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Looking for assistance re S3 Lightweight Military history

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Hi All,


I've stumbled on this fine website in my search, nay, quest for any snippets of military history relating to my father in law's retirement project - a 1973 S3 Lightweight.


So far I've contacted/worked out the following :-


Build date - 18th May 1973

Chassis No. 951-01236-A


I've contacted RLC Archive who say they've yet to come across the cards for our Lightweight, but they did find info on 951-01235-A - the chassis number immediately before, and that entered service in July 1973 and eventually ended up with the RAF. The very helpful chap at RLC seemed to think that it was highly likely that ours ended up possibly doing similar and ending up with the RAF.


I have also done the usual FoI requests for any Merlin info, but I didn't have any luck as it was pre-Merlin. Currently waiting on an FoI from the RAF and RAF Museum and also the heritage certificate from Gaydon.


Any help or even little pointers would be gratefully received as I would dearly love to be able to glean some info about where the FiL's lightweight has been over its lifetime.


Many Thanks


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I have 19FM65 95101107A


It was 30/4/73 receipt voucher at Ashchurch , so thingies more or less fall in line.


1973 , I would expect that if RAF then it would originally have been painted in RAF Blue/Grey , not DBG.


Most L'wt's are sort of known, try Forum search appeals , try working backwards with PO's - you may get to somebody in possession still of the "Release Notes".


There is the odd person out there who would run it to earth for a few ££ , not may ££ but I have never used him , somebody will advise on this ,,

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From my own personal experience, a request to the RAF Museum with just the chassis number will yield the VRN, if the vehicle ever was in RAF service.


Mine is 95103788a, date in service 24th July 1974, and I can confirm that the original colour was Blue gray. Of course, there is a very small possibility, if the base colour was Bronze Green (that was the colour of the ones ordered by the army and marines), that it might have been originally army/marines and then later taken over by the RAF. This is a very remote chance, I repeat.


If you want to check the original colour, if the landrover has never been taken apart,look at the underneath of the seatbox, and if that fails, try splitting the upper and lower bulkhead, and check underneath the rubber strip.





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Looked into this a bit more , seems it is FMW



For a fee of £5 FMW can also try and find your Military registration plate (ERM) from your Chassis number. Email Geoff at freemil@btinternet.com


To save a lot of hassle , then £5 to get your ERM - then that should set the ball rolling.

Edited by ruxy
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So far, I have done the following searches based on the advice here and on other forums.


MOD FoI request - nothing as it was pre-MERLIN

RAF Museum - pointed me at the forums as a possible source of help

RAF - still waiting

Heritage Museum, Gaydon - Heritage Certificate purchased, found out the colour and build date and first 'home'

RLC Archive - card in the big 500k pile - next chassis along was in service in July 1973 and ended up with RAF.


So, I am hoping that somebody might, just might be able to help me find the military number plate that was attached to chassis no. 951-01236A or its current civvy plate UCU971Y. It seems that the military number is the 'keys to the kingdom' with regards to information.




Turns out the original colour was RAF Blue Grey. Build date was 18th May 1973. Despatch date was 25th May 1973. Its destination was Central Army Vehicle Depot, Ashchurch. Label (line) number 3/786??


I guess, its time for the moths to again be released in order to elicit that elusive military number!


Thanks to those who have added to my understanding so far. Its a really interesting thing to research. For any piece of info I've found, I've uncovered a host of 'side' information that is also really interesting.

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When the truck was first road registered as UCU971Y , then UC = London C alternatively CU = South Shields


It seems it is CU therefore DVLA South Shields would hold the records , however all local offices ISTR are now closed & show in total run from Swansea HQ.


Almost certainly when the registration form application was sent / presented at counter, then they would have needed to see the all important "Release Notes" and a photo-copy would be taken , this would state the mil. VRM and chassis No.


Looks like a DVLA Swansea search needed ,,

Edited by ruxy
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  • 5 years later...

Holy thread...back from the dead!

After periods of illness both for myself and the father in law... the lightweight is almost done - it starts/moves under its own steam. Just a few little bits and bobs left when the current lockdown eases and it'll be on the road.


As its almost ready I stumbled across some 5 year old emails from my search for information on the old girl. I never did get to the bottom of things so I guess I'm going to restart the search.

Hopefully, some archivist somewhere has digitised the bits and bobs.



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