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  1. Hi not sure if this is the right section to post it, I'm working for a veteran organisaiton. I have been given the task of finding out about the life and times of the British soldier good and bad. Any fun stories would be great but please no names for security reasons. If possible does anyone know of a good surplus source of the riot gear that was issued, and what kit was specifically issued to NI posted soldier that wasn't on general issue I have a small budget to work with, to buy a few items. Sadly, I can't stretch to a "pig" armoured vehicle! All I can think of kit wise (other than standard issue) is the N.I. gloves, flack jacket, and possibly chest webbing, but there must be alot more, any info greatly received.
  2. Im trying to get more information and the history about my ex land rover series 3 - 109 ambulance The vehicle was in service with the British Army in Germany It's about 35 years old. It still has its military registration plates on it but I do have them cover up to UK number plates for road use.. I would like to have the history papers vehicle-records some type of certificate/ record sheet displaying on vehicles and full history eg.. to show on vehicle displays Anybody know any web site's were I can get this help or more information
  3. The weekend of the 27th and 28th of June is Tankfest at The Tank Museum – bringing the story of tanks, tank crew and soldiers to life... Historic vehicle displays will include vehicles making their show debuts, with a number of old favourites returning to the arena. Tankfest 2015 will play host to a variety of traders and exhibitors from Militaria Goods to Arts and Crafts. Be sure to look out for some fantastic show bargains and unique gifts on site over the weekend. With over 100 organisations on site, inside the museum and on the outside grounds, your choices are endless. No need for a picnic at Tankfest 2015. We have a wide variety of refreshments on site to cater for all tastes, along with two fully stocked bars from Ringwood Brewery and the Dorset Brewing Company. Your TANKFEST 2015 ticket includes a free annual pass – so you can visit The Tank Museum as many times as you like in a year.* Tankfest 2015 is a special event, and requires a Tankfest 2015 ticket for admission.
  4. This year's Britain at War show will focus on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. LIVE DISPLAYS See a range of privately owned vehicles in action alongside vehicles from The Tank Museum collection. TALKS & TOURS Browse stalls and enjoy a range of D-Day themed talks and tours. Learn more about Hobart's Funnies, and the D-Day landings. SPECIAL DISCOUNT Military Vehicle Trust Members will be entitled to a 30% discount. To qualify for your discount, present your MVT membership card at admissions on the day of the event. The individual names on the card will be entitled to admission at the discounted rate. D-DAY ARTEFACTS D-Day related items like maps, photos and diaries, will be on show at three sessions throughout the day, in the Education Room. The Archives and Library are also encouraging visitors to bring in their own Dorset D-Day memories to discuss with the team. The Vehicle Conservation Centre will be open all day. There will be Tracked Vehicle rides going on throughout the day, at an additional cost of £3. Please note - Normal admission charges apply, and annual passes ARE valid for this event. Open 10am - 5pm
  5. Seventy years to the day after Polish and British Forces fought side by side at the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, The Tank Museum, and the Land Forces Museum, Poland made an historic swap of two Cold War era tanks, which thirty years ago would have faced each other on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. The Chieftain was the backbone of the British Royal Armoured Corps for nearly thirty years after its introduction in 1966. Its 120mm gun was considered the best of its kind in the world and its 120 mm armour made it a tremendously powerful weapons system. The T72 was introduced into the forces of the Former Soviet Union five years later in 1971, the T72M being manufactured in Poland. It was a formidable opponent, lighter than the Chieftain but with equally powerful armament. The Chieftain Mark 11 has been gifted to the Land Forces Museum, Bydgoszcz, today where it will go on display to the public. In exchange the Tank Museum has received the T72 tank, which will form part of their active operational fleet. Visitors will now be able to see this impressive machine roaring round The Tank Museum arena during Tanks in Action display and at the Museum’s biggest event of the year, Tankfest. Richard Smith, The Tank Museum Director, “We are delighted to have been given this fine example of a T72 (left); it will make an excellent addition to our tank displays and our collections, helping us complete our record of the Cold War.” Mr Mirosław Giętkowski, Director of the Land Forces Museum in Bydgoszcz, “We are grateful to The Tank Museum in Bovington for the Chieftain tank. It will be the first of a new collection of NATO military vehicles. This exchange is one of the first in Poland and I hope that it will initiate a wider international cooperation between museums of a military profile."
  6. One of the hardest things for a soldier to bear was the separation from loved ones; this was especially true for the families left behind. With an ocean between them, lucky charms, letters and reminders of home were sent to soldiers; whilst letters and keepsakes were sent to families. Popular items that were used for this purpose were the ‘WW1 silks’ and the ‘sweetheart brooches’. Many soldiers carried lucky charms from home, one such person was Captain Patrick O’Dowd, who had enlisted in 1914 into the Tank Corps. His particular lucky charm was a teddy (right), this would have been kept or carried near him whilst fighting in France. Whilst there is little known about the history of the bear, it is possible that the bear could have been a token from his wife Ruth. This was common practice among soldier’s sweethearts, as it would serve as a reminder of home. The embroidered postcards (below) that originated in France around 1900; became popular during the First World War and are known as WW1 silks. The silk was made by hand by French and Belgian refugees and then sent on to factories, where it would be cut and mounted onto card. A flap could be added which would allow a small printed card to be inserted inside. WW1 Silks became wildly popular with the British and American soldiers on duty. This is the reason why most of the silks that were produced, included patriotic imagery, such as British and American flags or symbols. It is estimated that around 10 million of these handmade cards were produced. The popularity for these cards declined after the war and are not found after 1923. Whilst these cards were reintroduced in 1930, they were completely machine made and never regained the popularity that the silks had enjoyed in the First World War. The sweetheart brooches (left) were given by soldiers to their loved ones, before they were sent off to fight in France. These badges could take the form of regimental badges, tanks, aircraft or wings. These badges became increasingly popular which led to their mass production. Hundreds of designs were made with a variety of materials, ranging from base metal to platinum. This meant that even the poorest soldier could afford to give a keepsake to his sweetheart. These tokens were used as a way for loved ones to show support for their men’s regiment; and was a visual example of the thoughts between the civilian population and the soldiers on the front. Keepsakes were used in a variety of ways: for good luck, relationships and encouraged further patriotism within the civilian population. However, the most important thing that these tokens were used for, was to remember and believe that those soldiers would return home to their families.
  7. Above: German machine-gunners take cover during the Allied invasion. The German Army that met the Allied invasion of Europe on 6 June 1944 was very different to the one that had conquered France four years earlier. Many of Germany's best troops had been sent to fight in the invasion of Russia and the remaining soldiers - including foreign volunteers, Prisoners of War and 16-17 year old boys - were generally unfit for service. There were also shortages of vital equipment. Immediately before the invasion, the German coastal defences were subjected to a massive bombardment from air and sea. Some soldiers were buried under collapsed bunkers and many survivors were too shell-shocked to fight. (Right: German coastal defences under construction shortly before D-Day.) Disagreement about how the French coast should be defended meant that Germany's formidable Panzer Divisions were poorly placed to react to the Allied invasion. Forced to advance by day, many armoured vehicles were destroyed by Allied aircraft before they even reached the coast. "Dearest Lu, It is a hard fight that the army is having to withstand. I was up at the front yesterday and am going again to-day. The enemy's air superiority has a very grave effect on our movements. There's simply no answer to it. It's quite likely to start in other places soon. However, we do what we can." Letter from Field Marshall Erwin Rommel to his wife, 10 June 1944.
  8. Above: US Troops and Landing Craft, Weymouth Harbour "...the southern portion of England became one vast camp, dump and airfield" General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Forces on D-Day. Dorset's location on the south coast meant that it played a key role in the D-Day invasion. British, American and French soldiers were stationed in the county with large American camps at Poole. The American and Canadian soldiers were an object of curiosity, particularly to the female population. Elsie Ross a fifteen year old paper girl in Bournemouth in 1944, recalls: “…..."Hey girl! Over here!" A voice straight out of the movies stopped me in my tracks. Never mind not speaking to strange men they didn't come much stranger than this. Six foot four, black and shining as ebony and a white smile like a crocodile...” The American Rangers, given the job of capturing the German guns at Pointe-du-Hoc, trained on the cliffs at Burton Bradstock near Bridport. On the day of the invasion itself the American forces that captured Omaha beach set off from Poole and Weymouth. (Left: US Troops prior to embarkation, Weymouth Esplanade) Glider planes carrying Tetrarch tanks were launched from Tarrant Rushton near Wimborne. These tanks aided paratroopers in capturing important points behind enemy lines diverting German forces away from defending the beaches. Find out more from David Fletcher's article - Airborne in Normandy. (Right: A Hamilcar Glider at Tarrant Rushton) Operation Smash Mounting a huge operation on the scale of D-Day required months of planning and practice runs. On April 4th 1944, Exercise Smash was held at Studland Bay with DD Valentine tanks. Shortly after launching, the weather changed and the waves grew bigger. As a result, six tanks sank with the loss of six crew members. Although tragic this was a valuable lesson. The tanks were not seaworthy in rough weather and so on D-Day, the DD tanks were launched in shallow water. (Left: A DD tank, Studland Bay) You can see a Sherman DD tank with original canvas screen on display in the Museum’s Tank Story Hall. The British army also held a large-scale invasion exercise, somewhere along the South Coast, when infantry and armoured troops made practice landings under cover of huge air umbrella. The photograph (Right) shows troops wading ashore under fake enemy opposition.
  9. Hello everyone. Of particular interest to me is the history of the Dukeries. Especially Thoresby, Perlethorpe, Clumber, Rufford.
  10. Hi all, I have just aquired a 1942 WDCO and would like to pick peoples brains regarding the history of the machine. It is registered and i also have certs from the Vintage motorcycle club regarding the year, but I am more intereted in the military history. Frame No 12828H Stamped on front tube ( although one of the certs i have used the No 3817 which is on the web between the front tube and top tube ) Engine 12828H also C/1386 and a Mil arrow with an M below and 244 below that Gearbox HHJ with 735 below any info would be most appreciated Chris
  11. I have recently purchased ad registered a L/R series 3 ffr. My first project and really hoping it could be something different, rather than plain old nato green that sat around a base as a run around. I Enquired to deep cut and have a merlin print out. I thought this would tell me if she went abroad? But the only info both provide are who she served with? Can any one shed some light how i find out more? Would the report tell me if she went abroad or do i now have to delve deeper through the units and dates she was with then? I have tried typing the units into army page to see where they could have been between dates but with no joy. Help?
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