DERR

Home Whats new Regt Museum Museum Shop Redcoats Search

Home
Up
Starlight
Bahamas
British Guiana
Pond Jump
Ferozeshah 1961
Scrapbook

                   

1st Bn Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)

TIDWORTH

1st Guards Brigade

3rd Div Sign

51st Infantry Brigade

3rd Division

Strategic Reserve 

The move to Tidworth was generally welcome. The Battalion had enjoyed its stay on the Isle of Wight but was nevertheless glad to get back into a more military atmosphere. Jellalabad Barracks was modernized and comfortable, and Tidworth itself was well placed geographically as far as access to the counties of Berkshire and Wiltshire was concerned. They were brigaded with the Scots Guards in the 1st Guards Brigade, in the 3rd Division (The Iron Division)

A few days after its arrival in Tidworth the battalion took part in a two sided 3rd Divisional exercise ‘Red Banner’ which was mainly of interest because it tried out a new battalion organization in which each rifle company had its own platoon of support weapons which had previously been concentrated in a Support Company. ‘B’ Company, who were under the command of the Scots Guards, also tried out the new 1958 pattern web equipment for the first time. This practically saw the end of the active training season except for a Brigade patrol competition on Dartmoor, the Battalion entered two patrols under Lt D.A. JONES and Lt A.B. COLE and achieved a creditable second.

The Battalion then concentrated its efforts on administration, and its Annual administrative Inspection was held on the 10th December, a bitterly cold day. It was carried out by the commander of the 1st Guards Brigade who commended the Battalion, for its steadiness on parade – no small compliment from a senior Guards Officer. A day or two later the new organization tried out on Exercise ‘Red Banner’ was put into effect, Support Company was broken up, its mortars and anti-tank guns being distributed to company support platoons while the machine guns and the assault pioneers were transferred to Headquarters Company.

There were also social and ceremonial events to consider, principally the celebration of Ferozeshah day, which after various rehearsals was finally held on the 17th December 1959, the Colonel of the Regiment being the Inspecting officer. The parade was followed in the evening by the traditional ball given by the Warrant Officers and Sergeants, and by the time these various events were over, Christmas had come.

1960 was soon marked by the sad but unavoidable demise of ‘C’ Company, which due to the scarcity of regular recruits had to be run down to cadre strength, leaving only two rifle companies in the battalion. Exercise Starlight On the road to Derna

In March 1960, the Brigade flew to Libya on Exercise Starlight for a month. The battalion later changed to 51 Infantry Brigade where, as part of the Army's Strategic Reserve, it had to be ready to fly to any trouble spot, worldwide. At that time the Royal Hampshire Regiment was serving in the Caribbean and was under strength. B Company was dispatched to the Bahamas in June 1960 to re-enforce them. During this tour the Company was called upon to assist in the relief operation mounted to cope with the trail of disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Donna. The company returned home again in December 1960.Because of the rundown of bases overseas and the need to find alternative training grounds for the Army, it was decided that units would make use of land available in Canada. On the 19th June 1961 the battalion flew out there, the first ever-British unit to do so, to train with units of the Canadian Army in Exercise  POND JUMP.    Exercise POND JUMP should have been the last deployment to the Western Hemisphere during the tour at Tidworth. In February 1961 the battalion was alerted to fly out to British Guiana as part of the Windsor 2 force, when riots and arson broke out in Georgetown, the capital. To the disappointment of the rest of the Battalion only 'A' Company, accompanied by a few men from 'D' and 'HQ' Companies, went. The first days were tense, but the detachment was soon to establish good relations with the community. So much so, that in March, when the Company left Georgetown, it took with it 20 new recruits, selected from a list of over one hundred applicants.

After the return of 'A' Company the Battalion continued its life in Tidworth, exercising and taking its place as the Army's SPEARHEAD Battalion. During this time there was continuing unrest in the West Indies, and in Grenada in particular. The Battalion was stood by to fly out to restore order, but to the disappointment of all concerned peace returned to the area and the Battalion stood down.

On the 15th December 1961 a full Ferozeshah parade was held setting the standards for the following years.

In 1962 the British Army recruited heavily from the Fijian Islands for service in the British Army. Eventually 200 Fijians joined the British Army of whom six joined the Regiment. These were privates Baleimatuku, Ravu, Turaga, Quarau, Conivavalagi and Raidani. Raidani left in 1965 to join the Fijian Army to be replaced by Koroidovi. They were to make their mark over the coming years.

In 1962 the Battalion prepared for its first overseas posting on the Island of MALTA leaving Tidworth in December of that year.

1st Bn D.E.R.R. ORDERLY ROOM STAFF, November 1959

DERR Orderly room staff 1959

Cpl Rogers (ORC) Sgt Fisher Pte Hulbert

Pte Sunderland

Pte Stallwood Pte Betteridge Pte Stevens
RSM Hodges Capt Turner Lt Col Woolnough MC Maj Boshell DSO MBE C/Sgt Carpenter (ORCS)

 

TIDWORTH TIMELINE
EVENT DATE/TIME
Amalgamation 9th June 1959
Moved to Tidworth 7th October 1959
Ferozeshah Parade 17th December 1959
Exercise Starlight, Libya March 1960
Freedom of Windsor 7th May 1960
'B' Coy to Bahamas June 1960
Exercise 'Spring Fever' Norfolk April 1961
Exercise 'Pond Jump' Canada June 1961
Ferozeshah Parade 15th December 1961
'A' Coy to British Guiana February 1962
Battalion to Malta 3rd December 1962

 

Acknowledgements
The Web site team would like to Acknowledge the following for assistance given on this page
Ray POVEY, Norman ALLEN, Bill WILLOUGHBY & the Regimental Museum at Salisbury. Suggested reading for a fuller account is the Regimental History 'Cold War Warriors'

 

This page and the attached links will be updated as and when further information comes to light. If any Soldier who served during this posting is in possession of photographs taken at this time in particular the Amalgamation parade and British Guiana, we would like to view them if possible . All photos received will be Archived on a CD ROM and when we have completed this section the Archive record will be deposited with the Regimental Museum at Salisbury
 
 
                             
 
                        
                             Copyright © 2000 Farmersboys.com. All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 23 May 2003.