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.
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.
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.
|Lt Col McBean's message to all ranks after two weeks of demonstrations on the Line.||Such restrictions did not affect morale|
|Hearts and minds were just as important as they had been in Malaysia in 65 and 66.|
From The Fourth
The 4 RTR Standard, the 4 RTR Pipes and Drums, the 2 RTR Band and the 13th/18th Band were on parade.
The Regiment returned to Osnabruck but there was no let-up.
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Report on the return to Cyprus
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.
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.
Report on training at Cyprus
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.