Falklands Finally Cleared of Mines

No easy task. The late Noel Cashford was a wartime RNVR bomb & mine disposal officer and prolific author of books about EOD whom I was privileged to count as a dear friend, along with his delightful wife Brenda, now also deceased.

Noel was instrumental in the erection of a memorial at Mundesley-on-Sea in Norfolk honouring the 26 Royal Engineers bomb disposal personnel who lost their lives while clearing World War II landmines from Norfolk's cliffs and beaches between 1944 and 1953.

The Mundesley Landmine Clearance Memorial comprises a 10ft high 500kg German bomb casing on a granite base provided by the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Unit at Wimbish in Essex.

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I was there on Sunday as various people and organisations came to place wreaths. One guy placed 13 individual poppies for his mates lost in Afghanistan.
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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Very quickly

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There’s 6 AT mines in each of those tubes and they are pumped out at a rapid rate of knots

Then you have the barmine layer that ploughed, laid and covered mines quick quickly.

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I appreciate the Argies wont have had these, but the concept remans.

The barmine layer was a bit of a bugger if the barmines werent straight (they would bend over time). We employed a highly technical method to straighten them - by placing them on radiators during inspection.

How long does it take a Barmine Tree to grow?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

Yokel

LE
Again your grasp of facts lets you down. I'll leave you to educate yourself.

Are you saying that Thatcher started a war with Argentina so she could rely on their mines and close down the ones here? As if snatching their school milk was not enough?

Why does lefty drivel forget that the Argentine dictatorship started the war by invading the islands against the wishes of the inhabitants?
 

offog

LE
Are you saying that Thatcher started a war with Argentina so she could rely on their mines and close down the ones here? As if snatching their school milk was not enough?

Why does lefty drivel forget that the Argentine dictatorship started the war by invading the islands against the wishes of the inhabitants?
Read Labrat's post.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
No longer Zims now called Dark Bennies

Whoa, Black Bennie (Bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, Black Bennie (Bam-ba-lam)
Black Bennies cleared dem mines(Bam-ba-lam)
From the whole damn isle (Bam-a-lam)
I said oh, Black Bennie (Bam-ba-lam)
Whoa, Black Bennie (Bam-ba-lam)
 
Could have been cleared in 1983.... mind you, our standing in the human rights and treatment of Argentinian prisoners of the conflict would have been very poor....... on the plus side..... more sheep would have been alive.
 
Could have been cleared in 1983.... mind you, our standing in the human rights and treatment of Argentinian prisoners of the conflict would have been very poor....... on the plus side..... more sheep would have been alive.
I've just pulled the old mans photo album out, he went down to the Falklands in July 82 to put the Sapper response plan together. He was at the time Director of Engineering Services in MOD.
When he was talking to Col Frank Field and the OC Commando Sappers about demining there was snow on the ground, so not easy or practical till the thaw.
Moral was also taking a beating as they had had already taken some casualties and that was after endex in addition to the ones taken in the war, and all they wanted to do was get the boys back home and have time to plan the clear up.
Just looking at some of the photos taken from a gazelle over Goose Green and Tumbledown shows how impossible that task would have been.
Having played with mine probes on the Plain was hard enough, but in snow and the winds forget it!
I think as did many that sheep would do a good job for them, after all mutton was a staple diet on the Islands.
 
Still 1.7m square metres of Cyprus that needs to be surveyed for mines and cleared if necessary

No anti personnel mines left on the Greek side. A number of AT minefields were left.

The green line cleared in 2011 except for a couple of areas near Famagusta under Turkish control

An unspecified number of areas in the north as at 2011 (when I was last there).
 
The Parachure Engineers in 1 & 6 AB Divisions were termed Squadrons for some reason even though they were Companies in the rest of the Royal Engineers. Your dads BD jacket appears to be the post war version with the open neck and tie so was probably taken post war. He looks a bit like Cliff Richard.

1st Parachute Squadron RE


We had a lad join 10 Para in 1992. He had originally joined the Royal Anglians as a boy soldier at IJLB Oswestry then served with one of their battalions until he transfered to the RE and joined 9 Para Sqn RE serving with them about 1978 to 85 including the Falklands war in 1982. He then went to JLR RE as an adult instructor as a Corporal until he flounced in about 1987/88.

When he joined us he had just finished working in Kuwait clearing mines. He had paid for a house in London with the money he had earned and complained that he was down to his last £70,000. He wasn't EOD and got the job purely on his B1 Combat Engineer experience.

Apparently Royal Ordance had got the contract from Kuwait to clear all the minefields and then contracted it out to the Royal Engineers in the best tradition of Tory government back scratching their mates. RO was in the process of being privatised and sold off at the time - hence the SA80 saga of Value-for money, or doing it on the cheap as it was more commonly known to ensure RO had full order books.

I think it was 50 Field Squadron at Rippon was due to go but the chaps got a bit miffed about risking life and limb to bump up shareholders dividends and Directors profit and it hit the front pages of the papers. The government bottled it and RO had to shell out the appopriate rate for contracters to do the job.
50 Sqn was in Maidstone, 51 Ripon
 
I've just pulled the old mans photo album out, he went down to the Falklands in July 82 to put the Sapper response plan together. He was at the time Director of Engineering Services in MOD.
When he was talking to Col Frank Field and the OC Commando Sappers about demining there was snow on the ground, so not easy or practical till the thaw.
Moral was also taking a beating as they had had already taken some casualties and that was after endex in addition to the ones taken in the war, and all they wanted to do was get the boys back home and have time to plan the clear up.
Just looking at some of the photos taken from a gazelle over Goose Green and Tumbledown shows how impossible that task would have been.
Having played with mine probes on the Plain was hard enough, but in snow and the winds forget it!
I think as did many that sheep would do a good job for them, after all mutton was a staple diet on the Islands.
Agreed, I was down there with 51 Sqn in late 82 and there was no enthusiasm for losing anyone, especially as unmarked mines were still being found. There were some lucky escapes, one of our troops went up to what was then a temporary monument marking the spot where H Jones fell as part of the 82 Rembrance events, it was later established they had walked through an unmarked minefield. The Hampshire's in Goose Green lost the back wheel of a land rover to a stray something in Goose Green, by the rubbish dump. Some very careful prodding was also conducted around dead cattle near Darwin so they could be removed from the water catchment area.
Didn't stop some blasé behaviour, 'shortcuts' through marked minefields were common, we also had live mines 'for recognition purposes' pinned above the fireplace of the old school house at one stage.
That was in the initial wild west period, before normal peacetime practices were re-established.
 
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No anti personnel mines left on the Greek side. A number of AT minefields were left.

The green line cleared in 2011 except for a couple of areas near Famagusta under Turkish control

An unspecified number of areas in the north as at 2011 (when I was last there).

that figure is as at Oct 2020 afaik
 
Agreed, I was down there with 51 Sqn in late 82 and there was no enthusiasm for losing anyone, especially as unmarked mines were still be found. There were some lucky escapes, one of our troops went up to what was then a temporary monument marking the spot where H Jones fell as part of the 82 Remberance events, it was later established they had walked through an unmarked minefield. The Hampshire's in Goose Green lost the back wheel of a land rover to a stray something in Goose Green, by the rubbish dump. Some very careful prodding was also conducted around dead cattle near Darwin so they could be removed from the water catchment area.
Didn't stop some blasé behaviour, 'shortcuts' through marked minefields were common, we also had live mines 'for recognition purposes' pinned above the fireplace of the old school house at one stage.
That was in the initial wild west period, before normal peacetime practices were re-established.
My cousin might we have been down with you then. Seem to remember the battlefield tourists were heading down south in droves at that stage, dad whilst on his recce even had a traipse around and got me the proverbial present from the Islands. Not the T shirt but a very smashed by arty fire FN rifle butt, from a walk over Mount Longdon.
 
No easy task. The late Noel Cashford was a wartime RNVR bomb & mine disposal officer and prolific author of books about EOD whom I was privileged to count as a dear friend, along with his delightful wife Brenda, now also deceased.

Noel was instrumental in the erection of a memorial at Mundesley-on-Sea in Norfolk honouring the 26 Royal Engineers bomb disposal personnel who lost their lives while clearing World War II landmines from Norfolk's cliffs and beaches between 1944 and 1953.

The Mundesley Landmine Clearance Memorial comprises a 10ft high 500kg German bomb casing on a granite base provided by the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Unit at Wimbish in Essex.

View attachment 519775
I should have drawn attention to this:


...The former bomb disposal officer behind the idea, Noel Cashford, says: “They were heroes.” “So you had to lie on your tummy, poking a 2ft-long rod into the ground. If you hit something, you had to clear all around the mine, put a pin back in its safety device and remove it.”

But sometimes the 45lb, 14inch diameter explosives went off. The case which first caught Mr Cashford's interest was a mine at Corton near Lowestoft being dealt with by two fellow Navy bomb disposal men. A young American, John Howard, was helping experienced Lt Cmdr Roy Edwards with the task when they came across a tight plate on a mine. Attempts to prise it off using a bit of driftwood explode it, killing the 48-year-old Navy man and 24-year-old ensign, who was soon to be married.

“In another part of the country two men were clearing mines in a fenced off area when a dog wriggled under the wire, came running towards them and stood on a mine. It blew him up, and the debris which fell down set off six more mines killing the men,” Noel Cashford recalled...​
 

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