News and Comments
HOW TICKLED WE ARE
It was in 2004 at Reunion 7 at the Hilton Northampton that we were able to listen to Ken Dodd's voice wishing us all a 'tattyfilarious' time at the Reunion. He had recorded his message on a cassette tape which Graham Moir had left in Ken's dressing room at the Hawth Theatre Crawley, where Graham worked as a Light & Sound Technician.
Ken was delighted to hear that the Radio Service called TEARS had such a connection to him. His hit single of the same name spent 24 weeks in total in the charts, with five of those at number one. It sold over a million copies in the UK, becoming the biggest selling single of 1965. It was the third biggest selling single of the whole 1960's decade. It was the only non-Beatles song in the top five. In 2002 it was listed as the UK's 19th best selling single of all time, with sales of 1,521,000.
Thanks Ken for keeping us laughing and entertained over so many years.
Who said Music Hall is dead - It might be now.
Colin Butterworth 1961-62.
During my time at RAF El Adem, I ‘worked’ in SHQ (Admin Block). I was an SAC – Clerk Organization (Trade Group 17).
Regretfully, I never kept a diary during my 5 years in the RAF. However, for some reason, from January to early March 1961, I kept a few daily notes in a small Record Mirror Disc Diary. The activities consisted mainly of ‘going for a run’ and having a ‘kick around’ on the football pitch. Entertainment was regular visits to the camp cinema. Another entry was “Went to a show on camp at night, in it were Dailey and Wayne, Joanna Rigby etc. Best show I’ve seen here yet.”
It also details traveling back from Christmas leave – Starting off from home at 10.00am on Monday 9th January, and arriving back in El Adem at 7.00pm on Friday 13th January. Involving an overnight stay in London at the Union Jack Club (due to some mix up with my ticket). Then catching a Skyways Constellation which landed in Tunis at 3.00am and then went on to Malta, arriving at 5.00am. Catching a plane from Malta at 12.15pm, which stopped at Tripoli, finally arriving in Benghazi at 4.00pm. Stayed overnight at the Salvation Army hostel. The final leg of the journey was on Friday – as follows: “Caught Arab transport to Tobruk this morning, which left at 7.45am, arriving in Tobruk just before 5.00pm. Got an RAF coach from Tobruk to El Adem at 7.00pm.
This ‘experience’ stood me in good stead in years to come. I was employed as an Export Sales Director (for a paint manufacturing company) traveling extensively throughout West Africa and the Middle East (mainly Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Another entry, highlighting the entertainment available in Tobruk was :
“Went into Tobruk tonight with Bob – went to Salvation Army for a coffee – Three Acker Bar – and then to Haiti Cinema, to see ‘Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure’.”
Colin Butterworth, RAF El Adem, 1961-62
Messages from home
Dear John - I wonder how many of those you received at Tears?
I had many a request from my wife, Lesley, played on a Sunday afternoon, I do believe. I used to look forward to hearing from her through Tears. I have very pleasant memories of Tears, two of the people I remember from Tears are Ma'am Worrell and John Fleet, who was also a Fireman.
I used to work in the Fire Section, although a lot of people did say we did not do work at all! The old Tears hut was just along from our accommodation. I was stationed at El Adem from 1962 till 1964 and now live in Bideford, Devon. Sadly I'm now by myself as my wife passed away in 2010, but seeing the word Tears brought back some wonderful memories.
John Young, Fire Section 1962 to 64.
WEB SITE NEWS
I spent some time with TEARS in a technical sense, rewiring many of the speakers in billets, and I spent many happy hours in and under the consoles in the studio, rewiring and generally improving things. The decks then were Garrard 401s as I remember which are still capable today.
I remember after the rewiring playing two copies of I Am The Walrus by The Beatles simultaneously on two decks and 'skying' or 'phasing' the outputs to some considerable amusement from my billet members .... happy days !
I worked adjacent to the commcen in the Secure Equipment Section servicing teleprinters and cryptographic equipment. I worked with Ben Lines who I notice is in your rogues gallery and also Bill Simpson. Thoroughly enjoyed bringing some of the gear at TEARS up to a good standard for the times.
Paul Teale. 1966 – 68.
More news from Dave (Taff) Austin regarding the Beverley XR268 aircraft crash. We have received a number of photo's of the funerals of David Marshall and Frank Denby in Benghazi in 1963.
Dave Austin says that, sadly due to age, some of the pictures are of poor quality but in no way does that affect the importance of the occasion. He adds that it is ironic that the aircraft taking the bodies to Benghazi is again a Beverley and shown in one picture, parked on the pan alongside a Hastings - both of which type crashed within a short time at RAF El Adem.
The photo's can be found by clicking on Online Albums Link and then Dave Austin's album. There is also more regarding Beverley XR268 on the Main EDITORIAL Section and Archive 3
The Friends of TEARS are extremely grateful to David Williamson, nephew of David Marshall, for giving us permission to include the photographs.
Update on RAF El Adem (TEARS) Paviour Stone
With regards to news item of 10/10/2015, I requested an update from the National Arboretum about the RAF El Adem (Tears) Paviour Stone. Reply is shown below:-
Thank you for your enquiry.
All the relocated paviours were installed last year, and you should have been informed at that time, sorry if you were not. They are in a block between the chapel and the Amphitheatre, for anyone visiting please can they ask at reception for the exact location of your paviour, there are 6 rows A-F and the information should be able to indicate which row it is in.
I found your address on the TEARS website. I was at my mum’s house over the weekend and she was throwing out some old photos, including the one shown here which she says was a photo of some of my dad’s mates in Libya in the 1960s. She didn’t know any of the details but I thought it worth showing you in case the faces rang a bell.
My dad (Harold David Jones, known as Dave) was stationed at RAF El Adem in 1963 and for a few years after that, having been posted there from (I think) RAF Coningsby. He died a couple of years ago so I can’t check the details. He worked in El Adem in some sort of supply capacity (his military career was all logistics) and in some way connected to a maintenance unit there. He used to send ammunition to Sharjah amongst other places, and I know he spent time in Tobruk and Steamer Point.
He actually met some TEARS people in the mid-90s at a WW2 recreation event at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk, and although he got chatting and seemed to be someone they’d been hoping to track down, he let the connection drop and never got in touch again. That’s mainly why I thought I’d like to put the photo your way, as I thought at the time he would have got a lot out of being in touch. Contact me at : email:email@example.com
"Hi. Jim never forget merry also Hi Yesterday I have went to commonwealth cemetery Acroma met with Mohammed Ehinsh he pass great wishes to you all friend and told him about my trip in UK ask me all friends me and he hope visit Tobrouk ASAP"
The above message received on Armed Forces Day, 25/06/16, from our old friend Lt. Col. Mousa Saad Mohamed of Tobruk Police with Mr Mohamed Hanish guardian of the Commonwealth War Graves in the Acroma / Knightsbridge and Tobruk Area. Mousa is referring to his attendance at the final Reunion of TEARS in June 2014.
Clearly on Armed Forces Days 'Our boys' lie in safe hands. Mohamed Hanish is pictured in Michael Palin's book 'Sahara' when he also visited the CWG cemeteries in Libya.
ALL veterans who served in Libya will wish our Libyan Friends and their families PEACE and GOOD HEALTH especially as they celebrate Ramadan.
My husband Daniel Foley and myself Jennifer were stationed in El Adem from 68-69. Dan was a steward in the Sgt’s Mess and we lived in Tobruk where our son Ian was born in 1968.
We were amongst the first families evacuated after the coup in 1969. Also I wonder if anyone could tell me the name of the church that stood in Church Square in Tobruk.
It would be lovely to be able to find some of the lads that we knew back then.
There is an update on Editorial page regarding an article from Ted Marston on Wing Com. Craven. Archive 5.
Many of you will have seen, read or heard of the death of Peter Donaldson on 02 November 2015, at the age of 70. Listeners to BBC Radio 4 will have heard his voice reading the News over many years. Peter contacted The Friends of TEARS in the very early days of the association back in October 1992. He was very interested to read of our search for those who were involved with The El Adem Radio Service (TEARS). He had been aware of TEARS during his time as an announcer/presenter with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) at Tobruk in the late 1960's. TEARS had a close relationship with the Tobruk professionals during that time and on occasions swapped presenters. In addition to Peter, around half a dozen former BFBS Tobruk people have contacted us over the years including Alan Clough, Stephen Withers, Tony Fawcett and Kay Donnelly. Stephen and Tony attended the first Friends of TEARS Reunion at Northampton back in 1993.
THE BREND HOTELS GROUP - THE AA HOTEL GROUP OF THE YEAR 2015-2016
I received dozens of letters and messages, following our last Reunion in June 2014, in praise of the service, food and other facilities provided by our hosts at The Barnstaple Hotel
which is part of the Brend Hotel Group. So it may come as no surprise to you that the Group has been awarded the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2015-2016. The Group's HQ
is based here in Barnstaple and has 11 hotels located across Devon and Cornwall all of which are 3 or 4 Star rated. This prestigious AA award was presented recently
at a ceremony held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel hosted by television presenter Fiona Bruce.
Not a bad choice for our final big event - even if I say so myself !
For the information of anyone planning a visit to the National Arboretum please note that the El Adem Paviour stone may have been temporally lifted along with many others due to improvement work to be carried out to the Visitor Centre. There are no specific dates given for start or finish of this work. It may be wise to telephone the Arboretum prior to your visit if you specifically want to see the El Adem Paviour stone. Phone. 01283245100 Email:- firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS UP-DATE from Dave (Taff) Austin
Regarding Beverley XB268 article in Editorial Section
e-mail from Brian Goulden, Botswana
Thanks for getting in touch. Let me say at the outset, "Thanks to you and you colleagues for honouring my Uncle Frank". It really isn't possible to express how grateful I am that someone remembered him and David Marshall 50 years after their death. It is a testament to the spirit of the Royal Air Force that, so long after the event, you and your colleagues paid your respects. Please tell your colleagues that you are all forever in my debt. Frank had a wife but no other relatives except myself as his in-laws (my grandparents) and his sister-in-law (my mother) had all passed away. My father was chronically sick; so for me, he was quite a big figure in my life.
You say you have never forgotten the night of the crash and I can understand that; I have faced some traumatic events working alongside others and the experience has bonded us together such that, even though we live thousands of miles apart, we still keep in touch and, when we get the rare chance to meet, it is as if we met only the day before.
I am still uncertain exactly when I will be travelling but as soon as I know, I will get in touch and see what can be arranged.
I have only recently retired and had time to pursue the backgrounds of family members who have passed away but my motivation, apart from my personal curiosity, is that despite my advancing years, I am father to three-year old twin boys and I want them to know their history.
I am not sure exactly where Overton is but it sounds like the sort of place I could happily live. However, I live on the edge of the Kalahari Desert - which is fine sometimes but we miss the rain (I am from Manchester and my wife, although from Botswana, lived there for some time and relishes the cool, wet weather - strange but true!). It is just the end of winter and today is a very cool 19C and the first day for a while that I haven't worn a sweater - of course in Manchester, we'd be wearing shorts ! Again, thanks so much to you and your colleagues. Please also pass my regards to David Williamson - I am sure he feels grateful like me for your commemoration.
I will be in touch.
There is a new piece about Beverley XB268 on the Editorial page. Click here.
There is a piece by John Moir regarding the passing of Cilla Black, on Editorial page.
Worked in TEARS during my half tour 67/68. In charge
was an RAF policeman who I can only remember his first
name - Mick. We set up the next Twynham hut as a TEARS
Hi. Just happened to 'fall' onto this site. All those memories! All those faces! That's one thing that we have the RAF to thank, it was a family and lifestyle...not a job. I was at Episkopi 68-70 and my leisure time was occupied with my stint at the local Radio network, JFN. When you guys shut down, we managed to snaffle some of your gear. Don't worry, we looked after it and believe me, made good use of it.