20 December 2002 

A new member joining us this week is Gerry Keyworth from Lowestoft, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Reg Tudor, Oxford, UK
Date: 13 Dec 2002 05:10
Subject: Success!

I have now had the operation on my left eye and it has been a success.  With all of my medical problems over the years this has been the biggest hurdle.  I am now at home recovering and leave in a few days time for my other home in Barbados, planning on spending Christmas on the beach with my wife of 30 years (that’s the time we’ve been married – not her age!).

I shall raise a glass to all of my old friends in the Movements world, I wish all a very Merry Christmas and may the years ahead bring luck and good health to all.

Reg Tudor


From: Gordon Black, Swindon, UK
Date: 13 Dec 2002 07:44
Subject: Xmas Greetings


Thanks for all your hard work for the OBA. Keep it up.  Seasons greetings to all our members and all the best for a prosperous New Year.



From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, UK
Date: 13 Dec 2002 07:47
Subject: Re: Old Boys Briefs 121302

The name Jack Dunlop rings a bell in the dark recesses of my mind possibly from Muharraq, and my own Movers course was in 66. but I can't remember it's number, but I do remember it was late in the year.

I do have the course rogue's gallery mug shots which I can excavate and send when I get a minute.  I'll be sending my e-mail address for Sir Galahad soon




From: Ian Newlands, Didcot, UK
Date: 13 Dec 2002 10:39
Subject: Season’s Greetings

Hi there Tony,

May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year and all the rest of the OBA.

Have a great holiday, you that are not on call that is

All the best,

Ian (Foddy) Newlands


Rumour Corner - You didn't hear it from me, but…

An inquiry into why thousands of disabled veterans were charged tax they should never have paid has uncovered a catalogue of "systematic failings" and a culture in which civil servants did not care if former servicemen were properly treated.

The investigation was ordered by Lewis Moonie, the veterans minister, after he found that officials had misled him over the seriousness of the problem. It is scathing of the way pensions were administered.

At one point in the 1950s, civil servants handling Navy pensions deducted tax they knew should never be paid simply because they disagreed with the law, the inquiry found.

"The Admiralty for a time deliberately did not draw the attention of ratings to the tax exemption because efforts were being made to abolish it," the report said.

But it was most critical of civil servants administering Army pensions during the 1990s among whom there was a "deep-rooted" culture in which it was thought not to matter if veterans were robbed of their entitlements.

Faced with a backlog of cases, civil servants filed thousands of them away without processing, the inquiry said. This not only left more than 350 disabled soldiers paying tax they should not have paid but resulted in them not receiving their proper pensions.

"There was both a failure on the part of the management to recognise that cases were being filed away when actions remained outstanding and, more fundamentally, to create an ethos in which staff were sufficiently customer-orientated that it would be unthinkable to allow such a thing to happen."

The inquiry also confirmed that the problem was far deeper than thought, going back to 1919 and affecting all three Services. It was "impossible to say how many errors had been made". The inquiry was ordered after The news source disclosed that thousands of disabled servicemen and women whose pensions should have been tax-exempt had paid millions of pounds.

Tony Blair apologised publicly but Dr Moonie resisted an inquiry, telling MPs that the problem had affected only the Army, went back no further than 1952 and would cost only £6 million to put right. But as it emerged that the error went back to 1919, that veterans had been wrongly charged £30 million and that the Navy and the RAF were also involved, Dr Moonie agreed to an internal inquiry.

This quickly discovered that even after the problem was realised civil servants did not react properly to inquiries from veterans and relatives.

Replies sent out by the Armed Forces Pensions Administration Agency blamed the media and told some pensioners they were not involved when they were.

"Many of the letters have left much to be desired in terms of tone as well as substance," the inquiry found, adding that inaccurate advice was also given to ministers and as a result to Parliament.

"As recently as early this year, such advice included assertions purporting to be statements of fact which were ill-founded assumptions."

The report found that the compensation was inadequate and that efforts to rectify this were being hampered by the Inland Revenue.

At best the refund would leave many pensioners worse off than if they had put the money into a National Savings account. At worst they had effectively given the Government an interest-free loan.


From: Dave Yeoman, Hadleigh, UK
Date: 13 Dec 2002 13:17
Subject: Seasons Greetings

Hi Tony,

Just to say thanks for all the enjoyment your Briefs have given me over the past year. Also to wish you, Jack and all Movers both past and present a very merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. 


Dave Yeoman.


Three men die in a car accident Christmas Eve. They all find themselves at the pearly gates waiting to enter Heaven. On entering they must present something Christmassy. 

The first man searches his pocket, and finds some mistletoe, so he is allowed in. 

The second man presents a Christmas card, so he is also allowed in. 

The third man pulls out a pair of panties. Confused at this last gesture, St. Peter asks, "How do these represent Christmas?" 

The man answered, "They're Carol's."


[Guest Book Entry]
From: Bob Ashley, Perth, Western Australia
Date: 13 Dec 2002 15:14

Referred by Jim Aitkin and glad he did.  I wasn't in your side of the business but used you up a lot from 48 to 56. Berlin Airlift Germany Yorks and Daks. Lyneham 50/51, Yorks and Hastings, Daks etc .Postings to the Malayan Peninsula 51/52, up to Kai Tak and back to UK with your help. This was added to by many trips around Malaya in Valletta's etc. I was also on the receiving end of some of your supply drops at the jungle forts. I was in the engineering side and ended up crewing Whirlwinds in Malaya 54/56.

Thanks for a well done setup. 

Bob Ashley


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date: 14 Dec 2002 04:17
Subject: Greetings

Not a lot to report, the Mauripur reunion went well with just over 100 members and partners attending with a couple of new faces turning up, one being 'Mad' Smith from my era. We've lost a few members over the last year, we are quite an ageing group; at 66 I'm the second youngest. I guess we'll just fade away!!

I've blocked certain words on my incoming mail, there is far too much crap American rubbish mail coming in once they've picked up to your E mail address. I've blocked out words like 'viagra' and other words relating to you know what and I've got to mention that the 6th December brief 120602 went straight into the deleted file after scanning Andy Rooney's 'Logic' tut tut. [Ed: Blame John Bell down there in Oz for that gem!]

Anyhow not to worry, keep up the good work, season's greetings to everyone and let's have another great year.

Best wishes



From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 15 Dec 2002 11:17
Subject: It wasn't Christmas - but it was -27 degrees out there!

Hello again Tony,

It was 1975 and I was the UKMAMS operations officer but I was due for a posting back on to supply so I was not too pleased. However, it was at this time that the political situation in Belize was becoming rather hot - in more ways than one. The neighboring country, Guatemala, was threatening to invade Belize!

Naturally, in a situation like that you bolster up your defences. So, A Short Belfast of No 53 Squadron RAF Brize Norton was loaded with 10 pallets of ammunition for the beleaguered garrison. And yours truly led a scratch team made up of movers from the Sqn of whom all I can remember one was FS Baz Shatford.

When we got to Brize we were told by the captain that because of weather the Belfast would fly the Northern route stopping for refueling along the line. I pointed out that we only had tropical kit to wear. But he said that we would be bussed everywhere so it would not be too uncomfortable for us at the stopping points.

We called in at Iceland for fuel and took off for Gander. When we arrived at Gander, Newfoundland it was -27 degrees Celsius. Again we were bussed to ops to await more refueling, and the took off again - but this time though, the captain announced that because there was a fault with the undercarriage retraction which necessitated blowing the wheels down and locked with emergency nitrogen he was going to jettison fuel to bring his aircraft back down to landing weight at Gander. This happened and a motley MAMS team got quickly into the bus and were taken to the local motel to stay until further notice.

It was not long before the captain arrived with the plot from Upavon control: there was a No 53 Sqn Belfast flying up from South America which would be with us in about six hours. This aircraft was flat floor configuration so it would be parked next to the sick Belfast and the MAMS team would transfer the load and role equipment (side guidance). I quickly pointed out that I had quite a few problems with this plot - we had no cold weather gear; no transfer loader and no dock which to put the 10 pallets of ammo on whilst we re-role the two aircraft! He agreed with me, but I told him to leave it with me and I would do my best.

I went to the local Canadian Air Force HQ and asked for the loan of six cold weather parka kits including boots and gloves - this they did. I then went to Air Canada but they were not so well able to provide a transfer loader or dock. But they could provide a split level loader and that in an adjacent cargo hangar there were a number of lengths of industrial roller and a multitude of woodworkers A frames. I drove round to see the equipment offered and immediately saw it's potential. We arranged for the collection of this kit and took it round to the offload Belfast. Here we arranged the A frames in two lines and placed the roller on top - we had our improvised transfer dock! With the Air Canada split loader we managed to remove one pallet at a time and place them on the dock. When the first pallet was in place the dock was still standing but there were another nine pallets - to my surprise it took them all!

The relief aircraft arrived and the re-role commenced. By this time we were getting pretty tired and it was at this moment that FS Baz Shatford picked up a length of side guidance about 12 feet long and swung round hitting me on the side of my face with a mighty blow. I fell over but picked myself up just as quickly. Baz was very worried but I told him it was nothing and to get on with the re-role as time was ticking over.

We worked very hard and did not notice the cold. However, when the task was finished I thanked the team and invited them to the airport bar for a drink. When we arrived at the bar we began to thaw out. It was then as the blood returned to my face and I felt that there was a thumping pain there. I went into the toilets to have a look in a mirror - low and behold I had the biggest black eye and face for miles around!

Never mind though, an important operational task had been completed but only with the critical expertise of the UKMAMS team!

A very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all OBAs



More rumours, apparently from Tuesday of this week…

Britain signalled yesterday that it is preparing to send a large expeditionary force to the Gulf. It will join United States troops confronting Saddam Hussein in a final attempt to persuade the Iraqi president to surrender his weapons of mass destruction.

Tanks and advance parties of more than 20,000 British troops will begin moving to the Middle East within weeks, defence officials said yesterday.

The announcement came as American aircraft flying over Iraq began broadcasting a message to Iraqi troops calling on them to overthrow Saddam and promising the reward of an Afghan-style international aid package.

Defence chiefs have warned the Prime Minister that the British contribution must be credible, even if it is intended mainly to coerce Saddam into giving up his weapons.

Senior defence officials said the objective was to put some "real meat" behind the United Nations resolution on weapons inspections.

The operation - codenamed "Force on Mind" - involves stepping up preparations, chartering the ships needed to take British tanks to the Gulf and warning units and reservists to be ready to move.

The troops will receive improved equipment and begin training for war, including instruction in how to operate in an environment contaminated with chemical or biological weapons, the officials said.

Some procurement programmes are being accelerated in order to provide better equipment. They include secure communications systems to ensure that troops do not have to resort to using mobile telephones as they did in Kosovo.

Reservists have not been called up, but letters have gone out to the troops and their employers to ensure that those required are available when mobilisation begins.

Plans are in place to call up 6,500 reservists who will be sent initially to Chilwell, Notts, to ensure that they have the right equipment and inoculations. They will then be sent to one of two camps at Donnington, Shropshire, and Strensall, near York, for more sustained training.

Officials said there was no political decision to move yet and that the preparations were merely designed to cut the reaction time. "None of this means action is imminent, none of this means action is inevitable," they said.

They also denied that troops needed to be on the ground to fight a war beginning in February because the weather would be too hot to fight in the summer.

But defence sources said the official line was an attempt to play down the imminence of deployment. They noted that the Ministry of Defence would not be spending so much money if they were not expecting to have to move shortly.

It costs anything between £5,000 and £10,000 a day to charter one of the roll-on, roll-off ferries that will transport the British Challenger 2 tanks from Germany to Kuwait.

And while the Treasury had put aside £1 billion to pay for military operations in the Gulf, the officials confirmed that "urgent operational requirements" such as buying new equipment or adapting tanks for desert warfare would have to be paid for out of the MoD budget.

Although yesterday's announcement focused on the deployment of army units, which take longer to move, there are already signs of preparations within the Royal Navy.

The aircraft carrier Ark Royal is to lead a six-ship task force that will head for the Gulf next month. Officially, it is sailing to the Far East to take part in a long-planned exercise off Malaysia. But officials said its route and timetable was being changed so that it was in the Gulf at "the most appropriate time".

The MoD has tried to play down previous preparations for any war on Iraq, but with the pace of preparations about to accelerate, it was forced to go public.


From: Chris Kirby, Melksham, UK
Date: 15 Dec 2002 16:53
Subject: Xmas Newsletter

Season's greetings one and all. Here is a Festive Newsletter to update you on goings on 'down south'.

1. For those not aware, Chris has decided to give up being one of Her Majesty's Finest Baggage Handlers and shall no longer be gainfully employed by the RAF with effect from 30 Nov 03. Yep - I have decided to hang up me loading boots - not an easy or quick decision: something we have been mulling over for a while. I have no real gripes about current life in the Forces - it's mainly just time for a break from moving people and things from a to b, usually via z. There's stuff we both want to go off and do (more later) - and now seems like a good time. In the meantime, the RAF is still keeping me exceedingly busy. Anyway, once a name dropper - always a name dropper. Been to Kenya, Pakistan, Canada, Norway, Afghanistan, Europe, Oman and the USA amongst others in the last 12 months. But now starting to concentrate on resettlement and retraining for life 'outside'.

2. As for our initial demob plans - well, we are planning to take a break from the rat race. Call it a mature gap year, mid life youth regression crisis or whatever. Being keen skiers we intend to nip off overseas being ski bums for a season or 2, doing something along the lines of chalet hosting or resort rep - nothing too hectic or stressful. Don't expect to make pots of money but then again should have to spend too much or break into the pension either as the ski company's pay food, accommodation, flights and (hopefully) lift passes etc. Time for a bit of fun. Really looking forward to it all - aiming for next season (03/04) to get on the piste. Will let you know how we get on. Ultimately, we plan to return to Scotland to try and set up in business such as running a licenced guesthouse or pub with rooms, plus maybe do some adventure training/expedition stuff linked in. Sort of a military Basil Fawlty on Prozac. 

3. Myrah's job transfer from Basingstoke to Bath in late May prompted a house move back to the West Country, to about 5 miles away from where we moved from in Jun 01: ironic eh ?. Unfortunately, a quick shift was not to be and the whole saga became extremely protracted for numerous reasons beyond our control. And the solicitors/estate agents keep sending us new things to sign and bills to pay. It will be fully seven months from start to finish (not sure what the average is but this was way too long for us), and our 3rd move in 2 years. But to cut a long story short - we are now finally within days of exchanging contracts and should (fingers tightly crossed) be moving next week. So Christmas will largely be spent unpacking etc. Not to worry - we expect to be well set up for Hogmanay/New Year, when various relatives and friends have decided to descend upon us for an early house warming party.

Well, that's about it for now. With effect from approx 20 Dec (hopefully) our new postal address will be: 3 Murray Walk, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7AZ. Phone number tbn. Have a great festive season.

Best wishes from Chris and Myrah.


While taxiing at London Gatwick, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727.

An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the heck are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between Cs and Ds, but get it right!"

Continuing her tirade to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "You've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"

"Yes ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally the ground control frequency went terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to engage the irate ground controller in her current state.

Tension in every cockpit at LGA was running high. Then, an unknown pilot broke the silence and asked: "Wasn't I married to you once?"


From: John Middleton, Huntingdon, UK
Date: 17 Dec 2002 12:46
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year to the members of Red and Blue Teams, NEAF MAMS 1970 -74.


John (Hank) Middleton


From: Steve Jolley, Wakefield, UK
Date: 17 Dec 2002 19:07
Subject: ‘Tis the Season

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to your good self and to all ''movers'' old and new. Could you please send my copy of the briefs to as well as the existing one with hotmail. I have just gone onto broadband with blueyonder and am so far impressed with the speed of the service.

All the best,



From: David Cromb, Brisbane, Australia
Date: 18 Dec 2002 09:32
Subject: Merry Xmas

Hello Tony,

Congrats on a brilliant site. I spend plenty of time browsing thru the many interesting and fascinating articles. I for one would have liked to have seen some of the places mentioned by the more senior members.

Since I have decided to write my life story I often think of things not only done by myself, but of others I thought I knew, but in reality I hardly knew them at all. Some - no, make that a lot - of members have in the course of their service been subjected to some horrible and frightening experiences. For reasons never disclosed these experiences are not common knowledge. I'm humbled to have now been enlightened by the many who have contributed these articles for the welfare of the OBA. My thanks to all. I am most interested in the Khormaksar article, but more of that another time.

I am still, with assistance from Ian Berry, trying to locate Mavis Sanderson, I'll get there eventually, any help will be most welcomed.

Chris, my son, is assisting in my story and showing genuine interest in both the Association and the OBA. It's comforting to know that some of the younger generation want to know more of recent history, even his mates ask questions now!

May I take this opportunity to wish everybody a safe and happy Xmas and a prosperous New Year.



From: Bill Nangle, Victoria BC, Canada
Date: 17 Dec 2002 20:12
Subject: Re: Just a Reminder

Hi Tony,

Merry Christmas and a happy new Year to all Muppets, past and present!!

It will be a quiet Christmas here in Victoria. My wife Mary is in the Arabian Gulf until April, serving aboard HMCS Winnipeg. So there will not be much celebrating here.

Note to Neil Baldock:  I'll be in the UK next March. Hope to see you then.

Best Regards to all.

Bill Nangle


It was Christmas Eve and nothing was going right: Mrs. Claus had burned all the cookies. The elves were complaining about not getting paid for the overtime they had worked in order to make toys, and were threatening to go on strike. The reindeer had been drinking eggnog all afternoon. To make matters worse, a few of the other elves had taken the sleigh out for a spin earlier in the day and had crashed it into a tree. 

Santa was furious. "I can't believe it! I've got to deliver millions of presents all over the world in just a few hours, and all of my reindeer are drunk, the elves are walking out, and I don't even have a Christmas tree! I sent that stupid little angel out hours ago to find a tree and he isn't even back yet! What am I going to do?" 

Just then, the little angel opened the front door and stepped in from the snowy night, dragging a Christmas tree. The angel said, "Yo, fat man! Where do you want me to put the tree?" 

And thus the tradition of angels atop the Christmas trees came to pass...


From: Peter Underwood, New Glasgow NS, Canada
Date: 17 Dec 2002 20:16
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Very best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year.

Peter and Joan Underwood
Nova Scotia, Canada


From: Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 01:09
Subject Greetings

Hi Tony,

Just to let you know that I'm still around. Have a happy Christmas and a good new year to you and to all the members.

Keep up the good work, I'm still enjoying the weekly briefs.

Cheers Robbie


From: Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 03:16
Subject: Old Boys Briefs

Hi Tony,

Just to thank you for all the pleasure you have given throughout the year and to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2003.




From: Peter Clayton, Stafford, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 04:23
Subject: Happy Christmas


A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all UKMAMS past and present wherever you are, hopefully not in Baghdad.

Peter Clayton
Thorney Island, Changi, Brize-Norton, Kai-Tak, Lyneham.
Alpha Team UKMAMS 1975-78
Tradewinds Airways
Redcoat Airlines
National Airlines
Heavylift Cargo Airlines

Now.... Thames Water!!!


From: Philipp Clarke, Vienna, Austria
Date: 18 Dec 2002 06:11
Subject: Cripes – it’s almost Crimbles!

Crimbles is arriving fast here in Vienna. The first real snow arrived overnight on Sunday/Monday - 20 minutes clearing the car off at 7am (not fun) to get to work.

Last night (Tuesday) we had the final Lauda Air (as we know it) Christmas Party. On the 1st January Lauda effectively becomes the charter arm of the Austrian Airlines Group, and I, and many others remuster to Austrian - we're not happy bunnies - but as I am too old for a paper round, and too young to retire the bullet must be bitten. 
Naturally I stuck to Dandelion & Burdock last night, but some bugger must have spiked it cos I had a little problem with my co-ordination on the way home, also when I got up this morning things were not quite as they should have been.

At 3 pm this afty the OEM reps (Boeing, Airbus, CFM, GE, Pratt & Whitney and Matsushita) are throwing a little party. Because I am a very polite person I will turn up and assist in demolishing a little bit of their excess profits. A distinct possibility that the car may well be abandoned, and alternative means of getting home will be sought. Just hope no-one treads on my fingers as I walk home.

Tomorrow night is a get together of lots of old mates from around Vienna Airport - and you will probably not believe this but it is 100% true. It's a piss up in a brewery - honest injun - and if you don't trust in my integrity go to  Schwechat is the local town for VIE (as Horley is to Gatwick and is twinned with Enfield - Did you know that Royal Enfield is where the Queen keeps her chickens - and the motor bikes are still available albeit made in India). But I digress - Schwechat has a very fine and old brewery, and of course I do my best to keep production at an acceptable level. In return they have kindly opened a huge on site Pub - and as it is only 3 miles from my gaff - wot could be better Guv.

Assuming I make it to the weekend, we (her who must be obeyed and me) have to be at the airport at 0900 on Sunday - If you go to the opening page says - 'I always wanted to have my Christmas in Istanbul well if it's good enough for James Bond it's good enough for me - so that's were we're going for Chrissy. Back the following Sunday.

I then have the distinction of being the very last duty AOG officer in the history of Lauda Air. I'm on duty on the 31st/1st January., but as Lauda Technic ceases to exist at midnight on the 31st, I just may welcome the New Year in the traditional Movers Method.

So all that remains is to wish all you Old Boys, friends known and unknown, enemies and old comrades, and all your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and a 2003 that exceeds what 2002 brought you.

During the festivities please join me in raising a glass to our favourite sheep-shagger, and saying 'Thanks for keeping it all together our Noble WebMaster - we owe you'

Merry Christmas

Phil (Nobby to 50th old boys)


From: Karl Hibbert, Sabang, Philippines
Date: 18 Dec 2002 07:56
Subject: Xmas and New Year

Hi Tony,

Best wishes to all Members of the OBA, have a Happy Xmas and a Prosperous Safe New Year.

Karl Hibbert


A farmhand is driving 'round the farm, checking the fences. After a few minutes, he radios his boss and says, "Boss, I've got a problem. I hit a pig on the road and he's stuck in the bull bars of my truck. He's still wriggling; what should I do?"

"In the back of your truck there's a shotgun. Shoot the pig in the head and when it stops wriggling, you can pull it out and throw it in a bush." 

The farm worker agrees and signs off. About 10 minutes later he radios back. "Boss, I did what you said. I shot the pig and dragged it out, and threw it in a bush." 

"So what's the problem now?" his Boss snapped. 

"The blue light on his bike is still flashing!"


From: John Dunlop, Aberdeen, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 13:17
Subject: Memories and Xmas Wishes


I was looking through the Archives and I have got to say I am absolutely astounded with all the boy's names I was with in Abingdon '66, Khormaksar '67, Bahrain '67 and Fairford '68. It has been 34 years, a bloody lifetime! 

I worked Air Cargo in Khormaksar with Sergeant Meek, Jim (Mad Dog) McVeigh from the Emerald Isle (e-mail me Jim!). I remember we combed Steamer Point Lido looking for the woman's wedding ring that she lost. I believe she worked for our local radio station and we found the ring. I can still remember that kiss! There was Derek Barron, "Spuey Huey", Big Dave Brown, George Tennant - now I am losing the plot. 

At Muharraq there was Sean Leahy (Flying Officer), Dave Gillander, Jim Daly, Chick Hatch, Billy Wright, Bob Myles, Paddy Kane, Taffy Bloor, Chris Carter, Warrant Officer Earl Aden, Pilot Officer Knox, Flight Lieutenant Jim Spurrell (he was a toff), Geordie Middleton (coach driver) and Brian Basting. Well, that's it.

At Fairford there was Frank Williamson in Load Control and also Neil (surname gone). Our SAMO was Squadron Leader Lambert - who could forget him? that's another story. Sergeant Woods (Army) at Jufair Joint Movements, Wee Willie Braid, there was also an Indian fellow at Khormaksar - he was on our course at Abingdon - can't think of his name. 

If any of you older guys were on the same course as me at Abingdon, do you remember Dave Hardie? He was posted to Masirah and I met him at Leuchars two years later. He had a fantastic collection of shells which he wanted to give to the Glasgow Museum. I met him again very recently, he was searching through the litter bins at Buchanan Street Bus Depot - a total down and out. I spoke to him and it was a while before he answered me. That was a sad day indeed, a "lost soul." 

I have heard from Bruce Oram, Keith Hubbard and Geordie Ward. I would like to hear from some of you other guys.

I am living in the Scottish Veteran Housing, Aberdeen. I had a couple of traumatic incidents which has affected my life (will tell you all about it some day). I was awarded a war pension and I attend Hollybush House for PTSD 3 times a year.

I wrote a book of poems of which one was sent to the Queen Mother for her 100th birthday. I donate £1 from the sale of each book to Combat Stress, and I am the official collector up here in Grampian. If any of you guys want to make any donations I will be only to pleased to e-mail you my address or you can purchase my book. I do not jest boys, you would be helping a worthwhile charity. So far I have raised £1,000 for Combat Stress and my goal is to go further.  I had the privilege of meeting Prince Charles at Hollybush 3/7/2002 and presenting him with a copy of my book which contains the Hollybush poem of which I am very proud. Well so much for that.

I wonder if Squadron Leader Riley would remember my SAMO at Northolt in 1962, Flight Lieutenant de la Rue-Brown (long before fools and horses - that's another story). Also there was Sid Powell, Mick Clarke, Frank Hoarem, Terry Sanderson and Sergeant Leapold. Aircraft visiting us were from the RCAF, RDAF, Royal Indian Air Force and the odd one that mistook us for London airport and landed at Northolt

Merry Xmas and all the best for 2003 to yourselves and families. I am so proud of my Movements days and being part of your team.

All for now, 

Jack (Jock ) Dunlop

From: Martin Liggett, Swindon, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 13:55
Subject: Christmas Greetings


I would like to wish all OBA members both serving and retired A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR.

Best wishes

Martin Liggett

From: Peter Chappell, Exeter, UK
Date: 18 Dec 2002 14:12
Subject: The Season

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all past and present UK MAMERS.

Peter Chappell in sunny ??? Exeter.

From: Bill Nangle, Victoria BC, Canada
Date: 18 Dec 2002 14:51
Subject: News


Just got the following from "The Scotsman" the Scots Newspaper. Not very happy to read this as the wife is there!!. Thought it should go on the site as no doubt the Muppets will shortly be on their way.


Scots troops prepare to lead war effort 


CRACK Scots troops are on standby to lead the British contribution to a war in the Gulf as Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon today confirmed the United Kingdom was preparing for military action against Iraq. 

The Edinburgh-based Royal Dragoon Guards, Black Watch and Marines from the Arbroath-based 45 Commando Brigade will be in the first wave of any action against Saddam Hussein. 

They are a key part of more than 20,000 British soldiers who will start moving to the Middle East within weeks. 

Today Mr. Hoon admitted that the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces were gearing up for action. 

Although he said war was neither "imminent nor inevitable" he did make clear that the preparations were under way. 

He said: "We need to build up preparations for military action in case that should prove necessary." 

He added that whether that action was taken depended on Saddam Hussein and it was up to the Baghdad dictator to disarm. 

But he made clear that if Saddam did not comply fighting would follow. 

Mr Hoon said that he would expect parliament to debate military action before British troops went in but added that it would not do so in a manner that would give a signal for the timing for the date of such action to Saddam in advance. 

He effectively ruled out a substantive vote at Westminster on the issue and also made clear that Britain and the US could go into action without the specific authority of the United Nations Security Council. 

He said he would expect the Security Council to discuss the reaction of Saddam Hussein but made clear that a specific vote to back action was not essential. 

Ministry of Defence sources made clear that preparations for war were well underway with ships being hired to transport tanks, equipment and ammunition to the Gulf and defence firms being served with "urgent operation" requirements to speed up the production of vital weapons and kit. 

British Challenger tanks are being prepared for desert warfare and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is on her way to the Gulf to provide air cover. 

Reservists are already on standby for call-up and up to 6500 are expected to be sent to training centres in Nottinghamshire, Shropshire and Yorkshire shortly. 

In all between 20,000 and 30,000 British troops, with tanks and heavy equipment, are expected to be lined up on the Iraqi borders as part of a 300,000 strong US/UK force within weeks. 

The British contingent is now on official "notice to move". 

And 1200 of them come from The Black Watch and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards who are currently in specialist training in Germany for desert war. 

A senior Ministry of Defence official said: "We are now on the road to war. 

"The military wants to crack on and get things prepared. The Black Watch and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are part of the first UK armoured division. 

"This is one of the two divisions that are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. 

"They are very formidable fighting forces." 

The regiments, based near Hamburg, would spearhead an allied attempt to smash through the desert to Baghdad. 

The British troops - which will also include the Fusiliers, the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, two regiments of Royal Engineers, the Royal Logistics corps, the Royal Artillery and two Signals regiments - will join vast US forces already in the Gulf by the end of January. 

British airplanes will launch air strikes against Iraq in mid-February backed by Cruise missiles, laser and satellite-guided precision weapons and other missiles - if the war starts. 

Action must be taken in February if it is to go ahead before the end of the year because of the hot weather later. 

Ark Royal is expected to lead a six ship taskforce from the Royal Navy in the Gulf. In all the Treasury has put aside £1 billion to pay for the military action.

From: Scott Innes, Worcester, UK
Date: 19 Dec 2002 06:10
Subject: Greetings

Hi Tony

Christmas Greetings to yourself and Ghislaine and a happy new year.

Seasons greetings to all ex-movers - and see you all on the road to Baghdad in February. Last one in the Baghdad Holiday Inn's pool gets the Anthrax jabs in!!!


From: Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date: 19 Dec 2002 09:04
Subject: Gerry Keyworth's E-Mail Address


Sorry about the delay I've been away for a long weekend and then straight back onto shift. I've spoken to Gerry who says he's on leave from Saudi and goes back shortly. His e-mail address at the moment is in Saudi but he's been made redundant and leaves for good in the new year. Once he sets up an e-mail account he will let you know. I was hoping Gerry could give me the latest address for Bill Wellman (Uncle Bill) as he left Portsmouth for Scotland several years ago. Sadly he too is now in the dark, Bill lost all his savings with the collapse of a Middle East Bank some years ago and Gerry says was left neigh on penniless. His intention was to move to Scotland and live in a Crofters Cottage - the search goes on...

Please include my Season's greetings to all the OBA members out there. Especially the silent majority who never write! The OBA is not a threat to the UKMAMS Association and complements it. However, a lot of the OBA members were once in the Association but have not renewed their subs. If the Association was to die or the income dried up who will be left to organise events and reunions? Do any of the lapsed members care to comment?

Happy Christmas

Ian Berry


In the face of industrial action by members of the Armed Forces, the Government has announced that the Fire Service will, as an interim measure, carry out military operations in Iraq.

The Army, who have demanded a 40% pay increase on the basis that their job has become rather more technical and busy since 1945, will begin strike action next Thursday unless a compromise pay deal can be agreed in the meantime. It is understood that they will spend their time standing around little bonfires outside barracks, rubbing their hands together and waving at passing vehicles who honk their horns at them regardless of whether they support them or not.

Crack Fire Service personnel, highly trained in playing darts, brewing tea, sleeping on duty and sliding down poles, are understood to be on standby to take up front line operations. Using their "Red Goddess" vehicles instead of tanks, they will race towards Iraqi lines and attempt to annoy the enemy into surrendering by making a lot of noise and spraying them with water (it is understood their secret weapon will be forcing the Iraqis to negotiate their surrender with Andy Gilchrist). Prime Minister Tony Blair has already stated that the Fire Service strike of this year proved that a vastly undermanned service with limited and unsuitable equipment (The Army) can perform the duties of a well-trained, well-equipped and well-manned professional force equally as efficiently and without loss of life.

When it was pointed out to him that the bright red fire engines might make an easy target for enemy fire, Mr Blair said, "Never mind, we've got too many firemen as it is... er, is that camera running?" Asked for his comment, Britain's partner in the coalition in the war against Iraq, US President George W. Bush, said "Ooh, can I have a go at the siren?" Mr Blair is believed to have agreed.

(Apologies to Jim Stone, Fireman extraordinaire..)

Many thanks must go to David Howley for his artistic contribution - it is greatly appreciated.

Well, that's it for this year.  The next issue of the Old Boys Briefs will be on 03 January 2003.

I will be having a very quiet Christmas and New Year's celebration this year as Ghislaine, my wife, is visiting in Cape Town, South Africa for the holidays. 

In the meantime I would like to wish every single one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best regards