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'B' Company

1st Battalion Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment

 

Nasasau, Bahamas 1960 

 

Quarter Guard at Nassau

'B' Company guard for Brigadier LISTER, the commander Caribbean Area, at Nassau

 

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 follows.                                 

      

TEAM ONE

Island of Andras

TEAM TWO

Ragged Island

2nd Lt R.W.R. POCOCK

Cpl M BROWN

Pte SMITH

Pte WILLIAMS

Pte EARL

Pte RENDLE

Capt WILSON

Cpl HEAD

Pte CHOULES

Pte GAILES

Pte KEYSE

Pte LEA

TEAM THREE

Maya Guana

TEAM FOUR

Maya Guana

Lt GOODHART

Cpl HOLMES

Pte JELLICOE

Pte EDWARDS

Pte LARGE

Pte LEE

Lt HATHAWAY

Cpl HOLE

L/Cpl TRENFIELD

Pte TULL

Pte MACKRORY

Pte EDWARDS

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."

 

B Company, 1st Bn D.E.R.R. 'On Parade'

 B Coy 1 DERR Parade in Nassau

B Company 1st Bn D.E.R.R. on parade in Nassau.

Left to Right, C/Sgt BRIGGS, L/Cpl KEENE, (?) Cpl M BROWN

              

MEMORIES 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.

Cpl M BROWN 1960

Cpl M BROWN and Jim EARL

Cpl Malcolm BROWN on remembrance day 1960, taken immediately after the parade in No 3 dress Malcolm BROWN in K.D. shorts, hosetops and putees carrying Jim EARL a national serviceman in Mufti. Jim came from Chippenham

Cpl M BROWN B Coy Kitchen 1960

Cpl M BROWN Oakes Field 1960

Mr BROWN being caught unawares in the kitchen (??) The person hidden behind the newspaper is Cpl 'Lofty' HUNTINGTON, A.C.C. the Company cook. Cpl Brown in draws 'Dracula'. This gives a clear picture of the state of OAKES FIELD whilst in occupation by 'B' Coy
THE 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 !!!

 

     

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The web team would like to thank Malcolm BROWN for providing material for this page.

 
                             
 
                        
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                            Revised: 24 July 2002.