By Margaret Sheard …..
There are now many stories on cyprusscene.com of memories from British ex-servicemen who served their national service in Cyprus in the 1950’s and 1960’s and from time to time a comment will appear on one of these stories which prompt further memories.
Sometimes it is just a casual comment and not sufficient to warrant a further article but we recently received a request from the son of a Cyprus national serviceman, Cyril Ogborne – sadly now deceased, which has resulted in some nice photographs being sent to us.
The comment was from Paul Ogborne who, having read the article written by Bill (Chalky) White, asked if he could make contact with Bill through us as he had some nice photographs taken by his father, Cyril Ogborne, who was with the 1st Battalion of The Welch Regiment, which he would be happy to share. To see the original article click here
Maybe someone will remember what happened to this lorry, nasty bump by the looks of it!
Bill contacted Paul and he received photographs taken at Morphou Police Station (Guzelyurt) and Dhavlos Camp (Kaplica), which he has passed on to us, and said “Paul is the son of one of the old class of 57 Cyprus, one Cyril Ogborne, who sadly has passed away, Cyril was the C/o’s driver, always smartly dressed, unlike us bunch of misfits??”. Regarding the photographs Bill commented, “I am in the middle of the group sat on top of the water bowser, looking a bit thinner and of course also a lot younger. Cyril is the smart looking squaddie in the group of 4”. These two photos are shown below.
Cyril’s son has informed us that his father’s truck ran over a land mine while he was in Cyprus. Luckily he escaped with only minor injuries. However a couple of other occupants of the truck were killed. Since publishing this article we have received a newspaper cutting reporting the death of one of the occupants of the truck who was from Llanelly in South Wales UK. Cyril’s son, Paul, seems to remember his father telling him that his mate’s body was repatriated. To see the cutting click here
Two more of Cyril’s photos are shown below and I wonder if anyone recognises themselves from all those years ago in Cyprus?
I had also previously written two articles together with Clive Williams, also of the Welch Regiment, which were very amusing in parts and as a result of the subsequent article by Bill (Chalky) White, it transpired that Clive remembered an incident where there was an unwarranted gunshot. On following this up, we discovered that the culprit was Bill who was squashed into the cab of a vehicle and unfortunately his gun went off (not a good thing to happen in those days). At the time no action was taken regarding the incident but Clive commented that he knew something amiss had gone on and it only took 59 years for him to be aware of who was responsible, however he was also glad to hear that Chalky White thought him to be a ‘decent bloke’.
Here are a few more anecdotes we received from Clive as a result of publishing Bill White’s story.
I think I was nicknamed ‘Cushy Will’ because I took a rather relaxed view of military discipline. Private Kane who went to sleep on guard duty on the mountain-top ought to have been court-martialled, as he could have done for the lot of us but I let him off with a strong verbal warning.
At my passing out at Eaton Hall in 1957, the ceremony took place in front of an equestrian statue of High Lupus, the ancestor of the Dukes of Westminster. One of those on our course bored a hole in the horse’s head and under-parts and filled it up with water. Then just before the ceremony he removed the bung from the under-parts and the horse ‘peed’ for the next 30 minutes as we marched up and down in front of our parents and various dignitaries. They never found out who it was, but I suspected it was my room-mate Alf Waller, who now lives near where I currently live. Last year he admitted it really was him. Alf was in the Suffolks in Cyprus with Martin Bell and that was how I came to be put in touch with you. Small world.
Thank you to all of the Cyprus veterans who have taken the time to recall their memories of Cyprus. I enjoy working with them to produce articles which will remain on-line for others to read. As most of these veterans, who found themselves in a foreign land where troubles existed, are now in their late 70s or early 80s we owe it to them to keep their stories and memories alive.