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 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn

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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 10:55

I know that I have mentioned somewhere on this site the fact that my late Uncle served with The Middlesex Regiment, but have found some letters he wrote to my Grandmother. They are from the years 1944 & 1945 and talk about things in general etc.

They were also censored so not a lot of detail mentioned although he gives his unit as 5347015 Sigmn R.S.How , 22 Armoured Bde Sigs, B.L.A. The Regimental number is interesting in that it is from the Royal Berkshire Regt, with whom he did his basic training at Brock Baracks Reading.

One news item he did mention in 1944 was the fact he had heard on his radio that paris had fallen and was glad it was not bombed, being a beautiful city. Suprising for a man caught up in the clouds of war.

I know he finally finished up at Itzehoe, north of Hamburg awaiting demob which came about in 1946.

Jimsigs1
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1024
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 11:28

jimsigs

some useful background info for Steve and I thank you.

BLA stands for British Liberation Army and was used for addressing personal mail for units based in North West Europe from DDay until the introduction of the BAOR post code system in early 1947
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Shelldrake
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Number of posts : 2991
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 11:54

Talking of censorship in mail. Towards the end of the War, my Father (a Gunner), found himself in Cyprus before embarking for Palestine. He couldn't tell my Mother where he was so, at the end of the letter he added a Postscript. He asked, how are Cathy, Yvonne, Pat, Robert, Ursula & Sam?
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 12:09

Shelldrake,

A great way to get past the Censors. I wonder why they didn't pick that up ?.
Reminds me of the story of coded piece of paper found in a waste paper basket in the War Office during WW2. It was duly passed to the intelligent ones (pay attention Ciphers) for decoding etc. They couldn't then one of the women on the staff recognised the 'code message' as a part of a knitting pattern. You know P1, K2, CO, P2 etc. Would have like to have seen the look on the faces of the 'Code breakers'


Jimsigs1
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brum
FM
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Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 13:06

Shelldrake wrote:
Talking of censorship in mail. Towards the end of the War, my Father (a Gunner), found himself in Cyprus before embarking for Palestine. He couldn't tell my Mother where he was so, at the end of the letter he added a Postscript. He asked, how are Cathy, Yvonne, Pat, Robert, Ursula & Sam?

|Your father eh ? I can see where you get it from then ! Very Happy

Couple of good posts there, Sheldrake & Jim !
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 14:03

Remember another occasion of codes and codebreakers. A chap in my intake at Harrogate devised his own verson of Slidex. This was a system of converting phrases and alphanumerics to code using different dated master sheets. In addition there where vertical & horizontal movable plastic slide cursors. The whole thing was encased in a green folder pretty much like the old vehicle works ticket.
This fella made up his own sheets with phrases etc and used to send his Mother Slidex messages, making sure she had the correct sheet for the day.
No names, no packdrill but its true and you couldn't make this up.
Of interest to Ciphers no doubt !!

Jimsigs1
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PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 14:24

Slidex????Did the radio relay guys use a version of that in the early 60s..Or was it the original; from WW11?
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 14:48

Gordon, it was the original from WWII. Never saw the Radio Relay version.

Jimsigs1
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brum
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Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 17:23

Yep, we Gunners used SLIDEX too.

As described by Jim, except that there were a series of cards which were numbered.
Those cursors were a highly inflammable plastic so that they could be destroyed in a hurry.

SLIDEX tended to be used for coding at regimental level.

At Battery level we had GRIDDLE which was used mainly for encoding grid references.

I also remember DIREX but I think that was used at Bde or Div level.

When the Yanks took us over we started using One Time Pads.
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 18:05

When duly installed in our new home at Birdwood Barracks, Bunde (1952), 6 Armd Div Sigs was given the task of manufacturing thousands of three letter codes for use with lower echelon units. Of course these were 'classified' and were treated as Top Sacred. It was a soul destroying job, sitting all night in the Divisional Cipher Office making up these codes with a type of 'slidex' matrix. Each one had to be produced the checked by someone else to avoid duplication. (just think how easy it would be now, one click of a mouse). Anyhow the Divisional Cipher Officer was a Capt Jack Lee, not a very amiable man. Each day one of the codes was written in large letters on a blackboard and was used as a 'base code' for the day or until compromised as they frequently were (that's what happens when 'plank's, wooden tops etc are given complicated things to do), anyhow the shit hit the fan one morning shift when the afore said Capt Jack Lee saw the daily code word in large letters ... FUK YOU JAK ... I was sent to 20 Armd Bde within a week, I just can't understand why.

Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 18:43

Ciphers,

Thats up there with the Cyprus thingy - (christine names spelling out the word).
Incidentially, I remember Cipher types rising from Sigmn to Cpl then Sgt, then straight to WO2.


Jimsigs1
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 19:27

Yes that's the way it was, two tapes upon completion of course and passing trade test, then the regular way for promotion, passing upgrade tests and and also regimental proficiency tests ..
I actually detested cipher work, boring, tied up in an office .. so I did anything but ciphers if I could. After I received my Army document file it was surprising how many of my immediate superiors thought the same, and the reason I never advanced in rank beyond corporal until I retrained as a Lineman and made Troop Sgt acting SQMS in very short order.
I took drill courses, small arms courses any bloody course to get me away from cipher work. I really found my niche at 20 Armoured Bde. loved it, spent most of my time as Troop NCO and working with the Line Detachment when I wasn't doing Pay Clerk, Sqn Office Super both static at York Barracks, Gremmendorf, and on schemes. What a posting.
Our cipher (or cypher as it was initially) course began with 17 trainees, 4 of us passed out and were promoted, Dec 1951 .. one went to War Office, one to Nairobi, one to British Embassy, Washington, and me to 6 Armoured Div.
Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 20:01

We had loads of Cipher people in HQ BAOR Sig Regt - Herford in 1952. It certainly helped when the RSM had the rules changed that Cipher Cpls would be doing Guard Commander duties etc. It made it better for the rest of us as our duties didn't come round so often. God bless their cotton socks.


jimsigs1
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 20:10

You know Jim looking over your postings, for the first 5 years our paths were fairly similar.

Len (ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 20:21

Hi Len,

Yes I was thinking that too. Even down to 1st guards Bde, although a couple of years difference.
I joined 1st guards Brigade Signal squadron in Winterbourne Gunner. They were stationed in Figsbury camp and had previously been stationed in Shorncliffe. I was with them when they changed their name to 201 Signals Sqn then we were disbanded n 1962.

Jimsigs1
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 20:36

I joined them for Suez, 2 btn Scots Guards, 1st Guards Brigade, 3 Inf Div, first Colchester, then Shorncliffe.
As an aside, 'cos I know its only you and me reading this, while at Shorncliffe I had just got into the pit when one of the lads said lets get some fish and chips .. I got out of bed in my beautiful
issue sky blue pyjamas, put on my greatcoat and with a buddy called Johnny Battle, Grenadier Guards took off to the chipper in the duty land rover. Now the funny bit, as we were getting served a young guy who was also in the chippie said 'now I've seen it all, it wasn't long ago that you use to give me hell if I wore my beret GD style, and here you are in your PJ's' .. I looked at the guy and he was one of the lads from 20 Armd Bde Sig Sqn .. long demobbed .. small world.

Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 20:54

Len,

Just wondering if you might have met a couple of fellas I know when you were at Shorncliffe. Firstly our OC was Major Polley, then there was a Burmese fella by the name of Bob Magnum. He may have been a Cpl or Sgt in your time. He became our SQMS in Winterbourne Gunner and was with me at Harrogate. Perhaps you might mention some names etc.

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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 21:14

I guess you knew Sgt Hogan, instructor at Somme Lines, he was my intake instructor at Somme 32/36 Troop, May/June 1951 .. met him next in Korea, busted to Siggie for striking a recruit. Nobby Clark (Sgt at 1 Comwel Div (1954), - Ernie De la Mare from Channel Islands, OKB course 4 TR (1951) ended up Sgt. Eric Lequesne also Channel Islands at 6 Div with me, made Major. Jimmy Derwent SSM at Somme (1951) my RSM at 6 Armoured Div.
Any bells !!!!!
Majors, Knowles, Wheeler, Cooper, Maunsell, Lamb etc etc etc

Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 21:44

Len,

Major Jack Knowles MBE. Remember him when I was MT Sgt at 51 Brigade in famagusta. Although you found him to be a great bloke, he didn't go down well with us. He didn't seem to last long and was replaced as OC by Major John Badcock. Now there was a charming, officer and gentleman. Went on to become a Major- General and is now the Secretary of the Dover Branch R Sigs Association. He must be well into his eighties now and the last time I saw him was at last years Blandford Reunion. The other fellow you mentioned is Eric LeQuesne. came across him somewhere, but did not know the others. Memories, memories.


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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 22:17

Jack Knowles was GSO II, CSO(Ciphers) HQ MELF, one of my last duties for him was to escort him to FamaG as he was about to take over there as OC.
He was always first class to me but he was a stickler for 100% effort and would brook no BS from anyone. I know from eavesdropping on Colonel Thompson and Maj Gen Morrison when on escort duties, that they too thought him a good officer. Having said that I can see him being a bit of a tarter as a CO as he was very demanding but ultimately fair.
He always had a bit of a 'sour look' and sometimes I heard him referred to as 'Vinegar Jack', he was a Lancastria surviver from Dunkirk.

Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   19/1/2012, 23:07

Fair appraisal of Jack Knowles from your viewpoint & in his position as a GSO11. However, there are occasions when personalities from being a staff officer do not always bear fruit in command enviroment. That's why Jack presumably did not last very long as our OC.
I never ever saw him smile, he was too stern and dour.


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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
Age : 83
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   20/1/2012, 01:02

And I remember (I think) it wasn't FamaG, but Limassol I escorted him to, but for the life of me I can't remember the Squadron number.

Len (Ciphers)
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jimsigs1
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Number of posts : 1298
Age : 83
Localisation : West of England
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Harrogate 1949-52. HQ BAOR Sig Regt 1952-54, Korea 1954-55, Egypt 1955, Cyprus 1955-57, HMS Santon 1957, UK 7th Hussars 1957-59, 1st Gds Bde 1959-60, 201 Signal Sqn 1960-62, 206 Sig Sqn 1962-63, 7 Sig Regt 1963-66, 249 Sig Sqn 1966-68, 11 Sig Regt 1968-72. Retired 1972
Registration date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: 22 Armoured Brigade Signal sqn   20/1/2012, 09:31

Len,

It was 201 Signal Sqn and we were called before that - 51 Lorried Infantry Bde Sig Sqn. We were at one mile point on the now old road to Nicosia. 625 Ord Depot was at four mile point.
Still don't remember him coming. He took over from Norman Gallyer.

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