Red to head.......Why?



Forgive me if this question has appeared before.
Rummaging in the garage recently for stuff to flog on e-blag, I found my old 4 Regt shoulder-stripy-things. A short marinade in Coleman fuel and whoosh, away. But it did make me wonder - what was their significance? OK, you've got one whole regiment, both sqns, RHQ and QM plus BATS, versus one sqn plus RHQ etc, so you want some way of knowing which unit the RP puts on the arrest report, but after 9 Regt went into temporary storage, why bother with them? Even the other half of 4 Regt up the road thought it was a bit naff.
Someone must have explained at the time, but I may have had my alcohol-fueled irrelevence filter up. Was it some kind of battle honour?
JonWilly, you were there about the same time as me (nice slideshows, I seem to recall), and you were pally with RJ, so perhaps you might be able to shed some light on this?
Paly with RJ, now cum on.
I think that as the old 4 Regt was manned by armoured corps personnel the flash's had RTR connections probably from a C.O. at sum time.
PS Actually I never tapped the boards with R J one of the old school RSMs. Mind you I can't say that about his predessor J ? pilot, got very upset with me for keeping the mess bar open.
Slide shows ! now you've got me worried.
I always was iunder the impression that it was to show the difference between 9 and 4 because they shared the same camp in 19 bow and arrow


Thanks jonwilly, I didn't think you let me down. In the drink-sodden recesses of my mind, I do seem to recall something like that was put forward as justification for the things. Re the bar, how did Ralph manage to a. get away with the long hours he spent there, and b. survive? Great bloke though.

Sam Fisher - yes. But the major difference between the two was class. Machen Wir.
I agree having served in both Regts....and 669
4 Regt. 654,659,669.
Did N I with all of them, F. I. with 654 & 669 in my six year Detmold stay.
Ralph, yes now how he survived was an act of god, memory says he went home post one Wenesday sports afternoon and pushed the sliding door open. Only it slide across and not on side hinges. Strieght through the glass door, Doc said he could see Ralphs heart when he stitched him up.
And Van he could put a few away. Met him first in Belize where when we wuz having a drink down sum den of iniquety and one young lad says Van if you married one of the local chimps would she becum a Chimp van Zee ?
Then there was F. G. SQMS, busted down from SSM at Farnbough, who's war cry was if Ivan cums we'll withdrawn to Dutch border dig in at Grolsh factory and as long as they keep produceing the'll never move us, now he had the intresting vids far more intresting then my travel slides.
Can't place you yet, we had few Lynx jockeys live in and I assume ya where one of my Ultimate Hero's boys from 669 in my last year Maj W, also my last CO in army.
Interview just after he arrived.
Right Staff you and I have never seen eye to eye but this is my Regt and things will be done my way. Understand.
Yes Sah Terminal interview, out tomorrow.


Yes, it was quite a nasty injury. Bog-standard hinged door with non-safety glass panel. I think he'd turned the handle and staggered forward assuming the door had opened, only to fall forwards through the glass - one very lucky bloke. I was very close to both Ralph and Sue, came from the same town, worked as his 'dog' for a while, they very kindly accomodated myself and wife while we waited for our first quarter. And drove him home from the Mess most nights.

No, I made it onto Lynx long after you'd gone off to your paradise, but we were in FI together. I would have been one of Green Nigel's JAFOs then. The Q-man in question wasn't the Tartan Time Bandit? Did he ever find the 24 KVa that he'd signed for on arrival? The one that his predecessor had given/longterm loaned to a settlement?
Green Nigel ! got me there. So we where on the second FI tour I did with I.W. my hero.
What a Sgt Maj he had. Oh B.G. I first new him back in my Minden days with 658. There's the old army tale that everyone gets promoted one rank beyond their capabilities. Yes as a trooper in the 16/5 he was there, one up from private.
Scale A parade for DLB visit we all made it bar, guess who ? Ah what a player.
Then the mess, very relaxed but no Tracksuits. We are propping up the bar end door opens and guy in track suit enters, packet of fags barman, GET OUT Sgts Mess IMPROPER DRESS, screams our SGT MAJ, bloke vanishes, rest of us look agast at each other. Door opens same tracksuited figure, YOU CUM HERE, ah yes BG had a nice chat with GSM. Not a bad lad nothing nasty about him or bright.
Never forgot leaving that trip. All handed over to new Sqdn we where flying out. So pizz up organized. Everyone kicks in a tenner to kitty. Now no way anyone can drink a Tenners worth of duty free booze. Two mataloes enter a pair of chiefs off the visiting submarine, er can we join your party ? Aye stick a couple of quid in kitty and away ya go. They both put £25 in, Now't spend it on on board. I think I was first to wake up, Mess was full of deed men. Slowly blokes recovered, the mataloes had gone and we started to thin out. Barman calls out eh ya've over £60 still in kitty. Keep it, Ta son, someone shouts.


Yep, same trip, Uganda down, first 747 back. I.W. was indeed a great OC, made a huge thing about being a Scot, until his missus grassed him up about being born in Oxford. Green Nigel was the tennis-playing bloke in charge of Floppy Flt, another great hand, who suffered at IW's hands. I hope he's doing well in the system, as he probably learned a great deal from us, mostly about lower-rank wit.
Ah the Highest Fastest Burns night on the flight down to Assension, he was going to get that into Gunissis Book of Records as he'd askd the captain for permision to bring a dram of scotch on board and some Haggis for a nibble or what ever they from north of civilization do.
I really detested your boss. Years later when I wuz working on police helis in N West of England one of the pilots was an ex army officer who knew my hero.
Seems dear leader had been attached to the yanks to learn about A'pache and to a gathing of senior Yankee aviation officers he tells them about time his Lynx was hit by three rounds fired by IRA. Sum yank 4 star with more custard on his chest then a South American Admiral says Sh1t Son I once landed a Huey with over two hundred bullet holes in it.
The Uganda I was in a cabin with P.Mac and Geordei F. the Mess Steaward brings in a cup of tea. Oh my immagine me in a room with three big strong soldiers, FCUK off CNUT, Get ya laughing tackle round this, I just slept on.


Your mention of Geordie brings back memories of the path we constructed by dumping rocks in the mud between Lookout and Murray Heights, and the FI Government BoI over who issued the contract.
Geordei last heard of running strippers around Newcastle in a min cab.
I heard that from TM ex SSM 654 after he had been commisioned and was at Wallop, I was over for a night and day learning a perticular job for N.I.
Ah now where you one of the Gay Bikers ? Memory says they where all Reme's. DLB pizzed himself at that smoker and his wife was highly amused, think she had seen it, heard it all before.
Wuz nice for me getting ta play with Scouts (Westland type) again, reminds me of the day I should have left this planet. Did a T/R handling check in N.I. down Bessbrooke. Pilot was 2 ic sqn but New to Scout and I was on loan from my sdn so didn't know him. Weather was clagged in low cloud. Troops on the ground where screaming for aviation support and cab was tits, tail rotor change. We changed the T/R and handling check required. Vertical climb, turn against Tq at 103.5 %. Cut a long story short he lost it and we ended up inside the Avoid Curve, The Death Curve as it was known. Heading vertically down 89 degrees for sure out of control. My lad in front seat turned round and looked me in the eye as to say Are we supposed to do this ? Luckily 2 ic pushed cyclic fully forward, through windcreen I think and we pulled out with feet ta spare. We where in that valley over the back of B'brooke and I looked up at the hill tops. After we landed he says Don't think we'll repeat that, Er no. I signed it off S.


The Gay Bikers were the MT and SHQ lads, SilsoeSid among them, and Scottie theVM,I believe. I don't think anything could have shocked Mrs DLB, but her hubby took a while to get the joke.
Good to know Geordie got a job he can get some pleasure from. Does he get tips, I wonder?
As for Scouts, I only got two trips in FI, both with The Whispering Death. I seem to recall Little Sid going out on the Scout pan one morning to do a BF, to find a rear cross-tube had collapsed in the night. He went back in to snag the cab as the leader went out through another door, spotted the sick cab, and went on to claim some sort of safety award.
You'd have spent some time down in Goose with MacB and Stu L? One of the crewmen, AW is now flying Pumas in the North Sea with CHC Scotia - he flew me back in a couple of months back.
I was on duty driver the day Ralph went throught the door, not a pretty sight. He was oblivious to it all and had that 'Ralph look' on him that many here will remember from the bar at aldergrove and many a Detmold Happy hour.

Last saw Ralph at Dishcloth about 2.5 yrs ago at a 'Fathers & Sons' night in the Mess. Hadn't changed a bit. Brilliant bloke and remembers the old characters from the early 80's. The family still doing a line in SQMS-ing around the bazaars I believe!

Wasn't T-N (Port Stanley special constable) responsible for the Burns' drinks?

Now this brings a few memories back;
The kite flying competition on the way down on the Uganda. Trying to get the deck hockey competition cancelled by hitting all the pucks overboard! Fishing for trigger fish off Ascension with a bucket and opal fruits! Green Nige and his blade/tail strike shutting down on a windy afternoon! 'Lances leap' on the walk back to the accomodation from Murray heights and the slippery huey blade bridge. The gay bikers and gobbie the postie! Painting the portakabins with the subtle '669'. Boiling eggs in the water boiler! As Duty driver (again!) being sent to the bakery with some 'fuses' for the head chef and when asking him to ensure they were the correct ones, eventually seeing the boxes containing flying gloves/boots.
The last night piss up in the NAAFI all in a big circle, preceded by the town hall 'all comers' party.

'Good Times'
The photos are somewhere about!!

Things were never the same going back for a tour at MPA, although a couple of us managed to get banned from the NAAFI!

As for the shoulder flashes, I thought they were of 4 RTR related origin, started by an old RSM of 4 Regt so that each RSM (4&9) could tell which troops were his.

One of the Gay bikers was a Reme for sure. I can see him in my minds eye. Always remember him for he answered one of those "write to a squaddei in the Flaklands ' girls. The lads got hold of her address and sent her a letter it started sumthing like 'The lads call me Meat for I'm a big lad if not very tall.' He hit the roof for spoiling his chances.
McB good egg at Goose Green big change from Lance who was strange to say the lease, tho I knew them both from living in the mess at Detmold. Billy tradeing gear Never.
4 RTR sounds right for the flashes they where worn in 80 when I was 9 Regt.
Never saw the need for the flashes post amalgamation..still dont. How do you tell 3 Regt's REME from 7Bn..does it matter!

There was a percived need to recog the chaps in Wetmold from 9 and 71 Ac Wksp. As I recall the colours have little to do with RTR.

Red was for 654 Sqn with red taken from the Syrena (Maid of Warsaw) and the green taken for 664 (at Minden --freeking miles from Detters!) for the Green Archer emblem in the sqn badge.

All in all a complete waste of the tailors time and material, having now adopted it as a DZ LP flash.

The dits brought a smile to my face though...recall the incidents well having served with 659, 669 and 654 as both 9 Regt and 4..shame about the latter. Never saw the logic to absorb 2 x 9 regt sqns in 4 RHQ with 1 sqn (664 went indy). Much better to have kept 9 complete and absorbed 654 and just re-numbered. If I remember, someone said.."get rid of 9 we will never need the title again in the future"..right! :roll:
"Red was for 654 Sqn with red taken from the Syrena (Maid of Warsaw)"

Now we had the Syrena (Pregnat Prawn) as the emblem on our cabs at 8 Flight which had been 8 Independant Flt and had been one of the flights of the RAF Army Co operation (Sqdn ?) that had earned the honour while serving alongside the Polish Forces in Italy, Cassino mi memory says. We carried it over to 666 Sqdn in August 69 when we reformed at Balleykelly into a AAC sqdn from a Brigade Recce flight.
I was at Minden from late 73-late 77 and 658 did not have the Syrena then. I don't know when the Minden sqdn became 66? probably when I was in far east 79-80.
We have an old former 8 Flight pilot Ex SNCO, out here, from their Keneya days and he may have more info.
I am stil of the opinion that the Flash was of Armourd Corps most likely RTR origin.
Does anyone have a conntact at the AAC mueseam ?
9 Regt 4 Regt and the amagamation. SH1T. The bloodletting that caused in the REME screwed the LAD for years, it did, you would have had to have been in the middle to understand the CR AP that came out of that business.


Nev or Nige, the two techs attached from 3 Regt LAD may have been involved in the Bikers, that kind of humour was right up their street.

I never did get an authorised version of events from the 9 Regt leaders regarding the adoption of the flash, I guess the decision was taken much higher up the chain, and they were as embarrassed as we were.

I can imagine how much angst the whole deal caused in the LAD, you went to centralised servicing for a while, about the same time as the amalgamation?
Oh well might as well wash a bit of dirty laundry.
Basically the aviation units in BAOR where reoganised to give three 'Anti Tank' formations with the introduction of Lynx, 1,3,4 Regts.
Each went from 2 sqn regts to 'proper' 3 sqn regiments and 9 regt was lost in the process.
With 1 & 3 regt their OC LAD stayed with the new unit, so when they wrote their recommendation for New LAD format they gave up a Tradesman or two and the odd wagon.
4 Regts OC LAD was posted, gone on day one of new formation so he did his bit for a good confidential and wrote off about 18 tradesmen and many rovers/4 tonners.
The New 4 Regt Wksp was understreangth from day one. The majoriy of men where ex 9 LAD.
The 4 regt ASM was not the strongest personality and the new OC was not noted for taking prisoners.
The senior AQMS was very ambisious and he had a quite word with the old 9 regt SNCOs on how the new LAD should be run.
The ASM was shafted up the shitter and I doubt he ever knew what had happened. He took the rap for all the U/S cabs and I will not repeat the lead up to how he got a administrative posting to AETW at Wallop. First time I or anyone had seen a WO 1 chopped.
You will know who got his job and how all theo's who had backed his plan where 'looked after'. I never liked the old ASM but there was no way I or several other seniors would do a stab in the back, face Yes.
All the bad boys where allowed to go away on next Regt deployments and when we returned from 669s Falklands tour, the takeover was complete.
4 regt LAD started off with a lack of expireance on Lynx, as did the other Regt LAD's, the Falklands had spares priority and even if you had had cured the two former problems There was not the manpower 18-19 men down.
It stunk and the bad feeling continued for years.
I used to hate them bloody shoulder flashes I could understand 4 Regt at Detmold wearing them when you also had 9 Regt around but why we had to wear them at Minden I could never quite figure out

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