British Troops Central America

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by hampshirehog, Jan 16, 2007.

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  1. Way back in the days of HQ Caribbean Area and the W Indies battalion in Kingston Jamaica, with infantry Companies detached in British Guiana (BG), Bahamas (Nassau) and British Honduras (BH), it was a wonderful thing to be all those miles of travel from the CO and RSM and the usual HQ bullsh*t.
    I was lucky and got flown to BH with the Z Company 1st Bn The Royal Hampshires advance party, the main body arriving on HMT Dunera a few weeks later. Further contact with HQ was either by the weekly BWIA flight or in emergency through Miami, communications using morse telegraphy on a high powered police radio (until the Royal Signals provided two radiomen, some equipment and a mast and we were masters of our own comms.
    We had a rather idyllic life, 24 hours standby Platoon every 4th day in theory, but usually more often when Platoons went out training.
    Belize (City) was a fairly quiet place that observed the afternoon siesta and came back to life in the evenings.
    The Hurricane Hattie arrived at the end of October 1961 and flattened much of Belize (City) and the only building left in Airport Camp were two godolphin shelters and the transmitter shed. All other huts were razed down to stripped concrete plinths.
    The few families were evacuated to Jamaica on the first available aircraft and the soldiers remained for another two weeks until relieved by Y Company from Jamaica and 1st Bn The Worcesters from UK.
    Shortly after, with the independance of Jamaice, Caribbean Area ceased to exist and a Garrison was formed in Belize, initially commanded by a Colonel and later by a Brigadier.
    Now, in 2007, the British presence is the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB), approximately 70 strong which administers and trains visiting Brit units and assist in training the Belize Defence Force (BDF).
  2. Your point is?

    Military history is a great subject but posting like this just makes you look a bit of a crack-pot. You did not even ask for anyone to reminisce with you :yawnstretch:
  3. Not quite a crackpot - yet!! My dissertation was not intended to obtain a particular response, but was more in the sense of a memory jogger and general interest item.
    Elsewhere in the forum I have posted a request for anyone with pre 1981 photos of the Airport Camp and is so willing to either send to the Commandant BDF in Belize or contact me so I can copy/return.
  4. From Jan 60 until autumn 62 it was A Company 1st Royal Hampshires at Atkinson Field in BG. Prior to that it was a Company of 1st Bn The Worcestershire Regimant.
    Unusual happening mid 62, the Royal Hampshires in Jamaica pulled the flag down on independence and then evacuated back to UK and straight on leave, moving on to re-assemble at Munster all as individuals. The Company in British Honduras, now turning into a Garrison, moved out around this time direct back to UK.
    But the Company in BG remained there for some months longer (can't remember why!! must be altzheimers catching up) before following on to Germany.
  5. Good post reminise all you like.
  6. anyone remember the big C
  7. How could one forget The Connaught Hotel ? Original one closed in 88, May, I think it took a couple of months for the new one to open.
    Standing in the Pizz when aving a Pizz, and the staff such memories.
  8. I can tell you that until October 1962 there were the East Anglians and they were replaced by the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards, to which I was attached. We were there until July 1963 when, due to some trade union disputes we were replaced by Grendadier Guards plus some extra personnel fro 19 Inf Brigade, including a section of 19 Field Ambulance. And guess what myposting was when I returned to UK in July 62, 19 Field Ambulance.
  9. 2nd Green Jackets were Spearhead Battalion in Colchester in July 1963 when they were flown out to British Guiana to assist in quelling the riots.