based in Corruna Barracks and was part of 26 engineer Regiment. 

The Chinese symbol associated with 25 squadron does indeed come from the Boxer rebellion, and was associated with a group of Chinese called the "The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists", this was a group who were intent on overthrowing the outside dominance of China.Image result for What is the chinese symbol for fist

 

They were defeated by multi national force and China had to Pay 330 million dollars in compensation, this was later returned on the proviso China built universities.

I am still in contact with quite a number of Sappers from that period, we were supposed to have been in Coventry this weekend for another of our reunions, but sadly due to the state of things at the moment we had to cancel it. Not to worry we are going to have a 50th anniversary gathering next March.

I hope the above has been of some benefit.

 

Pete C

 

Pete C,

Thank you, it is the clearest explination I have had. Your symbol is not quite the same as the one I was supplied with, but understanding where the name came from and some history, I can see the links that means the version I came across is a bastardasation of the correct symbol. That is something I would/ could not have know without your help.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...