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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)

 

Farmersboys on a 'Cruise'

 

Greenham Common Gate Sign

 

REASON FOR DEPLOYMENT
In 1984 the Cold War was still a factor and as a result the Americans deployed 'CRUISE' Missiles in the United Kingdom. One of the Missile locations was at the Greenham Common R.A.F. Airbase, Near Newbury in Berkshire. The American unit responsible at Greenham was the 501st Tactical Missile Wing. At that time there was a considerable presence of so called 'Peace women' outside the base campaigning for the removal of the Cruise Missiles. This Campaign went on for many years but in 1984/85 it was necessary for the Army to deploy in support of the Police to ensure that security wasn't breached. This is where the 'Farmerboys' came in. Stationed in Canterbury preparing for a tour in Northern Ireland they were shipped to Greenham common deploying on the 11th November 1984.

A Cruise Missile launcher, a sight that would be familiar to the 'Farmersboys' whilst deployed at Greenham

 

A 'Farmersboy' remembers
"I remember we had just finished leave for Northern Ireland when the Company Sgt Major said that the Company had been invited to go on a cruise, always ready for anything we didn't expect to be deployed in our own county. To be honest it was a pain in the neck, but we soon got sorted and into a routine. Whilst patrolling the wire we met an Ex 'Farmersboy' who had joined the local 'Old Bill' who was patrolling the outside of the wire. He took great delight in telling us how much overtime he was getting and what a dry and comfortable bed felt like. We hatched a plan to kidnap the bugger and spit roast him but I think he got wind of the cunning plan. Mind you in his defence he kept us well supplied with a brew. It was interesting but we were glad to get back to our proper job"

 

An Ex 'Farmersboy' remembers
"I had left the Battalion some years before and joined the Police. At the time of the Demonstrations at Greenham I was a Sgt on a Police Support Unit of the Thames Valley Police. Due to the situation the powers to-be deployed army units inside the wire to re-inforce the security. I was delighted when the 1st Battalion D.E.R.R. deployed on the ground with many old faces still serving who I knew, older but not wiser.

To see the Brandywine and Regimental cap badge deployed in our own County was a good sight. I came in regular contact with the lads on the wire patrols and had long financial discussions relating to overtime payments. After a period of time despite our friendship I detected they wanted to kill me, the clues being the bulging eyes, foul oaths and attempts to rip down the fence. I countered this with gallons of tea and wads from the Police Mobile canteen, this seemed to calm them down. 

I had the opportunity to see a number of units deploy and I can say with out reservation the 'Old Mob' was as good as any and my view better than most. The Para's just wanted to kill all the women, the kill all the Police followed by all the Americans, I also saw the Gloucester's little knowing they would become part of the Regimental Family in the years to come. They seemed like a decent bunch once you could stop them talking about pig farming and the latest techniques for baling straw....Happy days.

 

 

Memories of Greenham

DERR Greenham Common

DERR Happy bunny

Three of the Regiments finest discussing the merits of one mug between three The look says it all !!

10 Platoon Coy Coy 1 DERR

10 Platoon 'C' Company, 1st Bn D.E.R.R. Greenhan Common

Lt Col Mackereth at Greenham

A Watch tower Greenham Common

The C.O. Lt Col Mackereth disciplines a DERR Soldier for moaning A Watchtower at Greenham with some of the many miles of Barbed wire constructed by the Battalion

 

Greenham Common Photo Gallery

Thanks to Paddy 'Sailor' TRAPP

Barbed Wire containment fence

Peace Camp Main Gate

The 'Cold War in the Royal County of Berkshire. A View of the Peace camp at the Main Gate of the Greenham Common Airbase as taken by Paddy from a DERR 3 Ton truck

General View of Base

View of the Porta cabins used by the Battalion

a General View of Greenham taken by Paddy Similar shot, this time of the porta cabins used by some of the Battalions more pampered staff.

Peace demonstrators with banner outside main gate

The Perimeter fence

Another view of the peace demonstrators outside the gate A view of the conditions at the perimeter fence. 'Another piece of mud to stag on'

The Fence

General View

Another view of the perimeter fence clearly showing the Peace protesters 'Bashas' up against the fence Another general view of the area covered by the Battalion

Packed up a ready to leave, back to some proper soldering

Out of the Gate

All packed up and ready to 'Foxtrot Oscar' back to Canterbury Wait for me, late again, our last view of the camp
END OF PHOTO GALLERY

 

Acknowledgments
The Web team would like to thank 'Paddy' TRAPP for sending in the above photos.
 
 
                             
 
                        
                             Copyright 2000 Farmersboys.com. All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 01 July 2003.