Bosnia...

#61
Fellas,

As someone who does still visit the Memorial Sites and pay my respects as not just someone who knew all 3 lads but on behalf of everyone who knew them, everyone who has ever served with 33 or indeed the Corps, I personally was quite saddened that they were gone, they had over the years been subjected to mild graffiti especially Barney's which is situated right next to a Football Stadium, but at the same time Barney's Memorial Site was the proof that no matter how savage the fighting was here, these people do respect the fallen and believe me they do know what all 3 lads were doing when they were killed and that was clearing unexploded ordnance and landmines that very well could, infact almost definitely would in many cases have killed innocent people, local Bosnians on a whole (and I know as I am married to one!) do respect what the British Forces did here, they don't respect the U.N. and actually have an understandable hatred for the U.N. but at no time have I ever spoke to a Bosnian who talked bad about any British soldier and in general they understand that the rules of engagement imposed on the soldier on the ground went totally against the grain of what stands out in the British Soldier and that reflects directly as to the reason those Memorials could be left untouched for the foreseeable future, I know of at least 10 people who have made personal pigrimages to Bosnia, some of them family of the 3 lads and who were scared of visiting the place their loved ones fell but who still came over to see where their Son/Husband/Friend/Colleague fell and to see the kind of people they died helping. As an example, CPL Peter Bradleys' (Brad to those who knew him) Memorial Site at Bugojno even had a Muslim Leader turn up at its dedication along with many locals. We've heard now from the RSM at 33 and are glad that the plaques are actually safe and equally that they weren't stolen by locals, my missus was actually very saddened and almost ashamed when I told her the plaques were gone and probably stolen by local yobs, so it was good that I was able to tell her it was actually the British Army who took them with them when they switched the lights off on their way out of the Country, don't forget that 4 local Bosnians were also killed at two of the sites when our lads fell, even the Memorial Stone at GV that is damaged by a vehicle had fresh candles all around it when I lit our Corps coloured candles on Sunday there. It looks like 33 are going to find a permanent U.K. home in CBW for the 3 plaques, I will get a local stone mason here to carve the names and dates onto the stones and get the sites repaired so that visitors will still be able to pay their respects and see their loved ones/friends names at the place they fell...

It is a decent conclusion, although admittedly strange the plaques were taken back, does this mean Bosnians are less trustworthy than Burmese/Falkland Islanders/French!/Koreans/and just about half the Worlds population where there can still be found memorials to our fallen!!!

Gundulph
 
#62
rickshaw-major said:
wedge35 said:
Bosnia '98. Like a fool, I tried to carry a bottle of slip-in-the-ditch back home with me on R+R. On being re-united with my bag in the UK I found to my horror that said bottle had smashed in transit, soaking everything in a particularly pungent strain of GV sliv. I literally had to bin EVERYTHING (including the bag) as, scrub as I might, the stains and smell were completely resistant to everything Persil could throw at them. In a way, it made me quite glad that I didn't have to drink the whole bottle :wink:

As an aside, I absolutely loved everything about Boz - the people, the scenery, the history, even the land mines :p . I don't give two shits if I never see the Falklands or Iraq again but I fully intend to go back to Bosnia and Croatia one day. Just a pity the ECHOS won't be there...
Wedge - if you need a spare room for a couple of days in Sarajevo I have one you are welcome to.

I also drink pivo :D
I never did a tour of Bos' when I was in, but I visited Sarajevo over the Summer for a couple of days, before going to the Exit Fesitval in Serbia.

Really enjoyed it and wish I'd done a tour there.

Edit - I'm sure I saw the international police (forgot the name now) still driving about. How long will they remain for?
 
#64
Al
Nice one mate, i am sure i will not be the only one who would like to contribute towards the cost of getting the work done. Whats the best way to put in towards it for you.

All the best
Pete
 
#67
Pete,

I placed a Memorial Sites Photo thread in there, or maybe that was the 58 Site! will check... Blindbeggar, that would be great! Many Thanks...

What does everyone think if I put a Justgiving Page together for this, is it a good/bady idea? anything above the cost of the sites we can put into either 33's Fund or RBL, any thoughts in this thread please, we'll get exact copies of the plaques made here in Sarajevo and get them put back on the Memorial Stones and the sites tidied up, may not be for a few weeks now that the heavy snow has arrived in Bosnia...
 
#70
Bloody hell some of this stuff brought back memories. I was in split with 15 Fd Pk in 97-98 as well. I remember some wild nights in that bar. Bit of a jolly of a tour, but memorable all the same.
 
#71
BloodyLance said:
Bloody hell some of this stuff brought back memories. I was in split with 15 Fd Pk in 97-98 as well. I remember some wild nights in that bar. Bit of a jolly of a tour, but memorable all the same.
My room had the ping pong table right outside room and was just above the bar. 15 fd fitters.
 
#72
Thanks Blind Beggar... The HVO lads' families still light candles and lay flowers at Barrie's site, I'll get replacement plaques made for the 3 sites and get them put on in place of the plaques that someone in their wisdom decided would best be taken to the U.K.!

Pic attached of Barrie Nicholas' Memorial Site as it is today...
 

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#73
This is still annoying me greatly, what fukctard decided it would be a good idea to take the plaques away anyway?

That's more disrespectful than the potential damage if they had been left.
 
#74
So sad that muppets make the calls eh. Well done for getting this mess sorted.

I served at MG with IFOR in 95/96 then as a civvy form '02 - '07. Working inside the wire at four locations BLMF, Sarajevo, Sipovo and MGBD.

There were Sappers in location up to the very end of normal tours in Bosnia. Staff Officers and mapping mainly but it was always good to see the capbadge.

You may like to try thr REA for help with the funding. I still have serb friends in Banja Luka who have been first class, and may also like to help.
 
#75
I find this thread most sad.
Having been on tour a few times and six short visits that these plaques were removed.
as usual someone has totally missed the point from the from the local side.
The folk know thier History and heritage back hundreds of years, it was thier problem and they understood where and why it was coming from(as sad as that is)
We were peripheries to deliver humanitarian aid etc UN Observers etc, when it went tits up we had to get a bit heavy but not with the locals but with the BIH, SB, Garsdka and Kuntz like the murderin bastirt "White shirts, Jokers, Tigers, Black Eagles" and I did find it hard dealing with these Ex Combants ?

The local folk had to deal with all of that shite and us !

I think wee got it right and UBIQUE we went they loved us for genuine reasons.

We were there for us and them and they loved us for it.
We had our job to do and always thiers on the side.

Remember the Bungalow north of TSG made out of M2 Matting ?
Thats how we built the bypass
TSG power line to Livno, we cleared the mines.
Route Gull was mined (Route Denial types) south and north of TSG, 5.5t of HE granules removed without stopping traffic,
I found a women and her bairns living in a curvert on that Op that had been there out of her mind with fear 2 years after ther the last bullet was fired.

To give back the big hand to the locals the though was they could have a delivery of a Pallet Pivo left ootside all night and no-one would touch it, unlike Kosovo?

A

I will mention the wee bit of a Pivo (Beer) lift that did occur though, when a Pivo truck went off the road.
The Trucker was drunk and still asleep in his cab in the ditch, engine running.
A MWT was used to drag this blockage back onto the road but only after removing the load :D
 
#76
Gundulph said:
Thanks Blind Beggar... The HVO lads' families still light candles and lay flowers at Barrie's site, I'll get replacement plaques made for the 3 sites and get them put on in place of the plaques that someone in their wisdom decided would best be taken to the U.K.!

Pic attached of Barrie Nicholas' Memorial Site as it is today...

must thank all of you guys for doing this

i was in trg with barry nicholas we was in the same sect and shared the same room,

this is the first time i have seen the memorial, even after being in bos for 2 tours

brings back lots of memories so a big thanks from me

THANK YOU VERY MUCH
 
#77
Fat attack,

I've also put a collection of the pics in the 33 msn website. Myself and another former Sapper are getting the plaques made and will place the pics up when all is complete; young barrie's story of how he even got out to Bosnia is a very sad one, considering he was the only one in the Squadron who couldn't go due to not having a Passport... practically thumbing his way into theatre once he'd sorted his own passport etc. out! There is a small bar in GV, near the cemetery on the hill, the area was covered in KB's (Sub Munitions) if you are ever in Bosnia, visit the bar, RE EOD will never be forgotten in there!
 
#78
Gundolph
Will pm you later, but for all i will ask the question whats the best way that people can send donations to ou towards the cost of the new stones, i know im not the only one that wants to contribute

Pete
 
#79
Is there any significant Britfor establishment left in the Balkans.(Mac,Kos)
I was in GV 96/97 with 36. Was always very impressed with a wedgies ability to "get on with it" despite whinging like a bstad :D .

Will always remember the chefs digging out blind and coming up with the most fantastic christmas dinner ever. Only for 9 Sqn to start lobbing it all over the cookhouse like a bunch of school children. :(

Forgive the spelling but, Im sure someone remembers "Kuskovatz". Mixed with UHT milk it tasted like banana milkshake. dangerous stuff. :D

Slightly of topic.....
Op Harvest: To the credit of 9 sqn, after the murder of Ian Collins it was buisness as usual.

SK
 
#80
Too true! The original accomadation there was a old shepherds sheep pen/shed until the Corimecs turned up. This was fine till the reliable Army generator was connected which resulted in sporadic power.
Original tour 92 ish Op Grapple if I am not mistaken.

You had the kakkiest 40Kw generator going I for my sins was the sparky at TSG and had the saddest maintained fleet of war reserve gen sets issued to me for that tour (recieved 40 x 16/24-40Kw from Ashchurch all serviced and inspected on the same day by one bloke apparently and just before they were sent to me, despite the presence of large amounts of sand seeming to contradict this) I used to get lovely dues out notes whenever I demanded spares for them.

Can still remember being got tipsy on 2 cans when I went to the BFI to fix a gen set in a small blizzard everyone huddled in the shack. A drink before I started then using parts I er borrowed from other gen sets fixed it and was then royally toasted (did bring a few drinks of my own) and had a merry evening.
 

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