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 Op Banner

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Shelldrake
FM
FM
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Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 12:01

Right, here we go. I should like to lay claim to being a member of the first Gunner Regiment to be deployed to NI at the start of the "Troubles" in 1969. Incidentally, it wasn't known as Op Banner then. The Regiment was stationed in Devizes as part of the Strategic Reserve, we were issued the Makralon Kit from Ord Depot, Thatcham and proceeded to Southampton Water where we boarded LSL Sir Galahad and sailed for Belfast. On arrival at Belfast we were accommodated initially in Palace Bks before being deployed to various spots in and around the city.


# Was known as Op Banner from day one, they just did not tell you so [mike]
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pete26
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 209
Cap Badge : R.E.
Places Served : Farnborough, Hohne, Ulster, Berchtesgaden,Chatham..
Registration date : 2012-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 14:00

Some of the conditions for squaddies in the early years were diabolical.

I have seen pics of them sleeping under not much more than a poncho on the rooftops of what I can only describe as old mills.

When we first got posted to HMP Maze in early 1974, for the first couple of weeks they still had the old dreadful and downright dirty showers. And there were very few of them.

They then put in new Portacabins which were a brilliant contrast. Visiting squaddies were amazed at the new cookhouse and living conditions/shower blocks/toilets.

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bigmal
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 15:16

I went over in 1978 and the Wksp was at the side of an airfield that is now know as George Best Airport.
The Wksp area that we occupied is now the airport carpark and still uses the same entrance, i do believe.
The accomodation was an old hanger filled up with individual cubicles with the obligatory TV room and a space for entertainment.
The ablutions were in a separate building along side, complete with showers and proper sit downs.

Next to this was a building that housed the bar and disco, to which the local maidens were invited twice a week, transport provided, after vetting of course.
The side next to Sydenham By-pass was protected by a very high tin fence but the airfield side only had a standard mesh fence about 8 feet or so high which gave an un-interupted view of the Harland and Wolf Docks especially the two huge yellow cranes, they did have names but i can`t remember what they were/are.
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 16:35

They were known as Samson and Goliath, bigmal. HMS Maidstone was also berthed in Belfast Dock, this was used as Troop accommodation as the IS situation deteriorated and the build up increased. It was later converted to a prison ship, Gerry Adams had a bunk on board, I believe.
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BobG
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 328
Age : 78
Localisation : Northumberland
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 17:15

In Jan 72 I was with A Sqn QOH when we deployed on an Op Banner tour, together with A Sqn Scots DG we formed the Eastern Armd Recce Regt, we were based at Gosford Castle near Markethill, South Armagh. The castle looked like something out of Camelot but on the inside it was a Victorian slum, no running water or mains elec. Power was provided by 27.5 Kva Gens which the Fitters Tp had to maintain , a mobile bath unit provided showers and washing facilities in the courtyard, portaloos were also located in the courtyard. Still we survived our four month tour with no major disasters. I dont think this location remained in use for much longer after the end of our tour.

BobG
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PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 17:31

Never having served in NI, this is an education for me..Keep it coming lads..
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 18:41

BobG wrote:
In Jan 72 I was with A Sqn QOH when we deployed on an Op Banner tour, together with A Sqn Scots DG we formed the Eastern Armd Recce Regt, we were based at Gosford Castle near Markethill, South Armagh. The castle looked like something out of Camelot but on the inside it was a Victorian slum, no running water or mains elec. Power was provided by 27.5 Kva Gens which the Fitters Tp had to maintain , a mobile bath unit provided showers and washing facilities in the courtyard, portaloos were also located in the courtyard. Still we survived our four month tour with no major disasters. I dont think this location remained in use for much longer after the end of our tour.

BobG



Did it not later become home to 1st Bn Welsh Guards? The Divis Flats was another beauty spot for cocktails of an evening. Rolling Eyes
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bigmal
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 18:47

[quote="Shelldrake" It was later converted to a prison ship, Gerry Adams had a bunk on board, I believe.[/quote]



A great pity the tw*t doesn`t still have one.
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bigmal
Maj
Maj
avatar

Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 18:54

I can remember that we were given a guided tour of the ship yard, including the dry dock where the Titanic was built and the forges where they were pouring molten metal into the sand moulds to make engine blocks.
Got some photos, not very good ones as the Camera was an old 110 type.
It was an interesting trip.
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brum
FM
FM


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: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 20:20

bigmal wrote:
[quote="Shelldrake" It was later converted to a prison ship, Gerry Adams had a bunk on board, I believe.



A great pity the tw*t doesn`t still have one.[/quote]

Speaking of the hairy one.

Did anyone pick up on the news today that Her Maj is going to meet up with
Martin McGuiness ? I hope she kicks him in the crutch.

The things that poor woman has to put up with.
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PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 20:45

She is going to shake his hand... Sad
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bigmal
Maj
Maj
avatar

Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 20:48

She should spit on it and him.
Scum like that should not be allowed near the Queen.
Unless it was for his funeral.
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PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   22/6/2012, 20:56

Politics politics politics... Sad
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pete26
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 209
Cap Badge : R.E.
Places Served : Farnborough, Hohne, Ulster, Berchtesgaden,Chatham..
Registration date : 2012-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 00:43

Sometimes I wish she would grow some and say NO !

I reckon Phil might be a little more 'direct' ?

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pete26
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 209
Cap Badge : R.E.
Places Served : Farnborough, Hohne, Ulster, Berchtesgaden,Chatham..
Registration date : 2012-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 00:50

bigmal wrote:
I went over in 1978 and the Wksp was at the side of an airfield that is now know as George Best Airport.
The Wksp area that we occupied is now the airport carpark and still uses the same entrance, i do believe.
The accomodation was an old hanger filled up with individual cubicles with the obligatory TV room and a space for entertainment.
The ablutions were in a separate building along side, complete with showers and proper sit downs.

Next to this was a building that housed the bar and disco, to which the local maidens were invited twice a week, transport provided, after vetting of course.
The side next to Sydenham By-pass was protected by a very high tin fence but the airfield side only had a standard mesh fence about 8 feet or so high which gave an un-interupted view of the Harland and Wolf Docks especially the two huge yellow cranes, they did have names but i can`t remember what they were/are.

The airfield hangers were something else, but especially old.

The biggest danger though, was the 'war dogs' over on the airfield (before they built the H blocks). Bloody hell !

Never seen anything like them. All hair and teeth.

We had orders for the 'towers' guard duties to shoot any dog that was attacking it's handler - immediately !
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 05:44

I think that we had the same buggers at Magilligan Camp in '71. We would be "Invited" to don those big padded suits and enter their compound to give them a bit of on the job training, the dogs were muzzled. There was one particular big, black extremely nasty Alligation Dug that would pin you down and then try to remove its muzzle, not a pleasant experience with this slobbering nightmare two inches from your face. affraid
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bigmal
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 16:12

If i remember right the hangars were painted an awful Creamy/yellow colour.
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pete26
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 209
Cap Badge : R.E.
Places Served : Farnborough, Hohne, Ulster, Berchtesgaden,Chatham..
Registration date : 2012-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 17:32

steve wrote:
Thanks to Shelldrake for starting the thread and agree with Gordon best NO politics please...I arrived Feb 72 for a two year tour...details here www.kitchenhillmob.blogspot.de

The term Ulster is not strictly correct as contains counties from the south...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster

Northern Ireland is probably the only place in the world where you can catch a ferry sail NORTH and end up in the SOUTH...http://www.loughfoyleferry.com/

All the best
Steve


I think we passed through the kitchenhill barracks in March 1974 when we had to pick up a sniffer dog for Police area G for a search near Moneyreagh Co Down.

Did you have charwallahs there ?

We arrived in Lurgan about 4am to pick up said dog and handler, and while waiting, a charwallah van was selling stuff.

We were amazed that squaddies were being charged for stuff. It was all free at Maze.
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bigmal
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 296
Age : 59
Localisation : Worksop, Notts
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E
Places Served : Fallingbostal, NI, Hohne, Fallingbostal, again.
Registration date : 2012-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 17:44

Yes, we had a Chogi hut on camp, selling tea, coffee, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, pop, crisps etc virtually 24 hrs a day.
The unsung heroes of NI service, because they were targeted for serving squaddies.
Very bad for the Cholestoral, but we didn`t worry about such things in those days.
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pete26
Capt
Capt


Number of posts : 209
Cap Badge : R.E.
Places Served : Farnborough, Hohne, Ulster, Berchtesgaden,Chatham..
Registration date : 2012-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 22:48

bigmal wrote:
Yes, we had a Chogi hut on camp, selling tea, coffee, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, pop, crisps etc virtually 24 hrs a day.
The unsung heroes of NI service, because they were targeted for serving squaddies.
Very bad for the Cholestoral, but we didn`t worry about such things in those days.

Yes I remember the case of the IRA shooting dead about 3 charwallahs. They said they were SAS. Shocked
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brum
FM
FM


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: Op Banner   23/6/2012, 23:23

Gordon. wrote:
Politics politics politics... Sad

Not to be written off as trivial nonetheless.

Mountbatten (and a group of innocents), was the Queen's uncle. Blown to pieces. Easy target.

De Valera would've been proud.
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PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   24/6/2012, 07:07

Quote :
Gordon. wrote:
Politics politics politics...


Not to be written off as trivial nonetheless.

Mountbatten (and a group of innocents), was the Queen's uncle. Blown to pieces. Easy target.

De Valera would've been proud.

My post seems to have been taken the wrong way by some..I only meant that the visit and meeting was for political reasons only.
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   24/6/2012, 07:52

I knew that. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Op Banner   24/6/2012, 08:05

I knew that Very Happy Very Happy
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
avatar

Number of posts : 2998
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: Op Banner   24/6/2012, 08:56

pete26 wrote:
steve wrote:
Thanks to Shelldrake for starting the thread and agree with Gordon best NO politics please...I arrived Feb 72 for a two year tour...details here www.kitchenhillmob.blogspot.de

The term Ulster is not strictly correct as contains counties from the south...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster

Northern Ireland is probably the only place in the world where you can catch a ferry sail NORTH and end up in the SOUTH...http://www.loughfoyleferry.com/

All the best
Steve


I think we passed through the kitchenhill barracks in March 1974 when we had to pick up a sniffer dog for Police area G for a search near Moneyreagh Co Down.

Did you have charwallahs there ?

We arrived in Lurgan about 4am to pick up said dog and handler, and while waiting, a charwallah van was selling stuff.

We were amazed that squaddies were being charged for stuff. It was all free at Maze.



The "Charwallahs" arrived in Long Kesh when I was there around 1970. Don't know whether is was by design or accident but they came from Alexander Bks in Dhekelia, the Regiment had been stationed there from '60 - '62. We were all, including the Charwallahs, accommodated in 160 pounders, and each Bty had a Marquee for it's Cookhouse. The LAD & QMs Dept were accommodated in the large Romney Huts at the rear of the camp. The Charwallahs provided an excellent 24/7 service, the downside of their presence, initially, was that they brought their "Tick Books" from Cyprus with them, having had the foresight that they might, one day, meet up with their creditors - which they did!! Laughing Laughing affraid affraid


Last edited by Shelldrake on 24/6/2012, 10:30; edited 1 time in total
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