June 29, 2022

51 Port Operating Squadron leave

Valetta Camp, Cyprus

The Camps of Cyprus

By Chris Elliott

Richard Chamberlain, the renowned photographer and author of the book “Cyprus Scene and Way of Life in 1954”, has contacted cyprusscene to see what can be learned of a plaque that he recently purchased at an antiques sale.

This plaque has the image of Cyprus and name plates Plaquewhich say the following:

  • Presented to 51 Port Operating Squadron 1960.
  • To commemorate the opening and closing date of Valetta Camp.
  • 9th May 1941 to 3rd December 1960.
  • Presented by G.M. Louisides.

Checking  the British Army Unit webpage we can establish that the 17th Port Training  Regiment based in Marchwood, England formed the 51 and 52 Port Squadrons in 1949 and despatched the 52 Squadron to Cyprus in 1957

1958 saw the reorganisation within the 17th Port Training Regiment with the 52 Port Squadron and other squadrons being recalled.  In 1960 the 51 Port Squadron returned leaving 1 troop in Cyprus.

By July 1965 the role of the 17th Port Training Regiment was transferred to the Royal Corps of Transport and squadrons were disbanded. For more information  click here.

So that gives us a little information about the 51 Port Operating Squadron but who was  G. M. Louisides the presenter of this plaque and who did he present it to?

The final mystery is where was Camp Valetta?  From what we know of Port Squadrons they were always based close to the docks they were working in.

If any of our readers can provide any answers to these question and hopefully supply copies of  documents and photographs they will be received with great thanks and passed to Richard Chamberlain and in the first instance please leave your details in the contact box below.

We hope to bring you news very soon of when Richard’s new book “Cyprus Scenes and Way of Life in 1954/55 and sixty years later in 2014”. will be become available.



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