Does anybody know this guy? Op Granby / Gulf

#1
Hi all,

Many years ago I bought an ex-mod Land Rover 1 Tonne Ambulance,(74-GJ-13) it has been converted to a campervan and has been part of the family ever since taking us around the UK on holidays.
I've always suspected that it had served in the Gulf as despite it being repainted, there were bits of desert paint under the many layers of paint.
A few weeks ago I did some seaching and I stumbed across this post on a scale-modeling forum which shows a picture of my ambulance in the desert.

1 Tonne Ambulance - Ready for Inspection - Armour

The model was made by Keith Goddall who sadly passed away in 2012, in the forum post Keith talks about his friend Karl who is possibly the guy in these photos.

Does anybody recognise these guys or the location?



 
#2
Nice pics. The bottom two are most likely to be in the forward areas somewhere. You can tell this because the desert up there was like concrete with those stones on. The desert around Al Jubail where we were initially based was a lot more like fine sand which is where I suspect the first pic may have been taken.
This is because it was still sunny and warm and no UK units went up the tap line road until Jan 1st (I was in the first packet of HQ FFMA on new years day 91 to go up)
Actually, the bottom pic would most likely be just after the war (oil fire skies) as they are not scrimmed up in any way as every unit in the field would have been in the build-up and during hostilities (see top pic).
Hope this helps.
 
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#3
Not sure what unit they could be but the original article states his mate spent 6 months living in it which would suggest he was on the initial deployment with 7 Armd Bde in October.
I think it may have been 1 AFA but I'm sure someone else here could give more info on the medical units deployed.
 
#5
Not sure what unit they could be but the original article states his mate spent 6 months living in it which would suggest he was on the initial deployment with 7 Armd Bde in October.
I think it may have been 1 AFA but I'm sure someone else here could give more info on the medical units deployed.
So the Ambi was first dispatched to BAOR 4th Armoured Division in Herford in 1986 or possibly 4 AFA in Minden (it's a LHD version). The details are a bit sketchy on which units were deployed from BAOR but the Watson/Rinaldi book says that 4th Armd BDE went to the Gulf in November 1990, 7th Armd shipped from Bremerhaven in Sept 1990 and the two units formed 1st UK Armd Division.
 
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#6
Actually, the bottom pic would most likely be just after the war (oil fire skies) as they are not scrimmed up in any way as every unit in the field would have been in the build-up and during hostilities (see top pic).
Hope this helps.
Well spotted with the skies!
 
#9
The picture of the two land rovers and the 1 tonne looks like Y section from DS1 Bravo, 1 AFA. The section was made up of medics from 4 AFA (Minden). If my memory serves me rightly this picture must have been taken just before or after the ground invasion as we didn't have an ambulance attached at the start. The three people in the middle were attached to us later but after 25 years I can't remember their names. The land rovers I recognise as I made the "roof racks" to take our bergans in theatre out of the rear seats and some scavenged wood.
 
#10
From the 4AFA page. "I was Sgt (Trumpet Major) with Regimental Band 17th/21st Lancers. Attached DS1B 1AFA during Op Granby.
Our band and 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards band both supplied 1st/2nd & 3rd line ambulance medics.
Our crew was myself, Stevie Laws & Dvr Callaghan (can't remember his first name)."

"Yeah you're correct Mark Corcoran that is me, my co-driver and our medic, can't rightly remember his name but I can supply any further pics if needs be. But it was when we went forward with Y section."
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
From the 4AFA page. "I was Sgt (Trumpet Major) with Regimental Band 17th/21st Lancers. Attached DS1B 1AFA during Op Granby.
Our band and 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards band both supplied 1st/2nd & 3rd line ambulance medics.
Our crew was myself, Stevie Laws & Dvr Callaghan (can't remember his first name)."

"Yeah you're correct THIS that is me, my co-driver and our medic, can't rightly remember his name but I can supply any further pics if needs be. But it was when we went forward with Y section."
You do realise that THIS (above) in your post is an in-clear link to a Facebook page? You may wish to edit it out.
 
#12
Here's a few pics of "Boris" the Ambi taken this summer. I've also put up a few of how it was when I bought it. The previous owner did the camper conversion but left Boris for about 7 years on a farm in the Borders. When I bought it there were birds nesting under it and it was covered in lichen!





New interior, old medic cabinets, NBC windows and escape hatch remain.




Tidied up cab with all of the lovely cranium stabbing bracketry.



As bought after 7 years in a field:

 
#13
How do you know it's your Ambulance?
The military reg: 74-GJ-13.
If you follow the original link to the modelling forum you can see it on the model and also on the desert photo above. I suspect there were more photos that were used to make the model but sadly Keith Goddall passed away in 2012. Keith served in REME and ATC and was a bandmaster in Crewe according to his obituary here: Salvationist 16 jun 2012
 
#14
[photo="large"]8314[/photo] [photo="large"]8315[/photo] I also did a conversion, added 2 foot extension to rear and side door, used stretcher raising mechanism to make the roof go up to give 2m clearance inside, took out V8 and installed new Nissan turbo diesel. Took escape hatch from rear and made cupola in cab roof with ally chequer plate on the roof. Great vehicles, mine was Crash Tender from BFG.Used truck rims and AT tyres and changed transfer gear to lowest available standard to give reasonable top end speed with diesel.
 
#15
There is a great Owners Club for the 1 Tonnes here: 101 club • Index page
(registration required to view the whole forum)
They also run a great spares programme and have a club historian.
If anyone remembers their own Ambi's then I know the Club would really appreciate any photos or stories too.
 
#16
Looking at those pics it's hard to understand how anyone could have even heard the word 'ergonomic' much less studied it before designing the cab layout :)

On the plus side they brought back memories if the last times I drove one of these :)
 
#17
They are like driving a noisy 4 tonne oven. Less aerodynamic than a brick - (a brick doesnt have wing-mirrors.) They do 4mpg, no power steering, a clutch pedal that is like a bench-press and headlights that resemble a candle. The brakes feature no less than 12 manual adjusters where the slightest incorrect tweak sends them veering off towards the oncoming traffic/cliff edge/river. The electrics are made by Lucas Prince of Darkness, every time you switch on the ignition something else has stopped working.
Most first time drivers have scars on their elbow from hitting the door handle when parking and a smashed knuckle from when the hi/lo lever colides with the heater box. The wipers have 3 settings: Off, On and Intermitant. In Intermitant they work when they feel like it, usually stopping mid-screen in a downpour.

They are slow, uncomfortable, unreliable and thirsty.

However, I love mine like one of the family and if it wasn't for the Ambi, I might not be married now!
 
#18
I must admit when I had mechanically overhauled mine, properly rewired the camper and reconfigured the cab it was a treat to drive especially with the TD in it. I will try to find some pictures. The rear had a full size double bed that was drop down table into U shaped seating, gas water heater, half size fridge/freezer, sink, grill and double hob, shower toilet with hot and cold water (2m rising roof), secure door thorough to cab, side door with half opening, good alarm and stereo systems front and rear (head unit moved between the two), gas BBQ that could be used outside on trailing lead as well as on cab roof (handy after diving to enjoy the scenery or in Morocco to enjoy peace and quiet, external lockers for all of the essential gear, fully soundproofed cab, overhead stowage above windscreen etc. It cost me around GBP23k to buy and build and I sold it 7 or 8 years later for 14.5k. Fantastic vehicles for sport (diving and camping at dive sites), festivals, weekends and great to tour in. Always a cold beer on hand and a double bed should the need arise.
 

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