1st Bn XX The Lancashire Fusiliers

Osnabruck Germany

1960 - 1964


"In Remembrance
of
Fusilier Brian James Hood"



Brian Hood


Brian is on Far Right


Brother Tony, Mother,Father,sister Marjorie,sister Beryl,brother Fred,sister Brenda,brother John.
Girl at bottom of pic is Brian's Neice,Bubbles.


Brian is on Right

Brian with younger brother Tony

Recently we found out that Brian's family had to pay for Brian's body to be brought back to England and they could not affotd to buy a headstone for his grave on Minden Day 2010 the Association had a raffle to buy a headstone for Brian's grave, then Charles Chadwick (Monuental Masons) Heywood Proprietor Alister Pearson contacted us and told us he was a Fusilier and offered to make and site a headstone for Brian This they did and on Saturday 13th November 2010 we went along to Southern Cemetery Manchester to deadicate the new headstone
Click here to see the headstone and the deadication service

New Photos from Vince Moran
Basic training platoon at Fenham barracks Newcastle


Vince Moran Ken Wildeman( wannabbe SAS from Blackpool, nk ,Geordie Robinson, nk, nk,nk ,Sleepy Wilson ,nk ,Ted Birch, nk.nk
Middle row.
nk, nk, Bill Bostock, nk, Jack Newall, nk ,nk, nk ,nk, nk ,nk ,nk, Big O'Brian.

all nk except for NCO's.Cpls Ward RNF, Sgt O'Callaghan RF, Cpl Law RNF ,Cpl Knightly RNF, Cpl Knightly RF

Geordie Robbo,Ted Birch,Big O`B(he was draft Cpl) Billy Bostock
and Vince Moran kneeling

Bill Bostock ,Vince Moran, Jack Newell,and two RNF Cpls from Fenham


picture from field firirng ex at Sennelager 1961
front row Vince moran,Bobby Draper
middle l/to r smith91 Graham Ratcliffe Smith 57 kevin McDowell, Ronnie Wilkinson
back row Johnny (plonk) Wilkinson, Bill Bostock,Wally Wilkinson ,Kevin McPartland


 


Click on above to enlarge

Hi Joe, I've been reading the posts on the 'Hunger strike in Germany'. I remember it so well, mainly because to understand you have to look at the bigger picture at the time. There were some wonderful 'snapshots in the posts that really got the brain cells working.
Let me start by saying first off that I learned of the hunger strike while still in bed in Blighty, rudely awakened by my father with the morning edition that declared as you posted, soldiers on hunger strike in Germany.
It came as no surprise as I had already intimated to my parents that food wise things were not well in our regiment, while we were never the best fed soldiers in Germany things began to spiral downward in the months leading to the unrest.
Things I saw and things I heard in those months defy belief at times, just how bad it became can be highlighted in not just a few words.
Whilst on guard duty one night I was a late stag, 12 'til 2 am and patrolling the cookhouse. I saw two shadowy figures running round the opposite side to where I was so I entered the cookhouse and saw the same two climb in through a window. I was in the canteen side and a locked door was between us, doing my John Wayne impression I kicked open the door and confronted the pair of them, I was as surprised as them really as it turned out they were corporal and lance corporal. They begged me to turn a blind eye as they were very hungry, but as it was my stag they were on I wasn't going to let them get away with it. Since nothing had yet been taken, I offered them, at the point of a bayonet, to bugger off or be marched to the guardhouse. Being confronted with a rifle and bayonet held by a six foot one fusilier they readily agreed to leave.
The cookhouse starred again in a somewhat comic fashion as another lance corporal decided to engage in a bit of midnight feasting, the corporal in question was the one I corresponded with you about sometime ago, a certain Mr Wilgoss. He was caught on his way down to the lines with half a side of beef on his back (and the said the fusiliers don't do things by halves), he was of course, on being caught red handed, run straight into the guardhouse. Later he was charged and lost his stripe and did a good number of days in the clink. I might mention here that as far as I recollect the Provost Sergeant was Jack Nash.
In another first hand incident whilst out on exercise as a signaller to A company, I was called back to HQ at three in the morning, how that driver found his way around in the pitch black forest I'll never know, but coming off duty in HQ at five am I hit the sack and slept in late. On making my way to the camp cookhouse I saw the cook sergeant and two German civvies stowing armfuls of rations into the boot of a VW car, surprised as I was I made sure I wasn't seen, I believe coffee was a big earner at the time. I just made a mental note and let it go.
I was fortunate enough to be on a very good swimming team prior to the food strike affair and as we were winning our way through to BAOR finals we got to see how the other half live, namely feeding in other regiments canteens. What an eye opener, we didn't just get what was slapped on our plate as in our canteen, no, we helped ourselves to the equivalent of a buffet, we were in wonderland, cereals of choice, fresh chips, sausage and bacon, eggs, fresh veg, boy did we enjoy it. Why oh why can others be so well fed while we, the fusiliers were so poorly fed.


When I say poorly fed you have to realise that whenever we could afford it the NAAFI on our camp came up with the best egg and chips I have ever tasted, egg and chip barms, wonderful. The NAAFI canteen did a roaring trade, if it hadn't been for them we would have been on the best slimming diet ever invented. The young man running the canteen had been the one sending the headline news to the press back home, he really was a great mate to the lads and obviously felt for them. By the time I returned fro my fortnights leave he was long gone, such a shame he should lose his job, as was the removal of our C.O.
Remaining with first hand accounts, the canteen, apart from serving the worst food imaginable, also had a huge problem with hygiene, namely cockroaches, it was so bad the civvie staff, ladies were sweeping them into piles one day when I was there prior to them being dumped in a bin, I was used to seeing them running about in the cornflake dishes bur even so it was a sight to see.
The food problems also affected the junior officers, I say this as unsubstantiated rumours had it that Compo rations left over from manoeuvres were highly sought, so much so, again the squaddies were made o suffer, if it hadn't been for all in stew, A company, in deference to their S/M nicknamed it 'Yappy's scrappy stew'.

First hand again, while out as a D company signaller, the young officer in charge of our platoon dished out such meagre rations that one of the lads, a rough and ready lad from Bury, a regular, had enough. As were moving to another destination he opened up the Compo boxes and treated us all in the back of the three ton truck to chocolate bars sweets and biscuits, we had a real feast even though it was with some trepidation. The officer, who had been blissfully unaware as he sat in the front, was furious when we stopped and he found the rations raided. He demanded to know who the guilty party was and out stepped our fearless fusilier declaring loudly, 'it was me sir'. He was put on open arrest and the officer declared he would be subject to a court martial, to which our fearless fusilier declared, 'and so will you sir for starving us'. Oddly enough the matter never came to light even though the officer was a strict regimental type.

Did things improve after the so called hunger strike? Well yes, as was indicated in the posts on the web page, we had a warrant officer from the ACC drafted in and what a difference that made, it was like we had been transferred to Billy Butlins such was the difference. It was good while it lasted but we all waited to see how long it would last after the departure of the cookhouse fairy godfather.

In conclusion I would simply say to the ones who thought the lads were just whingers, not so, it was a bad time, justifiably brought to an end. I would also add that at this time the regiment was made up of mainly National Service lads, poorly paid and aware that in order to get through your two years, and out in two years, the less said about your peers the better.
Joe, if you can use any of this, one mans recollections of National Service, by all means do so. I enjoyed my stint as a fusilier, never thought I would say that, I would go so far as to say it crossed my mind about rejoining not too long after demob, Don Ashton felt the same way. Just how much can be crammed into two years, an awful lot, this is just a tiny bit, cheers,
Anthony Bowles.


These photos have been sent in by David Platt

Quebeck Barracks Osnabruck Germany,


Jimmy Gore, Cliff (Ken) Platt,
Mick Phelan, and Jim Farrar
Sadly , Mike, Jimmy Farrar, have all past away,
we were 4 room mates


A
B
C
D
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
these next 3 photos are of the
Nijemegan March
15.


"Presentation of Colours Osnabruck"

these 4 photos sent in by
Allen Burkett

16.
17.

These next 3 photos have been sent in by
Brian Moore
18


The start of

Maurice Taylors
Osnabruck
Collection

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
The next 9 photos have been sent in by
CSM Dennis Robinson BEM
the 1st one is of his time
with the
Junior Leaders @ Plymouth
28


29
30

Olly Ollerenshaw,

Stafford (Ollie) and Bernard Ollerenshaw at Staffs wedding to Win Manchester 1963
31

William Lea

William Lee,Bonnon, N/K
32
The Next 5 photos have been sent in by
Geoff Howarth
33


The guardroom at Osnabruck circa 1960.Sgt Greenstreet and unknown bugler,do you know his name ?
34

Training at Soltau August 1960,RSM Alley and C/Sgt Bill Goodier.


Letter from US Army to CO 1LF
Re US Plane Crash

John O'Grady
and
Jesse Owen
35


Brian (Tich) Hallawell


Do you know who these gents are


Osnabruck ?
2nd in L/Cpl.Tony Barker and man stroking dog is Jeff Regin
36
sent by Gill Westwell,
Stanley Cowell daughter


sent by Gill Westwell,
Stanley Cowell daughter


R to L
Stan Cowell, Alan Squires,
Stu Barlow, Billy Davies, Hughie Fitzpatrick,
Agi Hargreaves, Tony Burn, and Cass Young

Two photos from
Tony Bowles

The LF Rugby Union Team

37
Line 37 are photos sent in by
Spike Macey

Derek Bunting

Derek Bunting

Spike Macey

L to R Ernie Pearson, Derek Bunting, Unknown.
All taken during the 1st Bn staffing of the winter sports Centre Germany
circa 1960
38

Peter Barton and
Rocky Rawcliffe

Peter Barton and
Harold Castrey

Peter Barton and
Wally Hudon

2nd left Rick Phillipson MT Pl (Bury),4th from Left Paddy Ryan 5th left Ken Hopkinson MT Pl (Middleton) Bn Footballer, Pete Barton MT Pl (Bury) Brian Yates MT Pl (Tottington Lad) Titch Nuttal Drums Pl (Bury, Behind him Pete Tench MT Pl ( Middleton) next to Titch Johnny Howarth,PTI, Now living in Thailand Albert Hart came from Bolton, far Right Peter Livesley
39

This photo was taken in Bunnick Holland in 1964
They left Osnabruck on the 24th January 1964 and arrived in Worcester 26 days and 450 miles later on the 26th February.
We have been fortunate in having been allowed to go to Denmark, Bavaria,Holland and of course all over Germany.

THE LAST NATIONAL SEVICEMAN HAS GONE,and with his departure a new era has opened up for the Regular soldier.

For the first time since WW2 we have a completely volunteer battalion."

Click here
The names on the photo on 39A are
1.
Gerry Collipy .2.R Duffy.3.Des Sinclair 4,Roy Wood
5,Bernard Flannery.
6. Rag Ryder, 7 .Frank Bronco Lane,
8,
Pete Liversey 9,Tom Mair
10
, Tex Atherton, 11, Stan Rostron,
12,
Mike King, 13,David Graham.
14, Ted Birch. 15,
Harry Bennett,
16
George Ratcliffe.
17 John
McGowan 18 Johnny Howarth,

19, John Brophy 20 David Hamilton
21 Howie 22 Billy Brooks
23, Brian Walsh, 24 GeordieTaylor
25 Matty Bambrick
26, George BM Carter , 27 Jessie Owen
28 Black Thommo,

The two Platoons that marched back from Osnabruck to Worcester

19 in each no BDs


Click Here for the arrival in Worcester




Bob Thompson on flute, Colin Hawarth on Tenor and Bob Shaw on clari

 

40

1st Battalion XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers

British Army of The Rhine

Quebec Barracks, Osnabruck

1960 to 1964

Before we all forget about life as an infantry soldier in B.A.O.R. during the Cold War I thought I would just jot down a few memories of those far off days.

When the Battalion last serve in Germany we were stationed in Iserlohn from 1953 to 1956 and the Second World War was fresh in our minds. Then we were not even allowed to speak to, or fraternize with, the local inhabitants. Houses were still requisitioned for use as married quarters and each town had a Town Major to run civil affairs. Osnabruck some four years later was not quite like that but we still kept the Germans at a distance and this was not helped by the reputation the locals had throughout the country. The saying was that you had to eat a hundredweight of salt with someone from that town before you were accepted.

Lt Col Jimmy Grover was our Commanding Officer and “Big Jim” Martlew our Second in Command. We had the usual 4 Rifle Companies plus Support and Headquarter Companies. One of the first things to strike home was the run down of National Servicemen as my Company, C Company rapidly decrease in strength from 105 to 87 All Ranks. This caused many problems for duties and leave as we had to maintain a definate level of strength and high degree of readiness at all times.

The Cold War was at it’s peak. Berlin was still a running sore and we fully expected the Russians to do something drastic and start another conflict. It was the neuclear deterent which kept them at bay in Europe. Life seemed to be one long exercise or should we say rehearsal for the real thing. Ours was a defensive role and as we had few ideas about the route the Russian Army might take should they invade. We had to be prepared to contain them and if necessary use tactical neuclear weapons to destroy them when they concentrated to attack

C Company was a Container Company which meant exercises always started with digging in upto four defensive positions and a Hide from which we could deploy once the Screen Company gave us intelligence about the route the hostile forces were taking on their approach. Digging went on day and night non stop for days. The North German Plain is littered with slit trenches dug by Fusiliers in pouring rain, snow, sunshine and pitch black nights. Who would be in the PBI? It was only the thought that Colour Sergeant ” Ben” would soon be up with the “All In Stew” that kept us going.

When we weren’t exercising, Field Firing and Range Work were the order of the day. The 200 square mile area of Senelager was our home for weeks at a time and Haltern was another favourite spot. It really made one appreciate how expensive it was to have a highly trained battalion and how difficult it was to be so committed particularly for families. I certainly used to pack my wife and daughter back home to UK for four weeks at a time when we were busy.

Notwithstanding the commitments we had a great time; sports , C Company ran the Army Ski Center at Winterburg one winter for three months, socialising with all the other Nations involved in N.A.T.O.; American, French, Belgian, Canadian, Dutch, Danish etc. We would travel far and wide even upto Odense in Denmark to form links and alliances. We weren’t big on Belgian rations whenever we had to join up with their troops I remember. On the parade ground we were as smart as ever when we received our new Colours from Field Marshal Franky Festing on Gallipoli Day 1961. Each year on this special day I used to receive a letter from a previous OC C Coy, Major Richard Willis V.C sending his best wishes to his old Gallipoli command.

As always it was the Fusiliers that added joy to life. Many friends were made in those years and I hope some still continue. Sergeant Joe Brooks who had been awarded the American Silver Star was a pillar of strength in the Company and Company Sergeant Major Harry Houghton kept us all together with his great sense of humour. Colour Sergeant Bennet’s recipies still feature in my family’life.

Busy and active days when we became a solid fighting unit in Rhine Army but fortunately our presence helped keep the peace and the Russians never came to test us.

Maurice Taylor
Omnia Audax XXth

7 Platoon C Company. Lt,Bev Morgan
Sgt Ben Lyons (Replaced the famous Joe Brookes)
Cpl Brian Walsh
Cpl Harry Royle(WW2 veteran)
Cpl Nobby Porter(not Brian)

Fusiliers ,Bostock,Cunliffe(Jim's brother)Connor(ns)Leadbetter(ns)Frank Green,Johnny(plonk)Wilkinson(ns) Graham Ratcliffe(ns) .
Graham was a Btn Footballer,and I think he was Bev,s batman.
Pete Flannery(ns)Fus.Ibbotson,Fus Charlie Anderson(Sids brother)
Fus,s Moran 66,and 80(me)and I think Stevo Stephenson,(this is the guy that absconded) to East Germany, ask Bev if he recalls this?
Just a few old memories.

The OC at that time was Graham Entwistle(he came after Maurice)
2ic Bunny Warren,CSM Twitchy Boyd C/Sgt Bennet
Coy clerk Dave Graham(Cpl)
Apc drivers;
kevin McDowell Kevin McPartland And Smudge Smith 57(ns)

C Coy After Bev left.
Maj.T D Lloyd-Jones became OC,(he joined us at our Annual training at Saltau,)
Maj Entwistle moved to D Coy.
2i/c Capt M Gornall(don't know where Bunny went)
CSM Jack Nash(he replaced Twitchy Boyd)who was demoted to C Coy C/Sgt

The Pl Coms ,it was all change there,we lost Bev,but lucky for us we gained another Great 7 Platoon Commander in Mike Haley.
8Pl. was commanded by Lt George Carter,and 9Pl had Lt. Dick Hancock.

Just prior to the 2nd Denmark exercise we lost our last N.S men.

Swinging Jim was now well established and the “new all singing,all dancing, professional Army was on the road.”

One of the first of swinging Jims new type training ideas was an exercise designed to test the Btn fitness and navigation over country and rough terrain,part of which took us over one of the lakes created after the “dambusters raid”,the lake being frozen over and covered by a blanket of thick fog.
The object here,was for us to get to the crossing point(start line) and use compass bearing to hit exactly the proper landing site(Duggy Jarvis) was responsible at this part,he “ice skated”over we pulled the aluminium boats ,at the gallop!!
Duggy did a great job,hit the spot.
Then, overnight in the wild(roughing it)well some fools did!..I slept in a warm pig stye.Very apt?
The next day a thirty mile march,to arrive at the ranges at the time of a planned coy attack,,Starting at the 600yd point ,and firing at every 100 yds pt upto the 200yds,when a “fix bayonet” order was given,and a final assault on the targets.
Each section,Pl,Coy were marked and some days later the placing were published cant remember the overall positions …”Swinging Jim had arrived”

The Sutton Coldfield drafts
About may 62 the first of the Sutton Coldfield drafts arrived,C coy got some notables here!
Bill Cross,Stu Barlowe, Bill Davies!,D coy got Joe Mahon,Merv Pollitt,,,Duggan,Jobbo,
next came,Brian Porter! C coy,he made his mark,er and left a few as well,next we got Tom Shipley,Ali brown Jimmy Gibbons,Hami Hamilton Shank lane,Johnny Wheeler ,Bernard Flannery,Geordie Thompson,Dave Lee,Dave Blunt,Pete Tighe,Terry Malon,and Who will ever forget “Ena Sharples”!! D Coy?Characters the lot!

Cass Young ,came with Brian Porter,think we heard him coming.The two Williams brothers,Agi Hargreaves(wish I had kept a diary!!

At this time ,I moved on ,or was it a sideways move? to support Pl.

Pl Com.Hancock
Plt Sgt,Harry Bennett,
Cpl Hughie Fitzpatrick,only a little guy,but a mighty atom,
anti tank
Cpl Fred Lamb Mortars(what a comedian he was!,when spirits were down he could get yer laughing.
Cpl Brian Walsh
L/cpl the well documented “Raghead Ryder”!!
Anti tank Fus Alan Squires,Stan Cowell,and Geordie Thompson,Agi Hargreaves,Tommy Shipley
Mortars
Fus,s Davies,Gibbons,Moran(me)Williams the red haired one Billy.

The Brigade Shoot.

Autumn of 63 saw The Btn Mortars joining in the brigade shoot.
This was a show of the fire power of 12th infantry brigade,a demonstration of tank firepower,Artillery,and infantry mortar firepower,after a few days practice,and ...digging bloody great big holes!,we were set up.Harry Bennett and Zoomer Coomber had us licked into shape!,and C coy Mortar was the fastest into action,most accurate,of the whole 3 infantry btns,so c coy mortars were the brigade right markers..Us!!,Major Lloyd-Jones was as high as a kite,he bought the beer!!,like all those bombs we fired ,they went down well!

Rest on our laurels?er no way.
Having seen what his mortars could do “Swinging Jim”devised more adventure for us!,”Long carries”!!,er can i join the MT please sir? NO!!

Jim(the swinging one)that is,volunteered us all for the (cant spell this)Nijmegen? marchesPhew Spell check knew that,Well he did,nt want us to just march! he wanted us to carry our 3” Mortars ,pull and the Mobat..some one overruled him! some one up above,some one up there likes me!!
Competition? oh yeah plenty of that!

The next big one we had was,a division shooting competition,,and so the best shots were sent,to take on the best,in the Baor,and the best of the Yankee doodle dandies.

An American General(god knows how many stars he had,but we did a bit of mooning at them)
In the LMG section,we had Tommy Shipley,and Dave Graham as no.2
The Ship,and Dave won hands down!!

The Yankee General commented(about Shipley)Soldier ya look like a bag of Shit!,but i wouldn't want ya shooting at me(cheeky B`std),Tommy won 100 marks ,and got the beer in!

So ! as you see Bev,you prepared us well ,for the next stage,so ! where the hell did ya get to?

The story,s true!,I know I was that Soldier.

Vince Moran (defender of the realm)

Thanks Vince Moran.