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Posts posted by BlueBelle

  1. Difficult to tell from such a small photo, Lizzie. I'd hazard a guess that it's an RLB or RLD so without the winch, and an early cab (and body). Might even be one of the trucks featured earlier in this thread?

    Ah, Sean, you fell for my tease! :-D Yes, the photo is 'small', the Bedford could be, as you say though as I've not shown a Homs-based Bedford yet, 'we've' not seen it before on here. What makes you think it's an early cab? I thought you'd need a frontal view to establish cab type (hi/low headlights, radiator cowling cutout, grill, logo etc. There looks to be a hip ring gun ball mount, but I could be seeing things. Do please tell more about the cargo body types, early and late.

  2. Yes Richard! :yay: Not an M9A1 as the fuel tanks are 'up front' in the load compartment so it's an IHC M5/M5A1. It was tinkered with though, probably for the 'german role' as there are vertical side extensions (approx 6") to the load compartment and some sort of strip welded on below that which made me think it was an M14 (based on an M5) with its fold-down upper sides as a number of them were stripped of their Maxson gun turrets and converted back into 'normal' halftracks and command vehicles. But no, not an M14 either. 3RHA may have some at Homs.

  3. It went quiet, maybe you fell off your sandbags or got a bigger kick on here out of winter woolly combat hats? :-D

    Thanks to Charles Yerrell 6RTR/2RTR for the following photos and for allowing me to use them. Sandbags plumped up again, bottle of Miranda to hand, sit back and enjoy!

    Look what was parked up in front of the 2RTR cookhouse in Homs, Libya 1959! Far more exciting than a Katy K2 fake, Richard!

    There were three of these parked up (dumped), used in the film 'Ice Cold in Alex' and then returned to Homs for plunder by LAD fitters determined to keep other ones 'on the road', so to speak. They must have been 'borrowed' from 6RTR who occupied Homs 1957-59 as the film was made in 1957 to early 1958 and released in June 1958. There's just a slim chance that they were 'borrowed' from 3RHA who were in Homs prior to 6RTR. No prizes for guessing the correct make and model number (with justification for guess).




  4. Any ideas as to what this is, Where and what is unusual about it?


    I am told it is a bit of a bodge of a Chieftan in Hartlepool but other than that I know nothing.


    Would that be the Heugh Battery Museum Stillbrew Chieftain? Minus rear side bins, rear track guards, lights and bins. No gun crutch either. I wonder if it still has an engine or runs? I bet that's a real dummy under it!


    More interestingly, what's that green trailer in the distance? A WW2 2ton thing?


    You should check out the Heugh Battery Museum, they have loads of really interesting artillery pieces, some sand-coloured too, and trailer-type things!

  5. BlueBelle said:
    S/Sgt Wally Roach, REME. Fitters Saracen, Ajax, 2RTR out of D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi (Cyrenaica). I have other photos of him with his Saracen. The other chap is REME too, name unknown. Wally Roach was nominated by my father for the award of a BEM, which he received (as a WO2 {AQMS}) for his ideas and work on the Saracen reverse air cooling system whilst out in Libya. Yes, Saracens pulled 1 ton trailers!


    Following my previous about S/Sgt Wally Roach, REME and the LAD fitters Saracen, Ajax, 2RTR out of D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi (Cyrenaica), here are two photos of the Saracen and Wally on a different occasion. This photo was taken by one Wilf Harrison, REME attached 2RTR, who was previously a 2RTR regimental fitter ‘forced’ to rebadge along with thousands of others when regiments ‘lost’ many of their regimental trades (mid to late 1950s). Wilf was also a dab hand with a camera and was employed as a regimental photographer who’s collection of 2RTR photos has been passed to his son and daughter and made available to me to use. This, and any subsequent photos by Wilf Harrison will be credited, as requested in memory to their dad, as ‘Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME’.

    Photo: Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME

    Photo: Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME

  6. I'm certain that's a K9, and I've owned enough of them. K9 GS had the big rubbing strake as well, above the rear arch as in the photo whereas I'm pretty sure the one on the MRA1 is interrupted by the wheelarch; and you can see the wheelarch extensions on the front wings and the prominent curve of the wing.


    That's it! Settled! Settled by the 'whole body length' rubbing strake of a K9 being on view, quite right, thank you Sean. I'd forgotton about the 'interupted' strake of the MRA1. There are people 'out there' who sincerely believe the GS bodies of the K9 and MRA1 were identical ......... though they're not on this forum. :-D

  7. A 2RTR Ferret Mk1, 34BA26 NOMAD displaying the Colours or Standards in 1960/1. The vehicle belongs to Nero (HQ) sqn and the vehicle name is on the superstructure front sides though not visible on this shot. The location is the old airstrip to the east of Leptis Magna and about 3 miles from the camp in Homs, Tripolitania. What, you can’t find the airstrip on the map? I can; depends also on what map you’re looking at! Behind NOMAD are the ruins of an old Italian fort. My, what a tatty 2RTR flag or an optical illusion. A rather long whip antenna? What radio set was fitted for this antenna and why that long antenna on this parade occasion? The Standards bearer is the RQMS (a family friend) and the driver’s wife baby-sat for us! How many official 'real' Standards Parades were there during 2RTR's time in Libya? I have photos of similar occasions ‘in the desert’ where the uniforms (and attendant bands – all non RTR!) wore best BDs, KDs and even, for the Standard bearer and driver, Blues!

    Families and guests were bussed from Homs in those Bedford SB buses that have Green Goddess-type fronts (not the flat-fronted SBs) to spectate from seats erected on the side slopes of the airstrip.

    Do you know where 34BA26 is now? I don’t.

    So much information from just one old photo, so many memories evoked and yet, so many questions, unanswered.


  8. They look a bit like Valentine tank bridgelayer sections. At the workshop I was at there was a WW2 tank bridge at one time at the washdown point.




    Whilst one was typing away to explain the bridge, I noticed just as I went to 'submit' that Richard had beaten me to it!

    This is my response:


    Another great photo of ..... everything! Look at that REME K9! The 'ramp'; I think it is a WW2 remnant, probably a tank Scissors bridge No1 30ft (30ton) as fitted to Valentines and Covenanters. Really distinctive leading edge mini-ramps to the main ramps, type and position of plate cutouts and then there's the flimsy-looking metal matting trackway. It had an angled 'hump' at the folding center as opposed to a 'gentle' rounded hump. We've not seen any camels yet. Of course, I could have barked up the wrong tree about this! :cheesy:

  9. These are the only two photo's I have of Armour in Libiya


    on the back is written "Camp DERNA"


    The registration on the nearest Saracen appears to be 98BA?8 and I assume they are towing the 1 ton trailers?


    S/Sgt Wally Roach, REME. Fitters Saracen, Ajax, 2RTR out of D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi (Cyrenaica). I have other photos of him with his Saracen. The other chap is REME too, name unknown. Wally Roach was nominated by my father for the award of a BEM, which he received (as a WO2 {AQMS}) for his ideas and work on the Saracen reverse air cooling system whilst out in Libya. Yes, Saracens pulled 1 ton trailers!

  10. A couple of photos showing sand coloured overalls, it would appear that brown was another colour worn.




    Great photos Andy!

    The REME chap on the Austin K9 radio truck (219 'Tripolitania' Sigs Sqn, R.Sigs) is wearing something more akin to a 'pixie' tank suit, rather than standard issue coveralls. The other two sat with him are not soldiers (locally employed civilians) wearing anything but standard issue coveralls. In the Bedford RL photo, the two soldiers are wearing 'holiday' footwear as seemed to be quite common out there between 1950-66 (remember, it was then a holiday posting). The coveralls appear to be sand-coloures though the cuff of a rolled up sleeve is ..... green! The RL could be 'poorly' too; is that a tow strop hanging down? Certainly missing a headlight! Oh, the Bedfords belong to 38 Coy RASC (in 1965, or maybe a year or two before, they became 38 Sqn RCT).

  11. What did the Saladin hit?


    Not known. Perhaps lurched into a structure or ditch in a failed attempt to navigate a bend or stay in a straight line? They apparently were not the easiest of vehicles to steer in inexperienced hands. Traffic accidents seem to have been rife in Tripolitania at that time, especially those involving military and civilian vehicles. The Homs to Tripoli road was particularly dangerous, with dry/flooded wadis and (collapsing) culverts to cross.

    There are press photos of a Saladin in N.Ireland on top of a car (not for here!) that failed to turn correctly.

  12. Yes, 2RTR in Tripoli (Cyclops sqn resident in Medenine Barracks with the RS from Oct 61 to Oct 62) and with a rectangular Barbary dhow District flash, tells me the year of the photograph being taken is 1961/2. Had it been the shield shape flash, it would have been a Homs-based vehicle of Cyclops, Aug 1959 to Oct 61. The place these photos of Saladin 07BB88 were taken is, I suspect, Station Wksps REME, Gurgi Barracks. It may have ended up subsequently as BLR/BER in 595 Ordnance Depot, Kassala Barracks, either for shipping back to the UK for a rebuild or for use as a hard target on the Tarhuna ranges, though I doubt it was that badly damaged so as to warrant ‘total destruction’ by Malkara missiles or other means (plenty of surplus/BER vehicles were simply taken away to be blown up by the REs, so as to prevent the locals from getting their hands on complete military vehicles). Strange how operational practices (rules and regulations?) in Libya were so different to those of the time, say, BAOR or UK home units.

    The first photo shows evidence that Saladin 07BB88 2RTR (Cyclops 5 Troop Leader’s when in Homs) has just had an accident and the RMP are present questioning two RTR crewmen whilst I guess, the REME are gleefully photographing the event! I have identified the two crewmen through 2RTR. See what follows, the state the Saladin ended up in (bits pinched, REME larking around in it) and do please add your bit. It would be nice to have some commentators, other period photos and so on, rather than just viewers (or ‘lurkers’ as the owner of a certain ordnance-based forum publically titles them – I know, I was a ‘lurker’ there until I contributed)!

    Saladin 07BB88 and its fate.

    Saladin 07BB88 being driven with skewed wheel station. Hull probably damaged too.


  13. A poorly Bedford RL from 1 Inf Div, probably a CS Royal Artillery one. That’s what the white 13 superimposed on what seems to be an RA rectangle is telling me. As an RA truck, I wonder why I can't see a Battery insignia on the cab door? The RA 'always' displayed insignia, didn't they? Certainly the RHA liked to do that (as you may see later on in my 3RHA Homs, Libya 1954-56 ish offerings-SEXTONS, Cromwells, Halftracks, Diamond Ts, Champs! – drool material for some?). Many RA units visited Tripolitania from the UK, Malta and Cyprus for exercises, schemes, annual firing at Tarhuna (just south of Tripoli) and so on. The white diamond on a black rectangle indicates 1 Inf Div who around 1958/59 were based in Cyprus so the truck could be a 29 Field Regt RA truck from Cyprus (that unit visited Tarhuna twice, in 58 and 59) that needed a trusty old Scammell Explorer's assistance.

    His coveralls appear to be sand coloured, just as the vehicles are. Do you know if anyone from that era ever had sand coloured coveralls? I thought they were, in different versions and conditions, always a shade of green. I know pixie tank suits were not green but these are one-piece standard-looking coveralls. Maybe some trickery/illusionary thing going on?

    No, I've concluded that as his coverall sleeves are rolled up and 'a different colour' to the rest of his coveralls, that they probably were not sand coloured at all, just sun bleached!:cheesy:

  14. Hi Lizzie,

    I can see what looks to be two German tyres on the trailer, as well as a sand tyre and a Dunlop Trackgrip, is this what you meant? I wonder if the German tyres were dating back to WW2?


    regards, Richard


    Well I never! German tyres! So Richard, you also picked up on my clue 'attired' :yay:

    Yes, it was obvious just on observation and you were the only one to spot it! ;) The British liberated much more just than axis-controlled Libya; 'liberation' also included ordnance depots (two of which became Keren and Kassala barracks respectively with the British) and all their spare parts etc.. The Lancia and Alfa Romeo factories and workshops in Tripoli were commandeered to 'host' British workshop units, though which units I know not, yet. So yes, tyre appropriation and stockpiling, I surmise, would have been appropriate as 'spoils of war' though seems just a trifle odd to be putting the stuff into use some 17 or so years after the surrender of Tripoli.

  15. The Scammell’s FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer parked up with a double load of a Thames E4 truck and a seemingly wheel-less water bowser trailer. Now then, surely someone is going to challenge my call on that truck, aren’t they? Well, I hummed and hawed about it, looked up ‘every’ possible military truck body possible and the only one that ‘looked’ like the one in the photo was the Thames E4. The cab? It can’t really be seen though the tiny bit showing did seem a like that of a Bedford QL but I couldn’t relate that to the body. If the wiser than me folk on here tell me, unequivocally that it’s not what I said it is, then I’ll go with them! Maybe. The bowser? Who knows?


    Can you see anything a little odd at the rear of the FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer? I can, and it was not unusual either! I have photos of trucks, trailers and, somewhere, I have even seen a photo of a Scammell Explorer 'attired' in the same way. If it fitted, then it got used!

  16. Just another view of the Halftrack being dragged off the FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer by Scammell Explorer 94BD17. Note the interior layout, curved rear corners, rear door and other features marking it out as an IHC M9A1 as said previously. Shabby paint too.

    Interesting building, lots of galvanised sheet iron and au-naturel air conditioning provision to save on window frames and glass. Rather like Tarhuna Barracks, though built of stone. Oh, I see another 'thing' sticking up at a rakish angle on this side, just behind the door. One each side, so what were they for? Can you see a machine gun mount? I can, though if guns were ever fitted in service post-war in Libya and you can prove it, I'll ........ ?

  17. I wondered if the plank was hinged along its bottom edge so could be dropped to a horizontal position to act as an external sun visor, perhaps.


    Close study of the photo does reveal four dark blobs that could be hinges.


    Not that I know any better than you really, but I'm rejecting the planks as a sun visor contraption and am going to stick (no pun intended) with my assumption that it's a rudimentary local modification (no EMER trace) stowage assistance device MK1 - cam net/hessian sausage thing. Besides, the Workshops would have had a metal-bashing gang to hand, ‘metalsmith’ was the trade, I think, and they could have bashed together something more ‘visor-looking’ than wooden duckboards! I seem to recall a photo somewhere of a Scammell Explorer with a ‘proper-looking’ metal visor, probably civilian though.



    Scammel 94BD27 looking rather pristine.


    That Scammell, 94BD27 lived at Medenine Barracks Tripoli in 1961 and 62 with the Royal Scots and Cyclops 2 RTR. On which unit's strength it was held, I know not. I have a nice colour photo of it there, taken by a 2 RTR chap which, when i have his permission, I'll post in due course. I wonder if this one survived?

  19. 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.


    22 Engr Regt RE in Libya was comprised of 12, 17 & 23 Fd Sqns & 6 Fd Pk Sqn.

  20. "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

  21. 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


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