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Memories of Libya 1956 to 1959


Contributed by Trevor STUBBERFIELD 52A


Libyan Extras Continued.


Following publication of these Memories of Libya a very good friend came up with a selection of contemporary photos from his own collection. To keep all the Libya material together in one section, with his agreement, I have incorporated his contribution into the main pages. Therefore the majority of the photos in this page are from….


David Croton R.E.M.E.


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David, pictured on the left, and I served together at the LAD, 10th Armoured Division, Royal Signals Regiment, in Tripoli and subsequently at the LAD 38 Coy. Royal Army Service Corps which was the unit responsible for transport in Tripolitania District. He then moved on to the LAD No.1 Coy. Royal Army Service Corps which maintained the tank transporters used to move the armour around the area. Armoured regiments rotated regularly as they came to get experience of operating in desert conditions. 



LAD REME 10th Arm’d. Div. Royal Signals Regt. Gialo Barracks, Tripoli.  1957

Photo Updated 15th September 2017.

Rear Rank: 1.Hughes, 2.Spain, 3.Hutchenson, 4.Croton, 5.Piper, 6.Fryett, 7.Matthews.

Centre Rank: 1.Todd, 2.Smith, 3.Taylor, 4.Wilkes, 5.Wilson, 6.Williams, 7.Reddy, 8.Davies, 9.Jones,

                        10.Peacock, 11.Ford.

Front Rank: 1.Purcell, 2.Evans, 3.Stubberfield, 4.Wilson, 5.Pearson, 6.Wakely, 7.Buckley, 8.Hutson,

                      9.Tunney, 10.Harris, 11.n/k.


Looking at the line-up of personnel, all the Z Reservists who joined us for the Suez episode, appear to have left. The feeling is that this photo was taken at the break-up of the LAD in 1957 before we were posted to new units in the region.

Taff Evans, 2nd left, front row, was a Chepstow AAS lad about the same vintage as myself, an Arborfield lad.  He moved on to the Queen’s Bays at Sabratha. Putting this photo on the web may lead to finding him and that would be a bonus. Fingers crossed.


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Two photos showing the vehicle park. We had a very wide range of vehicles to look after, some were relics from World War 2 and some right up to date which didn’t make life easy for the team. With some of the older vehicles we were reduced to visiting the vehicle dumps to cannibalise some of the wrecks just to keep our charges on the road.

The list included our Morris Commercial 15cwt Wireless Cars, Gin Palaces, and also GS bodies, and the more modern Morris Commercial MRA. Bedford QL in many guises along with the Bedford RL models. Ford WOT8 and WOT6 as machinery and bin wagons. Land Rovers, Austin Champs and even a stray Austin Gipsy. Humber 1ton as Wireless and GS, Austin K9 Wireless Cars and GS, AEC Armoured Command Vehicle, International Half Track, Saracen, Scammell Recovery, plus trailers and water bowsers, we even had some Triumph, Matchless and BSA motor cycles which should have gone when the Champs arrived, but which were retained for Motor Cycle Trials Competitions.

Carrying spares for that lot when we set out was a logistical nightmare and we relied heavily on the R.A.O.C. to carry the bulk of our requirements.


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Austin K9 1Ton Wireless Car

Austin Champ.



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Humber 1Ton.

Bedford RL 3 Ton


Some of the photos above, particularly the Champs, were reviewed by the Austin Champ Owners Club and their article is on site and can be viewed from   ‘HERE’.


A Standard Vanguard MK 1 receiving attention at the roadside from ‘Taff’ Evans, Ex Chepstow Army Apprentice.  Dressed in black and sporting a Libyan civilian registration plate, but with no formation or unit signs, this belonged to the S.I.B. section (the secret squirrels) of the Military Police.  Whilst waiting, ‘The Editor’ could enjoy the ‘prickly pear’ fruits of the cactus plants in the hedge.


As previously mentioned, a 350cc Matchless motor cycle, one of those retained for Trials Competitions and ridden by a member of the R.E.M.E. L.A.D. Craftsman Peacock (No. 10, Centre rank in the group photo above).  A 10th Arm’d. Div. rider, but the bike sports the formation sign of HQ Tripolitania District.  Another quirk of life with the 10th.  Bikes were withdrawn and destined for sale or scrap.  It was possible to intercept the supply chain and ensure that the better ones were spirited away and secreted in the back of the workshop where illegal modifications could be carried out away from prying eyes.  They miraculously reappeared when needed.


An ‘anonymous’ BSA 500cc on the trail.  No unit or formation identity flashes on the tank.  An older bike than the Matchless 350cc, and much heavier, but the low down torque from the engine meant it would pull itself out of any sand banks and go up the side of a wall if asked to.  For some, it was a much better trials bike for this sort of terrain.


To confirm the 10th Arm’d. Div. tale, the supporters spectating wear the Rhino Divisional flash.  In the centre is ‘The Editor Corporal’ to confirm the authenticity of the photos.


A selection of Bent, Broke and Beyond Local Repair vehicles.

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The Morris Commercial MRA on the left is a bit of an oddity. In the build up to Suez the vehicles we received from the U.K. were painted in standard Deep Bronze Green and we quickly re-sprayed them in Libyan Sand. This wreck is still in green livery and looks as though it was written off before it was prepared for action.


LAD REME ‘1’ Coy RASC (Tank Transporters)

Photo Updated 15th September 2017.

Rear Rank: 1.Crowe, 2.n/k, 3.Fryett, 4.n/k, 5.n/k, 6.Brian Oswin, 7.n/k, 8.Dodds.

                                 Front Rank: 1.Wilson, 2.Falzon, 3.Morgan, 4.n/k,5.n/k.


Scammell Explorer wrecker with one it caught earlier.


Just visible in the body, the ‘1’ Company R.A.S.C.  L.A.D. R.E.M.E. unit signboard.


06 BD 30, a very sick Scammell Explorer wrecker.  Engine covers off, oil dropping down onto the front axle and puddling on the ground.  Not the most reliable of military vehicles and they kept R.E.M.E. busy.




First Published: 1st June 2008.

Latest Update: 1st June 2018.


                                                               Libyan Extras Continued.




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