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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)

'A' and 'B' Companies go north to 'fight' fires


After some basic firefighting training at Portsmouth the 'Volunteers' from the Battalion went north to Scotland as part of the Army's support during the Fireman's strike. 'A' Company went to a disused factory at Queenslie, in the East end of Glasgow, and sent a second contingent to Lanark. 'B' Company were stationed at Greenock, Kilburnie and Preswick  In general they worked 12 hour shifts with an 18 hour shift once a week to change from days to nights. At anyone time 4 crews were on duty, 2 on 'immediate' and 2 on 'standby'. All crews were supported by the local Police to get them to the right place when required. 'A' Coy were only attacked once whilst carrying out thier duties, once during a car fire episode and the second when Celtic lost to Rangers. The better 'Shouts' were to 'The School' 'The County Pub' 'Ardgay Street' 'Lochdockart Road' 'Salamanca road, coffin factory' plus other smaller events. Kev DAY who has supplied us with lots of the information below , and who has gone on to become a regular firefighter has asked us not to mention the time where he was directly responsible for totally flooding out a supermarket whilst tackling a fairly minor blaze in a nearby bakery, it could ruin his reputation with his current colleagues !!! 


Firefighting Gallery

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge)


'Charlie's angels'  'Georgie Girl'

DERR Group Cpl Beets Mob




HRH Prince Phillip observes a drill 

The Colonel-in-chief watches men of 'A' Company with (Left) Major BRADLEY and (Right) Lt Col JONES

Sgt Ravus team in action 

Sgt RAVU and crews 3 and 4 of Support Company training in Queenslie

Coffin Factory Blaze 

The Coffin Factory. The fire was fought by 'A' Company for eleven hours

A Coy Car Crash 

'A' Company cut out a man, his wife and their 14 year old daughter from this crushed car.

Preswick HQ 

Prestwick H.Q.



A Green Goddess team from Prestwick

Standing : Pte GIDLEY, L/Cpl HILL, Pte SOUTH,

Kneeling : Pte ANGLAIS, Pte TRIKEY, Pte HALL


A record of events and incidents attended by one Green Goddess crew during 'Operation Burberry' by the 1st Battalion. Supplied by Kev DAY
Serial Time Out Time in Date Action
1 01.00 01.55 8.12.77 Nil
2 2055 21.20 8.12.77 Nil
3 03.10 04.40 9.12.77 House fire Extinguished
4 22.15 23.00 9.12.77 Take over H.M.S. Gannett
5 00.15 07.30 10.12.77 Farm, left to burn out
6 21.29 21.40 10.12.77 False Alarm
7 23.20 23.40 11.12.77 False alarm, good intent
8 04.49 06.27 13.12.77 Return to Station
9 15.40 16.40 14.12.77 Shop fire, Extinguished
10 11.26 11.40 16.12.77 False alarm, good intent
11 12.55 14.05 17.12.77 Chimney fire
12 19.26 19.50 17.12.77 Hoax
13 10.42 11.38 18.12.77 Chimney fire
14 21.45 22.54 20.12.77 False alarm, good intent
15 18.38 19.03 22.12.77 False alarm, good intent
16 17.25 17.45 24.12.77 False alarm, good intent
17 17.55 18.38 24.12.77 Kitchen fire
18 19.10 19.50 24.12.77 Chimney fire
19 09.30 10.25 25.12.77 Chimney fire
20 13.30 15.50 25.12.77 Coach and shed fire ?
21 22.23 22.27 25.12.77 False alarm, good intent
22 06.37 07.25 26.12.77 False alarm, good intent
23 22.25 23.30 27.12.77 Chimney fire
24 15.00 16.25 29.12.77 Chimney fire
25 17.20 17.30 29.12.77 False alarm good intent, Chimney fire
26 18.40 19.00 29.12.77 False alarm good intent, rubbish tip
27 18.05 18.45 31.12.77 Chimney fire ?
28 01.58 02.16 2.1.78 Hoax
29 21.00 23.30 2.1.78 Goddess fire ?
30 03.45 05.20 3.1.78 House fire
31 17.20 18.35 4.1.78 Chimney fire
32 07.03 11.15 6.1.78 Back up crews (Same fire)
33 11.50 17.35 6.1.78 Welders re-ignite


Memories of 'Burberry'

DERR Soldiers tackle a roof blaze

Firefighters from the 1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment tackle a roof blaze (Can anybody identify these firemen ?)

DERR Soldiers resting between 'Shouts'

The local newspaper reads 'Inaction' troops from the 1st Bn D.E.R.R. 'Gonking' between shouts (Who are they ?)

Pte JOHN and Drummer Titcombe

'Its that dog again'

 Pte Bob John (Left) of Reading and Drummer Brian Titcombe of Newbury with 'Hoofer' a stray mongrel they befriended.

Pte Jock PEET 1 DERR

Pte Frank 'Jock' PEET the longest serving private Soldier in the Battalion. The firefighting duties in Scotland brought him home as he hailed from Glasgow. (Anybody know where Jock is today ?)

Farmersboy tackles a roof blaze

A 'Farmersboy' tackling a house fire on OPERATION 'BURBRRY'



Kev Day 

Our thanks to Kevin DAY for much of the information above, who after tasting the 'Firefighters' way of life, decided to do it for real. Kev said "If the Fire service instructors saw what we got up to during that deployment, they would have had heart attacks !!!"

If any soldiers who deployed on OPERATION BURBERRY have any photographs, please contact Mac


                             Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 19 July 2006.