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Posts posted by BlueBelle

  1. 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.

  2. There’s an unusual church in Deepcut. It’s St Barbara’s, the garrison church of the Royal Logistic Corps (I meant, the RAOC!). The Church was built in 1901 to serve the Deepcut and Blackdown army training camps, and was dedicated as St Michael and All Angels Garrison Church. It was only in 1967 that the church was re-named St Barbara’s Garrison Church.

    Built from wood and corrugated iron, it’s an interesting, and quirky church. No good as an aircraft hangar though. As you would expect in a garrison church, it contains flags, memorial plaques, and has some wonderful stained glass windows. My REME father married his first wife, a WRAC, there in 1950 or 51.

    St Barbara Tin Church Deepcut.jpg

  3. 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:

  4. BlueBelle said:

    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


  5. 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:

  6. fv1609 said:
    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.



  7. 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! ;)

  8. And where are the photos of said Austin?



    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:

  9. Last go! You have been to the railway museum, Clive, in Swindon and seen Class 4073 Caerphilly Castle and photoed a worn wheel on it. It was a famous Castle in its day during the 50s. I don't 'do' trains but I can sleuth or guess reasonably well though I'm probably miles off on the wrong side of Offa's Dyke on this one! :-D

  10. Now a little something for the Land rover, or is it Landrover or, Land Rover aficionados amongst you, especially sand-coloured ones.

    There was a time, of which I'm not really sure as I know nothing about the type, when the army in Tripolitania received (from the Trials 'department' at 595 Ord Depot RAOC, Kassala Barracks Tripoli at kilo 21) a Series 2A (I think?) Ambulance for desert testing. Yes, isn't this exciting. A 'noo' ambulance taken on by 38 Coy RASC at Prinn Barracks Tripoli, who, at around the same time, took on a Trials Austin K9 Multifuel Ambulance (sand-coloured too) for desert testing and pitched them both against an in-service Ford Thames E4 ambulance (sand-coloured too!). Many wheeled traipses through the deserts of Tripolitania ensued, some maybe into the Fezzan. I think I'm correct in saying that a noticeable difference between the trial LR ambulance and the production 'in-service' type is the central air intake/outlet on the cab overhang of the trials version and the ommission of it on production versions as two smaller corner intakes/outlets were evident. I feel the year of these trials was 1961 as plastered on the windscreen of the LR is a stenciled A/F 12/60 marking which surely means ...... Antifreeze checked/filled December 1960. Have I sleuthed that correctly, I wonder?

    Also, there is a sticker or 'homemade' badge on the LR nose that says 'Trials', then 'MELF' (on a red pennant) and under that the word 'Vehicle'. The very same 'homemade' badge appeared on the nose of at least one Homs-based sand-coloured FV421 Cambridge Load Carrier 3 years earlier.

    Pay no attention to the scruff in attendance. No, cancel that. His appearance is worthy of note; issue brown daps that have not been (as 'normally' required to be) boot-polished black, grey issue socks which preceded green ones, KD shorts, a shirt 'scratchy' KF or jungle green tropical all hanging out, the RASC lanyard, beret and non-issue shades. A Sgt too, who should have been given a month's worth of weekend extras as Orderly Sgt in full ceremonial best dress! Not that I 'do' uniforms or am pedantic about items of service uniform clothing like some folk are!

    Photo by CH Bloxham REME




  11. 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.



    Update! Don't you just love 'getting it right'! I can confirm the RL belongs to 42Regt RA, Cyprus 1959-62, who with their 25pdrs, visited Libya frequently, even venturing from Tarhuna into the Tibesti mountains bordering French Equatorial Africa and Niger. :-D

  12. Really great to see a colour photo of a FV421 in use (if broken). Seems to be as originaly built with no mods at all. It is not one of the very first ones as it has the front windows with rounded corners vs the bolted in ones with square corners on the first few vehicles.


    Please Ron, lend Lynn the original transparency so we can get a better look (and any other FV421 ones) and thank you for letting us see them.




    Lynn, whoever she is, may be perplexed, just as Ron may now be too!:laugh:

    Kind regards,


  13. Lucky me! I have a new source of many, previously unseen by Jo Public, 6RTR Libya photos! I'll show some here too, but as you know, I'm saving the very best for 'The Book'. Taken by yet another REME bod (they were so good with their cameras weren't they, the REME folk), one Ronald Gill, then a REME Sgt Fitter (were they called A Mechs by then, and not 'fitter'?) with the 6RTR LAD. So, don't get too excited but here we have one of those FV421 Cambridge Load Carriers getting fixed up in the LAD of Homs camp. Can't make the VRN out but you can see the Tripolitania District flash clear enough. I'm negotiating on getting my hands on the original transparency to produce a better image. Fingers crossed (OK, Ron? He's looking in!). Can you see the LAD Halftrack? Can you see a cement mixer? But what is that DBG thing standing on the concrete? Is it a detached engine cowl or bonnet and, from what?

    Another 6RTR bod tells me that the 421s spent most of their time in Libya, broken down. One was parked up and 'forgotten', another, in his squadron had only 1 mile on the clock and when the OC found that out, he went ballistic and had him (his troop) take turns for days on end driving around the tank park and up and down the beach (just outside the front gates) in order to notch up track mileage. The regiment did not appreciate having these 'things' foisted upon them, so he said.

    Photo by Ronald Gill REME


  14. A two-masted Tripolitania District formation flash, facing East with a cargo of British slaves. Seen in 1960 on the rear end of Saladin ...... 00BB75!!! What happened to the 3rd mast and sail? Why is the dhow facing the wrong way? Were these flashes self-adhesive vinyl-type sticky things, were they water-slide transfers (QDGs had them in silver for their double-headed birds), or, were they painted on? Maybe a bit of everthing! When were vinyl-type sticky formation/arm of service flashes first used if used at all? :-D


  15. Yes, point taken about dhows and lions facing 'the wrong way'.

    These two lions I found straying on the web; billed as MELF post war. I would go further and say, post early 1956 and the British withdrawal from Egypt (maybe even post Suez?). The lions are slightly different in that one appears to be 'bullion' (no pun intended in composition of that word) perhaps for a commissioned soldier's uniform (or mid-east ceremonial No 3s or 4s, whatever they were .... I don't 'do' uniforms) whilst the other is just plain. Quite some size though, over 3'' top to tail! The lions and their backing colours are what I think I see (squint) on that Warpaint Saladin and as what I squint at on those tank transporters. The flash I believe, would have been assigned to those vehicles, sub-units and personnel at HQ Command level, i.e; those not assigned to specific divisions, brigades or .... regiments. I am most willing to be corrected on my jottings here so please don't be reticent or slow in providing more wisedom than I have done on these markings. Experts lurking are for me like the chocolate frog in a teapot!;)



  16. Thanks for the reply, David.

    Let's look at another DT trailer with a 6RT Centurion aboard at Homs 1957/8, the front end close-up of what seems to be a lion with its four legs sticking out to the right, a crown above its head and perhaps something (a globe?) under its bottom, all on a rectangular patch which may be a single unknown colour or a say, red above dark blue? Can anyone throw more light on this please?

    Photo by Peter Doyle 6RTR.


  17. Now it’s time for a first, yes, something from 6RTR who were based in Barce (Cyrenaica, Libya) from July 1957 to November 1957, and who then, apart from a squadron and their tanks who were deployed to Cyprus, found themselves stationed in Homs, Tripolitania just in time for Christmas. Their arrival in Homs permitted 23 Sqn RE, who’d been sent there on ‘empty camp’ guard duty since the departure of 3RHA in May 1957, to return to their parent unit in Tripoli, 22 Eng Regt RE, who then, as a regiment, promptly departed Libya for the UK (and Christmas in Blighty) as the rapid (and ‘massive’) drawdown of British forces from Libya really began to take effect.

    There, that’s set the scene; now we see some of 6RTR’s Centurions (early Mk3s), complete with their mono-trailers, sat on Diamond T transporters ‘somewhere outside Homs’ (so the photographer informs me, though I have my doubts as will be evident later on), either very late November 1957 or very early in 1958. Any later and the 25 Armd Bde/10 Armd Div flash and the red rectangular armoured 52 flash (applied to the tanks and other vehicles when they first arrived in Barce from the UK) were soon replaced by, yes, the Tripolitania District flash (rectangles and shields) and the RAC red/yellow/white bar 6 R TKS flash (as we’ll see in some other photos later).

    Several things to note, if you’re of a mind to do so. First is the mono-trailer wheel on the ground; this was apparently transported just as you see without the trailer being screwed up and held in place with locking bars between the tank rear upper hull eyelets and the eyelets on top of the mono-trailer rear plate. Yes, driven like that; I have a photo of such on a main road in BAOR, not mine so I can’t show it here. Astonishing? Some of us know that 2RTR hoicked their mono-trailers up and locked them mid-air so as to permit easy and safe loading, unloading and driving of transporters. To be fair, the photographer, then a subaltern, hasn’t answered my question as to whether or not the trailers were lifted and locked or not. If you look closer again, the tank rear upper hull eyelets are already occupied by the tie-down chains to the transporter deck. Hmmm.

    What else? Well, whilst the photo quality makes close scrutiny a little difficult, can you see the Division/Command flash and the Arm of Service flash on the Diamond T trailer? I can. One is the RASC flash and the other is a Command flash, the latter which looks like to me, a lion facing right, with its four legs sticking out to the right, a crown above its head and perhaps something (a globe?) under its bottom, all on a rectangular patch which may be a single unknown colour or a say, red above dark blue? Hmmm, does anyone know what it is as I have a suspicion that this is (where I go wrong again) something to do with the Command at that point still being MELF transitioning into NELF Cyprus HQ and the shifting of Libya Districts to Malta Command. There appears to be a fuzzy photo of such a lion flash on a 3RTR Cyprus Saladin 1987 (page 100) in Warpaint V3, which by the way is a generally good reference overall, though totally lacking on the colour schemes and marking of Libya-based formations and vehicles other than the reference to Light Stone (omitted camouflage schemes, tut tut) and the two District flashes which we all know about. I’ll have to write it myself I suppose. So, back to my doubts about where the photo was taken; could it just be that the photo shows the 6RTR squadron in Cyprus on Cyprus-based tank transporters? Could be perhaps, as the photographer spent some months there in 1957 with his regiment.

    The Tripolitania-based tank transporter unit around that time was 1 Coy RASC Tripoli, who were part of, or who had been subsumed into 38 Company RASC, though not for long. I have evidence to suggest that by December 1958, there were no tank transporting capabilities in Tripolitania, borne out by 6RTR, as the last tank regiment in Libya with tanks becoming tankless around the same time as their armour was shipped back to the UK from Tripoli on the heavy lift ship BenalBanach. They certainly were tankless in April 1959, though I can’t substantiate if that event occurred earlier. 6RTR seemingly were left with just trucks and Champs for five months (or more) before setting sail for the UK on the Dunera at the end of August 1959! I shall get the low-down on that period, fear not! Please remember, some of what I write is from memories of those who were there, suppositions based on their photos and could be subject to a pinch of salt here and there and in some cases, whilst intriguing, is as much ‘intellectual’ use as a well educated chocolate frog in a teapot.

    Can you see a slave lead?

    Do tell me please, what you can see and what you know.

    Photo by Peter Doyle 6RTR


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