Angus Ross R.A.O.C.

12 Dec

Angus Ross R.A.O.C National Serviceman

Hello my name is Angus Ross (Jock) born and bred in the town of Renfrew, Bonnie Scotland of which I am very proud. I was called up for my two years national service in October 1954. I had to report to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Hillsea Barracks in Portsmouth a long way from my home town.

We did six weeks basic training and after the Passing out parade some of us were posted to Weedon in Northhamptonshire. I was only there a few weeks and I put in for an overseas posting. I got my wish and I was posted off to Egypt.
We landed at Fayid, then sent out to Geneifa for a few weeks the on to a place called Moascar where I was attached to 3 Inf. Workshops R.E.M.E. Again after a few months and I must say we were settling in fairly well, more orders came through.
The orders were that the Detachment was to report to Ismalia then onto Port Said.
The detachment embarked on the Landing Craft Evan Gibb to Cyprus.

At that time, Cyprus was not the holiday Island that is the favourite destination for many. It was an island of terrorist attacks on British servicemen who were trying to keep law and order between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Eoka terrorist, were led by a General Grivas and it was this movement that was the main problem to the British. It is Ironical now after 50 years the Island is still divided.
The landing craft Evan Gibb docked at Famagusta we then travelled by convoy to Limassol. It was here where we built our base named Eureka camp was on an airstrip. Pitching tents, digging trash pits, toilet pits and many more tasks that soldiers etc have to do in these circumstances, In those early days the shower was a rigged up stirrat pump and buckets of water.

Just the same as many thousands of national servicemen we had our good times and we also had our bad times
Quite a few months after we arrived in Cyprus, we had a 2nd Lt who shall remain nameless joined our detachment straight from Sandhurst. He instantly had a phobia for making personnel do everything at the double and no matter what one did he was never satisfied. Obviously he was trying to prove something, but all he did was lose our respect.

One day the 2nd Lt decided we would all go on a cross-country run in PT shorts and plimsolls. All we had for protection against terrorist attacks, which at that time was daily, were 3 men with 303 rifles. Lucky for us there were no terrorists in the vicinity.
Another day he ordered us to go the firing ranges for target practice. He ordered me and another lad to each take 303 rifles and go to the top of hills overlooking the range as lookouts. When I said excuse me sir but it would be better if we were issued with Sten Guns. It surely would give us abetter chance if terrorists attack us.
He just shouted at us both to do as we were told and at the double get to your posts, again luck was with us that day.

The next time we were not so lucky. The 2nd Lt decided we would go on recreation drive in the Kyrenia district. It was Sunday 15th April 1956, Scouse Hogan was one
of the R.E.M.E. lads who had to drive a 15CWT open truck which had troops onboard, I was riding shotgun in landrover sat behind the 2nd Lt and the driver whose name I can not recall. The 2nd Lt in his wisdom decided we would separate and that the lads in the 15CWt truck would go a different route via Episkopi and we would meet up at Kyrenia Castle. Why we split up was puzzling to everyone in the patrol.
Scouse Hogan on route to Kyrenia had driven the 15cwt truck onto a bridge spanning a dry riverbed. A Greek bus came onto the bridge and hit the truck knocking it onto the dry riverbed below. Scouse had fallen out of the truck on impact and the truck unfortunately landed on Scouse Hogan. During the rescue and recovery a priest was called and gave the last rites to Scouse before he died.
I did not find out about Scouse’s death until later in the day and the shock of hearing of his death, still bothers me to this day. He was a lively character always smiling and full of fun. The times we spent together in the NAAFI having a few pints and playing darts is a memory I always hold.
I still blame the 2ndLt for the death of Scouse Hogan, why he changed that route only he knows and he has had to live with that.
I could write numerous stories of the stupid things he made us do during the EOKA terrorist campaign; he just seemed to be on a different planet to everyone else.

I know this doesn’t sound right, but on a number of occasions while sitting behind the 2ndlt I had the urge to shoot him. The attitude and upset he caused to fellow members and I of our detachment was driving me to this thought.
Common sense prevailed and later while he was doubling me round the camp I doubled myself into the Company Commanders Tent and reported him about the goings on. To the Company Commander credit, he gave me a fair hearing.
He seemed to have had some form of inkling to what was going on and said he would look into it. I am pleased to say he never once bothered anyone of us again.

I had six months left to do before my service ended and it was certainly better now the nameless 2nd Lt was out of the way. The last six months of my time in Cyprus was being a Regimental Policeman on our camp at Llimassol
We had a few incidents that happened in and around our Camp that was upsetting to all during that period. In particular, none more so than when a young driver in the R.A.S.C. hanged himself in the shower block. He must have been very upset to do this and I assure you, it did upset us at Eureka Camp
As I wrote earlier there were good times as well as bad, but unfortunately the bad times get etched on ones mind.
During the Terrorist campaign in Cyprus over 300 British servicemen lost their lives. A great many of these brave lads were National Servicemen.

Good luck and best wishes to past and present friends

Angus (Jock)

n R.A.O.C National Serviceman Abroad

Hello my name is Angus Ross (Jock) born and bred in the town of Renfrew, Bonnie Scotland of which I am very proud. I was called up for my two years national service in October 1954. I had to report to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Hillsea Barracks in Portsmouth a long way from my home town.

We did six weeks basic training and after the Passing out parade some of us were posted to Weedon in Northhamptonshire. I was only there a few weeks and I put in for an overseas posting. I got my wish and I was posted off to Egypt.
We landed at Fayid, then sent out to Geneifa for a few weeks the on to a place called Moascar where I was attached to 3 Inf. Workshops R.E.M.E. Again after a few months and I must say we were settling in fairly well, more orders came through.
The orders were that the Detachment was to report to Ismalia then onto Port Said.
The detachment embarked on the Landing Craft Evan Gibb to Cyprus.

At that time, Cyprus was not the holiday Island that is the favourite destination for many. It was an island of terrorist attacks on British servicemen who were trying to keep law and order between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Eoka terrorist, were led by a General Grivas and it was this movement that was the main problem to the British. It is Ironical now after 50 years the Island is still divided.
The landing craft Evan Gibb docked at Famagusta we then travelled by convoy to Limassol. It was here where we built our base named Eureka camp was on an airstrip. Pitching tents, digging trash pits, toilet pits and many more tasks that soldiers etc have to do in these circumstances, In those early days the shower was a rigged up stirrat pump and buckets of water.

Just the same as many thousands of national servicemen we had our good times and we also had our bad times
Quite a few months after we arrived in Cyprus, we had a 2nd Lt who shall remain nameless joined our detachment straight from Sandhurst. He instantly had a phobia for making personnel do everything at the double and no matter what one did he was never satisfied. Obviously he was trying to prove something, but all he did was lose our respect.

One day the 2nd Lt decided we would all go on a cross-country run in PT shorts and plimsolls. All we had for protection against terrorist attacks, which at that time was daily, were 3 men with 303 rifles. Lucky for us there were no terrorists in the vicinity.
Another day he ordered us to go the firing ranges for target practice. He ordered me and another lad to each take 303 rifles and go to the top of hills overlooking the range as lookouts. When I said excuse me sir but it would be better if we were issued with Sten Guns. It surely would give us abetter chance if terrorists attack us.
He just shouted at us both to do as we were told and at the double get to your posts, again luck was with us that day.

The next time we were not so lucky. The 2nd Lt decided we would go on recreation drive in the Kyrenia district. It was Sunday 15th April 1956, Scouse Hogan was one
of the R.E.M.E. lads who had to drive a 15CWT open truck which had troops onboard, I was riding shotgun in landrover sat behind the 2nd Lt and the driver whose name I can not recall. The 2nd Lt in his wisdom decided we would separate and that the lads in the 15CWt truck would go a different route via Episkopi and we would meet up at Kyrenia Castle. Why we split up was puzzling to everyone in the patrol.
Scouse Hogan on route to Kyrenia had driven the 15cwt truck onto a bridge spanning a dry riverbed. A Greek bus came onto the bridge and hit the truck knocking it onto the dry riverbed below. Scouse had fallen out of the truck on impact and the truck unfortunately landed on Scouse Hogan. During the rescue and recovery a priest was called and gave the last rites to Scouse before he died.
I did not find out about Scouse’s death until later in the day and the shock of hearing of his death, still bothers me to this day. He was a lively character always smiling and full of fun. The times we spent together in the NAAFI having a few pints and playing darts is a memory I always hold.
I still blame the 2ndLt for the death of Scouse Hogan, why he changed that route only he knows and he has had to live with that.
I could write numerous stories of the stupid things he made us do during the EOKA terrorist campaign; he just seemed to be on a different planet to everyone else.

I know this doesn’t sound right, but on a number of occasions while sitting behind the 2ndlt I had the urge to shoot him. The attitude and upset he caused to fellow members and I of our detachment was driving me to this thought.
Common sense prevailed and later while he was doubling me round the camp I doubled myself into the Company Commanders Tent and reported him about the goings on. To the Company Commander credit, he gave me a fair hearing.
He seemed to have had some form of inkling to what was going on and said he would look into it. I am pleased to say he never once bothered anyone of us again.

I had six months left to do before my service ended and it was certainly better now the nameless 2nd Lt was out of the way. The last six months of my time in Cyprus was being a Regimental Policeman on our camp at Llimassol
We had a few incidents that happened in and around our Camp that was upsetting to all during that period. In particular, none more so than when a young driver in the R.A.S.C. hanged himself in the shower block. He must have been very upset to do this and I assure you, it did upset us at Eureka Camp
As I wrote earlier there were good times as well as bad, but unfortunately the bad times get etched on ones mind.
During the Terrorist campaign in Cyprus over 300 British servicemen lost their lives. A great many of these brave lads were National Servicemen.

Good luck and best wishes to past and present friends

Angus (Jock)

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