1st Battalion Duke of Edinburghs
Nasasau, Bahamas 1960
Company guard for Brigadier LISTER, the commander Caribbean Area, at
|On the 29th June the Companies and families flew from
London Airport in an air conditioned Britannia aircraft, stopping at
Newfoundland to refuel, and then on to Nassau, the distance of 4,600 miles
being covered in 16 hours. They had been tasked to reinforce the 1st
Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment. On arrival the temperature was 88
degrees, and they were greeted by the Bahamas Police Band playing the
Regimental March 'The Farmers Boy' They then made themselves at home at
'Oakes Field' a former R.A.F. Station.
The early part of their stay was taken up with training
and Ceremonial duties. This lasted until the arrival of Hurricane 'Donna'
which fortunally skirted Nassau, but the full force hit S.E Bahamas
devastating whole settlements. As soon as it was confirmed that the
islands to the south East had been struck relief work was hastily planned.
Of the islands affected, Maya Guana was the worst hit, and almost flat.
Ragged, Crooked and acklins Islands provided difficulties for relief
parties as they were accessible only by small amphibious Goose aircraft.
Four relief parties were organized each under an
officer, and were sent off in boats. Their task was to assess the
damage and send back technical requirements for rebuilding. They were to
deal out relief rations, help rebuild houses, clear rubble and re-float
boats. Their main task of course, to provide the enthusiastic leadership
to make the local people help themselves. The four relief parties were as
Island of Andras
|2nd Lt R.W.R.
Cpl M BROWN
WO WATSON (A.C.C.)
After the relief work the Company returned to normal duties returning to
Tidworth at the end of the year. On their return they received a communication
from Brigadier LISTER which read ...
"You and the Company have had an unusual and at
times very trying experience, you are all deserving of great credit for the way
you have overcome difficulties, and by your conduct have upheld the reputation
of your Regiment and the Army in a sensitive and critical area. Many of you will
be disappointed to leave Nassau at this particular time. You will have to
find consolation in handing over something better than you inherited."
Company, 1st Bn D.E.R.R. 'On Parade'
Company 1st Bn D.E.R.R. on parade in Nassau.
Left to Right, C/Sgt BRIGGS, L/Cpl KEENE, (?) Cpl M
OF OAKES FIELD
Oakes field was the base for 'B' Company
during their stay in the Bahamas. The location was so named after the Ex Governor
of the Bahamas Sir Harry OAKES, who was murdered in Nassau in 1941. This
incident was still of interest and speculation in 1960 when the Regiment
occupied the Field.
Malcolm BROWN on remembrance day 1960, taken immediately after the parade
in No 3 dress
BROWN in K.D. shorts, hosetops and putees carrying Jim EARL a national
serviceman in Mufti. Jim came from Chippenham
BROWN being caught unawares in the kitchen (??) The person hidden behind
the newspaper is Cpl 'Lofty' HUNTINGTON, A.C.C. the Company cook.
Brown in draws 'Dracula'. This gives a clear picture of the state of OAKES
FIELD whilst in occupation by 'B' Coy
STORY OF THE PIG
It was at this location in the old aircraft servicing bays that the
Company ran a pig sty. It was here that the infamous murder of the pig
took place. The principle culprit was the 2 i/c, Capt Robin WILSON (Who I
believe drives a bookshop in Westbury). Time and space preclude a
narration of all the grisly details but old hands of the time should
readily recall the story. Suffice to say, one should not try to kill a
large, mature porker with one round of 9mm to the head, it doesn't work,
details from Ex Cpl Malcolm BROWN on request !!!
The web team would like to thank Malcolm
BROWN for providing material for this page.