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The Queen's Own Hussars

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Captain Richard Vaughan-Griffith MC (1945 - 2012)

Lt Richard Vaughan-Griffith MC Troop Leader, 5th Troop, ‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Own Hussars in his Saladin - Aden 1967.

As Lt Troop Leader, 5th Troop, ‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Own Hussars in his Saladin - Aden 1967.

Captain Richard Vaughan-Griffith MC joined The Queen’s Own Hussars from his Troop Leader’s Course in April 1967 during Troop Training on Salisbury Plain. The Regiment was then converting to Saladin Armoured Cars in preparation for an active service tour in Aden. It was there only some four months later that he was involved in the action that was to result in the award of his Military Cross.

The British Government had decided to withdraw from Aden and to hand over power to the National Liberation Front in preference to the Federation for the Liberation of South Yemen. President Nasser of Egypt with Russian backing was using FLOSY as a stalking horse in furtherance of his ambition to take over Aden following the British withdrawal. Nasser intended thereafter to use it as a base from which to attack and destabilise the Gulf States. NLF did not want to be seen as lackeys of the British and continued their attacks on our troops.

Shortly before The Queen’s Own Hussars arrived in Aden, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers suffered twenty two casualties when they were ambushed in the Crater by mutinous police who had broken into their own armoury and taken to the roof tops.

‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Own Hussars was tasked with supporting both 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment and the Lancashire Regiment who were responsible for the towns of Sheikh Othman and Al-Mansoura respectively. Al-Mansoura where the action took place is in the North of Aden. On the edge of the town was the gaol in which those convicted of terrorist offences were confined and in which one Company of the Lancashire Regiment was permanently based.

A patrol of The Lancashire Regiment was ambushed in the town and forced to take cover in buildings in which they were pinned down by intensive machine gun fire from terrorists in surrounding buildings. Their radio had been hit so all communication with them had been lost and two men were wounded. 2nd Lieutenant Vaughan-Griffith was faced with extricating the Lancashire Regiment’s patrol from these buildings with a half troop.

This was a formidable task which involved first identifying the buildings in which the incommunicado patrol had taken cover. One of the patrol poked a beret out of a window thereby allowing Vaughan-Griffith to pinpoint their position. By using his armoured cars as shields and by returning the heavy fire thus keeping the terrorists’ heads down, he made it possible for a Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier to manoeuvre into a position that enabled the first group of infantry to escape from the building directly into the rear of the vehicle. Having extracted the first group and delivered them safely to base at the gaol, Vaughan-Griffith returned and rescued the second group from another building under identical conditions. Six terrorists were reported killed and seven wounded during the course of the action.

Throughout the two hour operation Vaughan-Griffith was forced to eschew much of the protection of his Saladin turret thereby exposing himself to the heavy terrorist fire. Being compelled by the situation to remain static presented a further risk as stationary armoured car gave the terrorists an opportunity to move into a position from which to launch a ‘Blindicide’ bazooka with which they were well supplied against it or to lob a grenade into the turret.

Had Lt Vaughan-Griffith had been allowed to use his 76mm gun against the buildings in which the terrorists were concealed, it would have made for an easier task. However the principle of minimum force required that express authority first be obtained from Brigade to use main armament. A pusillanimous commander had twice refused to give permission for 1st, The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, The Queen’s Own Hussars’ predecessors in Aden, to use main armament during the slaying of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in the Crater. There was therefore no prospect of Vaughan-Griffith being given any such permission here and he had confine himself to using his .30 Browning Machine Guns.

In addition to Vaughan-Griffith’s award of the Military Cross, the NCOs commanding his other vehicles were each awarded a Mention in Despatches.

The citation to Vaughan-Griffith’s Military Cross concludes “that he achieved this self set task successfully under the most difficult operational conditions is the measure of his outstanding example of courage, leadership and determination.”

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Images of war in the Middle East, Ronald Hornsey’s Photograph Album

3rd The Kings Own Hussars - Recce Regiment of 6th Airborne Division in Palestine 1946 to 1948

5th Troop en-route from Beirut January 1946 from left to right Sergeant Beckett, Lance/Corporal Hulstone, Troopers Gaitons, Hornsey, Burton, Stanley, and Bell     Bedtime at Gadera     Watching French cavalry before leaving Beirut leave camp January 1946    Sidna-Ali Police Fort January 1946. Tanks of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment guarding Sidna-Ali Police Fort after attack by terrorists    Mosque taken from the Fort Sidna-Ali with tanks in the foreground January 1946. Tanks of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment guarding Sidna-Ali Police Fort after attack by terrorists    Trans-Jordon July 1946. Village of Salt in the background    Passing the Allenby bridge on way back from Trans-Jordon July 1946

Amphi Theatre Amman Trans-Jorden July 1946    Waiting to take suspects to Rafan Detention Camp Tel Aviv September 1946. Suspects lined up on the road side.    ‘Jock’ Shepherd and Charlie Riggs outside police H.Q. Jaffa September 1946    Going through the town of Amman capital Trans-Jordon July 1946    3rd Troop taken outside the billet, Sarafand July 1946    The Mosque Cairo, Egypt February 1946    Dinnertime at the Dead Sea July 1946

a ride over Rishon Plain Palestine 1946. Trooper Lawrence (driver) Ronald Hornsey and Trooper Howard in turret.    Bert and self in Tiberias, Palestine June 1946    Dinnertime at the Dead Sea July 1946     On tow with REME just outside Jerusalem, July 1946    Repairing the Allenby Bridge blown up by terrorists July 1946    Tel Aviv ‘Operation Shark’ Trooper Barrow, Trooper Howard, Corporal Billingham and Trooper White.    Sarafand May 1946    Bert just going on guard and myself outside the billet at Sarafand May 1946

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Worcester Troop Reunion 2016

                       

                   

                       

               

                   

                       

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Pictures above courtesy of John Donnachie

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Freedom of the City Of Worcester Parade

The Parade Gathering - 26th June 2015

                           

                       

                                   

 

The Parade 27th June 2015

Video Buttons

The Form Up             The Parade

 

The Parade Form Up

                          

                               

                               

                                 

                           

                               

 

                   

                      

       

 

The Parade

                                          

                           

                                   

                       

                               

 

                           

                         

 

                       

                       

                       

                       

                          

               

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Post Parade - Worcester Race Course

                              

                                

                  

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Post Parade - The Evening Function

                           

               

                        

           

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The Pipes and Drums       The Parade Organiser

 

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