“A” Company, Prospect Garrison, Devonshire, Bermuda: 1954

Welcome to our Blog page for “A” Company, 1st Battalion DCLI – circa 1954-1957. Our objectives, hopes, desires and wishes are that former soldiers – OR’s, NCO’s and Officers, will tender diary entries, stories, memoirs, names and photos for the period spent at Prospect Garrison, Devonshire Bermuda.

We hope that we can develop this Blog Page into an extra special site to encourage an historical reference for 1DCLI Regimental History of this era. The old Prospect Barracks in Bermuda are demolished now and any photographic memorabilia that you the reader might have – will be greatly appreciated so that we can create full visual pages, including group and personal shots. The Editor has published several photographs of the old Barracks. So far John Tenniswood, John Griffin, Neil Swanson, Bill Edwards, Bill Eaton, Barry Cornish, Reg Pearce, Reg Mitchell, Alan Mitchell, Peter Trethake, Keith Mannings, Jim Kelly, Derek Lawrence, Fraser Pakes, Tom Strike and Mike Woolley have forwarded old photos of the period.

Since inception, the response for old military photo records has been so popular, that a special blog page (PICASA ALBUMS) has been opened. Hotlinked.

Preferably post a Blog comment here and Derek Lovemore Editor, will follow through from your (confidentially) captured email address to suggest the easiest method to send photos etc. Neil “Swanny” Swanson is a great contributor to the bank of current era photos of the DCLI West Cornwall Association now published on other blog pages.

Tempus Fugit!

“The good old days are here and now”. (Denis Waitley)

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124 Comments

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124 responses to ““A” Company, Prospect Garrison, Devonshire, Bermuda: 1954

  1. wonderful post, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  2. Editor in Brisbane

    8mm Cine film of Prospect Garrison

    Keith Mannings has kindly snailmailed me a 4 minute DVD of 1956 DCLI activities in Hamilton Bermuda. The origin of the film is Lt John Morgan and we record our appreciation to him for releasing this material. I personally am unable to identify any faces from the grainy material, which was taken in the year following my departure from the Regiment in October 1955, but if Keith will post it up to You Tube (with John’s permission), I can post the link for all to see.

    • Helga Noakes

      Greetings – I have been overwhelmed with nostalgia finding your website. My photos are in the garage in a box somewhere!!! I was in my early teens when parents were posted to Bermuda Garrison – Prospect. My stepfather was chief clerk to Brig. Rice-Evans. We left in 1957 – I think – sailing on the Reina del Mar (Spanish) as the last people out before the handover to the Bermuda police. We were there during the Macmillan/Eisenhower summit and stepfather was heavily involved with the Bermuda Tattoo when?? McLean came out. I was at the BMH with a broken leg when I fell on the diving board (if one could call it that) at our army designated beach. Doctor was called Wolf (?) who set my leg. I have loads of slides, and revisited in 1988 with my children. Stepfather was then a S/Sgt RASC ‘Nick’ NICOLLS (you may have him on a photo under Nichols). The army never got it right! Mother (Helga) worked at American Express and then joined the Bermuda Treasury – am still in contact with friends there. I attended the garrison school, and then Delwood Secondary and then Warwick Academy. Also have a photo of parents with Forrest Tucker at the Bermudiana. On our return, we were posted to Antwerp (Berlaar), and I attended Windsor Girls School in Hamm, Germany. Upon leaving the army, parents settled in Colchester and subsequently joined me in Australia. Parents have died (stepfather in 2000 and mother in 2004, both in Canberra, Australia) I currently live at the Gold Coast, Queensland, and if anyone who remembers them would like to get in touch, please do. Regards Helga Noakes (nee Nicolls)
      at hnconsult@gmail.com

  3. Editor in Brisbane

    CHRISTMAS 2010

    As I write, ’tis Christmas Day in OZ, 0800 hrs. Allowing for time variations, its that time long ago – some 56 years in fact – when we all awoke to Reveille, blown I think, by Joe Tippett, and our Duty Officer with a pail of tea and some rum. That year we were all in the 3 Platoon billet, enjoying our 1st Army Christmas, being excused duties for the day except for essentials. Can’t recall much of what went on except no doubt card playing and lolling about on our beds, scratching and farting. Happy Days, maybe Charlie Seaborne had a trip planned for the enthusiasts, out to St Georges.

    Merry Christmas 2010 cheps, in memory of those long ago times of our youth.

    • Mike Cummings

      Happy New Year, hope you are well, and enjoyed Christmas in OZ. We had deep snow and as usual the country collapsed rail and air traffic stopped deliveries were disrupted and people moaned, but that is the UK for you.

      I spent Christmas 1973 in Bunbury WA and had a wonderful time, the locals did us proud and put on a barbie for us with plenty of the amber liquid, couldn’t understand why we had to warm it a bit first, made our back teeth ache but a good time was had by all.

  4. SITE UPDATE 30TH JULY 2010

    Reading the header editorial, written in November 2006, reminds me of the progress that we made in almost 4 years. Names that were ‘hopefuls’ to hear from have now died, sadly, and we shall never capture their memories. So too, we have experienced the technical glitches of Google, the host of the early websites, that have now rendered many of those referred websites un-editable (hopefully only temporary).

    We have however, maintained a strong blog site presence (again revised back to military content), with many new blog pages (“E” Company & The Rifles) opened this week for development among the enthusiasts.

    Thank you in advance for your participation.

    Carpe Diem!

  5. Relayed for Swanny Swanson logged in on 2010/01/13 at 16:14

    Geoff,

    You mentioned who it was that I asked you about – Waster Greenslade what a character he was. Drink the p*ss of a brewer’s hoss as the Cornish say, but bloody good bloke. I have had many sessions in the Naafi with him. I also mentioned to you another of your MT, Maurice Truscott, he came from Nanpean in Cornwall. He was a driver for ECLP-English China Clay Co, a firm I worked for on the construction side, did he get his HGV in Bermuda? He was a brilliant footballer who played for the A Coy team and also for the Battalion side, he died many years ago. I met him in Truro when I was in the TA, have met his sister several times at DCLI Dinners etc, he was like me a short bloke but a very good driver

  6. JT

    Geoff

    I remember you very well from the Bermuda days. Remember when you were made up to Sgt. When were you posted to BG ?

  7. Cpl Geoff Cherry 19044336

    Tonight is the first time I have been on the site, I was reflecting on my time in the West Indies, and just typed in Bermuda Garrison. I have spent quite some time reading through the comments, it has revived lots of memories. Sorry so many have enlisted in the next journey. Still reflecting I am heading for the big 80, I hope now to be able to keep in touch.

    Best wishes to all, Geoff

  8. Cpl Geoff Cherry 19044336

    I was MT Cpl. In the photo published was in fact some of my drivers, and the children are Malcolm & Peter my two sons. I was later promoted to Sjt and took over the MT section on relieving the Black Watch Detatchment in British Guiana. Later I returned to Jamacia taking over as platoon Sjt of seven platoon “C” Company. I am sorry I have no photos.

    ED: Geoff, so good to hear from you after all this time. Your name was bandied about last June in Penzance and Bodmin during our Caribbean Re-Union. Many of us have clear memories of you as MT Corporal. We shall be in touch by direct email to bring you up to date with all our blog and web sites.

  9. Editor

    MARSH MEMORABILIA UPDATE
    I have today published additional photos kindly forwarded by Will Marsh that are hopefully correctly captioned. Some of the pix are after my time (Oct 1955) so I’m personally a bit in the dark with ’em, but have guessed some of the parade shots based on the Fraser Pakes Memoirs.

    Anyone with greater insight please advise.

  10. CALL TO ARMS!!

    As observed earlier – Cheps – this “A” Company blog is deserted these days. ‘Tis a pity really, as it was the fore runner of ALL the blog pages, and attracted insightful comment of life and times at Prospect.

    Reading through the Comments, I note many names that are not appearing on the Caribbean Re-Union page (hotlink). Denis Irons, Sid Pender, Bill Oates, Tony Bray, Mac McGough, and a few others and I ponder on whether they in fact know of the plans for June 8th – 12th 2009 in Penzance.

    I’m not complaining cheps – just observing that the Empire Clyde contingent – would have included the last Depot Intake (November 1953) to have shipped out by sea to the Caribbean and therein represents Old Mates who today are not younger than myself (74 in September). Many of course would be older and some have crossed the River Styx, in total ignorance of the wonderful exchanges of memoirs and anecdotes that we have reached today.

    I appeal to those of you who are most likely to be able to discover and contact Old Caribbean Mates and urge their participation on one or more of our planned gatherings. Just a little time spent in local phone directories will uncover many names.

    GOYA!

  11. Terry Simons

    Derek, in my section of photos – between the lads and a donkey cart and the Naafi, is a photo of Dave Criddle from Bridgwater.

  12. UPDATE – UPDATE

    Have now opened up ‘Threading’ reply options on this (oldest) blog site – and also linked from our latest Old Mates Photo Panorama (hotlink).

    Just click on (Reply) to respond, or of course just post a fresh Comment in the normal manner.

  13. CARIBBEAN RE-UNION 8TH – 12TH JUNE 2009

    We tend to overlook this “A” Company blog in favour of the more greatly used “British Army LI Most Wanted” blogs that can be found elsewhere. See web address blocked type and underlined this paragraph.

    All surviving 1DCLI’ians of the 1954-1957 Bermuda (and elsewhere in the West Indies) are invited to attend our Penzance Grand Gathering. You will need to contact the Editor and register your interest.

    Carpe Diem!

  14. Bob Wilson

    I am trying to track down any DCLI old boys who may have known Kenneth Roy Dudden who served with the DCLI in Bermuda in the 50’s. I am a close friend of Roy’s who sadly of late has been in poor health. If I could bring him up to date on any of his old comrades it would make his day.

    Bob Wilson Ex RA

    ED: Our Best Wishes for a healthier future, Roy. You’re in the right place to find Old Bermuda Mates.

    Bob – if you will show Roy the 1DCLI “A” Company websites listed in the Blogroll, he in turn might see faces from long ago in 1954-1957. Can we get a little more detail? Additionally, travel to this link Light Infantry Most Wanted and choose from many Blog pages that daily receive comments from Old Bermuda Mates.

  15. Editor,

    I would like to use these means to give all an update on the condition of the grave site of yours and our former Commanding Officer, Lt Col Marsh.

    Since your original email and letter to Regimental Headquarters, both the plaque and gravesite of the former CO have been cleaned up. Because of the use of casual labour to paint the graves, it was decided that regular attention needed to be paid to the grave to mitigate against the buildup of white wash on the plaque. The task of maintaining the site has been an annual event, headed up by RHQ.

    On 7 October, The present CO, Lt Col White and I visited the grave, and gave it another round of cleaning. This event was photographed and included as an article in “Soldier’s Voice” which is the Bermuda Regiment quarterly newsletter. A copy can be downloaded at the following url: http://www.bermudaregiment.bm/SV4.pdf

    I trust that this update is met with your approval, and likewise send best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from Bermuda.

    Maj Chris Wheddon,
    Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency
    The Governor of Bermuda

    ED: Thank you for this update Chris, most welcome news.

  16. JT

    Swanny

    You are a star and an example to us all.

    Good on yer as Derek would say

    • Paul Backhouse

      Hello,I presume that JT is john Tennison ? I’m not sure where to post this so am putting it on here.im very interested in the history of the Victoria barracks and parade ground at Bodmin Cornwall,indeed I lived very near it and actually on part of it today.i found a picture on johns blog site that I think shows the former buildings at Victoria square,I think these buildings were demolished some time ago to make way for Hartnolls/ mpg printing factory etc.on johns blog there is a mention of being able to see the sea from the barracks ? Is this possible ? If so I would be very interested to know from where on the barracks ? Hope someone can help with this enquiry,best regards Paul Backhouse

  17. JT

    Ed

    Sorry cannot see Col Sgt Palmer in HQ Platoon picture, I can see CQMS Latimer.

    ED: Correct JT, my apologies

  18. Swanny Swanson

    ED, Just got back from PZ hospital. Had my (hopefully) last PET Scan? See Dr Ellis next Tuesday 18th November for results of same at Truro. First time in 50 years I didn’t attend Armistice Parade with DCLI Assn, but did go to our Heamoor Branch RBL Church Service. Guess what – only the Branch President and I attended, if it wasn’t for the Scouts and Cubs of the village – we were only two in Military Dress and Medals. What a difference to prior years when there was always at least 60 Vets on parade for evening Remembrance.

    My late father in law carried the Branch Standard for over 40 years, he would never have believed it! Sign of the times I suppose. I watched Remembrance service from Shrewsbury with the Light Division on BBC before we went to our service and was very impressed with The Rifles Band and Bugles who were on Parade and was so proud of my service in DCLI to be still part of serving in the Light Division.

    I will always remember my 5 years with pride of my Mother Regt 1st Bn DCLI and 4/5th Bn DCLI TA,

    UP THE DUKES,

    Swanny.

    ED: Well Done Swanny – you do us all proud ‘Ole Mate – goodonyer!

  19. Swanny Swanson

    Hi All,
    Left hospital yesterday after a successful week finishing my Chemo. See the Chemo doctor on 18th November after first having another pet scan next week and hopefully have the big OP in mid December. Have missed being on site with all our banter etc. Hoping to hear from all my close mates and enjoy our close friendship,
    Swanny.

    ED: Good to have you back Swanny. Good Luck.

  20. UPDATE FROM SWANNY

    Latest email from Swanny on DCLI Blog

  21. Swanny Swanson

    Hi All,
    Went to see my doctor this morning as I said prior to this. He checked me out and said that chemo can have adverse effect and sore throat was one area. He prescribed anti biotics and penicillin in liquid form and after couple of hrs since I feel quite a bit better in that short time. Had a visitor come to see me – Gerald Thomas 4Pl. I showed him lots of pics etc of our time in Bermuda, and also gave him quite a few that Derek and us all have downloaded. He was delighted with Derek’s Blog pages etc and as he is not on PC sends his best wishes to all that knew him. He really enjoyed all the pics etc and blogs and talking together about old times did us both good. He only found out about my illness yesterday and hopefully will be a regular visitor as he only lives short way from me.

  22. Jack Madron

    Hi Swanny.
    You forgot to mention shit stirrers as well as bull shitters. Typical rifle coy. Good job the elite were in Jamaica. Ha Ha. S Coy, cream of the battalion.

  23. Swanny Swanson

    All,
    Had rough day yesterday, chemo catching up with me! Have appointment with my own doctor at 11-20 today – have had very sore throat for the past week. My daughter Lesley is taking me to the surgery, as she is now a dispenser for her surgery at Pendeen and is acquainted with medical terms etc.

    Now reading Derek, about all the chores we had to do when we first arrived in Bermuda. All we ever heard from other people was that all we did was swim on beaches, – especially when we came back to UK.

    Another was Peter Tippett who always said our Coy the smartest for bull shit in the Bn, and he quoted our Guard Mountings were absolutely first class, dress, drill etc. Don’t want to blow too much as Jack will get the hump!

    Swanny.

    ED: Thanks ‘Ole Mate – good to hear from you so soon. Get Well quick.

  24. REFLECTIONS ON BERMUDA DAYS

    In every way it’s a privilege to view the blogs and edit the text (simple stuff like punctuations etc) – but ’tis the reading of the content that brings home the memories so vividly. Especially also the latest insightful reflections of Fraser’s Memoirs, that were read and scrutinised at length during the editing process.

    One thing though that I must observe upon and that is ‘boredom’. I can honestly state that I was never bored and I don’t remember any of the billet mates complaining either. There were games of Brag and Poker being played incessantly, tinny toons playing, paperbacks being swapped, uniforms being bludged and bayonet scabbards being painted and borrowed for Guard duty and bulling going on all the time. The smell of starch and boot polish – and farts – of course. The steam iron was in constant demand and always hot. One asshole even dropped the bloody iron in a fire bucket to cool it off!!

    We swam and snorkelled most days at the MOD beach, and Horseshoe etc, boozed at the Naafi and downtown clubs, a few of us (Johnny Griffin, Ted Davis and I) had gardening and clean up deals in town and Charlie Seabourne got us on bus trips. Between all that, writing home, chasing women (I did) and bullshitting and general duties, we didn’t have time for boredom. Dutch, Mick, Swanny, Roy and I had a local family that took us in for social visits and parties etc.

    The first weeks of arrival at Prospect were filled with unloading and establishment details. I remember scrubbing dixies and other cooking gear with the gravel from the area adjacent to the Cookhouse – to remove the packing grease and many a time some fucking Hossifer would detail a squad of us for piano moving or generally assisting his socialising manoevers. The disposal of packing cases seemed endless, as was the shifting – and setting up – of barrack room furniture for the incoming fresh Intakes and rides to the Docks for more equipment (Geoff Cherry driving). When I think about it, at least 4 months of bloody hard work. In between of course, the drilling, drilling and more drilling – outside on fine days, inside the Drill Shed on rainy days. Jock Massie was a stickler for absolute perfection, and we hungered for more – cussing yes – but most enjoyable.

    Different window I guess!

  25. Jack Madron

    All.
    After reading Fraser Pakes Memoirs, I have come to the conclusion that Bermuda was not the Holiday Isle that I thought it was and going by the photos of the billets, no wonder there were so many boozers in A Coy. I know we had them as well, some would drink the p**s of a brewer’s hoss, but not from boredom. Still, knowing the British squaddy, I bet they made the most of it and had a good time.

    One way or another. There’s not many that can say that they spent some time in Bermuda or Jamaica, and got paid for doing it.

  26. Swanny Swanson

    ED, While browsing through Fraser Pakes Blog pages which were brilliant, I noticed in his Intake photo a close mate of mine Edgar Lynn, right far left middle row. He joined DCLI after I left Bermuda 1955 and went to Jamaica, and I as you know continued as regular TA DCLI 4/5th Bn A COY and used to see Edgar after he came back from Jamaica.

    As you also know more lads joined the TA in those days but Edgar was never interested! I have asked him many times to join DCLI Assn, but he has never shown any interest what so ever, as we have many in the Penzance area that were in DCLI who feel the same! They don’t know what they are missing with the close relationship that we all have for one and other.

    Swanny.

    ED: You’re so right Swanny, the tragedy is that their families will search high and low for their ‘Old Mates’ – on the Blogs and LI Guestbooks – after the poor buggers have crossed the River Styx.

    PS: Thanks for that Hamilton Parade photo with Harold in it – I’d not seen it or the accompanying photo of our billet before. I’ll see what I can do to crop out a close up of the RSM

    PPS: Photo now doctored – cheps – view the 3 latest additions on the “A” Company website.

  27. Swanny Swanson

    Hi All,
    Some months ago Keith Mannings who goes to Bermuda on regular basis every other year gave me the email address of the son of my girl friend when I was in Bermuda. Yesterday I sent him mail and got a response and answer from him. I then sent some pictures of Prospect Barracks and the first Parade DCLI marching down Front St etc 1954.

    On that first parade was RSM Harold Royffe. It is if I can remember, the only photo of RSM Royffe unless someone in A Coy took one of him as he trained the first NCO’s Cadre in Bermuda. I think it was his first and only visit to Bermuda? It would be good if someone could find a photo and send to Editor to put on site!

    RSM Harold Royffe RIP. What a good soldier and gentleman, always hard, always fair, always smart, and our old mate Don Puckey was his batman for the six weeks of that Cadre. I met his wife and two daughters a couple of years ago at Open Day in Bodmin and at a Assn. Dinner at Newquay.

    Swanny.

    ED: Let me get this right Swanny. Are you saying that you have a Company Parade photo with HR identifiable in it? If so email a .jpeg to me and I’ll try to ‘lift’ a close up of HR from it.

  28. PERSONAL MEMOIRS UPDATE

    Fraser Pakes (Cpl) “A” Company, 1DCLI from early 1956 until September 1957, Company Clerk, Prospect Garrison and Osnabruck, has made a valuable contribution to our collective Memorabilia.

    You can browse the personal reflections and memories of Fraser on the bolded hotlinked titling above. There are possibly many faces that need names put to ’em.

    The Memoirs are powerful reading in that Fraser has had an ‘aide memoire’ from private letters saved by his parents from over 50 years ago – but – has also relied on Fraser’s sharp memory of the mid ’50’s. The work deserves all the attention and reflection from “Old Soldiers” of 1DCLI and hopefully will serve as a poignant reminder of the frailty of our youth and a sharp reminder that ‘gettingaroundtuit” ain’t such a bad idea – before the River Styx looms on the horizon.

    GOYA – cheps!!

    Tempus Fugit!!

  29. Jack Madron

    Terry.
    Good memories. Christmas Eve 1954, I was in camp, Kingston. One of our sections had just returned from Belize. Cpl Mick Jose from Truro had got himself a guitar while there and somebody had shown him three chords. He showed me how to play these chords and that night we sat on the steps of the veranda trying to sing and play Coming Round the Mountain and similar songs.

    It was after Lights Out and we were probably making a noise until this voice yelled out, “Get to bed”. Whoosh. We were gone. When RSM Royffe yelled, nobody hung around.

  30. Terry Simons

    Christmas Eve 1954 I was in the Brass Rail Bar, a double rum and coke in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Rosemary Clooney singing ‘Mambo Italiano’ on the juke box. Tony Willis was there that night. Was there anyone else from Prospect?

  31. Neil ‘Swanny’ Swanson

    Swanny has been an original contributor to the many DCLI Blogs and Websites that opened in 2006 and his unfailing support is quite obvious in both the frequency and the number of pictorial and verbal anecdotes that are mentioned under his name. Without his involvement there are many Old Mates today who would be blithely unaware of the mateship and camaraderie that abound throughout these many blog pages.

    Swanny this week is undergoing chemotherapy in Treliske Hospital in Truro, Cornwall (near England I’m told!). Terry Joll reports that he is well and accepting this intrusive treatment with the true spirit of the grand Old Soldier that he is. Our hearts and mind go out to you ‘Ole Mate, we all wish you well for a speedy successful outcome, especially for the surgery yet to come.

    Our turn now ‘Ole Mate – to say ‘Thank You’ – we are alongside you (probably eating your grapes!)

    We are with you Swanny. Get Well Soon.

  32. Paul (Barney) Barnes

    Here’s a little something for all you ex Dukes out there, and especially my old Mates Neil Swanny Swanson Snr and his Son Donald Swanny Swanson Jnr. Have a look at the link below.
    Be Bright,
    Join the Light,
    Proud to Serve,

    Cede Nullis (Yield to None)

    1985 ROYAL TOURNAMENT – LIGHT DIVISION

  33. Jack Madron

    Derek.
    Looking at Swanny’s photo of 1981 reunion Queens Hotel. PZ. Three more names if you can use them. Trevelyan Richards, Cox Penlee Lifeboat in front of dark curtain. My mate Bob Barrett in white shirt, over Swanny’s right shoulder. John Mathews to left of bugler in dark blazer. John was standard bearer for Pz RBLC for a number of years. His late wife was first cousin to my wife.

    ED: Thanks Jack – names now added to the photo captioning and I’ve enlarged the pix so that a closer inspection may result in more ID’s.

  34. Swanny (Swanson)

    All, After sending Derek (editor) names to go on 1DCLI Memoriale, I should have sent this name ages ago, but didn’t realise I hadn’t sent it till I saw his name in local paper with obituaries. His only surviving brother Fred Weston, ex SCLI, puts it in the paper every year since his passing! My apologies to Fred.

    Derek (Blondie) Weston was the Intake before me at Bodmin in 1953. When we were posted to Bermuda, Blondie and I became very close mates, drinking together regularly in the mess and as said good mates. Derek was an excellent soldier and we served for short time in the 4/5th Bn.

    Civilian life was not for him and he enlisted in the RCT and served for 12 years. While working in Helston some years later I was in the town centre when someone shouted “Get your hair cut Swanson”, when I looked around!! none other than Blondie. We had bit of chat about old times and he said I am getting married at dinner time!! And I want you to come to my wedding and reception, I said I can’t come dressed in my working gear, on that he said I haven’t seen you for yonks and you’re coming albeit in working gear. At the wedding met his brother Tom (RIP) and his brother Fred who I think was serving in SCLI.

    What a day and night we all had, I drove home to PZ in some state!!! Her indoors was – for the umpteenth time – not amused, as this was the norm for me in those days!! Over the years I used to see Derek quite regular basis as his wife was from PZ and have a few drinks together.

    BLONDIE RIP you are sorely missed by all.

    Swanny.

  35. Swanny (Swanson)

    JT, About the breakout of prisoners – I believe the prison was at St.Georges? The story went I believe that a New Governor was sent out from England and introduced a far more by the book system being more extreme to the old governors!! Apparently the old one was very lenient and most inmates could go out and mix with the population, i.e. go for drink etc – ad lib. That is supposed to have caused the breakout from gaol. When we had to go to Warwick and guard the armoury, the WOPSI or what have you of the Militia and Bermuda Rifles presented us with Sterling machine guns and ammunition? We had never used these weapons before and were new to us. At one time while down in the bottom of the armoury it was my turn for stag duty when Lt Pronto Corringham shouted – “it’s only me”. I asked him to come and be recognised and cocked this new weapon, all I heard was him making the a quick exit and quietness!! When I got off stag duty Pronto said in a furious tirade “You would have bloody shot me”, I answered him “Yes SIR I would because you didn’t give the right word to come forward and be recognised!! Good job I didn’t have long to serve he would have made my life BLOODY HELL?

    Mentioned this incident when I met him last year at open day in Bodmin!! no comment!!
    Swanny.

  36. Jack Madron

    I always thought that Joe was in Minden but I’m obviously wrong. Thanks for putting me right Swanny. Being older than me, I probably assumed that he was in Germany. Once again, Peter old mate RIP.

  37. Swanny (Swanson)

    ED, there are photos of Joe on the Band and Bugles webpage, I found it long time back. Let me know if you can find it Derek,

    Swanny.

    ED: The only photo of Peter (Joe) Tippett that I can find is taken at the Lucknow Dinner 2006, supplied by you Swanny. Peter is seated front third from left, but the shot is badly out of focus and will not enlarge for cropping to head and shoulders. There are other DCLI Band & Bugles photos taken by Trevor Hosking – some of Bermuda – but mainly after Joe was demobbed (if he served 3 years from 1953), The 2 shots published on the “A” Company site are also unsuitable for cropping and enlargement – even if I could identify Peter. So if you know of others records ‘Ole Mate – find ’em and send ’em.

    Personally, I’d like to see a photo of Joe – as we recalled him (C.O’s Bugler) – his Family might be prepared (in time) to forward some of his memorabilia. I’d be happy to write (as Editor of DCLI Memorabilia) if you can offer contact.

  38. Swanny (Swanson)

    ED, I have put a notice on most of our websites on the passing of Peter (Joe) Tippett RIP. His funeral will take place at St.Thomas’s Church Heamoor, Nr Penzance on Thursday 8th May 2008 at 1400hrs. Peter joined DCLI in November 1953 and served as a regular soldier for 3 years in the West Indies as a bugler, becoming the CO’s Bugler’ He was an excellent bugler, second to none! He joined up in the Editor’s and my Intake and when the Band and Bugles came to Bermuda we always had a good rapport with Joe as the Bugle Platoon were billeted under our barrack room and we were very close mates to all of the Buglers Most of us used to go with the Band and Bugles to the Elbow Beach Hotel as they played to hundreds of American visitors in that venue and when they played it made us so proud to be a member of such a great Regiment as the DCLI.

    I am getting to feel emotional just thinking about those wonderful days and the close relationship we all had. Going back to Joe’s Funeral there will be a Guard of Honour by the West Cornwall Branch DCLI an LI Association
    Swanny.

    ED: Thanks Swanny – well said. Joe was a great lad – he’ll be sorely missed. Try for some photos of him – maybe Terry?

  39. Allison Smith

    Hi Derek,

    My name is Allison Smith and I am Ernie Smith’s granddaughter (Robert’s daughter). My dad told me all about your website and wow you have done so well with it. I’ve learned a lot more now as Grandad never really spoke about those days. I must admit it’s taken me 3 weeks of trying to find your site and now that I have I just want to read the lot. It’s amazing what you can find online nowadays – so much history and you don’t have to go to the library he! he! Hope to hear back from you and maybe some stories about him would be great.

    Thanks Allison

    ED: Thanks Allison. Please refer my direct email to you regarding Ernie Smith (Sgnt) RIP. Also note the latest batch of Ernie’s photos now on 1DCLI Memorabilia (Supplementary Page)

  40. Swanny (Swanson)

    Hi Derek,

    Funny you should ask about Sid Pender. Doris and I left the car in the garage and used our new bus pass today and went to the village of Mousehole were Sid hails from, I haven’t seen Sid for ages don’t know exactly where he lives these days?? Only talking to Jack last week about Sid etc, lost contact with him completely!! Jack came from same village. While there I only saw one person I knew which was Marrack Torrie – Jacks uncle. Like most places in Cornwall we are being over run with strangers. It’s the same I think all over the UK,

    Swanny

  41. Swanny (Swanson)

    JT
    Reading back through blog pages you mentioned Coy Clerk Cpl. The first cpl clerk, was named Denis Irons – I think he joined same intake as Cpl. Alan Mitchell! Denis was from Wadebridge in Cornwall. I met him several years ago at a 60th birthday party for Harley Ingrim from Hayle. That evening for the event I took in my car the late CSM Claude Marsden. Also at the party were over 50 ex DCLI present, most were B,C,D Coy’s stationed in Jamaica. Alas Claude died a few years ago RIP, another first class gentleman whom I had the privilege to serve with for many years in DCLI Ass. When we arrived at the hotel were the party was held the place was decorated in West Indies type decor!! and what an evening it turned out a real one off special,

    Swanny.

    ED: Any news of Sid Pender, Swanny? He was Co Clerk after Denis?

  42. Swanny (Swanson)

    Hi Derek,

    Had AGM of West Cwll. Branch last night, very good attendance. It was good to have Jack Madron back in the fold. We had nice buffet after the meeting, Terry Simons was delighted to have your email. Our President Maj. Peter Mitchell asked to be remembered to you. Also Barry Cornish who picks up Trevor Webb were in attendance so our DCLI Bermudian group total was 6.

    Wives also attended and are now full members in their own right; they do so much behind the scenes, raffles etc. As always I say that Barry and I keep you and Your DCLI Website up to date with news etc. I have had mail from JT in South Africa. While he is there I had hoped he could drop over the border to Zimbabwe and do the world a favour and get rid of that evil Bastard Mugabi!!!

    We all moan but just imagine living under that Dictator, who has ruined the finest country in Africa.

    Bye for now

    Swanny

    ED: Thanks for the update Swanny, regards to all the lads.

  43. Jack Madron

    Hi chaps,

    S Coy out of bounds again. It seems that only two of us from Jamaica has been found so far. A bugler and a machine gunner. There must be some others out there somewhere, unless JT is right and the Bermuda Triangle got them.

    I did spend a short time in Bermuda, approx one hour at the airport when flying home on demob. I remember I was met by Sid Pender, an old school chum. I think he was A Coy clerk.

    I enjoy reading all your blogs. They bring back a lot of happy memories of three enjoyable years, well most of the time.

    Ha Ha.

    PS: Still wonder who owned that kitbag that went overboard?

  44. Swanny (Swanson)

    Hi JT,

    I haven’t been on this site for some time, but reading John’s report on first Xmas in Bermuda I think I was the only one who had leave. Being good friends with John Warrilow – he and his wife Rose asked me to apply for Xmas leave, I went and asked Sgt John our Pay Sgt about this and he arranged it for me.

    I had very good time with John and Rose, but with hindsight regret not having Xmas with my Platoon mates, being served Xmas dinner etc by the Coy. Officers!! When you look back and think about some things you didn’t realise how young and naive you were.

    We went to the cinema in Hamilton and this brand new film was being shown Christmas Holiday (White Christmas) with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Now thinking how old we are now!! As always in the services never remember the bad times, always think about the good ones!!

    When you think of those days JT you were a Sgt you were just a bit older than us, I didn’t get the rank of Sgt until I joined the RMR twenty years later. Misspent youth!!

    Swanny

  45. JT

    Nice to see a picture of good old Charlie Seabourne holding a fish, standing in a bomb site and dressed in the height of fashion 1955

  46. JT

    Jack

    Nice to see you on the decent blog for a change. They don’t allow me to swear on this one.

  47. Jack Madron

    When disembarking “A” Coy at Bermuda, a few of us were leaning on the rails, starboard side, for’ard of the bridge, when a kitbag was dropped into the sea between the Clyde and freighter (deliberately, we thought). When we started shouting, the kitbag was quickly pulled aboard the freighter.

    I often wondered which poor sod got a load of kit soaked with salt water. Any “A” Coy bod remember anything about this episode?

  48. John Tenniswood

    Explains why he was not in any Platoon pix. “Kleiner” Littlejohn was SAS RTU’d to his parent regiment (DCLI) after parachute injury in Malaya.

  49. John Tenniswood

    Hello Mike

    Were you an Empire Clyde bod? Sgt Buller? What year was he there? I left in Nov 1955 so might have been later? Does anyone remember Sgt (Kleiner) Littlejohn?

    ED: Gidday John. Littlejohn was 4 Platoon Sgnt – came onboard shortly before mine and yours departure late 1955. A really little – and wiry bloke – ex Para I think, seemed to try hard to get the men to accept him as ‘one of the boys’

  50. Mike Cummings

    Happy new year to all ex DCLI Bermudians.

    Thanks for keeping up the website. I’m sorry that I haven’t any photos to publish, as all my personal belongings were lost when the MV Cato a coaster, was sunk in Avonmouth in 1962, while I was ashore. So all I have is memories of a time spent with some wonderful mates.

    I spent a lot of my time with my local Bermudian girlfriend Jean who lived in St Georges. But I do remember Dolores (“Peaches”) a waitress from the Buckaroo, (and being introduced to hamburgers with all) while listening to Jim Reeves singing “He’ll have to go”, I’ll be home my darling”.

    I was in 2 platoon, Sgt Bulley. Lt Hooper, Cpls Roberts, Bowery, Julian. Harvey, and Chappel, Bill Evans, Pat Carney, Sharkey Powell, “Springring” Winterbottom and Dragger Launder, to name a few. Come on let’s have a few more of you writing in.

    Mike Cummings

    ED: Welcome to the DCLI Blog pages Mike. There’s plenty to choose from, in particular Most Wanted Wild & Wicked and Nostalgia Old Toons. Speaking of which – are you definitely sure that you heard the 2 Jim Reeves’ songs in 54-57 ?? I read on Wikepedia that these were hits in 1960, just checking.

    GO TO: NOSTALGIA 1DCLI OLD TOONS 1954-1957

    PS: Added 20th August 2010. Wild & Wicked now archived.

    • John Bulley

      Mike
      I am the son of Sgt Bulley and would love to get any information (good and bad) about him and you blokes in Bermuda. He and mum separated after Seaton Barracks. He’s dead now and I have very little information about him and was too young whilst we were stationed in Bermuda to remember much. Any info or photos you have would be very welcome. all I can remember about him is being told to stand up straight and get my hair cut, sound familiar?
      Cheers
      John

      ED: Thanks John. I for one remember your father in Bermuda, but have little useful recall of him as a Senior NCO. He was Platoon Serjeant of another platoon than mine. There are however,some photos including him on other websites that I publish. I will browse and advise. Other lads will no doubt also remember him.

      • Tom Howell

        John,
        I served with your father in Bodmin ’57-’59. We were Training Sjt’s and near neighbours in Married Quarters.
        Sorry to hear of his passing, also of the marriage breakup. I remember more about your mum because she was very helpful to my wife when my daughter was born in 1958. I remember two girls – Jackie and a younger one, but no boys! I have a couple of photos of the girls. How is your mum doing? Good luck with your search for more information.

        Tom Howell

        • John Bulley

          Tom
          Many thanks for the kind thoughts. The girls are called Jackie and Judy, I must have been out all the time. Mum’s OK, a bit wobbly on her pins now but otherwise in good nick. The dates you’ve given me are another little bit I can add to the jigsaw. Take care and thanks again.
          John

          • Tom Howell

            John
            Glad to hear your Mum is OK – I think we are all a bit wobbly these days!! What about her memory – does she remember us? I wll send 3 photos I have of the girls via the Ed for you.
            Regards

            Tom

      • John Bulley

        Thanks ED: I would appreciate any info/photos you blokes have got. I’m trying to build up a picture of my dad, where we were posted and what dates, all that sort of stuff. I know we were in Jamaica, Bermuda, Bodmin, Osnabruck and Munster but I have no dates. What battalion/company was he in? Were you blokes all National service types. Well done for putting this site together.
        John

  51. Lt John Rutter, Canada: RIP

    We regret to advise that John died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep yesterday. We were hoping that John was going to contribute photos and comments to our “A” Company Memorabilia. Sadly that is not so although we have expressed our interest in carrying out John’s wishes to his family, via a business associate who advised us of this sudden event.

    Thank you John Tenniswood for the foregoing reminder of the frailty of Life.

    Carpe Diem!

  52. John Tenniswood

    A Sad Day

    Another one gone…

    Some for the Glories of this World;
    and some
    Sigh for the Prophets Paradise to come;
    Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go,
    Nor heed the music of a distant Drum

    Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
    Before we too into the Dust descend
    Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie
    Sans Wine, Sans Song, Sans Singer,
    and, Sans End

    Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
    And those that after some Tomorrow stare,
    A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries,
    “Fools” your Reward is neither Here nor There

    Omar Kayyam

  53. John Tenniswood

    Christmas 1954: Secret can now be told (I think) – ALL TRUE

    A formal dinner at the Sgts Mess. Officers and wives invited. Charlie Seabourne in charge of catering. Charlie loved all that, table decorations, menu etc. I think he was wasted going into catering at the Bermuda Prison Service. Not exactly the Ivy was it?

    This was an all garrison do by the way.
    DCLI
    RASC
    RAOC
    RAMC
    RE

    So mix of dress from mess dress, No 1 dress, BD for the National Serviceman, Barry Nickels RAMC. Here comes the scandal.

    After the pud, coffee and numerous toasts some were getting a bit frail with several of the number face down on the table and one for sure lying on the floor. Some fool suggested that the men started moving round so that they all at some stage sat next to a woman. THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA AS IT TURNED OUT.

    A certain Staff Sgt who shall be forever nameless moved next to a very, very very senior officers wife and romantically slid his hand up her dress. Loud protest from the lady, much confusion and a bit of a scuffle.

    Upshot was bit of a cover up and the culprit poor sod disappeared on earliest flight to UK. He was so pissed he probably didn’t even know who he was groping.

    Some sympathy as his wife was the second most ugly bird in the Garrison (Greek with nearly all gold teeth, the prize being the wife of an ACC Cpl cook (she had no teeth at all.)

  54. JT

    Happy new year everyone

  55. Anon

    Corporal Cornish drove the ‘Rover
    Had it cushy so they say
    Not for him the daily grind
    Of drillin’ half the day

    Gettin’ fed at Gov’ment House
    While waitin’ for the boss
    Chatting to the female staff
    He couldn’t give a toss

    Angin’ around on Front Street
    Out on some excuse
    Havin his picture taken
    By Yankee gals on the loose

    Cornish by name and Cornish by nature
    Always the perfect gent
    Unlike those drunken sex mad skivers
    The feared and envied RASC Drivers

  56. Anon

    Where the remote Bermudas ride
    In th’oceans bosom unespied
    til came in sight the troopship Empire Clyde

    The soldiers packed the band tuned up
    The wives had sorted gangplank order
    The plan was clear they’d land that day
    The crowds had gathered on the Quay

    A parade was planned the Tannoy said
    “The Brits Return” the headlines said
    “To save us from some nameless dread”

    Time went by and daylight faded
    The Captain fumed and swore
    The soldiers giving V signs
    To everyone on shore

    Alas alack it could not be
    The landing was too shallow
    Plan B was hatched they’d wait ’til dark
    The troops stood down and had some tea

    The Sgt Major tried to hide
    His wife had had her hair done grand
    She’d sit beside the saluting stand
    She and the others were spitting tacks
    The lads were laughing behind their backs

    When night had fallen
    Crowds gone home
    ‘Cept a curious few
    The rescue vessel was no less
    Than the Chauncey M Dephew

    She was a lighter powered by steam
    Shallow in depth and broad of beam
    She clanked alongside in the dark
    “A” Company began to disembark

  57. John Tenniswood

    A “post” of Christmas past (Geddit)?

    Prospect Camp, Bermuda, Christmas Eve 1954.

    By now it had been discovered that I was getting away with a few things, for example I was not required to do “Duty Sgt” with the DCLI company. Gradually Garrison HQ had reeled me in for other duties. (including paying them – suppose someone had to). I must say there had been some resistance to this by DCLI who quite rightly pointed out that I was on their strength unlike all the other arms of service in the Garrison. (More on this later).

    (Oh God not more do I hear ?)

    Anyway I digress. On Christmas Eve 1954 I was Garrison Duty Sgt. It was customary to take the duty truck (with driver of course) down town at 10 pm to collect the rum soaked, vomit covered lads from one notorious dive on Front Street, also call at the Sailor’s Home, cruise though town looking for bodies and prise any unfortunate from the arms of Mockingbird. (The happy couple would normally be leaning against an alley wall near the Oasis restaurant).

    On this occasion the duty driver was pissed (not one of yours Barry, an RASC driver -the Geordie with the big nose). Everyone else was in the Naafi having a riot or whatever Cornishmen do when pissed. (I am from the Derbyshire moors and deny that any similar celebration involves sheep). The orderly officer was also indisposed. This MAY have been the occasion when the junior officers all got hammered and were throwing billiard balls about the newly decorated officers mess.

    I had spent the evening in the Mess with 4 single HQ Sgts. RAMC, RASC, RE. Also there was a large Royal Marine Sgt armourer who always seemed to be with us. (Didn’t he have a ship to go to ?) Perhaps he had been marooned – any way we called him Tiffey the bootneck.

    The 2 DCLI single Sgts were not around. Charlie was probably bulling his kit (sorry Charlie) or getting ready for the Christmas Dinner the following day – Charlie liked to do the catering and did so very well. Pedlar was probably in a corner chewing bits of barbed wire and muttering threats.

    Anyway I digress.

    It was decided that we would take the Duty truck to town. Clearly I was in not fit state to drive having had some drinks to calm me down from the flag business (I had this phobia about raising and lowering the Garrison flag (Duty Sgt duty). On this occasion I had messed it up as usual and it was stuck halfway down the mast. Barry Nichols (RAMC -yes the one with the heavy duty glasses in the dance picture) offered to drive, we all piled in and off we went. Town patrol, collected a few, carol singing on way back to camp (no vomit) and Yipee off we went again.

    Back to town suicidally decided to visit Eagles Nest Night club which curiously for Bermuda was up a winding hill negotiated by sort of 3 point turns. Well we got there and it was dead, not a soul apart from us.

    Yippee – so off we went the the Gombey Room Harmony Hall Hotel. Barry reversed over a flower bed. Anyway had a good time (no one pulled as usual though – this is a modern expression for getting a shag you oldies).

    Back to Prospect and feeling peace to all men. Parked the truck and no one was the wiser. The duty driver clearly had no interest in blowing the whistle even if he regained consciousness that night and noticed.

  58. John Tenniswood

    Mr Rutter still with us. Excellent stuff. Thanks Derek.

    Ask him if he remembers the fearsome C/Sgt Palmer checking in his platoon weapons etc.

    Incidentally Pedlar Palmer does not appear in any of the group photos. He appears in the beach photo with Fred Thomas and me and company. But not even in the “A” Coy Group Picture. I am not really surprised probably no one dared to ask him.

  59. WELCOME ABOARD THE MEMORABILIA TRAIN

    John A.M. Rutter (Lt) from Canada has made contact with the editor and emails are being exchanged. John promises a clear recollection of “A” Company events of 1954 including his representation of the Regiment at Boxing in Hamilton and also many photos of Operation TiddyOggy.

    I personally remember John from his Platoon command and look forward to some unique views of military life from an Officer’s aspect.

    Welcome John, there are many cheps looking forward to your comments, following which we hope that other 1DCLI Officers will follow suit.

    Carpe Diem!

  60. WE ARE 1 YEAR OLD

    Tempus Fugit! – and all that – but one year and one day past – was the first posting to this Blog site. In that year sadly, many of our “A” Company 1DCLI, Bermuda Detachment mates have died. Many of them have passed on not knowing that there exists a string of very fine internet tools, that can be used to locate old Army pals and better yet – email ’em and view their youthful (and not so youthful) photos of 1954 – 1957 and later.

    Today I learned of the death of Donald Puckey and I am saddened by the fact that despite my appeals to locate Don – on these websites, letters to the newspapers, letters to MP’s and publicity exposure in the Regimental Museum, he has passed from this life without enriching our lives by his contributions to our growing Memorabilia.

    It must not be allowed to happen again – cheps – please! oh! please! tell all your Old Bermudian Mates about our websites, and get an email address for them – indirectly via a family member is OK too. There must be 1,000’s of old photos gathering dust in sheds, attics and garages all over Cornwall. We need to get the stories told by a living Old Soldier – not a well meant third party account from a saddened family member who regrets his old man not ‘gettingaroundtuit’.

    Carpe Diem!

  61. John Tenniswood

    Thanks Fraser
    Div sign..I left in November 1955 and I don’t remember this being worn by then.

  62. Fraser Pakes

    John
    We did have one but I think it was a Bermuda coat of arms or the like. (Wasn’t the sea horse design West Indies area?) One thing I do know. We wanted to keep them on when we got back to England to show off where we’d been! Orders from above were “Get them off, we’re not there any more!”

    Fraser

  63. John Tenniswood

    Interesting. In the photo Eisenhower visit the soldier nearest appears to have a “Div Sign” on his arm. I remember in 1955 there was some talk of a design being created for the Bermuda Garrison (one idea was a sea horse) any comments ?

  64. Phil Morris

    Hello one and all.
    I was reading this with fascination, as my father Peter Morris, (now unfortunately no longer with us) served with 2 Platoon, A Coy. If anyone has any memories of my Dad in Bermuda, I’d love to hear from you, hopefully before time flees. My email is philno1morris@aol.com.

    Best Regards

    Ed: Posted 12th November 2007

    I’ve just emailed Phil (Six of which attempts are bouncing the given email at aol) with references to the “A” Company 1DCLI Bermuda website, hoping that he’ll recognise his Dad from the 2 Platoon group photos posted there. Note also – cheps – that 48 newly uploaded photos (30 from Mike Woolley and 18 from Fraser Pakes) have been published in November 2007.

  65. John Tenniswood

    Re Fraser
    Guess the Empire Clyde national servicemen would have gone home by then ? I left in Nov 1955 as my first 3 year stint was up although I later signed for for another 3

    I have been surprised at the number of NS soldiers who did time in the TA afterwards or signed on a regulars. Also from such a small sample as A Coy the numbers who emigrated to the colonies (and went native like Derek.) I lived in British Columbia for a couple of years.

    Who was the HQ platoon Cpl clerk when Maj Williams was the boss ? Can’t see him in the platoon pix.

    Everyone OK ? been in hospital for a few days check up..back home now, all OK. Hope you guys are ditto

    Ed: Logged in on 9th November (OZ time)

    Thanks John for your comments – also for the photographs you sent me this week.

    I seem to remember a Sid Pender as Co Clerk, at least for part of the time in 1954, but I also spent a week or two on relief, while I think it was Sid who took a holiday to the USA – maybe with Barry Cornish? My claim to Co Clerk fame was one finger typing 21 verses of “Eskimo Nell” on the OR typewriter. Hateful job – Co Clerk – all that bloody paperwork and the Adj making the usual waves.

    Hope your hospital stint left all the essential bits in place – judging from your other comments about the treatment of war injured soldiers – it makes me wonder on the NHS’ ability to practice good health care – whoops! silly me – it’s not about looking after patients at all!

  66. “NUTHER OLD BERMUDA 1DCLI’ian”

    Email in from Canada today from Fraser Pakes (Cpl) “A” Company Clerk 1956-1957 – Service # 23176144, who has many Prospect Garrison shots for us to see when published. Fraser served with “A” Company until shipping out on the TSS Captain Cook back to Blighty. We appreciate your contact Fraser, welcome aboard and join the happy throng of Old Mates now emailing, writing and even phoning across the ether. We look forward to your contributions.

    Carpe Diem!

  67. John Tenniswood

    Soldier returned from battle zone with shattered jaw.
    Send straight to civvy hospital. Told to go home and eat soft food….
    What a bloody state we are in.

  68. Neil Swanson

    I would like to mention about our Platoon Commander Lt. Francis Drake who sadly passed away a good few years ago now. What a good soldier he was and Officer to us in 3 Platoon. I had the pleasure of serving under him, and also playing rugby for A Company with him.

    My last time in his company was at Redruth on the occasion of Cornwall v Lancashire County final I think it was 1968? There were hundreds of supporters at that game. He shouted out to me in amongst so many people at the ground, unknown to me at the time he was diagnosed with leukemia, and passed away shortly afterwards. Again I will always respect his memory and what a privilege to have served under such a fine Officer and Gentleman.

    PS: Editor added 11th October 2007

    Thank you Swanny for bringing Lt. Drake’s name to our attention. I too echo your fine comments about him. At all times he proved to be a fine soldier and leader and it was indeed an honour to be in 3 Platoon under his command.

  69. Neil Swanson

    I think back to Bermuda days and remember the 1st NCO’s Cadre, when RSM Harold Royffe came from Jamaica. Our room mate Don Puckey was picked out to be the RSM’s batman for the month. I always knew from those duties that Don would be the first to be promoted in our platoon. Don Puckey was always immaculate, gaining Stick Orderly on many occasions. I followed in his footsteps gaining 13 CO’s Sticks in my time in 3 Platoon, but never was able to emulate Don in getting promoted to Cpl.

    Swanny

    PS added by Editor:

    Any chance of finding Don Puckey Swanny? He was a good mate to all of us. His home town was Polperro from memory – but I’ve had no luck in my limited searches from OZ.

    PPS added 21st November 2007

    I’ve this morning (OZ time) been advised by Peter Trethake that Don Puckey passed away yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I am so sad to hear this news as I valued the comradeship of Don, both militarily and socially, we spent many Bermudian hours together laughing and joking. A great bloke and sorely missed, particularly as I had strong hopes of getting him involved with our websites. RIP Old Mate.

  70. Neil Swanson

    Along with several hundred ex DCLI, SCLI, LI, I attended the Freedom of Bodmin for our newly formed Regiment The Rifles, at Bodmin on 13th Sept, and what a good day we all had together, talking about old times etc. Before the final event of the day, the Band and Bugles beat The Retreat on Bodmin football ground. The Associations from all parts of the country and Veterans marched behind the Band and Bugles through Bodmin, watched by several hundreds of spectators who gave us a wonderful reception. My day was complete by having a good conversation with my old Company Commander Major “Toots” Williams who asked me to pass on his regards to all ex “A” Coy, Ist DCLI in Minden and Bermuda. I also spoke to Brigadier Gage Williams, son of Major Williams who was a young lad with us in Bermuda, who also sends his regards to all who served with him when he was in 1 Light Infantry and the TA.

    PS added 7th October 2007 (Editor)

    Thanks Swanny. Brigadier Gage Williams has just published a pictorial tribute to Colonel CTG Williams – click the bolded title.

  71. Neil Swanson

    While travelling to Bodmin yesterday for Freedom Parade, Terry Simons was remembering some nostalgic moments. The night in our barrack room when, after Lights Out, Madman Phipps came in and grabbed my machete from my locker and attacked Cpl Roberts. I can’t remember who disarmed him, but we were all frightened to death. This Pte Phipps from 1 Pltn was a real headbanger? There was another of Phipps’ mates – name of Gatford – another pisshead. These guys were mainly Korean Vets, and I think all eventually posted to Jamaica, because our Prospect nick was only for janker wallers etc. Hindsight is a wonderful thing?

    We were only young naive soldiers but looking back I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. In our room we had the best mates anyone could have asked for. I must add another comment!

    When Ivor Barratt first arrived in Bermuda, his first weekend was at Warwick Camp and, knowing him very well, I knew his fighting abilities. He went for a drink with Roy Westbrook and I and while Roy and I went for a leak, you’ve guessed it, when we got back to the bar area Ivor had floored two US sailors. Next thing our RP’s arrived and locked Ivor in the local nick. What an introduction to Bermuda for Ivor (RIP)

    Editor: See 1DCLI Memorabilia for latest memories

  72. Neil Swanson

    In all the writeups no one has mentioned the likely lads? Waster Greenslade and Buster Phipps – two real hardcases from 1 Pltn. I remember going to the Naafi to get an ice cream. Waster said “you’re not having that” and put a pint of rum in front of me and said “drink that”.

    If you can remember we were I think the first Company to have rum issued to stop the piss heads from going down town and causing mayhem. Thinking back a lot of us had many a hangover!!! Happy days were had by all in Prospect Barracks?

    Swanny Swanson.

    PS Editor: Swanny, I seem to recall also that you and I and several other lads were on the town socially in Hamilton one balmy Bermuda evening and arrived at the water front where we discovered Waster Greenslade so inebriated that we strapped him to a seat with his belt to prevent him falling over the edge. Is he still around?

  73. BREAKING NEWS

    Have just today received 13 new photos from Dean Richmond, son of Bill Richmond (RIP), 2 platoon 1DCLI Bermuda 1955-1956, that have been published to the “A” Company website. Several mates already identified on other photos and with whom we are now in contact, are shown in Bill’s collection.

    In particular, there is the first photo (that I have seen) of the rainwater spillways from the road on the eastern camp boundary, down to the huge underground storage – all now demolished.

    Our thanks to Dean for the time and effort to add to our growing collection and indicative of Family’s interest in keeping alive the memory of “Old Soldiers”.

    Tempus Fugit!

    Postcript from John 18th August 2007

    More Trivia
    The Royal Engineers bred fish in those water tanks to keep down mossies

  74. John

    Tales of Mystery.

    The Bermuda Triangle: In 1954 a British Troopship Empire Clyde en route for the West Indies called at Bermuda and disembarked “A” Company of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. The trooper then left Bermuda carrying the remainder of the DCLI 1st Battalion.

    The Battalion disappeared and was not heard of again other that it appeared some 4 years later in Germany. Where had it been? How did it get back?

    Recent tracing attempts via the “A” Coy Website has only unearthed a lone bugler (John J Goddard, Jamaica) but no sign in that mystery period from 1954 to 1957 of these missing soldiers. Did the lone bugler sound his calls to a phantom Battalion?

    Yet another sinister tale of The Bermuda Triangle. (Film rights reserved)

    PS: Logged in by Editor

    Good point John – members of “B”, “C”, “D”, “E” (except Bill Oates), “HQ” Companies are conspicuous by their absence on the 1DCLI webs and blog sites. Bloody good job there wasn’t a war on, – we few “A” Company cheps who show some LI spirit, and have our marbles intact – would have been busy chasing around the Caribbean. Will you ring Steven Spielberg or shall I?

  75. John

    Geoff Cherry was made up to Sgt maybe in 1955. I can’t recall much about him as a Sgt. He like the other married guys were pretty well tied to (locked in at night) the married quarters. (Stalag Prospect) and probably only appeared accompanied at formal Mess nights at which the high point was “tombola”.

  76. John

    Derek just caught the drift. Are you saying Anne Minor was in the cab with Geoff driving and you were in the back “bobbing like a cork?” er,then what?

    Did Geoff drop you off at her house? Any blackmail prospects here? Seriously though, she was a very pretty girl and she may well have been the Brig’s Secretary. She worked on the ground floor in the HQ building with the RASC HQ staff..

    Editor Postscript added 9th August 2007

    I wish that there were some blackmail prospects, but unfortunately not so, much to the denial of my (then) raging testosterones. At least I got to ride back with Geoff in the cab up front, who persisted in turning the ignition on and off while the motor was running – that sounded like a rifle shot. Some lad our Geoff, who started to behave more modestly when he was made up to Sergeant!! Or did he play up in the Sergeant’s Mess?

  77. John Tenniswood

    Re “The drill hall” – Funny, I have no recollection of this building on the left side of the square (?) looking towards the old Sgts Mess which I think became the Cpls Mess, other than this memory of the “colour bar” lecture which also touched upon venereal disease and the dangers thereof. The ultimate penalty for sufferers – return to UK or be sent to Jamaica where incidentally the infection rate was significant.

    Editor comment

    Ye Olde Drill Hall was little used to my recall, except on some rainy days – were there any? I do recall we Special Guardsmen thumping the floorboards with our One Step, Two Step, Three Step, Four and practicising the precision guards beat steps under the instruction of Bert Love. I’m informed by the way by Reg Mitchell, that Bert Love lives today in Shrewsbury. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get his views on Bermuda life? Any 1DCLI’ans out there in Shrewsbury? or do I hear my own echoes again…and again

  78. John Tenniswood

    Bet Geoff Cherry’s wife wouldn’t have been pleased. If Geoff is still around he hopefully will not mind my observation that Mrs C was a seriously powerful Teutonic lady.

    Maj Williams was in total fear and I can remember on more than one occasion seeing from my little office door Mrs C purposefully heading towards the orderly room with a “certain look” and wondering whether the CO had prior warning and gone fishing which was his usual escape routine…

  79. John Tenniswood

    The jailbreak included I think someone breaking into the Bermuda Militia armoury and getting hold of weapons. (Maybe just a Sten Gun)

    Talking about the “Militia” you may recall that the Bermuda “TA” was strictly segregated. Militia wearing Artillery badges and the others, posh white guys with the fancy uniforms” who were the Bermuda Rifles. There was attached to these units a WOII (Larry Weatherhead) seconded from I think the Warwickshire or Lincolnshire regt. A good mate of ours.

    Derek you have mentioned a “drill shed” on the left of the parade ground.

    Was that the building where we all had our soon after arrival talk about the “colour bar”

    “No fraternisation” etc. Some time after this a DCLI Corporal (I think) had met a Bermudian black girl and asked permission from the CO to get married. He was I recall placed under close arrest and put on the next flight to Jamaica. Anyone remember this. I am not making any particular point about this (these were the fifties after all). Anyone remember this?

    These admonitions in any case were largely ignored. Some pals of mine and myself regularly used to drink at some dive on the North Shore and were always welcomed by the “locals” and the most gorgeous looking girl on the islands was Anne Minors who worked in Garrison HQ. Lovely olive skin. (steady John take the tablets now and have a lie down).

    Postscript added Sunday 5th August

    Good recall John – If there was a colour bar, it was ignored by all, and definitely regarding Anne. Wasn’t she the Brig’s Secretary? I remember a fascination for her while I was seconded to the telephone exchange for 10 days and even cadged a ride with Geoff Cherry who drove her home in a Bedford once, to ‘escort’ her home after a late finish, she in the front, me in the back bobbing around like a cork. Some woman that. Always a smile and a friendly manner, some lucky guy found her no doubt. Wonder where she is now?

    Your mention of the Drill Hall – have you seen the alterations to it shown in Keith Mannings’ photos on the website – what was that all about?

  80. John Tenniswood

    Dunno

    I think you made one point early on that many if not most of the lads simply were not interested in anything other than spending their leisure time in the NAAFI. To be be fair they had little spending money and little curiosity about the outside world.

    Their memories of Bermuda are probably vague (might as well have been Torquay (somewhere outside Cornwall) except for the old Empire Clyde and Stratocruisers.

    Same I think in every armed services base wherever it was sited. At least one difference was that in Bermuda no one was shooting at us…

    Rum and coke was cheap in the Naafi. Even Mockingbird was allegedly expensive (Shudder)

    Also Derek we have to remember that very few people of our age had or have access or reason to access computers and the internet.

    Postscript added 3rd August 2007

    Yes – too true with regards to the I’Net – the apathy factor is ingrained from youth I fear. Your mention of “not being shot at” reminds me however of a jail break in Bermuda in 1954 where we were armed with Stens to ‘search and locate’ some escaped crims. We DCLI squaddies were teamed up with Bermuda Prison Officers to mount a short operation around the Warwick area and that Olde Fort that was in the vicinity – name escapes me!

    And then – jumping about again – Charlie Seaborne’s whereabouts have never surfaced after his sojourn with the Prisons Service.

    Ah Well – Tempus Fugit! and ‘a tha’ – “Nulle Illegitimo Carborundum” – perhaps a Latin Quote Competition is what we need?

    Derek in Brisbane

  81. Wishful thinking John.

    I fear that only you, Barry and I, will attend. What do we have to do to raise some enthusiasm?

    Carpe Diem!

  82. John Tenniswood

    Shall we have an online muster parade ?

    Postscript from Editor added 11th August 2007

    On reflection of John’s comments above – ’tis not a bad idea to ‘muster’ those 1DCLI’ians of Bermuda and Jamaica times and log in those who have taken the time, trouble and effort to contribute to 1DCLI Memorabilia of that era. In doing so – I’ll draw down on names for those who have contributed to ALL related sites – not neccessarily to (only) this Blog page. Let’s hope that others are provoked (?) to GOYA and realise that Tempus Fugits! At our age – each day above ground is a bonus! Check out Most Wanted to see how to list your details. Better still – send me an email with some JPEG photos and see yourself ‘on parade’.

    Barry CORNISH: HQ Platoon & C.O.’s Driver
    Bill EATON:
    Vernon (Bill) EDWARDS: 3 and 1 Platoons
    John GODDARD (“B” Company Jamaica)
    John GRIFFIN: 3 Platoon
    Jim KELLY: 4 Platoon
    Derek LAWRENCE:
    Derek LOVEMORE: 3 and 4 Platoons
    Keith MANNINGS: 4 Platoon
    Alan MITCHELL:
    Reg MITCHELL: Bugler, DCLI Band Jamaica
    William (Bill) OATES (“E” Company Belize)
    Reg PEARCE: HQ Platoon
    Tom STRIKE: 4 Platoon
    Neil SWANSON: 3 Platoon
    John TENNISWOOD: Garrison Pay Master
    Peter TRETHAKE:

    Direct/Indirect promises (!)
    Carey (Dutch) HOON: 2 Platoon
    Terry SIMONS: 3 Platoon
    Mike WOOLLEY:

    Put yer ‘and up – if yer not ‘ere, then GOYA and put the grey matter to work. There’s lots of benefits in reawakening the “Good Old Days”. Many Old Mates are meeting, talking and exchanging youthful memories. Was I the only rookie sick on board the Empire Clyde? Was Johnny Griffin the only bloke to do jankers at Plymouth. Was John Tenniswood the only man about Hamilton Town? Was Dutch Hoon the only successful “Pig at the Buckaroo”?

    Carpe Diem!

  83. Capt Chris Wheddon (Adjutant Bermuda Regiment)

    Lt Col Marsh Grave site in Bermuda.

    Gentlemen,

    May I be allowed on behalf of the present Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment, Lt Col White, to use these means to communicate in reference to Lt Col Marsh’s grave site in Bermuda. I can confirm that RHQ has recently received correspondence from Cpl Lovemore in regards to the poor condition of Lt Col Marsh’s grave, in Bermuda.

    I have personally visited the grave (no 64) at the Devonshire church this afternoon and can tell you that the entire cemetery is in an abysmal state, with whitewash painted with wanton abandon over many of the memorial stones, and other areas of the grave yard are in a state of utter disrepair. I can assure you that we will be drafting a letter of complaint to the Bishop of Bermuda, detailing this.

    I can also inform you that I have taken the liberty to remove the majority of the white wash paint on the memorial plaque. Unfortunately some individual has used a latex compound at some stage, and this has proved much harder to remove. Nether the less RHQ will ensure that this task is completed shortly and that a picture of the restoration will be submitted to your website.

    Many thanks for bring this matter to our attention.

    Capt C R Wheddon
    Adjutant, Bermuda Regiment
    for Commanding Officer

    Postscript from Editor logged in Friday 13th July 2007

    Sir, we acknowledge with thanks and a sigh of relief that this matter is receiving your regimental attention and look forward to a suitable record of the result for posting to our popular website. Thank you on behalf of all 1DCLI, “A” Company, 1954-1957.

    Carpe Diem!

  84. THE GOOD NEWS KEEPS ARRIVING!

    Through the long arm of email from Penzance to Brisbane – via Swanny Swanson and Keith Mannings – this editor was given the mail address for Tom Strike of 4 Platoon Bermuda, 1955-1957. Tom has lived in Adelaide and country South Australia since 1975 and was delighted to get my letter – following which we had a good ‘ole phone chat last night.

    This ‘trigger’ to Tom Strike is the consequence of Mates talking, emailing, chatting and writing, in addition to contributing to our “A” Company photo memorabilia. Consider the outcome of getting involved yourself – cheps! – get up into the attic and retrieve the old pictures of your illustrious youthful times.

    Tom remembers many “A” Company lads and will be forwarding some of his photos to add to our growing collection. He specially mentioned Johnny Cheeseman and Gordon Humphries and remembered Fred Thomas and Major Tony Marsh – both now deceased.

    Goodonyer Tom!

    Carpe Diem lads!

  85. MORE GOOD NEWS!

    Conversation between Editor and Johnny “Griff” Griffin of Bristol, followed up with some detective work by Griff, has re-discovered our old Bermuda Mate – “Dutch” Hoon. Following our contact with Dutch, he has now spoken to both Vernon (Bill) Edwards in Canada, and Editor here in Brisbane Australia.

    Dutch is thrilled to speak to mates from over 52 years ago when we all last served with “A” Company 1DCLI at Prospect Garrison, Bermuda. Dutch features in many of the published photos on the “A” Company website and shared Special Guardsman duties with me and was also a close drinking buddy and an expert at “being a pig at the Buckaroo”. Hopefully we’ll soon see more photos of the era.

    Proves the point dunnit? GOYA and make it happen – write a few emails, post a few comments, write a few letters – and bingo – another Old Mate joined up again after half a century!

    Tempus Fugit!

  86. Barry Cornish

    I fully support John’s suggestion of a suitable memorial for Major Marsh and would be pleased to make a contribution. I really appreciate the steps that you have already taken, Derek. We had a meeting of the West Cornwall Light Infantry Association on 12 June and the next one is not scheduled until 9th October. However, Swanny and I plan to attend the Open Day at the Bodmin Rifles Office (as it is now known) on 24th June, when I will do my best to spread the word.

    Postscript added 22nd June 2007

    Thanks for Comments Barry. As the word spreads I’m sure that a substantial number of Old 1DCLI Soldiers who respectfully remember Major Marsh will follow your’s and John Tenniswood’s leads. You’ll note also that I’ve posted a comment to the LI Guestbook which should give wider coverage. The simple fact however is that I’m in OZ, and that suggests to me that logistically “The Fund” is better handled by you cheps in the UK. I’ll keep you all posted for any practical responses that I receive.

    I’ve sent off a very candid letter of complaint to the CO of The Bermuda Regiment – so it’ll be interesting to see how that Regiment responds. If it was left to me I’d have a squad of troopers ordered with a monthy detail to set matters straight in true Light Infantry fashion.

    Best Regards to All

    Carpe Diem

    Derek Lovemore in Brisbane

  87. John Tenniswood

    Editor

    Thanks for the update of the grave of Maj Marsh our CO. A very superior soldier

    1. Is the grave in a Brit Military Cemetery ?

    2. What the F.. are his family doing about it ?

    3. I am sure that the lads will contribute to get a far better memorial.

    4. I would for one.

    5 I was very honoured to be attached to A Coy 1 DCLI in which unit I was on the strength and accepted as one of their own (thus on the Coy Photo) unlike any of the HQ staff.

    It was Maj Marsh who insisted that I wear a Green Beret with RAPC badge as a sort of recognition of my previous training in the Royal Armoured Corps.

    Editor footnote added immediately after John’ s posted comment.

    Thanks John for your welcome response, you like me appear incensed that our CO’s grave should be in the condition as shown as we have on the “A” Company website. I am in touch with the Curator of British War Graves in Bermuda, which unfortunately has no duty of care over the private Devonshire Church, but might be persuaded to act. However, I have also written to the current CO of The Bermuda Regiment and asked him why the bloody hell that outfit can’t show some respect for an eminent soldier who was also their former CO.

    Endless searches throughout Bermuda in January 2007 turned up no Marsh family there, as did emails to the Webmaster of Bermuda-Online, who knew the family personally.

    Let’s use this Blog to canvass support for your fine suggestion John, I’ll spread the word from here in Brisbane and enquire the cost in Bermuda, but perhaps Barry Cornish might assist when he attends the DCLI Association Branch where he is now a member. I’m sure that Swanny will be interested too and I’ll remind him to raise the matter with Keith Mannings this week, when they meet in Penzance.

    Carpe Diem, One and All!

  88. John Tenniswood

    Wot’s up doc ?

    Editor 23rd May 2007

    Gidday John. Lots happening, have you caught up with all the recent entries on the DCLI Memorabilia site – Swanny swanning it at the Eire pub? Maybe also Johnny Griffin making a trip to Cornwall this month to catch up with Bermuda mates after 52 years. Griff also contemplating a trip out here to Brisbane later this year to watch the Wallabies crunch the British Lions again at rugby! On a sadder note, the Memoriale list is growing as many Old Mates are passing on.

    For me, I have just caught up with DCLI Bugler John Goddard (Jamaica 1954/1955) who logged HMT Empire Clyde time. He lives just an hour away from me on the Gold Coast and we are meeting for a beer on Sunday. John has heaps of Jamaica photos for me to publish so it looks as if we’ll get a Jamaica sub page for our growing collection. Go to The John J Goddard Memoirs to view the latest developments for the Jamaica sub site. The Most Wanted Blog Page is expanding with provision now for RAF and Royal Marine LI mates and families looking to make contacts.

    Also – additional contributions being added to HMTroopships by other troopship travellers and a big Memoir from one John Williams, RAF, soon to be added.

    Carpe Diem!

  89. BREAKING NEWS

    A Google Search for “1 DCLI Memorabilia” produces 19 ‘hits’ on the 1st and 2nd pages of Google!! All 19 hits are exclusively for “OUR Bermuda” 1DCLI web and blog pages. Ain’t that something cheps?

    I thank all of you who make regular contributions with comments, emails and photos – keeping me in OZ updated with goings on in your lives in the UK. The word is spreading rapidly now, with many Old Mates visiting, phoning and emailing each other. More photographs are being found with former DCLI’ians as far away (or as close!) as Orstralia. Keep up the good work cheps – a 36 hour pass for each photo!

    Carpe Diem!

  90. Gidday from OZ!

    Just off the phone to Bristol – speaking with Johnny Griffin, putting Griff in direct phone contact with Swanny Swanson, who has just returned from a trip to Eire. These 2 old mates will not have spoken since Griff left Prospect for Jamaica in 1955, probably just before Swanny was discharged. Griff then spent some 6 months in Jamaica.

    It’ll be interesting to observe the outcome from this re-introduction of Old Mates, as they both respectively are in touch with former “A” Company lads from our Bodmin, Plymouth and Bermuda days.

    I personally am getting a big kick out of this, particularly as Griff has just mentioned the possibility of his visit to OZ this year, and maybe Brisbane to catch the Rugby Internationals where his grandson will be playing.

    Carpe Diem!

    Editor PS dated 6th May 2007

    Griff reports that he has indeed caught up with Swanny after some 51 odd years and had a great chat on the phone with Swanny’s reference also passed on for Terry Simons. Great to know that this internet medium is putting Old Mates together again. Griff and his wife Jenny are off to Newquay and Penzance later in May for a re-union with Swanny and maybe many other Bermudian DCLI’ians. I’ve also printed out and sent some 28 pages (phew!) of our 2 major websites to Griff in the absence of his internet access – so that he can see the wonderful progress that we’ve all made since December last – so far as pictorial and memorabilia of Bermuda is concerned. Keep it going, Cheps!!

    Tempus Fugit!!

  91. Barry Cornish

    An ‘Anorak’. Heaven forbid! I will gladly take retirement as the preferred option.

    Rather mysteriously, though, the illustration on the web page that I found on 20 March, by Googling, has since been deleted. Should I now anticipate a visit from Special Branch enquiring in to my interest in a Wof not so MD?

    PS logged 14th April 2007

    Interesting to follow through on Barry’s comments. The referred site has dropped the text from the page in question – BUT – Google delivers 24,200 URL’s to the entry “bren gun 1954” which in turn gives 3 entries on Google Page One for our DCLI Bermuda stuff. Does that make us famous??

    Carpe Diem!!

  92. John Tenniswood

    I’m going to ask Barry Cornish to retire from the bren quiz. It is feared that he is becoming 0bsessive and may become an “anorak” (train spotter type) we only wanted to remind folks about weapon training . (Not that we are overwhelmed by Light Infantry veterans wanting to hone their skills… ) He may unless gently checked delve into the type of wood from which the butt was crafted.

  93. Barry Cornish

    Hm!
    I cannot believe that neither of us named the Magazine, Derek!
    I was trying to recollect the mechanism in the butt, when Alex said,”Why don’t you Google it, Grandad.”
    Having taken his advice, I have found an excellent cross section of the Bren from HM Stationery Office, on the website http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Bren_and_L4_Light_machine_gun

    As I have now viewed this, I am probably disqualified from the competition, but I would like to know whether the 36hour pass could be used for a visit to Ports Island!

    Postcript added 21st March

    However did we manage without Google in the ‘good old days’? Better check with the Paymaster regarding that pass Barry. Knowing the Sergeants – they’ve probably already booked their flights and lined up the best spots!

    Thanks for comments

    Carpe Diem!

  94. John Tenniswood

    Hm

    Good work Barry, keep trying everyone. I think the spring was called the return spring and its function was to return the piston to load another round into the breech after being driven back by the round fired. I suppose this is a function common to all machine guns, wot’s a breech block then?

  95. Barry Cornish

    I was intrigued to read John Tenniswood’s explanation of the background to our sojourn on Ports Island.
    I have been trying to recall the parts of the Bren gun and have, so far, come up with the following to add to John’s list-
    Body, Body locking pin, Magazine opening cover, Ejector, Backsight, Trigger, Butt, Carrying handle, Bipod.

    I think that there was a spring mechanism in the butt, which absorbed part of the recoil but I don’t know what it was called.
    Funnily enough, the first thing that came to mind about the Bren gun was the instruction from my initial training on stripping it that when you reassemble the butt to the body, like a woman, the first four inches do not count!

  96. John Tenniswood

    Perhaps the experience of “managing the leave camps” on Ports Island (sort of Devil’s Island theme) gave Charlie the idea of joining the Bermuda Prison Service as “something to do with catering”

    He didn’t get you guys to wear ankle chains did he? No Charlie, calm down I don’t mean little gold chains!

    Editor Postscript added Friday 16th March ’07

    John’s mention above of Ports Island together with John’s responsibilities as Garrison Pay Sergeant and his frequent trips to Hamilton driven by Barry Cornish, invites my comment thus.

    Barry’s Memoirs are now published in a separate sub page CLICK HERE which include reference to Ports Island.

    Tempus Fugit!!

  97. John Tenniswood

    Derek
    The picture of the 3 lads “under canvas on an island” reminds me of the big con – “these Cornish Boys will never twig.” The policy on annual leave entitlement went like this:-

    The powers that be (were) decided that they didn’t want the squaddies taking their leave free to play havoc down town and getting into trouble with the likes of Mockingbird, or wrecking the Sailors’ Home (fat chance) so they were shipped out platoon at a time to Ports Island and marooned there. They had radio contact every morning in case of sun stroke,drowning, portugese man o’ war stings etc.

    Does anyone remember this and is it too late for compensation?

    Postscript added 11th March 2007

    Just emailed John, following his separately emailed remarks about (Sgnt) Charlie Seabourne, who ‘managed’ these Ports Island Camps. John has offered some interesting background that I (for one) knew little of. I do remember 4 of us in the dinghy one dark night, rowing the bloody thing back from a mainland sly grog venture after we ran out of fuel. I seem to remember that Swanny Swanson, Roy Westbrook and Don Puckey were the other 3 ‘pirates’ involved. Charlie was as mad as hell over our late return, as I was the “NAAFI” clerk, and opened up the camp shop very late. Writing of Charlie Seabourne brings to mind our quest for information about him – after his sojourn in the Bermuda Prisons appointment. Any news anyone?

    Tempus Fugit!!

  98. John Tenniswood

    It’s f…ing jammed change mag
    mag off – mag on

  99. John Tenniswood

    Flash eliminator
    Barrel
    Foresight Blade
    Foresight Block
    Foresight Bed
    Barrel Lock Nut Retainer Plunger
    Barrel Locking Nut
    Gas Regulator
    Breech?
    Dogs delight (Piston Post)
    Cocking Handle ?
    Pistol Grip
    Magazine Retainer catch?

    Come on you infantry bods fill in the gaps and correct the list

    Winner gets a 36 hour pass without bribing the leave clerk

    (Editor 6th March ’07) Goodonya John – that’ll keep ’em busy – what about “Mag On – Mag Off”

    Just a quick note cheps (I’m still drinking this duty free grog – man’s gotta have some priorities!!) New (old) Bermuda photos published today from Alan Mitchell on the “A” Company site and also a (Sept 2006) 50th Wedding Anniversary shot for Swanny and Family. Any contestants in the grandchildren and great grandchildren stakes? Check out DCLI Memorabilia.

    Tempus Fugit!!

  100. Hello Cheps

    Editor here – back from NZ – Baaaaaaa!! I think that I saw all 60 million of ’em! Wonderful trip and looking forward to tons of emails from all The Mates from Bermuda. Thanks John for your comments – will bring you all up to date over the next few days – after I drink all this duty free grog!!

    Take Care

    PS: Breaking News – found the wreck of a wooden barquantine 1890 sometime (?) in Bluff New Zealand – named HMS Sheffield – !! Some research needed here guys – a bit out of DCLI lines – but what a find. Will publish the photos later on “HMTroop Ships”.

    Postscript added 21 June 2007

    Have been advised by NZ Maritime Authorities that this vessel is not registered in NZ, which thankfully exonerates that Dept from such an ill advised name. Can only assume that some renegade thought that it was a good idea at some time, and beached it here in Bluff. Hopefully a local Bluff boaty will be encouraged to paint out the name or deal with the old tub with 4 sticks of dynamite.

    Tempus Fugit!

  101. John Tenniswood

    Derek

    Hope you had a good hol in NZ Baaaaaa

    Just remembered the name. The landing from Empire Clyde was via the steam tender “Chauncey M Depew..”

    I then searched the name on Google and found a link with the Chauncey M and the Reina del Pacifico which landed some vehicles and stores for the Garrison.

    If you remember I mentioned to you that when I was in hospital last year in the next bed was an ex Merchant Navy guy who was on the Reina during 1955 to 1956.

    (Editor, 6th March 2007)

    Thanks John, Just getting a round tuit. Will amend the captioning on the “A” Company website. Great historical stuff – just shows how the supportive energies of the group can develop a more accurate picture of the era.

    Tempus Fugit

  102. John Tenniswood

    Welcome aboard Alan. Derek on hols but due back soon. He will be very keen to get your photos on the site. Nigel will help you get them digitalized (whatever that means.) Doh

  103. Alan Mitchell

    I would like to get in touch with anyone who knew me in Bermuda 1954/55 12 Intake (Cpl) #22876873.

    I have a lot of old photos and I’m in touch with several old comrades of the time. It would be great to hear from anyone. I do not have my own email address however you can contact me though my son at nigel@nigelmitchell.wanadoo.co.uk

    Postscript added 6th March 2007

    Have contacted Alan via Nigel and advised the posting of Alan’s photographs on the “A” Company website, and also a posting of a DCLI 2005 Re-Union shot of more of the Bermuda lads on the “DCLI Memorabilia” site. Will also post a “Mention” for Alan on the “Most Wanted” site. So much activity cheps – what a great bunch you are – keep up the referrals. Plenty of room for more photographs. The DCLI Museum at Bodmin have also taken up the collection for publication.

    Tempus Fugit

  104. Jim Kelly April 1954

    Hi have just seen website, I am able to list many of the names of the photo for 4 platoon “A” company, in that photo I am front row second in from right. In main photo I am front row with the dog (spot) on my left. Is there a more direct e-mail address for me to sent you all the names. It was great to sit and read the full web site that my son printed out.

    Postscript to Jim’s post logged Sat 3rd Feb 2007: Thanks for your comments Jim, and offer of assistance to ID some of the lads. I’ve just emailed you direct with information regarding a “Mention” for you on “Most Wanted” (hotlink) . So many of the Prospect Garrison lads are emerging now after viewing the websites and shows how we can re-visit those special times. Feel free to make contributions of stories and old photos Jim. Thanks again.

    Carpe Diem!!

  105. John Tenniswood

    Les Miserables:
    Before I won the Army postings lottery and was posted to DCLI Bermuda I am trawling thro’ some long term memories – before dementia checks in.

    Spring 1953 – somewhere on Yorkshire Moors. 4 troopers back of 15 cwt Wireless Truck. gloomy afternoon. canvass snapping in the wind. flurries of powdered snow drifting in to open back. haversack rations long gone. feet frozen. 5 woodbines left.

    My turn “Able Niner Able Niner (we had to talk like that) this is Charlie Sixer Charlie Sixer, do your read me over”……..Crackle from 19 set “No.. F….Off” Static. then “I ‘eard that, you Scotch Git Trooper Galbraith stop taking the piss”

    “Yes Corp……

    Happy Happy Days

  106. John Tenniswood

    Looks like just you and me Derek..the wife’s beginning to ask questions.

    Moving on. Tommyknockers – Cornish mine ghosts? I was once in Carson City Nevada (don’t ask) and came upon a cafe called Tommyknockers. All they sold was CORNISH PASTIES. There was a plaque on the wall explaining that Cornish miners were there in 1860’s.

    Rambling again.

    Editor: ?? Tommy Knockers – thought you were asking a trick “Mockingbird” question John – but you jogged my memory. For others so interested, go to Tommyknockers and read on.

    John, you’d hope by now that a few DCLI Cornishmen would switch off the telly when they get home from the pub and read some ‘important stuff’. By the way – tell your wife you’re safe – all I have now are Memories! Memories!

    Tempus Fugit

  107. John Tenniswood

    Dunno, but now you mention it my grandson aged 19 who works for a living was jogging back from work 2 days ago and was way laid by 8 “youths’ disguised with hoods. They beat him to the ground with fence posts to steal his cell phone. These sorts are being bred like rats in the “sink housing estates” in this country.

    Yes a 2 year stint in the army would have been good – maybe.

  108. John Tenniswood

    So what’s so special about the timing of the lads posted to the hell station of Bermuda? When they left UK in 1954 there were no “teenagers” in UK. No Jeans. NO Tee Shirts. NO rock and roll.

    Hit song “Secret Love” .Doris Day.”Mambo Italiano” etc. When they came back Bill Haley had arrived (they heard it first on the New York Radio Stations loud and clear in Bermuda) AND TEDDY BOYS.

    Sorry guys it’s me age – take the medication time.

    Ed Postcript: Is this a trick question John? (Larf). I believe that part of the answer is that 1954 was in the era called “The Good Old Days” when authority was respected, common decency and courtesy abounded, and young men opened doors, and gave up their bus seats for a woman. Dare I say it. “It would do the bastards good to serve 2 years in the Army”.

  109. Gidday John

    Fond memories of Warwick! Had forgotten about the Sterlings. This submachine gun had been developed in the 1940s by Patchett at the Sterling Armament Co., Great Britain, and had been adopted by British Army in 1953. It remained in army service well until early 1990s, when it was replaced by L85A1 assault rifle. I seem to recall CSM Jan Passmore introducing the Sterling to us.

    I got to fire an M1, but don’t recall my impression of the weapon. I do recall the times in the ‘butts’ endlessly pasting those little white markers on the targets and chewing on doorstep sandwiches and rattling away on crappy radios. For me the best times were swimming at Horseshoe Beach in the evenings after the day’s work. Remember those little stinger Spanish Men ‘o War? I recall Dutch Hoon getting badly stung.

    Talking dirty in Latin – remember “Caeser adsum iam forte” (Ceasar had some jam for tea!!!) Larf! Larf!

    Tempus Fugit!

  110. John Tenniswood

    Derek do you remember that at the annual rifle classification shoot at Warwick ranges one of the first Stirling sub machine guns was available for the guys to try ?

    Also US Marines competed with DCLI using their Garand M1s (firing a clip without bolt action)and Browning (BAR’s) (flash Gits…)

    Tempus edax rerum

    Lets get going……

  111. “Gidday” 1DCLI – from Australia. A new web page address as follows http://djkl157.googlepages.com/1dclimemorabilia is set up to publish any and all 1DCLI photographs and comments, names, service numbers, rank etc for the era 1953-1957. The Editor is seeking also specific photo memorabilia for the entire Caribbean regimental postings. So far Bill Oates of the July 1953 Intake has submitted 3 Bodmin photos which appear on this page and we are hoping that more contributions will follow as former mates get to identify old friends and comrades.

    We’ve also added details and a retouched photo for #23319589 Ray Wood, received from son Vince Wood, to assist any former mates to comment and subscribe to the thread of correspondence. This again clearly demonstrates the potential of this Blog platform to look and find old mates.

    Postscript added 5th February 2007: Neil “Swanny” Swanson has been tremendously active in forwarding emailed DCLI Association photographs taken from 2005 onwards at LI Weekends at Shrewsbury. See ’em all posted to the DCLI Memorabilia site. We are particularly interested in expanding this Memorabilia site to update pictures to “Where are they now and how are they travelling after 50 odd years?” Send us pictures of wives and families and your trips – and most of all – tell your DCLI Mates about these websites.

    So “GOYA” lads, and shake out those albums. Tempus Fugit!

  112. Hello Vince
    I’ve just scanned your DCLI Regimental LI Guestbook Post regarding Ray Wood and also your Comment in this “A “Company Blog.

    Immediately I have no personal information but let’s examine what we can do to encourage some response from Ray’s mates. If my recall is correct Ray’s “3” mortar platoon would not have been “A” Company – which was posted to Bermuda. As a weapons storeman for 3 Platoon there in 1954 – 1955 and as a rifle company we only handled 2″ mortars (much smaller and more portable than the 3″). The likelihood is that he was elsewhere with the Battalion – either Kingston, Newcastle, or Belize. Give me as much detail and history of Ray as you can find please – such as his Service Number and his dates of enlistment and discharge etc.

    Also photos will help if you can scan ’em and send as email attachments. Any photos you send can be retouched and made as good as new.

    Best Regards and thanks for making the effort to Post and Comment

  113. VINCE WOOD

    Looking for anyone who knew my father,he died in 1982 with heart disease. His name was Raymond Wood, he served sometime from 1955 to 1959 and was a Cpl I think.

  114. “Gidday” DCLI Diggers.
    Just checking out this new Blog subpage, to demonstrate how easy it will be for anyone with only mediocre keyboard skills to post a comment. It really is simple – just follow the prompts!

    So “GOYA” lads and let’s lead from the front at 140 ppm, rifles at the trail – just like the good old days! It doesn’t matter too much if you mispell, typo, or just simply can’t hit the right keys! – I’ll fix it (as bloody usual!). Same with your photos – if they’re ratty, frayed, bent, faded, torn, battle scarred – I’ll fix ’em too. Just send it all and I’ll worry about the editing. Take a look at the restored photographs on the hotlinked page/s.

    “We do not merit glory until we know the value of time” (Marquis de Vauvenargues)

    CLICK on my bolded name above to hotlink to 1DCLI Memorabilia

    Carpe Diem!

    Poscript added 12th January 2007.

    Just commenting on how the many little contributions made often, help to build the big picture. This 1DCLI Blog enterprise opened in Nov 2006 and since then we’ve received many helpful name/face ID’s from Bermuda and Caribbean Mates.

    Johnny Griffin in Bristol has renewed his contact with Dick Lovemore (Editor) which has lead to Bill Edwards in Canada, and opened up possible email with Dave Beck, Graham Bradshaw and Dutch Hoon. Also sad news of Ted Davis (RIP). (Pay Sgt) John Tenniswood has been an enthusiastic contributor directly by email and via the LI Guestbooks – as has Neil “Swanny” Swanson. Bill Oates of “E” Company has circulated news of us to his Cornwall mates that has opened up another avenue.

    Just today Swanny has identified and mentioned CSM Jock Massie, Sid Pender, Terry Simons, Blondie Weston, Jim Dennison and Keith Mannings, Dave Besley and a few others. We’re still hoping to hear from or about Don Puckey, Tony Bray, Mac McGough, Johnny Cheeseman, Roy Westbrook and others. Sadly a few of our former mates have passed on.

    Keep the pot boiling lads!

    Tempus Fugit!

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