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El Adem + Tobruk
Reminisce 3

Some memories of people, events and places.
Do you know anybody mentioned on these pages?


I just cannot believe I have just found this information about Miss Brittan on the web, I was putting honey on my breakfast this morning 18/04/2009 and for some reason Miss Brittan came in to my thoughts, I did meet her once as I was the Area Commanders driver 1966/67 Benghazi it's just amazing the info you can find on this Internet thingy.
Thanks for putting it on.

I have attached a photo of a few lads that were based at BMH Tripoli 1965 I am not on it as I am the one taking the photo.

Keith Hawkes

BMH Tripoli 1965

Glad to have been of service Keith.
If you have any memories of Libya that might be interesting to others,
please come back to me and include your permission to post it.
Don Simmonds

A 'Tail' from the Army?

Hello Don
After a short interruption in my stay in Libya by the Arabs and Israelis I returned to El Adem from my home station in Cyprus (RAOC Ordnance Depot) in late July 1967 [?] it was our job to "evacuate" the elements of 2 Division who were on Exercise from Germany. They just got caught up in the aftermath of the Arab/Israeli war and we were told that it was politically necessary for them to leave as they may raise the prospect that Britain had sent extra troops to Libya due to the 6 Day War.

There I was shuttling back and forth across El Adem moving equipment around or collecting stuff for disposal and generally being a dogs body. On what must have been one of the hottest days of the year, 126 degrees in the shade was reported plus a "no running" order had been issued, I was driving back from somewhere near 'German Town', sitting at the traffic lights waiting to cross the main runway when I saw the Dakota 'fruit and veg' flight from Cyprus making it's usual approach.
With it being so hot I was pretty much slumped at the wheel of my Land Rover just gazing in the mid-distance and occasionally glancing at the Dakota thinking I may have some mail. To my surprise, shock would perhaps be a better word, I saw a large silver shape fall off the aircraft that I took to be the tail... yes, I know I was after all a "brown job". However in seconds the falling tail became a roaring jet fighter coming in directly underneath the Dakota which by this time was wheels up and full throttle back upwards!

The Jet continued to land trailing a parachute and pursued by a number of RAF Police Land Rovers. The lights I was parked at changed to green and I set off back over the airfield to our little encampment on the edge of the base where we were amassing the kit for the return to Cyprus. I related my experience to my colleagues who to be honest, were underwhelmed! We heard some rumours in the days following about threats from Russia, the plane being Egyptian / Israeli / Russian and all sorts of stuff but never anything concrete.

Perhaps there is a full account of this odd incident somewhere, but I have not been able to find it?
Richard Bond

Does this bring back a memory? - If so write in. [Don]

Hello Don
Briefly, having typed in El Adem and many links later I happened on your web site and there it was the Bardia Masterpiece!

I served from Nov 1960 - Nov 1962 on TASF and perhaps like you being fed up with too much sand in our food, perhaps too much alcohol, the heat and boredom jumped at a trip out to Apollonia, The Derna Pass, Bardia,The Roman site at Cyrenia and Benghazi.

Like you I had no particular leaning towards art but was so surprised to see such an accomplished work on the wall of a vacant building in such an out of the way place! (eat your heart out Banksy!) Until today I have often wondered about it's history. Such a sad ending though, but he lives on thanks to you and all those that have gazed at it over the years.

I will pass on your web site to my friends who also served, who knows you get some more emails.
Have enclosed a few memories of El Adem do with them as you will, who knows they may trigger a response.....that's me on the image with "GENT" on the door which is pure coincidence! We're we really that young then how time flies!
Best Regards.....Jim (Downes)

Pictures courtesy Jim Downes

Wife and meWife and me

Dear webmaster,
It was very nice to know that you guys still remember my hometown Tobruk.
Yes, I spent the most beautiful times of my childhood in Tobruk. I still remember its streets, the garrison, the salvation army, the long beach, El Adam.
You see, my name is Miloud Omar El Nibbu. We had a couple of flats which my dad rented to the British families at the time.
We also had a shop that sells building materials and spare parts. By the way my dad is still alive he is 88 years old and he is still going strong. However, my mum had passed away four years ago and I miss her a lot.

I knew Mr. Mohamed Ezzideen. I am using the past tense here because he passed away about six months ago and so did his Polish wife. Yes, his gas station used to be around the corner of the main road that leads to the base, El Adam. We had a wonderful time then.

Father and son Father and son

I was a great footballer then. We played football against El Adam strong team. We even had an excellent football player, an Englishman by the name of Eddie, he used to play with our team when we play against Derna or Benghazi teams.

Tobruk has gone a major change now the government had knocked down many historical buildings, but the church still exists but you guys will not be able to recognize it.
I am not living in Tobruk now, but I go there to reminisce and ponder those happy days.

Second son Second Son

I do not remember Patricia [Dawson nee Porter], but I do remember a lovely lady and her lovely kids. Her name is Bettina Steffanie Olive. Her kids names are Gavin and her daughter's name is Elizabeth Victoria and her husband is called Thomas or John Graham.
I would be very grateful if you could trace them for me. The period that I was talking about is between 1966-1968 but of course I remember many beautiful incidents and places.

Guys, let us share and cherish the happy nostalgic memories by writing to each other and filling the gaps.
Until then, I bid you farewell for now.
Miloud El Nibou known as Milad Omar Khalifa El Nibou

41 years have passed, if anybody can help, please email me. [Don]

Now these should stir some memories of Tobruk.
Kindly supplied by Miloud El Nibou

Dear Don,
Quick note to inform that I was in Tobruk for almost 8 days it was very cold and lonely litter is every where and the plastic bags are in abundance and I don't think people are aware of something called healthy environment.

At all events I saw most of the old streets, the church, the police station and the site where the garrison used to be. I felt very sad and annoyed about what had happened to a nice and lovely city. Any way I came back last week and I sent some of these snaps to Trisha [Dawson] and I am still anticipating a reply. I hope you like these pictures and be able to display them.

I hope you would not mind me giving your web site to some friends in Tobruk they promise to furnish you with some pictures. I like the new pictures that you displayed on your web in particular the one of Moh'd Ezzideen's Petrol Station.

All the best my friend,

Barclays Bank Street Barclays Bank Street
Building Opposite The Tennis Courts Tobruk Building opposite the Tennis Courts
The Church Tobruk The Church
Don, as you can see I filmed this with a wristwatch on the bomb for comparison.
Regards Don Budge Bomb found behind the church, Tobruk Bomb found behind the church, Tobruk.
The Police Station Tobruk The Police Station
Near the square next to the church Near the square next to the church
Entrance to the Tennis Courts Tobruk Entrance - Tennis Courts
Police Station Tobruk The Police Station
Old Post Office Tobruk The Old Post Office
Old Vegetable Market Tobruk The Old Vegetable Market
King's gate to Palace, Tobruk The King's Gate to the Palace
Garden opposite church, Tobruk Postcard of garden opposite Church

The Harbour TobrukThe Harbour Tobruk
The British Evacuation TobrukThe British Evacuation Tobruk