The History of the

4th and 7th Royal Tank Regiments

 

1989 - 1991

The Blue Beret

Trade training occupied the first three months of 1989 and then the Regiment adopted its Cyprus formations embracing 97 Battery (Lawson's Company) 4 Fd Regt RA whose personnel brought the Regiment up to the strength of an infantry battalion. Thereafter infantry training was intensive right up to the arrival of the Fourth in Cyprus in June.

Pipe Cpl Robert Hunter

The reinforced Regiment arrived at Akrotiri on 6 and 7 June for the Operation "Queen's Knight" six month tour. Pipe Cpl Robert Hunter pipes them ashore.

UNFICYP Deployment

The components of the Regiment would on rotation spend three months on the Green Line and three months in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (SBA) based on Dhekelia.

So the Regiment was split into three:
a. The Rear Party of 100 at Osnabruck
b. 4 RTR (-) responsible for Sector 2 with RHQ at St David's Camp, Nicosia, Western Sqn at the Box Factory and Eastern Sqn at Camp Elizabeth.
c. Eastern Sovereign Base Area (SBA) with the HQ and one Sqn at Alexander Barracks in Dhekelia and one Sqn at Ayios Nikolaos, all under command Lt Col Robert Vaux 4 RTR.

The RHQ and HQ element were at St David's Camp

The RHQ and HQ element were at St David's Camp

The Eastern Squadron - Sector 2

The Eastern Squadron – Sector 2

Dhekelia Detachment Officers A Squadron B Squadron C Squadron
On the Green Line the Regiment manned Observation Posts and... ...and gates
Regiment manned Observation Posts Regiment manned Observation Posts Regiment manned Observation Gates

Statement by the Secretary-General

It wasn't all plain sailing, especially in the Akaki, Peristerona area.

Lt Col McBean's message to all ranks after two weeks of demonstrations on the Line. Such restrictions did not affect morale
Map Commanding Officer's Message Such restrictions did not affect morale
Communications were quite complex! Cyprus 1989 - RSM C W Taylor.
Communications were quite complex! Cyprus 1989 - RSM C W Taylor
Hearts and minds were just as important as they had been in Malaysia in 65 and 66.
Hearts and minds Cyprus 1989 - RSM C W Taylor

UN Medal Parade 1989

On 29 September 1989 the Regiment and the 13th/18th Hussars shared a UN Medal Parade.

2 RTR Band and the 13th/18th Band were on parade 2 RTR Band and the 13th/18th Band were on parade

The 4 RTR Standard, the 4 RTR Pipes and Drums, the 2 RTR Band and the 13th/18th Band were on parade.

2 RTR Band and the 13th/18th Band were on parade

The Regiment returned to Osnabruck but there was no let-up.

Colonels Commandant were knights, Sir Laurence New, Sir Jeremy Blacker and Sir Antony Walker

From January 1990 for the first time in the Regiment's history all three Colonels Commandant were knights, Sir Laurence New, Sir Jeremy Blacker and Sir Antony Walker

1990 Highland Gathering Day

In May 1990 the Regiment staged a Highland Gathering Day, involving Tossing the Caber (here WO 2 Trevor Braithwaite shows that he has done it before), Haggis Throwing, Tree Chopping and other arcane Highland pursuits.

list of guests and hosts

In May 1990 the Fourth commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the 4th/7th's Arras battle by holding ceremonies at Ficheaux, Mercatel and Beaurains. This involved the dedication by the Representative Colonel Commandant, General Sir Antony Walker KCB of a 4th/7th Memorial stone in the Place de Marechal Foch in Arras. Sadly we have no photograph of this event.

We do have a list of guests and hosts.

The Pipes and Drums accompanied by Capt Peak

1990 held many challenges for the Regiment. All squadrons went to Suffield, A and B with the Royal Green Jackets and C, D and G as part of 4 RTR BG which also included 97 Bty. The Pipes and Drums accompanied by Capt Peak performed in Kiev during Mrs Thatcher's visit to the Ukraine and the Soviet Union.

Lt Charles Pratt took part in an attempt to climb Mount Robson, there was a also a diving expedition to Sardinia,

General New visits the Regiment

The most unwelcome surprise of the year was to return from Suffield to find the Fourth's Chieftains stripped of their working parts to provide spares for 4 and 7 Armd Bde tanks in Op Granby. Not one tank was left battle-worthy. It felt like burglary and left the Regiment grounded. General New visited the Regiment at that time and witnessed the sense of shock.

Trade training

The Jock spirit resisted depression and the Regiment turned to trade training with a vengeance. The Fourth could look back on a spirited return to armoured excellence after the enjoyable but distracting infantry role, and were determined to look forward to their tanks being restored.

Old Soldiers never die... A Reunion of Captains and Subalterns of 4 and 7 RTR thirty years on.

A Reunion of Captains and Subalterns of 4 and 7 RTR

Rear Row: Jeremy Varcoe, Brian Waghorn, Mike O'Flaherty, Roger Walters, Tom Otley, David Sutcliffe, Sandy Ferguson, Brian Coombes, Scott Izat, Philip Murray, Richard Hardman, Jonathan Reeves, Dick Payn, David Mace Paul Bowers

Sitting: John Emmerson, Tony Weeks, Dion Beard, Bill Glover, Mike Van Berkel, Glen Joel

Front Row: Sandy Clitherow, Patrick Griffiths, Roger MacDonald-Smith, Simon Williams

Lt Col Charles McBean hands over command to Lt Col Martin Speller, MBE

In November 1990 Lt Col Charles McBean handed over command to Lt Col Martin Speller, MBE, another product of the Fourth, having most recently commanded B Squadron in 1985.

Drum Major McSeveney Drum Major Macbeth was welcomed by the CO and RSM King

The 1991 KAPE tour culminated in the Edinburgh Tattoo during which Cpls Townley and Hunter were to be seen silhouetted floodlit against the Castle Battlements. The Pipes and Drums said farewell to Drum Major McSeveney after long and dedicated service in the Regiment. Drum Major Macbeth was welcomed by the CO and RSM King.

L/Cpl Wilson

L/Cpl Wilson was amongst the eighty six individuals including officers deployed from the Fourth to the Gulf for Op Granby. He was attached to the 14th /20th Hussars as the Signals NCO in the Regimental Aid Post and received the Commander British Forces Commendation for his exceptional work.

UNFICYP Role Regiment Article

Flexibility and robustness were severely tested in early 1991 as the Regiment struggled to regain battle-worthiness, only to be ordered to prepare to return to Cyprus in the infantry role as the UNFICYP Roulement Regiment.

LS and GC medals presented

In April LS and GC medals were presented to RSM King, Sgt Crawford and here to a member of the LAD, who had so skilfully rebuilt the tank fleet.

UNFICYP Role Regiment Article

By the time the Regiment deployed to Hohne for Annual Range Firing in April a near miracle had been achieved. Tanks had been re-furbished; accuracy, consistency and reliability were high. Once the Annual Range Firing was completed the emphasis was switched to Cyprus training.

In Chapter Sixteen, our last Chapter, we see the Regiment amalgamate once more.



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