09 August 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Mike Maybery from Thumrait, Oman

Ken Knott from Nottingham, UK

Ken Wright from Liverpool, UK

Dave Spencer from Odiham, UK

Mike McCann from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Welcome to the OBA!


From:     Mike Maybery, Thumrait, Oman
Date:      02 Aug 2002 03:48
Subject:  Re:  Membership

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your e-mail, details you requested are as follows:

Did my Movements course at the end of 1966 start of 1967.  First movements tour was Masirah May 67 to June 68. Stayed on Movements from then onwards until I left the RAF in January 2001 to start working for Dyncorp in Thumrait, Oman where I am still working (with Keith Parker).

Did three tours on UKMAMS, first one was on Papa team 74 to 77, second was March 92 to May 94 (can't remember the team I was on !!), third was from May 97 to December 02 on Charlie team.

Phone numbers as follows : Residence: 466555 Work: 466496
If you require any more info don’t hesitate to contact me,


Mike Maybery.                                                                                          

[Ed:  Thanks Mike.  I did send an  e-mail to Ian Berry, MAMS Guru, trying to find out what team you might have been on from '92 to '94, but by all accounts the records are somewhat in a kerfuffle right now.  Perhaps one of your former team members can remind you]


From:     David Powell, Princes Risborough, UK
Date:      02 Aug 2002 09:16
Subject:  Do we ever learn?

Hi Gang

Seeing the recent Gulf post exercise report in the last OBA brief reminded me of an incident when I was still 'in'. 

As some of you may know I spent several tours at MoD, HQSTC,  HQ38Gp and HQ46Gp happily causing confusion in logistic operations type jobs. 

Shortly after the Gulf War had ended I was at a fairly senior meeting where I was required to brief on the main logistic
lessons learnt from the recent conflict.

I delivered my report saying these are the top 20 lessons learned, and I read through the main conclusions.   Each one was received with much wise nodding of heads in agreement from the audience, many of whom had been involved in the operation, together with meaningful 'yes, that must be sorted!' type muttering.

When I got to point number 20, I prefaced it by apologizing that it wasn't really relevant as it covered facilities at Ascension

I then explained that, actually I had not been reading a report of the Gulf War findings - I had been reading an actual report of the lessons learned from the Falklands Conflict that had been written 10 years earlier!  But lessons which had still to be acted upon.

Hey Ho!

David Powell

[Ed:  Thanks David, Hey Ho indeed! ]


[Ed:  Here is a special report:]

Since the Taliban cannot stand nudity and consider it a sin to see a naked woman that is not a wife, this Saturday afternoon at 2pm, all British women are asked to walk out of their houses completely naked to help weed out any  neighbourhood terrorists.

Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti terrorist effort.

All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their houses to prove they think it's okay to see other women nude, and to show support for their fellow sisters.

Since the Taliban also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-Taliban sentiment.

Great Britain appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation


From:     John McGrath, Thornton-Cleverleys, UK
Date:      02 Aug 2002 14:59
Subject:  Re:  Old Boys Briefs 080102

With regards the item on the serviceability of the Challenger Tanks during last year’s exercise.

The government has been quick to admit to this and other problems saying that's what the exercise was all about (finding out what worked and what didn't).

This probably means the problems are actually worse than the rumours suggest, and are not they the same problems we discovered 12 years ago in the Gulf War, i.e., tank serviceability, helicopter rotor blades wearing out, sand getting in weapons and boots not up to the job.

I cannot remember who it was, but a wise man said that those who fail to remember the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. Surely this should take more than 10 years or so?


John McGrath

[Ed:  Thanks for that John.  I think we might all agree with you.  The British military has seen enough action in the Middle East during the last 100 years or so, you'd think the hierarchy might be a little more versed in the shortcomings.]


The Government has angered British veterans of the Second World War Arctic convoys by telling them that they should not receive a Russian medal honouring their bravery.

The Russian government wants to give surviving Royal and Merchant Navy sailors the same medal that it gave to its own sailors who helped to keep supply lines open.  But Whitehall has decided the issue of the medal to British convoymen is inappropriate because it was originally intended for Soviet sailors.

In a letter to veterans, Richard Coney, a senior civil servant, said: "It is most unlikely that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is responsible for dealing with such requests from foreign governments, will recommend to the Queen that permission should be granted to either receive or wear the medal."

Arctic convoy survivors received the Atlantic Medal but an Arctic medal, although considered, was never struck.  There are 1,600 Arctic convoy survivors. One of them, Cdr Eddie Grenfell, from Havant, Hants, said: "These decisions are made by people who've never seen a shot fired in anger. They have no idea of the hell we went through."

Cdr Grenfell, who survived the sinking of his ship in the Arctic in May 1942, added: "We veterans are dismayed and disgusted by the Government's ungrateful attitude."

At the end of the war, the Soviet government commissioned the Defence of the Soviet Polar Region medal and gave it to its own sailors. The Russian government has now decided that the same medal should be presented to the British survivors.
Pavel Bogomolov, London correspondent for Pravda, said with the end of the Cold War his people felt free to honour British comrades. "Millions of people in Russia have come to realise how important the Allies were to us."

The convoys carried 22,000 aircraft and 13,000 tanks, helping to tip the balance in Eastern front.

The British Government is wary about medals issued to its servicemen and women by overseas governments. To wear those given by foreign powers requires the permission of the Queen.

Mike Hancock, Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, described the Government's attitude to the Russian plan as "insensitive and crass".

[Ed:  My vote is for Mike Hancock!]


From:     Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, UK
Date:      02 Aug 2002 18:19
Subject:  Re:  Old Boys Briefs 080102

I don't get the big deal with medals. I was in the RAF for 12 years and never got one and since I have been in the RFA I've been given 3 including the Jubilee Medal and I am not a happy rabbit as it’s spoilt my medal free existence.

Medals are a pain in the posterior, so what’s all the bloody fuss about?  They have to be worn for ceremonials and what have you, come on guys get real, we've given all that crap up, now we're old and doddery, and at the end of the day what bloody good are they really?

At least some of the jokes in the Briefs are good,  which same we should get more of!

[Ed:  Just some of the jokes Murdo?  I do believe you might get a few responses about the wearing of the medals!]


From:     John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date:      03 Aug 2002 03:32
Subject:  Ode

Hi Tony
What with the cut-backs in defence spending  with squadrons being stood down and the question, “do we need all the new Typhoons” that are on order and the Royal Navy scrapping frigates?  

I was having a breeze through my old issues of Mauripur's ‘Sandscript’ and found the following which may be of interest:


I’m the last man in the Air Force
I’ve an office in MoD
And a copy of Queen’s Regulations
Which can only apply to me

I can post myself to Leuchars
And detach myself to Kinloss
Or send me on course to MOTU
Then cancel the lot – I’m the boss!

I’m the last man in the Air Force
But the great Parliamentary brains
Omitted when cancelling people
To sell the stations and planes

The result is my inventory bulges
With KD and camp stools and Quarters
Plus a signed book of verses by Trenchard
Which I keep for impressing reporters

I’m the last man in the Air Force
I’m ADC to the Queen
I’m Duty Clerk at St Mawgan
I am the RAF’s rugby team

Tomorrow I’m painting the Guardroom
And air-testing several planes
The day after that to London
To preach at St Clement Danes

I’m the last man in the Air Force
And I bet you imagine it’s great
To be master of all you survey
But I tell you it’s difficult mate

I inspected three units on Thursday
As Deputy C-in-C (Strike)
Then swept half the runway at Laarbruch
And repaired RAF Wittering’s bike

I’m the last man in the Air Force
My wife say’s I’m never at home
When I’m not flying Hercs I’m at Manston
Laying gallons and gallons of foam

Or I’m in my marine craft at Plymouth
Firing flares at the crowds on the Hoe
Or I’m Orderly Corporal at Bruggen
It’s an interesting life but all go

I’m the last man in the Air Force
And I’m due to go before long
There’s been no talk of replacement
And they won’t even let me sign on

I hope to enjoy my retirement
For I’ve put up a fairly good show
But I won’t cut myself off entirely
There are always reunions you know!


John Holloway

[Ed: Thanks John.  Don't forget to turn ALL the lights out when you leave!]


From:     Ken Davie, Minneapolis MN, USA
Date:      03 Aug 2002 14:54
Subject:  No mystery!

Hi, Tony,

I've been in Scotland, as my mother was ill. She is being well taken care of, and other members of the family are there now.

I loved the 'mystery' photo of those two old codgers in a WW2 warplane! Great stuff! I didn't respond on the site because I had the inside scoop. Wouldn't be fair. 

Rob has done so well for himself. I just missed him in Minneapolis a few weeks ago, as I was in New Jersey at the time.
Next time we'll definitely hook up.

The site is a delight as always. Ah, the memories.

Take care. I hope that this finds you well,  happy and healthy


[Ed:  I do trust that your mother will be okay Ken, but as you say, she is in good hands.]


From:      Ken Wright, Liverpool, UK
Date:      04 Aug 2002 23:36
Subject:  UKMAMS OBA Membership Application

My name is Ken Wright and I live in Liverpool UK

I attended 113 JAMC and I am the handsome young pup  2nd row 4th right on the course pic.  Although I went back to Strike Command after the course,  I was i/c Movs at Goose Bay Dec 74 – Jan  76 (Yes, I was only an SAC,  but I was the only one qualified and who knew  my spigots from my straps!)

I also did some exercise movements from Honington Jan 75 – May 76 with Dave Taylor’s motley flyaway pack crew, mainly because I could handle the Herc forks without maiming either aircraft or troops.

Great site, the best yet!

p.s.  has anyone any idea if  Hope Irvine is still with us?

[Ed:  Thanks for the compliment Ken.  Perhaps Ian Berry might know of whatever happened to Hope.]


From:     Karl Hibbert, Sabang, Philippines
Date:      08 Aug 2002 12:18
Subject:  House Pictures

Hello Tony,

Great work on the OBA, still look forward to receiving it on Fridays.

A couple of us were chatting the other day and were attempting to work out how many ex-UKMAMS and/or NEAF are working out in the Middle East area. Names that spring to mind are; Keith Parker, Brian Harper, John Conduit, Don Hazelwood, Ron Turley, Mike Vosper (ex RAFLO Colombo methinks) John I’Anson. Any more I wonder...?

[Ed:  Two that I can think of right away are Mike Maybery & Mike McCann, both of whom joined the OBA this week.  Many thanks for the pictures of your newly constructed house Karl – you did a great job on it!  I’ve got them posted in your profile.  Maybe you should think about a change of careers…..]


Secrets to a happy marriage from a male point of view:
1. It is important to find a woman that cooks and cleans.

2. It is important to find a woman that makes good money.

3. It is important to find a woman that likes to have sex.

4. It is important that these three women never meet.


There’s a new Mystery Photo on the site – any guesses?


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards