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Posts posted by BlueBelle

  1. Thanks Sean, especially for your Hippo comments. I had forgotten too that in the run up to Suez, and as on several much earlier occasions, the Libyan Arabs were revolting to some degree against the British (and against the Libyan Jews of whom many were murdered in what's referred to as the Tripoli pogrom) to the extent that British dependents were evacuated from their MQs and hirings into army barracks and thence by fleets of aircraft back to the UK. Dependents all came back early in 1957 after Britain's, France's and Israel's defeat at Suez. Vehicles may have been protected with XPM mesh in Tripoli as I do have accounts of rocks being thrown at British Army trucks and buses where windscreens and windows were smashed. No other photos though.

  2. Just a little bit closer again because the photos you see are not enlarging as sometimes they seem to not want to thus denying us 'full view enlightenment', Grrrr!

    It looks as though the canvas tilt shrunk in a rain storm. Hey! Even the tilt on the Hippo next door has shrunk! Maybe they're not Hippo tilts at all?

    This splendid photo is a gem and you can see all that I've mentioned far better.


  3. Let's take a closer view of the caged Hippo.

    I bet that like myself, you've never ever seen a Hippo thus caged!


    Was the steel mesh called Dexion XPM? Maybe.


    Why was the Hippo caged and not the others? Could it be to protect high-value or attractive items from pilfering, after all, the Hippo was in the Land of Pilfer? If so, why mesh up the cab too?


    Or, could it be that this Hippo was a returnee from that other Land of Pilfer across the eastern border, the place where British Forces were told in no uncertain terms to get out of? Possibly, though I do not know if Hippos over there were caged at all, not even to prevent hurled rocks and other projectiles from breaking windscreens and harming soldiers. I can see though that this Hippo at one time had a different Divisional flash with a shortened top unit name bar, judging by what is underneath the standing Rhino.


    Or, maybe it has just been specially meshed-up to go to the H war for some reason, and for the answer, we might need an ancient RAOC Vehicle Specialist to supply the answer? Anyone? The RAOC online forum all play doggo when I ask a question.

    This Hippo looks good though!

    Oh, its got little twinned rear wheels so that makes it a Hippo Mk2 .... er, I've forgotten if its A or B! Were the rear wheels smaller than the front ones? I have it all somewhere, but not easy to hand right now.

    The previous photo, this one and a few more I'll post were donated as originals to me by someone who wants to remain anonymous so now they're mine, all mine! Hence,

    Photo copyright EJT (me :laugh:).


  4. Well, that's the K9s parked up for now, shelter tents packed away neatly ...... until the next time! :-)

    We certainly learn lots here, don't we? Of course we do, all good stuff as far as I'm concerned.

    Now, we're back in Tripoli, Tripolitania where 10 Armd Div Ord Fd Pk had been formed from the smaller 25 Armd Bde Ord Fd Pk, which, if I'm not misinterpreting the records, had existed in cadre form as part of the parent unit, 595 Ord Depot RAOC Kassala Bks (Mareth Bks pre-1955). The Ord Fd Pk seems to have been located in some other barracks and not with 595 Ord Depot. Could have been they were at Gurgi which seems most likely as the 595 Ord Veh Park were there, sharing 'the land' (a very basic 'barracks' with supposedly, no accommodation blocks though plenty of .... TENTS!) with 19 Armd Wksp REME and 5 Medium Wksp REME. RAOC Journals are so vague and provide no barrack names for units but they do tell you what the football score was having played against some other unit! Paff!

    So, here's the some of the unit lined up in 1956, with their warpaint on (H) ready to go to somewhere they were not allowed to go to after all. Oh, look at all them RL Binners, and even Hippos!

    Some vehicles do not display the 97 on the RAOC arm of service flash which makes me think those were issued from the main Ord or Veh depot to bolster the Ord Fd Pk (97) vehicle numbers.

    What purpose the rectangular concrete arches serve is beyond me, though there are two b&w signs visible with the closest saying 'Receipts'. Perhaps the other says 'Issues' though I'm told that as stores were for storing, there were never any issues!

    Can you see a caged Hippo? I can. A Moggie too!


  5. I can certainly see the likeness to the Aldershot & for those who don't have the REME book I attach a scan.


    The thing that worries me is that the diagram shows on each side a pair of "windows" in each of the three sections on each side, whereas the Libyan ones have a larger single window in each of the three sections (as does SP No.2)


    The diagram shows no windows in the next upper sections yet windows are present on the Libyan ones & SP No.2.


    The diagram shows a window either side of the entrance, but on both the Libyan ones & SP No.2 there seem to be no such windows.


    It may be too small a detail to record on the diagram but there are no roof ventilators, although quite basic diagrams of wartime large tents & marquees show them. Difficult to see but some are just discernible of the Libyan ones & SP No.2.


    Although my picture of Shelter Portable No.2 comes from a 1973 publication it doesn't preclude it from being wartime as the book includes some wartime marquees. I note that the REME wartime book includes SP No.4, so it seems feasible that SP No.2 might have been around back then.








    So its not the 'Aldershot' after all!!! I rather liked the shelter being that, but now we know the shelter is actually the Shelter Portable No.2. Does the Shelter Portable No.2 have a more 'familiar' 'handle'?

    Can we see the scale drawing for that 'Aldershot' too, please? The Shelter Portable No.2.

  6. fv1609 said:
    I don't think it can be BC as 43 BC 71 - 99 BC 99 was not used.


    BG makes more sense & would make it a signals truck which makes the basic vehicle Bridge Class 4, but some fitted with certain installations were Bridge Class 5. So are they different vehicles or has it changed the type of radio installation between photos?

    I did say we were going to get back to Tripolitania after the Aldershot shelters in Cyrenaica but I just couldn't resist another one from 'there' and this time, its a K9 again! Notice its an FFW and it has a Bridge Class 7. Oh.

    Nor am I going to pretend that the G in the VRN is really a C :shocked: and I'm not going to show you another (as two colour photos of it, front and rear appear earlier in this thread) with both C and G in the VRN (no wonder I'm confused), and, I'm not going to show you another Tripolitania District K9 which may or may not be FFW with a ..... Bridge Class 9 :shocked:. It was Libya, afterall.

    Photo by CH Bloxham REME


  7. Clive

    The Aldershot shelter was used in WW2, may pre-date it to. It is detailed in one of the red War Office books on REME, which relates experience gained in wartime. Detailed drawing in it, framework fits the Libya one to a T.

    Thank you Richard and Clive. Now we all know. 'Aldershot' it is. I think perhaps you'd have been hard-pressed to find 40 'willing' pairs of REME hands to put the things up 'quickly'! They'd of had to 'rope' in the squadron troops too, methinks especially as I know that when Ajax 2RTR, as a lone squadron, first was stationed in D'Aosta Barracks where the 'Aldershots' had to be errected, the squadron LAD was a lot less than 40 strong, i.e, just a 'Fitter's Section'. Maybe the 'Aldershots' had already been erected prior to their arrival, perhaps by 'barrack services' (joke!) or was there a previous unit that had vacated?

    Aldershot. Home of the British Army. How appropriate for a shelter (home) name in the desert.

  8. Well, to quote Sean "No one has bitten', I shall say the same about those ghibli-battered frame tent shelters that served as the REME workshops for 2RTR LAD in Wavell Barracks, Benghazi. I'm not though, able to tell you what the correct nomenclature/designation/name was for those structures (prior to damage :-))? Does anyone know? I hope they do and posts the answer so we can get out of Cyrenaica and back into Tripolitania District.

    To further aid you, a photo by John Empson REME.


  9. Sean N said:

    But - all the K9s irrespective of age have the late bonnet, typical of later contracts. Why? Did they have a habit of wrecking bonnets in Libya?


    I wonder if the answer is this. In my experience with K9s they tend to build up underbonnet heat which vapourises the fuel, making them difficult to restart hot. OK, my experience is with modern not 1960s fuel, but I wonder if they found it to be a problem in the desert and either changed the bonnets of vehicles going out there, or specified hot climate vehicles with the vented bonnet which later made it to all production vehicles?


    The master parts list has two bonnets listed, for WB and WD/D vehicles, but isn't clear on what the different vehicle or bonnet types are, and unhelpfully doesn't have drawings of the bonnet(s).


    Wrecking bonnets? Lifting bonnets? No, take the bonnet off and sling it in the cargo body with the two spare tyres and the two camels who will be nonplussed! I suspect this K9 may have been abandoned? There looks to be a poorly Landrover too? Not too sure about the VRN on this one either! Ha Ha! It does though begin with an L for Libya, doesn't it? The stripe markings on the truck tail mean what, I wonder? Would you carry camels in your K9?

    The photo is one that appeared in an auction house with no supporting information and I believe it shows an ex-British Military Mission/British Naval Mission vehicle sold off in an extreme hurry along with the 20+ fleet to Arab motor dealers in Tripoli on being booted out in a fit of pique by Gadhafi. The BMM went first, passing all their trucks and LRs to the BNM, leaving the Navy bods to dispose of everything, children's toys too, in hastily abandoned MQs/Hirings. I have the full account, though its for another time and place.


  10. Regarding the reversed negative problem: if you have a reversed digital image, most photo programs will sort it easily. I open the photo in Microsoft office picture manager, then 'Picture', rotate and flip, flip horizontaly, save. Job done !




    Sean, you beat me to it!


    Thank you David! It was so simple all along and I had just not realised the full effect off those functions! Preview programme on the Mac does that too as I've just practiced and of course, my Photoshop does it too. :-)

  11. You should be able to flip the image in Photoshop. Image > Rotate > Flip Horizontal.




    I don't think the charger exhaust goes into the vehicle, just down the side.


    Ford Anglia in the background.

    Well, would you believe it! Another perfect learning opportunity realised. Thank you Sean. Nothing odd about the photo now!!!

    Ford Anglia, yes. They appear on several more photos I have of those days in those places; I am sure Benghazi had a dealer then as well as one in Tripoli. NAAFI may well have been in the car dealership business there too, importing 'tax-free cars of your dreams' for service folk.

  12. Negative is reversed, see Saladin silencer and div signs


    Yes! Yes! Plus I thought that little generator was on the 'wrong' wing!

    I must try to get the negative or transparency from Wilf's son or get him to correct it. Oddly enough, I've spotted more reversed images, even one or two I've put on here but I kept quiet about it! The only real clue would have been the District flash.

  13. The cylinders lying on the rack are marked 'welding oxygen'. they are smaller diameter than the acetylene which are standing. I think it was acetylene that should not be laid down as it is liquid and a filling of kapok if I think back nearly 50 years when taught gas welding.

    Very good! Just remember that if an acetylene cylinder falls over there is a chance that thermal dissociation will occur, unfettered breakdown of the gas in the cylinder (not the acetone into which the gas is dissolved) which generates heat, raises the pressure, generates more heat, generates more pressure until .......boom! Acetylene cylinders stopped having thermal plugs (to melt under fire or thermal dissociation conditions) and pressure relief devices years ago as there operation when required had proven unreliable. Move a cylinder that's got hot inside and .... boom! Think about the exclusion zones and gentle cooling processes the Emergency Services put in place under these circumstances.

    There are some other gas cylinders that don't have pressure relief devices fitted, beware! Cylinders shouldn't be left or used horizontally either, if they roll or fall over, valves can shear and cylinders can rocket. Gas cylinders are safe in trained, competent hands and only in safe systems of work. Hmm, was that a digression? Yes. (Don't forget to get your flashback arrestors checked! Oh, you don't bother fitting them! :shocked: )

  14. Pssst! Want to see some gas cylinders? An MRA1 too, well, just the rear end anyway. Hmmm, with gas cylinders close by, that must surely be the Welding Truck? Elf n Safety springs to mind; free standing gas cylinders are a no-no, as are cylinders lying down, especially if they're acetylene! Goodness gracious, how do i know about stuff like that, I hear you ask. Well, just look me up on LI or my business website. I wrote the script and handbook for Air Products' 'Safe use of Oxy Acetylene' safety video and ... the safety handbook for industrial and analytical gases.

    After the children, naturally. :laugh:

    More ghibli damage in the desert.

    Photos by Wilf Harrison 2RTR/REME


  15. Sean N said:
    Lizzie, you flatter me, though I wouldn't say I'm an RL expert by any means, I just love them.


    I'd guess it's the normal RLD charging body with a variation on the tilt rather than the 27 kVA gen set vehicle as it doesn't seem to have any of the other signifiers.


    I know what that towed genny is, but I can't bring it to mind at the moment. I'm sure Mr Farrant will be able to place it. The interloper is of course a Morris Commercial MRA1, an awful vehicle and not a patch on a K9!

    Let's pop over to Cyrenaica for a moment to see the effects of a ghibli on 2RTR's REME Nero workshop. Yes, both D'Aosta and Wavell Barracks had these frame-tented structures (proper name required please, from the tentage expert :-) as I don't know what they're called other than 'tents'). Oh, what I really wanted to show you was a generator similar (if not the same one) to the one being towed by the MRA1 in the previous colour photo where I did indicate the unit were on the move east (less Cyclops who went west to Medenine Barracks, Tripoli) to Wavell Barracks Benghazi, collecting Ajax out of D'Aosta Barracks Benghazi enroute. Oh, look too, there's an MRA1 Welding Truck that's had it's top blown off in the storm. Libya was not all sunshine; for 3 months of the year, high winds, rain, flash floods, wadi floods across main and desert routes, swirling biting sand storms and yes, cold and even snow on occasion.

    So what is the generator then? So similar to the 10Kva dragged around by Bedford RL Machy wagons in BAOR 70s and 80s (probably longer).


  16. Must admit I had it as 94 BG 08 originally then decided it must be 06 after Lizzie published the next photo. Even so there's still something odd about it.




    So we have 3 photos with what may or may not be the same truck.


    In the first photo, taken in 1960-ish the registration appears blurry to us. I originally read 94 BG 08 and Richard thought 08 or 09 but Lizzie says it is 94 BC 06.


    In the second photo, with the Ferret, taken in 1960-ish it appears to be 94 BC 06 allowing for a very curly C, which Lizzie agrees.


    In the third, colour photo taken in 1961 it looks like ?4 BG 06 - Lizzie, can you read the original more clearly?


    Whether one truck or two, there is still something odd going on with it or them!


    Sean!!! Now you're teasing me!! You didn't spot the difference with the colour one even after I said 'no hole in cab roof' or some such suggestion? :-) So, colour K9 has no hole in cab roof and the complete VRN of this one is .... 34BG06. Yes, truly a different truck though the B&W ones are odd. Maybe the fuzzy one is 08 as you and Richard say and not 06 though on the master it really still looks like a 06.

  17. BlueBelle said:
    I read the VRN in both original B&W photos as ....... 94BC06 and not BG. True, the C curls up though there is no hint of a cross bar to the curl up. Maybe it is a G? Looks to me to be the same truck in both photos though in one there's a new screen surround and then of course, arm of service/district flash changes. If they are different trucks, they 'share' the same VRN :shocked: I'm not sure if John Empson himself would know.

    Now we see the 'same' truck again, this time sporting a 4 on the Bridge Plate and not the 'earlier'(?) 5. This is fun! :laugh:

    Maybe we just accept that Libya and them days were truly 'unique'. No real rules. Or not?

    The photo says Homs but to me I'd say 'out of Homs' and probably in Castle Verde or Ben Ulid. That is not a street view of Homs as it was in the 60s.

    Can you see any wing mirrors? I can't (I have a wing mirror vision complex now;)).

    What's that 'thing' underneath the truck rear?


  18. There is something odd going on with that K9 if it's the same vehicle. The registration isn't quite clear in the different shots - perhaps you could confirm from the originals that it's 94 BG 06 both times?


    Edit - my and your earlier posts about the MRA1 crossed as I was interrupted. Sorry.


    I read the VRN in both original B&W photos as ....... 94BC06 and not BG. True, the C curls up though there is no hint of a cross bar to the curl up. Maybe it is a G? Looks to me to be the same truck in both photos though in one there's a new screen surround and then of course, arm of service/district flash changes. If they are different trucks, they 'share' the same VRN :shocked: I'm not sure if John Empson himself would know.

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