Memories of Verden

TaffJ

War Hero
I would have been there with you, was your brother there too?? I was a Radio Tel with 3 Sqn, served with Pottsy and Langy (though he did seem to spend most of the time leathered!!!). Very sad to hear about Rick Camilleri losing his battle with cancer a little while back, great lad he was. Had some great times in 3 Sqn bar, what was the name of that game we used to play.....Ooley or something with the sticks??? A bit of a blare!!!! I had tweeky as SSM followed by SSM "B3", what a Plonker he was!!!!! Loved the Pizza house outside camp, never get a Lasagna like theres anywhere else!!!!!
Hey, just came across this thread whilst bored on lockdown due to Covid.

Since you posted this all those years ago, a few more 3 Sqn regulars have departed, Langy who you mentioned, Ben C***y, John F****L, Spic M****e et al.

RIP fellas
 
I really loved my time in Verden, I was Div Phot with Media Operations, back then in 1987-88 it was called Public information, based in the Div HQ. The GOC at the time was General Swinburn. Here's the portrait I took of him when he came in taking over from General Rosebotham, who went on to take over head of the UK prison service.
GOC Swinburn.png


For those who have already read this story in tanks and armoured vehicles thread My apologies for repeating my self.
The GOC was a Calvary man and he wanted a Sherman tank as gate guard to the Div HQ, (They had one on the windswept heights at 3 DIV. ) so a swap was arranged with an American General at Graffenwohr to swap a Sherman Priest, rusting away in an ex training area, now to be turned into parkland at Wulfenbuttle.
here it is being recovered at Wulfenbuttle.
RECOVERY OF THE M7B2.png


and here they are arriving at Verden Div HQ
sherman a.jpg


sherman b.jpg


sherman c.jpg
 
They had been sitting out in the open left to rust, full of rainwater and used training ordnance. when they were rolled off the trailers of the tank transported by 16 tank transporter squadron, the water rushed out of the air intake at the back of the hull.
Arrival in Verden.png
 
The following friday night I had a skinful in the HQ Signals ADSR Squadron bar with my mates from the Signal Regiment and Ordnance staff, So needing a breath of fresh air on the Saturday morning, I went over to the Div HQ where the Sherman Priests were parked, awaiting onward movement to Grafenhoer, and the best most complete vehicle, with both it's air intake louvers still present on the engine deck. This was to be sent on to Bovingtom Tank Museum.
cleaning up the M7B2.png

they were parked on the hard standing to the right side, as you faced the entrance to the Div HQ front door, over toward the stables. I wheeled over one of the rubbish bins on four coasters with the curved swing top lid we used to have outside all the barracks, and emptied out all the used Ordnance in the one going to Bovy, I was quite envious as I hadn't been back to blighty for a while, so it felt like sending something home. And I didn't want the RCT driver to be faced with a problem at customs. I then got the red two wheel fire cart over and used the hose to wash down the mud from the training area still clinging to the lower hull and tracks.
cleaning down the M7B2 fire hose.png


I had a visit by an Ammo Tech who was due to check it all over before it went to the UK. He was pleased to see he had to take no action.
M7B2 and visit from ATO.png
 
Much later on I went on leave and took my Grandfather to see the Sherman Priest at Bovington.
Bovington tank Museum M7B2.png

when I returned to the HQ after my leave I saw that the General had given Verden two tanks, a 76 armed Sherman, that was not generally used in British Service, as we had the 17 pounder armed Sherman known as Firefly, the other tank, was a light recon vehicle known as an M24 Chaffee, also not common to British service, we had a handfull of them, late in the war. But not the standard Sherman 75mm armed gun tank common to all British Armoured formations.

Here's the ADC and his chum from the Div HQ, checking them out, smiling as they hide their bitter disappointment.
M24 CHAFFEE.png
 
The Division never did get it's gate guard, the General lost interest and Bovington swapped the M7B3 Sherman Priest for a Maybach engine for the Tiger 131 restoration. So the whole project, all that effort, came to nothing.
M7B2 and three.png
 
The Division never did get it's gate guard, the General lost interest and Bovington swapped the M7B3 Sherman Priest for a Maybach engine for the Tiger 131 restoration. So the whole project, all that effort, came to nothing.
View attachment 471700
‘Twas ever thus. New in post senior officer takes up appointment (GOC, Bde Cmdr, CO) and dictates the ‘new broom policy’. Rinse and repeat, although I suspect they no longer enjoy unrestricted power in the modern Army.
 
‘Twas ever thus. New in post senior officer takes up appointment (GOC, Bde Cmdr, CO) and dictates the ‘new broom policy’. Rinse and repeat, although I suspect they no longer enjoy unrestricted power in the modern Army.
About 12 years ago some belter of an OC got some old gates from some old camp in Germany brought across to Abingdon. He fucked off and the last I saw of them they were sittingbin the corner of the hanger rusting away, a lot of time, effort and money wasted on an officers whim.
 
About 12 years ago some belter of an OC got some old gates from some old camp in Germany brought across to Abingdon. He fucked off and the last I saw of them they were sittingbin the corner of the hanger rusting away, a lot of time, effort and money wasted on an officers whim.
There are still a couple of rusting Armoured Vehicles from Iraq parked up in a corner of Venning Barracks Donnington - the Barracks are due for disposal, so additional costs incurred to get rid of the hulks. No doubt someone’s good idea at the time!
 
Auf Wiedersehen, Viel Gluck from Gisela unt Gundula.
View attachment 471810

Smashing picture!

It could be disconcerting when Gundula rode her BMW bike into work, and came into the office clad in tight leathers......

I had occasion to attend a Divisional shooting event with a predecessor of yours and had a specific request - I think from Sixth Sense - to get a report with a picture of the 1 (BR) Corps Commander, who was attending.

There was much expenditure of 7.62 and 9 mm, and it was a pleasant afternoon. We adjourned to the ubiquitous bratty-wagen ( I don't know if it was Wolfgang's ) and your predecessor tucked in. With a mouthful of bratty and coffee, he looked around but failed to see the lieutenant-general just around the corner of the van, tucking into his own bratty.

"Where's f*cking Corky, then?" said the three-striped one through his mouthful.

The swift reply "F*cking Corky's here, Sarn't XXXXX, " (name redacted to protect the RAOC's finest) caused an eruption of coffee and bratty bits, which I just managed to dodge.
 

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