200 Squadron RCT (Hovercraft)

Over the past few day’s I’ve been looking for information relating to 200 Sqn, a Hovercraft Squadron that was part of the RCT in the mid 60’s early 70’s, reason being that my father was part of this Squadron, in fact he was one of the first members of 200 Sqn and I’m curious to learn more about this period in my fathers life.

Guiding a Hovercraft in to land

RCT Hovercraft 200 Sqn

Now that’s were the problems arise, trying to find out information relating to 200 Squadron on the net is a near impossibility, only reference’s I can find relating to 200 Sqn are a piece in one of the newsletters the Hovercraft Museum has on-line and all that really tells you is about the example of the craft they have on show, I have been lucky enough though to get in contact with the daughter of another member of the Squadron, though it looks like her father may have been in the 2nd batch of RCT members to be trained on the Hovercraft, so he may not have known my father, I’ve also been in contact with the RCT/RASC Association who have kindly put me in touch with a James Hutchinson, who it seems may have known my father. I’ve now managed to get some photo’s from my mum showing the hovercraft on exercise’s in the far east possibly Singapore and Hong Kong, anyway my investigations continue.

FootNote :

I’ve now got a copy of my fathers Citation/Record which details that on his return to the UK from Aden in 1966 he was selected for the first Hovercraft Navigator Course and joined 200 Hovercraft Sqn in Singapore in 1968 as Master Navigator,  he worked on local Hovercraft Operations, the Japanese Expo, and when the unit withdrew to the UK, did Hovercraft Ops in Turkey, Denmark and Norway.

On completion of his Hovercraft tour he joined 17 Port Regt where he was employed as Ops WO 51 Fort Sqn.

Hopefully this might job a few memories amongst those of you who may have served with Harold.


WO2 Harold Elgey’s Service Record

Click on the Above image for a full-size version

Update 25.01.2017

Every so often I do a search on the internet to see if any other information or documents turn up on the IHTU or 200 Squadron RCT surface and today I came across a copy of the “Journal of Naval Science” which included in it a 12 page artical on the IHTU/200 Squadron RCT

If you clink the link below this will open it as a pdf document which you can then either read here or download and print off


Hope its of interest to you Hovernauts

Update 02.03.2017

I’ve recently had access to the RCT Archive in relation to the Waggoners magazine and was able to locate and download a number of articles/reviews which mention the InterService Hovercraft Trials and 200 Squadron specifically included are articles on delpoyments, postings, exercises etc.

I’m hoping that this might bring back a few memories for you and also may jog ones’ you’d totally forgotten about.

Please click on the following link to download all the articles combined into one PDF file Wagonners Posts

236 thoughts on “200 Squadron RCT (Hovercraft)

  1. My apologies for being a slow learner, I left a response to your home page regarding 200 Hovercraft Trials SQN.

    Rob Pearce

  2. Hi,
    I was one of the founding members of 200 Hovercraft Trials Sqn, (the Trials part was later dropped) although I was REME. I served with the Sqn at Browndown, Singapore, Hong Kong, with exercises in Australia & Borneo before going back to Gosport in 1969.
    So if your father was also a founding member I would no doubt remember him.

  3. Hi Al, I’ve sent you an email with some pictures attached showing the 200 Squadron in action and also at what I believe to be a meeting of NATO Officers viewing the Hovercraft, are’nt sure where they were taken.

  4. Hi All
    My fsther served with 200 hovercraft squadron.

    He was a pilot stattion at Browndown and also went on many exercises.

    I also have first day cover stamps from some of the places they went too.

    Kind regards


  5. Hi,
    I have no idea if this is going to be useful or relevant or anything…!

    I was down at Lee-on-the-Solent today, (having a nose around outside the hovercraft museum area, as you do…), and took a photo of a small green hovercraft (can you tell I’m not an expert?!), which had ‘200 Squadron’ printed on the side of it – so I googled it to see what the ‘200 Squadron’ was, and came across your blog… so, as it could randomly be useful… I’ve added the photo I took to flikr (it should be here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27983664@N07/2610476575/ …sorry its not brilliant – I was outsmarted by a chain-link fence!)

    I don’t know if it is the one they are referring to on this page: http://www.hovercraft-museum.org/muscc7.html ? or anything… or, as I said, if it is anything relevant to what you are looking for…/if you already knew about them, etc.. as its not a SRN6… but thought I would post a comment anyway…

    All the best!


  6. Cheers for the picture Calvin, nice to see my blog post is bringing people here to do with 200 Sqn RCT.

    I beleive this was on the early models used by the RCT, though don’t know alot of details about it myself, but every little bit helps cheers mate

  7. I have a copy of the Squadron Photograph [with names] that was taken in Singapore sometime between Apr 67 ~ Nov 69.

    What was your father’s surname? I will check if he is on it.

    Hutchinson was presumably ‘Scouse’ Hutchinson – R Sigs attached.

    Never imagined for one moment that he had a Christian Name – ‘James’? – Well I never !!

  8. Hi Bernie,
    thxs for dropping by and leaving a comment, my fathers name was Harold Elgey WOII

    Thought I believe he may have made it to WOI by the time he left 200 Squadron.

    He was originally with the RCT working on Logistic Landing crafts Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram and I believe he was possibly Navigator on the SRN6’s.

    You can see some of the photo’s I have of the Hovercraft here


  9. Hi Vince.


    He is not on the photo that I have. Indeed it is the same as the last one in your batch.

    I do however recall your father, but I cannot recollect the precise time that he was with the Squadron. He must presumably have left have left before (or maybe joined later than) the 1969 photo was taken.

    I have a feeling that it was later rather than earlier.


  10. Hi to any one who is still looking at this site i was with 200 hovercraft squadron in singapore my memory is not that good these days but i think i have some phtoes about some where .that i may be able to find, i did see my name was up in lights in one of the photoes put up by this site that was taken in 1969, i will look out for any reply to this

  11. The craft in the photo is XX102 cushion craft 7. It was aquired by 200 Squadron in 1972.
    On my arrival in June 1967 the squadron had one craft an SRN5 XT492. It was on loan and later kept by the squadron in exchange for SRN6 XV614.
    The three main craft arrived a short while later. All SRN6 MK.II. Tail numbers XV615, XV616 and XV617.
    Just before I left the Squadron in June 1972, Hovercraft SRN6 MK.V. XT493, XT657 Plus CC7 XX101 and XX102, were taken on the Squadrons strength.
    Anyone remember the first hovercraft accident, when Monty Poyntz demolished the fire point.

  12. Hey Scouse, are you sure it was the first accident attributed to Monty Poyntz?

    I recall a situation that caused some angst amongst the ‘Great & the Good’ when even before we went to Browndown Camp in 1967, Monty Poyntz’s craft collided with a motorcycle combination [a sort of ‘Wallace & Gromit’ thing] as he crossed the road running past HMS Daedalus whilst transiting from the camp to the Solent shoreline.

    The situation was somewhat legally complicated because apparently Monty didn’t have a road vehicle driving licence and yet he was at the controls of a vehicle [of sorts] using the highway at the time of the collision.

  13. My dad was in 200 Hovercraft Sqdn. He was a Senior Navigator instructor ,and also toured from singapore to Australia and Borneo.we left Singapore early in 1969 due to illness. i have some photos of dad at the helm of a hovercraft,and a group pic with names.

  14. The National Archives now hold details of the Squadrons activities. Under the 30 year rule they have been released to the general public. The details are :-

    Reference TitleOrScope CoveringDates FormerRef
    BT 268/916 200 Hovercraft Squadron: Royal Corps of Transport Formation Report 17 Oct 1966 to 10 June 1968 Dec 1968
    DEFE 70/130 200 Hovercraft Squadron, Royal Corps of Transport (RCT): reports on hovercraft trials and exercises in the United Kingdom and Far East 1968 Jul 31 – 1969 Feb 24 D/RCT/28/3/9A

    I have been unable to access them on the net. Does it take a trip to London to read them ?.

    OMPITA I forgot about the other incident, it happened before I arrived. I took a photo of the damaged fire point to send it to the Waggoner, but because of the wallace and gromett incident I was advised by Gerry Bradman not to. Who was the wag who made the new sign “Fire Poyntz”?.

  15. Hi Vince,
    Not only did Monty Poyntz demolish the fire point he went through the side of the hanger and into the REME workshop, luckily, as usual, all the blokes were outside hard at work.

    Is the “Bernie” who mentioned the 1969 photo one Bernie Guinard?

  16. My father, Dick (Tug) Wilson was a navigator on the LCT’s and we lived in Milldam Bks, Portsmouth in 67. I was engagaged to Monty Poyntz (but it fizzled out when he was posted to Singapore) !!!
    Our neighbour was Les Hickling and they went off to Singapore as well.
    Great to see the memories.
    If anyone remembers us from Pulau Brani then please get in touch.

  17. Vince dad was in Tokyo on the Hovercraft, it was some sort of “Expo”.
    Pre 1966 we were out in Singapore and we lived on Wessex Estate. We adopted the camp dog Tops from Paula Brani I think. Both Jacky and myself went to Pasir Panjang School. The 2nd time we were in S’pore was after 1966 and we lived on Chic Bee Estate, I went to school at Gills ??? It has over 100 steps to get to it. Dad I am sure was on the Hovercrafts in Singapore and Gosport when we lived at 21 Peronne Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth. They were army houses. I know that dad also served in Borneo to the Sultan of Brunei, he was also in Aden and did a stint in N.Ireland. He came out of the Army in Oct 1973 after 20+ odd years. He will have been other places too. He was always going to Norway on excercise.

  18. Hi Lynne and welcome to the blog, hopefully someone will recognise your name and that of your fathers, I’m sure that my father may have know yours as he to served on LCT’s, these being Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad, he was also posted to Singapore around the same time as your father and from what my sisters have told me they attended the same school as you, though don’t know if this was at the same time

  19. The site http://www.singas.co.uk is excellent, and I also helped set up a site http://www.alexandragrammar.org which is now for all Singapore Schools.
    Did anyone go to Pulau Brani primary school. (I was there on my first tour and then Alexandra Grammar (with the hundreds of steps). It became Bourne School when I went on to St Johns, the new comprehensive school for the senior pupils. (The first and second year secondary pupils stayed at the old buildings, which were re-named Bourne.
    I lived on Pulau Brani from 58-60 and 63-66

  20. I was at the 2nd time we were out in Singapore Bourne School with those 100 of steps. I also attended Wessex School and Pasir Panjang Schools.
    I will look at the other site. chears Lynne

  21. My friend Jean Penney lived in Peronne Road on her return from Singapore, about 1967. Did you know her or her parents Barbara and Alec?
    We lived near there, in Bapaume Road, in 57-58. (Portsmouth)
    We were at Golden Hill, Isle of Wight, before then.
    Names I am in contact with from the Water Transport days are Hopping, Cooper, Quick,Brading, Sinclair, Webb, Hatton, Walling
    Does anyone else remember them.
    Anyone know where the Thomas’s ended up? Ted and Muriel’s children were Hayden and Beverley, and Bill and Dot’s daughter was Jacquie.
    (Afraid they weren’t hovercraft, just LCT’s).

  22. Maybe it’s time to toss a few more names from 200 Sqn’s Halcyon days of the late ‘60s into the pool – and see just how many other distant memories are evoked by the ripples.

    Bob Meades
    Gus Boag
    ‘Bomber’ Brown
    Ivor Rees
    Ivor Hellberg
    Dave Caldwell
    Stuart Mason
    Ted Johns
    Ken Turfrey
    Pete Henderson
    Ron Bland
    Colin Sturgin
    Colin Evans
    Frank Weyman
    ‘Snatch’ Stevens
    Roger Dawson

  23. Very interesting to read the citation. I shall forward it on to my friend Ann (nee Brading). We were together at Freshwater (IOW) approx 1954 and again in Singapore (Pulau Brani) 63-65. Her father is still alive, so may remember your father.

    We were on Pulau Brani (37 Coy) from March 58 – Dec 60, so possibly your father was my father’s replacement. We went back again to Pulau Brani in Nov 63, until June 66.

    When did the Sqn first go out to Singapore? I remember going to a Christmas dance in the Sgt’s Mess at St George’s Bks in Gosport with Monty, and everyone was amazed that he had a girlfriend. I think that it must have been Christmas 1967.

    I had some good photos of LCT’s unloading stores at Tanjong Berlayer which I donated to the RCT Museum.

    I also have a good photo of the LST’s Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot berthed together near Pulau Brani.

  24. Re Lyn Copping’s query above:

    Sqn went to Singapore in March 1968.

    Craft were carried as Deck Cargo on the MV Benalbanach.

  25. Was the Benalbanach one of the Ben Line ships?
    My uncle was a captain on the Ben Line and we saw far more of him when we lived in Singapore, as he passed through two or three times a year, en route to Japan.
    When he berthed opposite Pulau Brani at night him and my dad would pass a few messages to one another in morse code, my dad by switching the upstairs verandah light on and off.

  26. Glynis,
    Did you know any of the families on Pulau Brani? When were you in Singapore?

    (Sorry chaps, I’m digressing from the main purpose of this blog, but it has been interesting to read the bits about it).

    Was the Sqn mascot Dougal, from the Magic Roundabout?

  27. Yes Dougal was the ‘Magic Roundabout’ dog.

    When he was presented to the Sqn at Browndown Camp before embarking for Singapore in early 1968 there was one of those delightfully hilarious moments of ‘military humour’ when the presenter (a lady from the BBC I seem to recall) quite seriously told all the soldiers on parade for the event that although he was know in England as Dougal, his real name was ‘Pollox !’ (from his French provenance).

    There were countless heaving shoulders as everyone tried not to weep with laughter as the squaddie sense of humour kicked in at hearing this unintended pun by the straight faced guest of honour!!

  28. I was on the trip to Japan. It was called “British Week in Tokyo”. We sailed to Japan on HMS Fearless. We where accompanied by the RFA Stromness which was loaded with equipment that we were trying to flog to the Japanese. Princess Margaret opened the week on 26th September 1969. Can only remember a couple of names. We also had a trip on the Bullet Express.
    Also went caving to the Batu Caves, K.L. Our leader was Bernie R.E.M.E, who supplied us all with safety equipment.
    Another jaunt I went on was a raft trip down the River Pahang, with Gerry Bradman and Mick O’brien. We built a bamboo raft up river during the monsoon season, then headed towards the South China Sea at a great rate of knots. Quite an adventure!!.

  29. Glynis- i also lived at 21 Peronne Road, but in 1969 when 200 H/craft returned from Singas.The website for singas is brilliant for anyone who was there in the 1960’s.Loved the photos.
    My father was Alan hodson.would love to hear from anyone who remembers him.

  30. For Lyn Copping mainly………

    The Benalbanach was a Ben Line ship.

    I am pretty sure that the Captain of the Benalbanch at the time was named Murray. Was that perhaps your Uncle?

  31. Hi Vince.

    I remember Harold. I joined 200 about 66/67 when there was a hanger at Browndown and no H/C. I was one of the first seaman crew. Brian Halliwell, Frank Skene were two others.

    I did two tours with 200, 66/67 to 69 and then as Navigator 73/4.

    I remember many of the names listed plus many others.

    Ron D.

  32. Cheers for sharing these with everyone, I’ve added you as a contact on flickr now as well if you don’t mind, hopefully while I’m at my mothers this weekend will see what other photo’s I can find from my dads time with 200 Sqn

  33. Benalbanach – I don’t think my uncle had this ship.
    His name was Ken Wilson.

    Do any of the RCT chaps remember my father, WO1 Dick Wilson (not hovercraft, he was a navigator on the LCT’s – had Glider Pilot wings – from Arnhem – on his uniform).

  34. Discovered this site while browsing for personal “ancient connections” as you do!
    Most of the chat is of a time before I knew 200 Sqn, however there may be others out there who remember the rather less glamorous times when, while based at Browndown, we spent winters off the coast of Norway.
    I was OC of the REME Workshop who with a small band of hybrid technicians/mechanics tried to keep the carft from going “AOG”.

  35. Glynnis

    It would appear we were in Singapore at the same time. My dad was a REME Tiffy with the Hovercraft Sqn, we were there for a year until they returned to UK. We also lived on the Chip(?) Bee Estate (16 Taman Warna as I recall) then moved to 26 Peronne Rd/Close in Hilsea.

    We went to Alexander (Manners Maketh Man, ISTR I was in Montgomery Hse), then to Northern Parade in Hilsea. My dad has passed on so I can’t ask him about this time with the Sqn, though I may have an odd photo or so in his album. Another name I remember is Siobhain Quinlan in Hilsea, her dad was REME attached as well (poss the ASM?).

  36. Hello,
    My name is Tony Smith, ex CPLRCT. I served with the sqn from May 1969 – Jan 1973.
    Joining the sqn in Singapore, WOII Elgey and his wife were the first people from the sqn that my wife and I met at the hostel for new arrivals and they were a great help.
    I enjoyed my time with the sqn and later as the MT CPL doing exercise in Norway 3 times, Alderney Scotland, Wales, Turkey and Denmark.
    Before being posted to 2 Div Regt. Germany, I had the sad task of being in the firing party at the funeral of WOI Matt Dowson.
    Some more names i remembered:

    Maj Macindo
    Capt. Macmillian
    Capt. Branch
    Capt. Tout
    Lt. Squires
    Jerry Bradnam
    Les Hickling
    Matt Dowson
    Ken Armstrong
    Randy Wright
    Pete Bandy
    John Matyear
    Bob Scott
    Mick Burns
    George Mullins
    Pete Mercer
    Ray Marshall
    Sooty Sutton
    Dicky Goucher
    Ivor Rees
    Mick Grimshaw
    Jock Bushell
    Paddy Brown
    Harry Chillingworth
    Scouse Squires
    Dane Patmore
    Jock Lang

  37. Welcome to the Blog Tony, Derek & Tony, hope you come across some friends on here from the time you server with 200 Sqn, and glad to hear you met my mum and dad, you may have even met me, I was the cute little blonde haired son all of 3 years old when you joined in Singapore 🙂

  38. A bit disappointed that no-one from the Browndown days has responded, however it’s early days! Strictly speaking I was part of 200 Hovercraft Squadron Workshop REME, which provided the engineering support for 200 Hovercraft Squadron RCT. From a military engineering point of view it was a unique experience and a memorable job in more ways than one!
    Are there any VMs (Hovercraft Trained) or Avionics Techs (Hovercraft) out there who remember?

  39. Hi Vince,

    I remember your father but time has dulled my memory a little. I was on the same trip to Japan with him. Skouse Huthinson also.
    Branch was the detachment commander as I remember.

    Hi to Al Crawford. We could tell a tale or two about Hong Kong couldn’t we! Was Bernie Guignard on 200 with us?

    Hi to Dereck Dobson, son of my great friend F/Sgt Dereck Dobson. Many great hours with your Dad, both in S”Pore and UK. I called at your flat in ChipBee a couple of times. Sad to hear of his passing.

    For those that didn’t know, Mike Mcindoe was killed in an aircrash some years ago.

    Paddy Quinlan was the ASM at Browndown. Stu Mason was ASM in S’Pore. (I think).
    Don’t remember anything about the “Dougal Saga” at Browndown?? Maybe that all happened on the other side of the hanger!!

    The craft were tended by Frank Weyman on board ship for the trip to S’Pore.
    Skouse, I still contact Gus but lost your address.

    Enough for now. Great to see all these names again.

    Happy Days

    Colin S

  40. Hi again Vince,

    Have waited a while with no response from yourself or anybody else. I feel a little like Tony Griffin.
    I was browsing some of yours or Skouses photo’s and recognised your Father, who I remember well after some memory jogs. I believe it was him on the ramp of the HC talking to a young lady. I was a corporal at that time so didn’t mix much socially with the SNCO’s. (Frowned on).
    Being a founder menber of 200 Sqn (and a REME avionics technician) my tour included Singapore, Hong Kong, Ambon (on board HMS Triumph) Alderny and Browndown. I returned to the Army Air Corp on return from Singapore. and after a period of time joined the Royal New Zealand Airforce. I am retired now and live in Auckland NZ.
    Of interest to some of your other contributors I also spent some of my childhood in Singapore. I lived in Pepys Rd, Pasir Panjang and attended Alexandra Secondary Modern, Gillman Barracks. (Oh those steps) from ’54 to Jan ’56. I was there during the riots, with armed guards on school Bedford lorries. Others more lucky used Changi bus company buses!
    I returned to Malaya in ’59 and did a tour of 3 years with the Gurkahs.

    Best Regards


  41. Hello Colin.

    Ron Dawson here. I was same, no response.

    I was with 200 from the start as one of the seamen crew, generally with Les Hickling and Colin Kantharia.

    We lived in Sembawang Hills Drive for the first few months then moved down to Jalan Tarum. Do you remember “Charlie’s” eating place down by the taxi rank.

    We live in the New Forest area nowadays. My daughter and family live in Oz and in April my wife Vivienne, and I were down there. Only just recovered from living upside down!!!!!!

    You may remember before we left “Singas” I bought a Radiogram from you. Funnily enough still got the receipt. but alas Radiogram has gone to that big secondhand shop in the sky, guess it must have been faulty.

    I’ll leave my email address in the hope of a reply from you ,or anyone else, for catchup info?



    Ron Dawson.

  42. Apologies gentlemen for not replying sooner, just been lazy of late, its nice to see that my blog is still attracting former members of 200 Sqn, theres been quite a few posting on here, though of late its only been you 2, best thing to do is just keep popping back and seeing who’s posted here.
    If anyone wants me to forward email address to each other let me know, that way your not putting your email address on here for all the spam mailers to find.

    Regarding the man kissing the young lady on the front of the hovercraft, that is indeed my dad, would love to know who the woman was ?

  43. Hi yet again,

    Just a very brief question and allow me a senior moment, but who is hiding behind the name Ompita?

    Thanks for the info re email addresses. Good idea. I have mailed Ron and await a reply.

    Regards Colin

  44. Lynne Copping has asked me to let you all know that there will be a reunion in March 2010 of ALL SINGAPORE SCHOOLS in Hatfield

    Some of you may have had children at school then, and it would be
    great to see them. Email singaporeschool.reunion@googlemail.com for details, or
    look at http://www.singas.com and http://www.alexandragrammar.org (now for all schools).

    I see that Colin Sturgen was at school in Singapore in the 50’s, we do
    have some ex pupils from then, so he wouldn’t be alone, though I suppose that
    most of us were there in the 60’s and early 70’s.

  45. Hi everone
    Been looking for a site for 200 Squadron for ages.
    I was a pilot from about 1972 to 1974.
    Names I rememmber are.
    Paul Nunn
    Capt. Bellinger
    Tom Buchan
    Nav. Ron Dawson( we got stuck on a sandbank in the Solent)
    and the W011 in the REME who gave me a right going over for not putting the craft in the right position for servicing.

    D’oes anyone remember Paul Nunn desroying my craft on a round the I.O.W. race?

    Or me nearly killing two fishermen on the beach at Browndown after the ‘hump’

    Please keep this going, we need to Know more

    Regards to everone

  46. Hello Reg.

    I am the Nav. Ron Dawson, you mention.

    Have to say I’m not able to place you nor do I remember the incident in the Solen. However I do remember in the closing years of 200 there were several personnel from other Arms posted into 200. I seem to remember two members of The Blues and Royals. Were you perhaps one of those?


    Ron Dawson

  47. Gentleman I thought seeing as there are quite a few of the members of 200 Hovercraft Squadron here now that I’d start an Official group on Flickr dedicated to the photographic history of the Armed Forces use of Hovercrafts, I’ve already added a few from my fathers days and wondered if any of you had photos you’d care to add to the group.
    Main reason for setting this up is that as far as I can tell there is very little on the internet in text or photo about the use of the Hovercraft by the British Armed Forces and I feel that all of you rightly deserve a place you can share your photos and your memories of what I’m guessing was an exciting time.

    You can find the group here

    You may need to join Flickr to post photo’s to the group and also request to join the group (did this to prevent internet idiots joining)

    Hope you like it and enjoy it.



  48. Hi Ron
    I’m not surprised you cannt place the name.
    I joined 200 in ’73 and some prat decided to send me on a SQMS course in the late spring of ’74. So wasn’t with the unit very long.

    When I got back I was told the unit was closing down.

    The incident in the solent must have been about april ’74

    Regards to all


  49. Hi again

    There is a scouse back there. I was known as scouse morgan.

    My craft tail number was xv 617 written off by Paul Nunn spring 1974

  50. Hello again Reg.

    Great to hear from you, but I’m afraid the Solent issue is still a Mega “Senior Moments.”

    Anyway Reg, you may like to get back to me on the email address posted at the end of my comments dated 1 June 09, to see if we can release this “Senior Momemt log jam.

    Ron Dawson.

  51. Hi Ron

    Your not the only one having ‘senior moments’.

    I’m not good with computers and having all kinds of problems with
    my e-mail.

    When it’s sorted I’ll let you know.

    I did check my log book from the squadren and my dates do seem to be right.

    Where you there when the unit closed down? I think it went to the Marines.



  52. Me again

    Message for Vince.

    Photo’s a good idea, I have some but not competent to upload them( that the right term).

    When my e-mail is sorted I’ll get someone to do it for me.

    Regards to all


  53. Reg an email came into me from Ron, think he thought he was replying to your post and sent it to me by accident, see below

    Hello Reg.

    I have looked in my log book and the only entries recorded for April, are 25 & 27. The first being with my pilot, Roy Stokes = collection CC7 from BHC Cowes the second with the then OC, Major Simon Salter = Collection SRN6 Mk5 from RFA Baccus at Netley, which was as a result of the unit deployment to the Middle East.

    I left 200 Sqdn in May ’74, returning to the Maritime Regiment at Marchwood.

    However, I do not doubt your word, or your log book. At the time, like many other members of thr Sqdn, I knew my days in 200 Sqdn were numbered, due to government cutbacks, so I most probably “Switched Off” as there probably seemed no point in continueing to follow the Military Dictat.

    Even in 1974 a Labour Government was “Screwing Up” and, as the passage of time has proved, nothing has changed. Re; the quote, “Everyone, in life, has a cross to bear” and regrettably ours is a Labour Government!!!!!!

    Is it possible to send a photograph of yourself from that period, then perhaps a penny might drop? I do remember Paul Nunn, as I served with him in the Maritime unit at Gosport, but I guess your adventure with him “writing off” your craft must have occurred after I left 200.


    Ron Dawson.

  54. Hello Pete Drabble.

    If memory serves me wright you replaced “Taff Shepherd in Singapore as it was discovered he had suffered perforated ear drums, and joined the rest of us seamen Brian Halliwell; Frank Skene, and myself. I recognise you from the Squadron Photograph taken at Jap Slip. Have to say that, like many of us retired types, is all I can remember. Get back to me my email address is shown after my June message, or post a message on the blog.

    Ron Dawson

  55. hello all does anyone know or remember the following names of the old sqn scouse squires…..dickie goucher…..mick grimshaw…..ray marshall……ivor rees as i would like to get iin touch for a possible re-union regards tony smith

  56. Tony,

    Mick Grimshaw has just been made redundant from the job of QM, Royal Signals Coldhams lane Cambridge. Has not taken up the offer of a farewell drink.
    Ivor Rees on leaving the Royal Signals was going to open a bar in Thialand with his Nepalese other half.

  57. Hello Scouse.

    As you may well be aware quite a few of the original 200 members are no longer with us so it’s good to to hear about Mick G and Ivor R. Do you know if Ivor did open a bar in Thailand and if so where? Reason I ask, is that my brother in law is off to Thailand on holiday next month.


    Ron Dawson

  58. Hi Ron,

    Remember you well from the Squadron. Ivor was serving in the Far East when he left the services. His last words to his friends where that he would not return to the UK, probably liked the sunshine and the stress free life. His plans where to open a bar on a beach in Thialand. No further news of him.


  59. Thanks for getting back Scouse.

    Have been in touch with Colin Sturgin who now lives in New Zealand, and I think he’s in touch with Gus Boag.

    I of course remember all the original “Sigy” guys and also a great many other members from the Sqdn, though I have to admit it is on account of your photo’s which, of course, jogged my memory.

    As you will see I have left a message for Pete Drabble but nothing received back yet, still time usually has a desired affect.

    I am in touch with George Mullins and speak on the phone with him about once a month, and I’m also in touch with “Wee” Davy Squires, and “Digger Morefoot, who were both MT Drivers. Do you remember them? We exchange Christmas Cards with Mike O’Brien to keep in touch but that’s about it.

    Good to hear from you Scouse.


    Ron Dawson.

  60. Hi Ron,

    Have also been in touch with Colin and Gus. George Mullins in the stores brings back the more humorous memories. When the clothing for Singapore arrived in Gosport, I was one of a merry gang sent to assist in unpacking. Most of the boxes were full of womens clothing. oops, when ordering the clothing from the catalogue, the page blew over to the WRAC section. George never invited us back when the correct clothing was re-issued.
    When leaving Singapore our hosts the RN were getting rid of all their stores. George duly ordered some paper towel dispensers and paper towels, the towels were ordered in thousands, but the Naval wags turned the quantity into boxes. A convoy of trucks loaded with paper towels duly arrived at Jap Slip.
    Mick O’Briens brother left a message on this blog. Did a raft trip with Mick. Give him my regards.
    Pete Drabble was a seaman as I recall. Yes remember Davy and Digger( HGV Driver soon to retire !).


  61. Hi Ron Its good to hear about the old members of the sqn, I would like to get in touch with george mullins, scouce hutch, pete mercer,mick grimshaw,or as many members as poss Tony

  62. Hello Tony.

    Have to say I recognise the name but can’t picture the face.

    However, if you contact me at my email address which appears in my message of 1 June this year, I will give you George Mullins contact details. I’m afraid George does not own a computer.

    Ron Dawson.

  63. To All Those who knew ken Armstrong, sadly ive just found out that he died two years ago…..regards…..tony s

  64. sorrey about late reply but have been very busy just latley as i now live in spain and seem to have a lot of faimily visits,as a follow on when i left singapore i was osted to marchwood to sit on an old tug but very boring so sked to go back on landing craft but was turned down so left army and have no regrets.am now a moaning oldy but having a good life here in spain.have found some photoes but no sure how to post them so you will have to bear with me on that but will try to asp.
    Pete Drabble

  65. Hello again Reg Morgan.

    Have been going through my log book again and I have found an entry on 29th January that shows we went on a training sortie from Browndown to Hurst point, which is of course at the Western end of the Solent, and return return to Browndown.

    The entry also shows the craft to be SRN6-617, so I am wondering if this was the trip to which you referred in your recollection of us getting stuck on a sand bank in the Solent??.

    Hope you are well Reg.

    Ron D.

  66. Hello Tom Buchan (TB)

    Saw your comment in the earlier messages Tom.

    Do you remember being a member of the Stokes/Dawson crew?

    I seem to remember when you first joined Roy and I, we were the crew of one of the SRN6s, then latterly “Progressed” to the CC7 XT102. I think someone must have had it in for us as the Cushion Craft were small, and we three were 6ft +. If you remember, CC7 XT101 was crewed by Pete McGregor and Brian Halliwell, but I can’t remember who the seaman was, but I do recall they were rather shorter than us.

    I also remember there was a bit of a joke about the “NO STEP” signs stenciled on various parts of the SRN6s. I also seem to recall you bought my Fiat1100 off me when I bought my Renault 1100.

    If you’d like to get back Tom, my email address is shewn at my June entry.

    Ron D.

  67. Nothing to do with Hovercrafts I’m afraid. I noticed that your father whose surname like mine and my father’s is Wilson was called ‘tug’ when in the forces. My father was in the British army and similarly was known as ‘tug’ Wilson. Do you know the derivation of this nickname ( tug) for those named Wilson.

  68. “Tug” Wilson

    Derived from the nickname of a former First Sea Lord (1909-11) Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Kynvet Wilson, also awarded the VC when fighting with the Naval Brigade at the Battle of El Teb in 1884 in the Sudan during the Mahdi rebellion. Admiral Wilson’s nickname reputedly comes from an incident when he repeatedly ordered a battleship to try and come alongside and in exasperation offered her Captain a tug to assist.

  69. Hi Ron
    Glad my old grey cells are still operating. Thats the sortie, I’ve also got that logged, but for some reason I hav’nt named Nav. or seaman. Where you with me when we took the C.O. to Cowes during a storm. that was hairy. Do you remember Capt Beltcher and a trip to Aldershot?
    Regards Reg

  70. Hello Reg.

    Can’t say I ever remember doing a sortie to Cowes in a storm.

    I remember Tony Belcher. Saw him a few years back at Brockenhurst, the village in the New Forest where he lived. I regret to say he is another one of 200’s members’ who has passed away.

    Have been in touch with Tony Smith though. We had a long chat on the ‘phone the other evening, and swung a few lamps into the bargin!!

    Glad we got the mutual sortie, sorted out, beginning to think I was losing my marbles.


    Ron D.

  71. Off the record, saw the name Pete Bandy in the list above. He transferred the the LCT’s of the Mar Regt RCT based in Gunwharf after the disbandment of the 200 Sqn…When I joined the HMAV Audemer (L4061) in 1977 he was the Navigator (WO1), the day I joined we provisioned up and sailed for the sunny climate of Faslane for 4 months, then came bak for the Fleet review at Spithead for the Queens Silver Jubilee.Lost track of PB after I was transferred to the HMAV Ardennes when the Audemer was de-commissioned in 1978’ish.
    Great times & greater stories to be told !!………Someone should contact all the “old Salt’s” from the Maritime Regt RCT for there stories and anecdotes.

  72. Hello Ron. I joined 200 in ’71 I think, I am away from home at the moment but will check my log book on Friday. We were navigators together at Marchwood and I was with 200 to the end. My first craft was the SRN 6mk11 617 with Lt Everingham as pilot. You must remember Alan Manning who was one of the only navigators who became a pilot. He is now retired and works at Beauliu restoring the cars. Remember Eddie Thompson? He was another navigator. We went on to tours in Cyprus later. I eventually retired from the army in July 1987. I have lots of photos and will gladly share them with anyone interested. We spent time in Norway, Turkey, Germany, Denmark and loved the life. I live in Gosport now and would be pleased to catch up with the old gang. I regret that Pete Bandy passed away soon after he left the army.

  73. Hello Rick.

    Great to hear from you, and of course I remember you, and all the guys you mention too. Both Alan and Eddie live within a few miles of me.

    Send me your email address and I’ll get back to you. We live in the new Forest area, so not a million miles away.


  74. Hi Vince and all the bloggers, I first saw this site earlier this year when I was looking at first day covers.
    It has taken a while to get down to this but I was in the REME and served at Browndown from 70 to 74 as a VM, before leaving on a Tiffy course just before it all closed down.
    Comments on crashes brought back memories, we dreaded the 100 hour “flying” point as all pilots seemed to have a prang at that point!! Oh the joy of 12 on 12 off for a week in Norway getting a SRN 6 back to normal, not to mention the others that needed TLC.
    Must say though I had a fantastic time traveling all over europe and the UK, Norway in particular was stunning, who remembers the trip to Tromso from Andenes, I was the fitter on the one that broke down in the Fijord, quite hairy in the Fan well in that hooly.
    I remember some of the names, Tony Griffiths our boss for a while, Paddy Quinlan, Ray Marshall who joined the Sqn with me, we still keep in touch by xmas card, Frank Weyman who worked on the I O W hovercraft ferry after he left the Army, John Matyear, Les Mortimer, Ken Armstrong, Clary Galbraith the welder. Also remember the Stokes Dawson crew, acted as “seaman” on many a sortie, for most of the guys, can’t remember who thought of the baby mug for coffee but he was a genious. One of the guys was brave enough once to let me fly one of the beasts round the IOW, he chickened out at me threading the needles though, still it was great, any of the pilots willing to admit to this?
    Too many memories to put down here but a reunion at Browndown ??
    It would be good to hear from anyone who can remember me.


  75. Eddie, Rick and all the others who have recently left comments, just like to say welcome to the blog and I’m glad to see its putting people in touch with each other.

    From reading all your posts it shown me what a great bunch of guys 200 Squadron were and still are, seeing some of the stories and photo’s from that time, have let me see and hear about a part of my fathers life I did’nt really know all that much about, the only parts of his army life I can recall clearly where his time on the Logistic Crafts Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram and living in Singapore.

    Its a shame there is’nt more on the internet about 200 Squadron as I think more people should know about you lads and your efforts in utilising what was then a very futuristic veichle.

    Its nice to see this post I made over 2 years ago has taken on a life of its own and I hope you all keep posting to it as I’m sure theres other out there who like me find reading the comments educational and enjoyable.


  76. At last someone else from the later, Browndown, days and from the black hand gang too – great!
    Good to hear of you Eddie. I remember you very well and you succeeding to get on a ‘tiffy’ course. Good to hear more names I recognise too – your list has jogged my memory to remember Roy(?) Holliday, REME Clerk and bird (feathered type) watcher extraordinaire.
    You mention those trips to north Norway; do you remember when the lifting gear flew off the LSL’s crane hook and landed across the N6’s engine with the chains punching holes in the decking? I have a load of slides somewhere – must dig them out.
    I also remember the trip to Pendine Sands in Wales and the problems we had with erosion of the leading edges of the props – we did a trial for Dowty on titanium edge protectors I recall – – – better stop beginning to sound like a REME anorack!

  77. Hello ed i remember you and all the other names, ray,clary,john,etc, you lived in the quarters behind ward block,clary john and myself lived in ward block.. i remember the exercise,s n, devon alderney,scotland,wales,norway three times,turkey denmark great days.. I left the sqn jan 74 before it closed down, did get a letter from ken armstrong about a leaving dobut was in the n, ireland at the time!! john matyear is in lincolnshire, george mullins in cumbria i still send the a xmas card… Would like to get in touch with any ex members, and a reunion great put me down for that…… regards … tony [smudger] smith ex CPL MT NCO RCT.

  78. Hi Vince,
    you have certainly started something, your father’s name is vaguely familiar, though I cant put a face to it, we must have known each other if he was there until 72.
    Its nice to see so many from the past coming out of the woodwork, also sad to hear that quite a few have passed on.
    I think it would be a good idea to try for a reunion at Gosport where a lot of the history happened, I would be happy to help co-ordinate it , we would all need name tags I am sure to jog memories (and save embaressment)

    keep up the good work

  79. Hi Tony,
    good to hear from you (anorak or not !) you jogged my mind, I certainly do remember Roy a true twitcher but very nice guy.
    The best bit about the Pendine trip was the journey home, it took about three days I think, maybe four a huge portion of that being spent storm bound at Beer in Devon having to sample the beer in Devon ! God it was a hard life sometimes. The journey round Lands End was actually a great experience as well.
    I could go on for ages reminising but we would all get bored, it would be good to try to get a reunion going, so many tales to exchange, would you be up for it ?
    I live in Woking Surrey

    kind regards

  80. Hi Tony S,
    Living in Ward block you may remember being woken up at the weekends by my son thundering round on his plastic tractor ? little red job (the tractor that is)
    You certainly remember more names than me


  81. Hi Crew….

    I will make time over the break to put together more 200 HC notes and photos. I hace been checking my log book and find that I joint the Sqn in November 1972. My first training was on XV615 with Alan Manning. I also note there was Sqn Ldr Stapeton pointing the craft in the right direction, no that was me, he was driving! There was also S Sgt Mick Mooney who was my pilot for may trips. Brian Leach was another good friend. We went off to Norway on 5 Jan 73 and later were involved with Ex Coldwinter and returned to UK on 25 March.
    There was Ex Symphonie in Germany in May 73 then Ex Deeep Furrow in Turkey in September. This was in the ZT 657 the SRN 6 Mk5. She is still on display at Daedlous.
    We were next off to Denmark loaded as deck cargo on the LCT Andalsnes in November for exercise.
    Pilots names remembered, Sgt Morgan, Nunn, Hutchings, Capt Belcher, Capt Tucker, Capt Green and the OC Maj Salter.

    More detail to follow.

    I do hope we can organise a get together soon. Let me know if you need any support. I live about 1000 yrs from St Geogre Barracks!!!!

  82. Hi,

    I was there at the begining (browndown) ask Ron Dawson who I have just recieved a Christmas card from.

    Remember all,was on the first trip to Singapore.

    Monty Poyntz did distroy half of Browndown.

    And so did one of the O/R drivers at RAF Chivanor(Pilots).

    I joined the Sqn as a regimental signals/Lcpl Driver, left the Sqn as a seaman/ signals/Lcpl Driver.When I and my family were posted to RAAF Butterworth as MTO to run the Transport side of things at 65 Groung Liason Section.Working with the Australians.

  83. Hello Stephen, I joined the in singapore 1969 in the MT sec with mick o,brian i was only there 4 months as the sqn were moving back to browndown, i can only just remember you, went as a seaman with scouse sqires and sooty sutton if i remember. have got in-touch with ron dawson and george mullins and remenber all the names on this blog, ed wheeler mentioned maybe a reunion good idea. as you can see still a novice on this machine……… regards tony Smith

  84. Interested to read the various accounts of Pulau Brani.

    Flotilla commander there 1962/1965. 37Coy RASC (WT)

    I read the name Harold Elgey. I remember him well at Golden Hill on the Isle of Wight.

  85. I was with first group with the Workshop when Major Ball was the O.C of the unit I do remember Ron Dawson as my wife (Doris and I also lived at Sembawang Hills estate. I now live in Australia but I do have very fond memories of the unit and all the perdonel that worked there. I have just made contact with Alastair Crawford who along with his wife lived opposite me in Singapore. We have been back twice to Singers since but it has changed out of recognition. Love to hear from anyone from the same era as the start of the unit. I still have the founders dark gree tie

  86. Hello Ken.

    Great to see you’ve found Vince’s website. Long time no hear.

    Funny enough I was talking with George Mullins a few days ago and your name ‘popped’ up, and George said he thought you had gone ‘down under.’

    As you can see from from the foregoing, I’m in touch with Colin Sturgin and several other Squadron members as I was fortunate to have two ‘bashs’ with 200. You must remember ‘Digger’ Morfoot and Eddie Wheeler, who both left a message before Christmas.

    My daughter and family emigrated to Oz and live near Brisbane.

    Vivienne and I were down there March/April 2009 shame we didn’t know you and Doris were there, where abouts are you, perhaps on our next visit we can meet up?

    As you can see from one of my previous ‘posts’ I have left my email address so you can always contact me on that if you wish.

  87. This is aimed at all who remember me but I do remember Derek Dobson. If memory serves me well he was a very both keen and superb cotor cyclist who used to practise in an old well tuned ex Army motor cyclist with mane medals and awrds. Colin I would love to hear from you again as I have heard from Alasair and hope to meet in the not to distant future. I was won of the first of the squadrons foundation members and along still having the green foundation members tie I too still have the stamps signed by the crew. My e/mail is kendor@picknowl.com.au. I am now in Adelaide South Australia and have been since Oct 1976. to all who remember me please male contact .

    All the Best to one and all

  88. Hello fellow ‘Hovernauts’

    Can anyone out there provide me with an email photo of the Squadron plaque.

    I alway intended to purchase one before leaving the Squadron, but of course never got around to it.

    If someone is able to help, my email address is rwmd0418@yahoo.co.uk.


    Ron Dawson.

  89. Interested to hear more fom Paddy Harrison about Pulau Brani.
    My father (Dick Wilson) was with 37 Coy RASC (WT), then later became RCT.
    He was on the Landing Crafts, not hovercraft.
    We lived at Golden Hill (IOW), Bapaume Road and then Milldam Barracks & Burnaby Road in Portsmouth, and of course two tours on Pulau Brani.
    Anyone know where Monty Poyntz is now?

  90. Hi Lynne, Google “Major John Poyntz”. He has now retired, but still active in railway circles. I managed to find an address, but don’t know if it is the “Monty”

  91. Thanks Scouse, just curious, as I was engaged to Monty for a brief period, before the unit went to Singapore !!!!
    Met some of his colleagues at the Christmas dance (I think) at St George´s Bks just before the unit left to go to Singapore.
    I lived with my father in Milldam Barracks, in Portsmouth, near HMS Vernon. We should have moved into a house in Burnaby Road but as I was on my own a lot (my mother having died) my father (Dick Wilson) reckoned that living in a block of flats was safer for me.

  92. Well, I must say it’s a bit spooky at my age when you’re looking for something totally different and your past leaps out of the PC! A lot of familiar names (and faces in the slipway photo). Sorry to hear of those who have made their last logbook entry – to which I’m afraid you must add Richard Macmillan who passed away a couple of years ago. He had a lovely life after the Army and finished up looking after a string of chateaux for an unnamed Middle Eastern royal. I’m glad to hear George Mullins is still going strong – the biggest “fixer” I can recall meeting!

    Some names of course are equally familiar to me from 10 Port Sqn days, but I will try and blow the dust off my 200 logbook and find some anecdote to report. No photos I’m afraid – too many house moves in the past. Strangely enough I have 2 founder member (green) squadron ties in original wrapping. A bit slim for today and wife wouldn’t let me wear it anyway, so if anyone wants one (free), let me know.

    For Ron Dawson I’ve got a plaque in the attic somewhere, but don’t hold your breath for a photo as it will require a major excavation. By the way were you the squadron member who nearly got us disbanded for wearing civvie socks for a VIP inspection??

    I have never communicated this way before, so I hope this gets to where it should. I look forward to hearing from someone – or anyone!

  93. Mike welcome to my blog & welcome to my post about 200 Hovercraft Sqn, which seems to have taken on a life of its own thanks to people like you and the rest of the lads and lady who have stumbled across it while searching the net.

    I’m sure pretty soon you’ll have a few more messages appearing welcoming you also.


    Vince Elgey
    (Son of Harold Elgey W02)

  94. Hi Mike,

    Good to see you found the site.

    My memories are confined to our trip to Japan, I believe, and your kind offer of my participation as the mechanic/technician support person on the exped from Tokyo to Myzzaroo by navy bus. Most enjoyable trip but was glad to get back on board Fearless at trips end. Thank god the bus didn’t break down!

    I am now a New Zealand citizen, retired, with many Kiwi grand children and life is pretty good.

    I have responded to others on this blog as I am sure you will.

    Hope all goes well with you and yours.



  95. Hello Mike, long-time no hear. If you recall the last time we met was about 1987 at the 200 Sqdn 21st Anniversary at Browndown, organised by Major Tony Belcher, a second generation member.

    Thanks for the offer of a photo of the 200 Sqdn plaque, but as you suggest I’ll not ‘hold my breath.’ Have to say I do not recall the incident of the ‘civvies socks’?

    As you will note from all the comments, many Ex Sqdn Members’ are now located all around the world. My daughter and family emigrated to Australia a few years back, so on our next trip ‘Down Under’ I am hoping to visit those member now living in ‘Oz.’

    As you will of course realise, you are the first commissioned rank to contact the website of this illustrious band of ‘Hovernauts,’ who have, via the modern age of IT technology, re-established and rekindled friendships formed all those years ago whilst serving in that unique Army Unit of the 1960s/70s. I am delighted that you contacted Vince’s website.

    From my early days in ‘200’ I remember Cap’t Flood; Lt Hellberg; Cap’t Squire my namesake Cap’t Dawson and of course Major Ball, are you in contact with any of them?

    Ron Dawson.

  96. Hi everyone – sorry about the delay in response, but been elsewhere.

    Found logbook – held together with rusty paperclips – a bit like me!

    For Colin – remember it well. Logbook says Tokyo, Maizuru, Amanohashidate and Tsuruga all in June 1968 – lovely trip, a long time ago. Glad life is good in NZ. One of the few places I’ve not made it to.

    For Ron – not in touch with anyone until you lot called. Had a super time in the Army, but moved on to Securicor and had an equally good time with them and Army life is now just a happy memory.

    John Flood, no idea. Ivar Hellberg was commanding Commando Logistic Regiment when I last saw him which was just after Falklands. Mike Squire also finished up with the Marines. I think he made Brigadier and was looking after all the deer on military training areas after retirement! Roger Dawson left early and was last seen as, I think, chief engineer for Wiltshire County Council. Stan Ball was married to Jan, a doctor and they lived in Highworth. Stan commanded 17 Port Regiment.

    For Vince – remember your dad, but not, I think from 200. Bet you didn’t realise what you were starting!

    For anyone – I now look across Torbay towards Brixham and my logbook says I took XT 492 into the harbour in July 1967. I seem to recall that we went there because one of the boys had some connection there – anyone remember who it may have been?

    All the best

    Mike Branch

  97. Hello Mike, i remember you only just, myself and alan mason flew back to the u k on the same flight as you and your family, you were looking after three children, on landing me and alan look arfter them on the train to london where they were met by some nuns…A few years later i saw you on a team doing the yearly inspection at browndown…. in 74 i was posted to germany i had been with the sqn since 69 so i had a good run travelled to norway turkey denmark and all over the u k with the sqn. Been in touch with old george mullins though thi site and hopfully a few more, as you can see i havent got the letter writing properly right yet, i hope get plenty of replies and that all is well with you all the best tony smith Ex M T nco

  98. For Tony Smith – Where in Germany were you in 1974?
    I was there then as a WRAF and an army wife (my husband was a REME helicopter engineer with 669 Sqn AAC at RAF Wildenrath. We then got posted to Celle and Detmold.

  99. hello lynne, i was ni 4 sqn 2 div regt rct bunde jan 74 did a tour with ato in belfast, returned to bunde, but after 8 years in maritime then stuck inland so to speak i did not think much of it,in march 75 my time was up, so i decided to leave and settled in clacton-on-sea………regards tony s

  100. For Mike Branch and Colin Sturgin.

    Regarding your last Mike.

    I’m 99% sure you called in at Brixham during the 492 sorte because Dave Robertson hailed from there and most probably was the onboard Navigator as he was one of the Sqd’n’s Sgt Navigatiors. Don’t remember whether I was on the trip but I do remember Dave commenting about it.

    I see the earth has been moving for Colin Sturgin down in New Zealand. Hope you are all safe and well Colin.

    Ron Dawson.

  101. Greetings all.
    This is such a trip down memory lane,
    Also a bit of a jog too, as im trying to get a slide scanner for the boxes of slides that dad (wo1 alan hodson) took, from the inception to the disbanding in gosport
    Now i have this site ill keep you updated if i can get them scanned annd will put up some albums

  102. Hello Dave.

    Great to hear from you. I knew your Dad very well.

    I was an original member of the Squadron, like many of the above. Guess I must have known you from the many Sqdn ‘get togethers’, both at Browndown and Singapore, but you were probably in short trousers in those days. At the outset I was one of the Craft seamen, but fortunately I had two tours with the Unit, and second time around I was a Craft Navigator.

    I too have many slides taken in that ‘Hovering Era’ but, regrettably, many have deteriorated over the years.

    I also looked to purchase a slide to computer scanner, but as you know they can workout very expensive, especially for one that will do the job well. My problem is that my slides are not the usual 36mm, they are larger, so consequently a fair proportion of the slide would have been lost in the transformation. Look forward to seeing how successful you are at transferring yours.

    Ron Dawson

  103. I would like to thank Vince for establishing the Royal Corps Transport 200 Hovercraft Squadron site, and wish him,his family, and all members of the British Army’s most unique and illustrious unit, a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

    Ron Dawson

  104. HI RON.glad to see there are others of the original squadron still about how are you keeping.are you in touch with many others have had brief messages from Mick Obrian and Digger Morfoot Via Forces Reuinted. have you heard from or about Terry McClaren orLes Hickling regards Vic Adams

  105. Hello Vic, good to hear from you, after only 42 years !!!

    The only member of 200 that I speak to on a regular basis is George Mullins, we usually have a ‘telecon’ about once a month. He lives in Cumbria now but is, regrettably, not computer literate, but that’s no problem as it’s easier and more enjoyable to ramble on, on the ‘phone.

    My wife and I were holidaying in Devon a few years back and met up with Mike O’Brien and Dave Squire, but since then contact is usually at Christmas time. Same with Digger, Colin Kantharia and Ron Little. Had an email from Siggy Hutch somewhile back, and as you can see from all the foregoing, Hutch is very involved with this fantastic Blog of Vince’s.

    I am in email contact with Colin Sturgin, Alistair Crawford and Ken Turffrey, as they are all Antipodean’s now. I know Colin is in contact with Gus Boag.

    Sorry to say I have never had any contact with either Les Hickling or Terry Mc’ since leaving Singapore in 1969.

    If you look back at one of my previous, input comments, I have given my email address, so if you want to make contact, other than through this Blog, please feel free to do so. Have to say I’ll not be her in another 42 years time!

    All the best Vic, and thanks for making contact.

    Ron Dawson.

  106. Hello Vic,
    Nice to hear you are still about.
    Recieved an email from Terry M. He was asking about a Squadron member. atmclarenATweb.de is his address if you wish to contact him.
    Regards Scouse

  107. I havnt looked on this site for a while, loads of you out there! anyone remember the mad ginger headed “Ginge McAneany”. Bob Clay, Jake Jones. and yes the Sqn Motto will always be “No Step”! or maybe hatches,catches locks and latches (m3 c3) in the old 700.

  108. I´m in contact with Bob Clay´s ex wife. Her and Brenda Hickling were neighbours of mine when we lived in Milldam Barracks.
    Was in touch with Brenda about 10 years ago, but no idea where there ex husband´s are.
    Any one remember my dad, WO1 Dick Wilson (Tug), sorry – not hovercraft, only LCT´s.
    Anyone know where Monty Poyntz got to?

  109. Hello TB.

    Long, Long time, no hear. Are you still in the Pompey area? I live on the edge of the New Forest now. Jake lives somewhere near me, so I’ve heard, but I’ve never ‘bumped into him.’

    I was down at the Hovercraft Museum, Lee on Solent, a few years back attending one of their Open Days. Met Mike Mooney, did you know him, or was he before your time? He’s the Museum’s Principal H/C Driver. The Museum has one of the
    ‘Flatbeds’ and also CC7 102. Do you remember that ‘Shoe Box’ You, Moi and Roy Stokes as crew. Three of the tallest blokes in the smallest craft, whilst 101 had Pete McGregor and Brian Halliwell can’t remember their seaman but what I do recall they were all short in height. I think someone had a wicked sense of humour when crewing us to that craft. Have tried to make contact with Roy but no success.

    Good to hear from you though Tom.

    Ron Dawson.

  110. Hi,

    Celebrated my 60th birthday Sat. surprise party with a few old faces! Tony Coppin, Jake Jones, Les Hoppkins, Dave King, Dave Neilson, Alan Hodgson, Tommy Crow. Great night!

    Getting old, my eyes are going, keep walking into things,………………..mainly pubs!

    Til’ next time, cheers!

  111. Hi, Andrew,

    Pleased to say i new your Dad, as i recall he “flew” CC7 with a Royal Marine navigator called Csgt ????? Medhurst i think.


  112. thanks alot for replaying for all of you’s on here that don’t know my dad past away 12 yr ago this OCT. i am just trying to find out more about his time in the army as im in the RAF now myself so any information is greatly received

    kind regards

    Andy McGregor

  113. Hi Andrew, I also remember your Dad.
    I have a first day cover from my hovercraft days.
    It is signed by your father and SGT Alan Manning his navigator.
    Dated 27th of April 1972 and it commerates the first hovercraft (SRN6) flight from Herm to Sark in the Channel Islands.

  114. HI Digger you can at last have our email address I tried to leave it on Forces reunited but it wouldnt let me I to am retired we bought a motormome five years ago and travel around the continent but mostly Portugal we live in it permantly have you heard anything from Terry Mcclaren hope to here from you soon or any of the origanal mob vic

  115. hi im trying to trace what my dad Peter McGregor did where he went and what he was like as a SNCO if anyone could help that would be really great?I was to young to ask him when he died so i got to do it the hard way.

  116. Hello.. I served 200 Squadron RCT but only for the last six months before the squadron disbanded in 1974 so I probably won’t be able to help much. I wish it could have lasted longer as it was definitely the best posting I had. Good times.

  117. ron and scouse thank u so much for all ur help im goin to be goin down to the hovercraft museum in sept to c the cc7 my dad was involved with but i cant thank u enough

  118. Andrew, A volunteer hovercraft pilot at the museum is a Mike Mooney. He served at the same time as your father in 200 Hovercraft Sqn. If he is about, it would possibly be worth having a chat with him.

  119. G’day all you Hover-nauts.

    In September, there is to be a hovercraft reunion at Browndown to celebrate 50 years of military involvement with hovercraft.

    Dates 9th -12th. For more information please contact Brian Russel (brianatjellicoe@aol.com) without the brackets of course.

    Hope to see some familiar faces there.

    Lastly, for Tony Smith. Got your message and I’ll give you a ‘bell’ one evening this coming week.


    Ron Dawson.

  120. Hi to you all, really sorry to say I am already commited that weekend, I would have loved to be able to catch up.
    Maybe next year if this reunion proves successful.

    Have a great time


  121. Thanks for posting details of the Browndown event to Ron Dawson.

    The event is called Seahorse 50 and because of costs has had to be moved to the Hovercraft Museum, which was the location for IHTU, IHU and NHTU. The military reunion is on Saturday 10th September, opened by Brigadier Kenning OBE ADC DCGRM. 539 Assault Squadron RM will be attending.

    Please note that partners are included in the invitation, but I need to know numbers attending by the end of August, for catering purposes.

  122. Hello again all you hover-nauts.

    As you can see from Brian Russell message, if you wish to attend, Brian needs to know numbers by the end of the month.

    Ball in your court guys.


    Ron Dawson.

  123. Hello Ron Sorry ron cannot attend the reunion wife back operation that w/e, can you let old george m know, pity i was looking forward to seeing some of the old sqn members maybe we,ll meet one day, give my regards to all thoses there,….. all the best……smudger

  124. I found this interesting training film from Pathe news. Faces I recognised were Les Hickling and Monty Poyntz.
    Just seen that there has been a reunion, it must have been interesting. Did either of these people attend?
    I went down to Portsmouth (from Aberdeen) for a Water Transport reunion in July. It was really good.
    Lynne (Wilson)

  125. It is with heavy heart, and great sadness, that I have to tell everyone that George Mullins passed away at his home in Cumbria on Friday 2nd December.

    Funeral arrangement will be made after the post-mortem.

    I knew George for 45yrs, and have to say he wasn’t the easiest of men to get on with but, as far as I am concerned, his word was his bond, and he was one heck of a character.

    He was 200 Sqdn’s longest serving member and, its ‘Mr Fixit,’ as I’m sure so many of you will remember. George, was in fact, 200 Squadron.

    As soon as I know the funeral arrangements I’ll post them here.

    Ron Dawson

  126. Thank you Vince for allowing me to use the blog regarding George Mullins passing.

    May I also add the following info for ex Sqdn Members?

    George’s funeral is to be Monday 12th December.

    Family flowers only, but should anyone so desire, a donation may be made to The Royal British Legion via George’s widow.

    If you email me at rwmd0418@yahoo.co.uk I will be pleased to send you the address for donations.

    Ron Dawson.

  127. A Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Peaceful New Year

    to the 200 Hovercraft Squadron, Royal Corps Transport, FAMILY.

    Ron Dawson.

  128. Merry Xmas from Singapore to the 200 SQN alumni.

    Am keen to learn more about this interesting squadron, where it was based, where it trained and whether it ever went into operations from Singapore.

    The black and white colonial bungalows are still around in Sembawang and in the Portsdown Road area.

    Please write to me at projectrocky@gmail.com; my blog can be found at kementah.blogspot.com.

    Best wishes,


  129. Hi Vince,

    I’ve just put on Facebook (20 Maritime Regt group) a photo of my parents and others on Pulau Brani when the RASC was re-badged to the RCT. One person has commented on some names of people I didn’t recognise, and one name was your father. Was he on Pulau Brani at the time (1965?) Would you like a copy of the photo.

  130. Hi, just found this site after watching a program on Norway. I was a REME Avionics technician with the squadron at Browndown from around 1970-72, then again in 74-75. I remember some of the names, Eddie Wheeler, Ray Marshall, Jim Fisher (who is in Australia but I am in regular touch with him, also Clary Galbraith ( who I’m sure I saw working as a thatcher on the cover of a country magazine). I had 2 winters in Norway with the squadron (then 2 more with the Army Air Corps), trips to Turkey and one to Alderney where we broke down and had to stay a few days waiting for parts! Went to the hovercraft museum a couple of years ago and met up with a few people I recognised (but can’t remember their names).
    Still got loads of photos of that period, they were happy days.

  131. Hi Mick,
    Good to hear from you, I certainly remember the two trips to Norway, plus Turkey, “boozy” Alderney etc, etc. Happy days indeed.

    Ray lives in Carshalton and I am in touch, Clary was indeed a Thatcher, met him a few times playing golf but have not seen or heard from him for a good number of years.

    Where are you living now ?, I am in Woking, Surrey



  132. Hi Eddie, I live in south Oxfordshire but one of my daughters lives in Guildford and the other in Ash so I’m down that way at least once a week.
    I have memories of our first night in Norway after disembarking from the LSL in Harstad we broke down with an oil leak and just made to shore in a local’s back garden, they put us up for the night and I remember an amazing breakfast the next day. There we other things like the lunchtime bridge school in the signals shack at Browndown led by the greeny ‘Q’, can’t remember his name. I’ll try and sort out a few photos and make them available, It would be good to meet up sometime.

  133. Heres a post from a new user called George Kennedy, though I’d add it here as he posted in the About Section of my blog

    I was the teacher in the Pathe 200 Squadron story. We were preparing to start our cross channel proving runs with two N6′s, during the summer, and were happy to get an MOD contract.

    4 of us had come South from Clyde Hover Ferries when it was wrapped up.Hoverlloyd needed Captains to train up others for the N6 summer cross channel route proving service before we started the SRN-4 service from Pegwell Bay, and to write procedures set up safety training, and all the other routines needed prior to carrying vehicles and people across the Channel.
    We didn’t see too much of 200 guys socially, as they were living somewhere out of town (Deal barracks?), but we had a lot of laughs, and only a few near misses!

    I will be happy to answer any questions, and may be able to find the odd picture, although pre digital we weren’t as snap happy as we are now..
    George Kennedy

  134. Have posted a couple of photos on the Flickr site. They are from the trip to Japan for British week. The names are:- Titch Hitchcock, Ken Barker, Al Crawford and Bob Meades…I think….
    One sailing off Denmark…Bernie Guinard, ? Bland ?

  135. Hi Skouse,

    I think you may have the wrong venue for those photo’s. Australia perhaps? Apart from yourself, none of them went to Tokyo.
    Hichcocks nickname was “Scratch” btw, not Tich!
    Best Regards


  136. Hi all.

    I would like to contact as many founder members as possible from Browndown and Singapore.
    Please contact me with as many email addresses as possible .

    Many thanks .


  137. Hi I served with 200 sqdn, around 1969 to about 71/72 time, I then re-badged into RGJ then 3 Para. I have quite a few photos of my time in 200 sqdn. I m afraid names elude me now But once i figure out how to I will try and post on here.

  138. Hello Don, I remember you a seamen, cant recall who,s craft you were on, We had some good times at gosport and on the exercise,s, we were on a course at bordon when you got talking to some RGJ, a month later i drove you to there depot winchester, that was a long while ago’ i was the MT Cpl, if your got time my No is 01255 474919…give me bell……..smudge

  139. Hi Donald Barr,
    You would have been in 200 the same time as my dad Alan Hodson. Look forward to seeing your pics

  140. Hi to you all,

    If anyone is interested Tony Smith, Ray Marshall and myself are meeting up at the Union Jack club near Waterloo station at lunchtime on Mon 21st May for an hour or so. Nothing serious just a friendly chat, if you fancy it and are not a member then you need some form of ID to prove you were in the forces, copy of discharge doc, or service record is OK.

    Non military can get in but would need to be signed in, if you are non mil and would like to come please let me know so I can inform the club.



  141. Hi, v. good meet up at the union jack with ray and ed, long time since 74, had a couple of drinks a bite to eat, and of course a good old chinwag….will most certainly be doing again…..thanks tony

  142. Evening gentlemen,

    Were any of you crewing the craft that was taken up to Terendak (28th Commonwealth Brigade) 1968. I was serving with 1RNZIR when the we were pulled out of some heavy duty trainng to put on some hovercraft debuss drills for some Brit labour pollys who turned up.

    The reason for the question is that some of my mates think I’ve lost my marbles and and imagined it……..hovercraft indeed, what ever next.

  143. Have put a photo on our Flickr site, taken at Terendak in 1968, it shows troops leaving the Hovercraft, I went up to Terendak as part of the ground crew, operating a radio safety net for the hovercraft. Can’t remember when or why.

  144. Greetings, Fellow ‘Hovernauts’

    You’ve all seen Rex Barron’s enquiry, and ‘Hutch’s’ response.

    Do any of the ‘Craft’ crew members, or other Sqdn members, remember taking part in this event?

    Ron Dawson.

  145. An article in the Straits Times dated 12th August 1968, states that three SRN 6’s were used. Demo’s were given on the wednesday and thursday.
    I now remember that my job was operating a radio (B47) on a small speed boat, demonstrating how a hovercraft could intercept a small craft. Memory jogged when I remembered loosing my ID card at sea.

  146. Thanks for the replies fellas……. I thought you might be interested in the true story behind the demo.

    The New Zealanders were at that time supplying infantry in company strength to 1st Australian Task force in Vietnam from 28th Commonwealth Brigade and consequently were engaged in some heavy duty training kitted out with with US webbing, M16s and M60 LMGs. This was in spite of Harold Wilson’s assertion that the UK was not engaged in supplying military aid,

    It became obvious that FARELF was was deceiving their political masters when we had an hour to change our Yank kit and get into ’56 webbing and grab Gimpys and Sterlings for this demo that was sprung on us.

    We must have looked like Fred Karno’s army as none of us had ever seen a hovercraft before and our ill fitting webbing would hardly inspire confidence.

  147. Hello Steve.

    The short answer is that we were not based at Calshot.

    200 Hovercraft Squadron was based at Browndown, which is about seven miles East of Calshot, as the hovercraft flies. The Hanger is still there, and secured by a chain-link wire fence surround, but it can be viewed from the fence line.

    Calshot, used to be a RAF Flying Boat Station during WW2, and its Hangers now in use as an Activities Centre.


    Ron Dawson.

  148. Sorry I was on RPLs in the 60’s just trying to contact my skipper Randy Wright.
    Help if u can.


  149. I’d like to wish all 200 ‘Hovernauts’ a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful and Peaceful New Year.

    Special thanks to Al and Margaret Crawford who came to the UK in September from Oz. Their visit here allowed a meeting of old hovernauts to take place in Newton Abbot Devon. Thanks also to ‘Jimbo’ for putting so many pictures on the blog. It’s nice to see that I, and the rest of you guys, were once lithe, active, young men.

    Finally, a BIG THANK YOU to Vince for setting up the Blog, for
    without it, 200 Hovercraft Squadron RCT, the Army’s most unique Unit, would most probably be a fading distant memory.

    Ron Dawson.

  150. Ron,
    apologies for the late reply, busy in the real world as usual, so let me know recipricate your greetings by also wishing you a Merry Christmas (Belated) and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

    Regarding the thanks Ron, let me also thank all those Hovernauts who’ve found this page and have been kind enough to share their memories of their days in 200 Sqd RCT, I’m glad to have been able to help many of you get in contact after all these years and hope that more Hovernauts come across these pages and find those they thought forgotten.



  151. If anyone is interested there is a meet up on the 17 may at the fox pub(just outside the barracks)of ex 200 hov sqn, there are only a few of us so far, its been over 40 years since we were to-gether…tony smith..MT sec…dave scouse rigby..MT sec..harry chillingsworth ..MT sec/seaman…dickie goucher..Seaman..ray marshall REME….people who have been informed…ed wheeler REME ..mick grimshaw..R SIG…jim hutchinson R SIG

  152. Sadly Mick Grimshaw has passed away, cancer, RIP Mick, one of lives characters. My condolences to his family.

  153. Trying to trace Steve Obrien, he was in the MT Sec 200 hov from i think 72 to 74, was then posted to germany, if anyone remember him please let me know

  154. Have been in touch with the landlady of the FOX Tavern gosport regarding a get to-gether of us old 200 boys on the 17th may…there are no heavy metal groups or dwaf throwing games etc that night and will be glad to see us …there will be a small donation towards sandwiches if required on the day….smudger

  155. Hi Tony, thanks for organising this, unfortunately I am out of the country at this time.
    All the best for an enjoyable get together


  156. The get together for any ex 200 sqn at fox pub gosport sat 17th 2 pm is on track will look forward to meeting all who are comming…..

  157. Hi, I have just come across the web site of 200 hovercraft Sqd RTC. I am interested because I had the pleasure of commanding the REME workshop at Browndown from OCT 1973 until it was disbanded. im afraid I cannot recall many of the serving members but I found the job most interesting. I think I may have a few photos tuck away. Ken Russell (Major RTD REME)

  158. Ken,

    welcome to my blog and the 200 Hovercraft Sqd RCT home from home, quite a few of the Hovernauts have found there way here, so bound to be quite a few people who you’ll hopefully know and who will in turn remember you.
    If you do have any photo’s tucked away please let us know as I’ve set up a flickr photo group specifically to present a visual history of the Hovercraft Sqd

    You can find it here

  159. A nice surprise to see your note, Ken. You probably remember you took over from me as OC Workshop. Not sure we ever met up subsequently, which is surprising when we were both in REME. I was posted back to 2 Group RCT to be OC of 17 Port Regt Workshop REME I’m Marchwood a few years later! Mostly good memories of 200 Sqn Wksp, often wonder where/how others from that time are now, unfortunately most of the guys on here are before my time. I said in my first post here in 2009 (!) that I must dig out some of my slides of the exercises in Norway, Turkey, Pendine Sands etc but have yet to do it! Anyway best wishes to you!

  160. Tony, yes I do remember you and WO 1 Simmons I did enjoy the 18 months I spent with the hovercraft workshops but it was a shame the PM Edward Heath decided to shut it down. I spent about the last two months sitting on the beach awaiting clearance docs to close the unit. I did have a great break by being posted to Singspor as 2ic 28 BGE workshop.

  161. Hello Vince.the little get to-gether was v good not many there .two ladies jackie berry daughter of alan hogson(WO1 master nav) and audrey bandy wife of the late pete bandy(S/SGT nav) when i knew hm in singapore…..we did have lots to talk about…there will be another meet next year and hopefully we will get in touch with more ex members…thank you vince for your interest and your always welcome…

  162. Tony,
    would have loved to have attended this one just gone, but fell over mine and my partners birthday week, Mel’s is the 15th May and mines the 22nd May, so we try to get away for the week, so we can have a relaxing birthday without work worries.

    Also thinking that maybe this post deserves a Website of its own and also of the possibility of setting up another blog with that in mind, as most of you seem fairly web savy, was actually thinking that I could maybe set it up with the ability for you Hovernauts to post your memories and stories of the Sqn for posterity’s sake.
    Ideally thinking of buying the domain name http://www.200hovercraftsqn.co.uk
    If you gentlement would be kind enough to let me know if this is something that might be handy for you all, somewhere to write down a bit more of the history of 200 Sqn by the people who were part of it

  163. I was 200 sdn in the late 60s early 70s . Then transferred to RGJ in 72. Got some photos of my time in 200 sqdn But fecked if I can then on here .

  164. Jock,
    I’m guessing you probably were in the Sqn while my dad WOII Harold Elgey was with them, so let me welcome you to the Hovercraft section of my blog, with regards your photo’s I’m sure either myself or one of the other gentlemen on here can hopefully assist you, do you have a printer/scanner at all as that would probably be the best way to get the pictures on your computer and then we can talk you through hot to upload them onto the flickr account I’ve created for 200 Hovercraft Sqn, if not I’m sure we can find some other way to get them on the website



  165. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I too joined the squadron on formation and sadly can really add little about your dad. I thought I would share a few memories though as I enjoyed the others so much. I am Andy Harker and was a volunteer driver/radio operator when posted in. We arrived in the Gosport barracks before any equipment and whilst the drivers and navs were still training. I suspect this is where I picked up a fair bit of skill at nomination whist from Ginge Haynes. I remember Ginge for his Dean Martin fetish as well as his skill with cards. I lucked on this blog while looking for Monty Poyntz in connection with railways. I remember him telling me which platform I would need to go from and to to make some obscure train journey from places I now forget. I also remember Bomber Brown and another guy used to go through the hole in the fence to the bookies for sports afternoon while we were being so very busy.

    I remember on the flight from UK to Singapore the plane first touched down in Turkey where we spent several hours whilst something got fixed and the ladies tried to avoid the loo. We boarded just after they gave in. I think we landed twice in India and at one of the stops some of Colin Kantharias family came to see him.

    I remember getting a land rover bogged in below the high water mark in Jason’s bay and being rescued from the rising tide by hovercraft. Possibly driven by Gerry Bradnam. I think that was with Dave Squire in the land rover but entirely my fault we got bogged in.

    En route to Hong Kong for the Ambon stopover we formed a party to go ashore first and catch the heaving lines. A very patronising deck officer told us how it should be done and I think it was Brian Halliwell who asked why we were also taking heaving lines. The response was in case the sailors missed with theirs, Brian replied that in the Army you weren’t allowed to miss. I remember being in the lift in the barracks in HK with a towel wrapped round me on the way for a shower I got in as Scouse Hutchinson got out and was too stupid and surprised to stop the lift before it got to the lobby where a bunch of astonished Chinese office workers baulked at getting in with a crazy half naked Brit.

    What I remember is that it was mostly a lot of fun with a bunch of good people.

  166. Dear Vince
    My dad Stanley Ball may be able to help. I don’t know his dates or work life exactly but we lived in Gosport in 1965, Singapore about 66-68 and Marchwood 1970-73 ish. I’ll ask him! Jane

  167. Hello Vince. I would just like to pass on to you, and of course all the 200 Hovernauts, A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    I would also like to remember a great bunch of Hovernauts that are no longer with us. An exclusive Club of Great Guys.

    Ron Dawson

  168. It is with much sadness that I have to report the passing of Lt Col S.B. Ball. RCT, at the age of 84, on 24th July 2015.

    I am sure all first generation 200 Hovercraft Squadron members will him as Major Ball, the ‘Founding Father’ of 200 Hovercraft Trials Squadron, a very strict but fair OC, who always insisted on all the I’s being dotted and all the T’s crossed, and the man who set the standards for the very successful, and unique, British Army Hovercraft Unit.

    I am also sure, many of the Squadron wives will remember with affection, his wife Dr Ball, who, when the Squadron was posted to Singapore, was the perfect ‘Mother Hen’ to the families, for some of whom, was their first experience of life away from the UK.

    Mike Mooney and I attended a Memorial Service for Lt Col Ball, by way of representing 200 Hovercraft Squadron members. The church was full to capacity, thus proving the measure of the man.

    Ron Dawson.

  169. Sad to hear that another Hovernaut has joined my father, seems such a shame that there isn’t more records out here on the internet about them. I was only last week visiting Hilsea to see one of my dads former crew mates Ron Little & his lovely wife Francis & he was regaling me & mum with stories of my fathers time in the RCT.

  170. Hello Vince from a very wet New Forest.

    Yes, I sometimes wonder which of us ‘Hovernauts’ will be the last man out, and closing the door? I’m also in touch with Ron and Fran, but mainly at Christmas time. I remember, during our 200 Sqdn detachment visit to Brisbane in 1968 or 69, I was the crewman with Ron, who was the craft navigator and Les Hickling, the pilot. We were based at a Royal Australian Engineer’s Maritime Base on the Brisbane River at a place called ‘Bulimba’, and somewhere, I still have a photo of we three ‘Cavaliers,’ with the craft, on the Bulimba slipway. Happy days.

    Best wishes

    Ron Dawson.

  171. Found this picture of Harold while doing a little more digging on the internet, description of what going on below


    LCT ARROMANCHES, one of the vessels of the Royal Army Service Corps Fleet serving in the Far East, ready to load supplies for 28 Commonwealth Infantry Brigade in Malacca and Army units in Penang. Discussing storage problems are, left to right : Staff Sergeant H. Elgey, the Bosun, and Captain J.F.T. Hayes, and standing on the lower deck, Lance Corporal E. Edwards of No.425 Stevedore Troop, Royal Engineers.

  172. Great to hear from you Dave. At the time your Dad was with 200, I was one of the Seaman Corporals, so operated with him on the various craft from time to time. I had a lot of ‘time’ for your dad, and he taught me a trick or two on Navigation and Army life. Very much look forward to seeing some of his photographs.

    Ron Dawson.

  173. Also came across this today the Obituary of Micheal James Ivey http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/obituary-michael-james-ivey-1-3937890

    “In 1967 an Inter-service unit was formed to evaluate the military potential of hovercraft and Mike was delighted to be posted to the 200 Hovercraft Trials Squadron of RASC, based in Gosport. Thereafter Mike was frequently away from home, travelling in Europe and Turkey, or in Norway for winter Arctic trials with the Norwegian Armed Forces.

    The trials were deemed complete in 1969 and then came a posting to Canada as Staff Officer to set up a new army training unit in Alberta. Next, Mike organised troop movements at Cirencester. At Camberley he became the first Commander of 44 Squadron. While at Camberley, one of Mike’s more challenging assignments was to reorganise the transport arrangements for Sandhurst, with a view to greater economy.”

  174. You beat me to it this year Vince with the Christmas greetings, I guess, for me, it’s the old grey matter slowing down. Sorry it’s late, but a Happy and Prosperous 2016, and of course and I would wish the same to all those “Hovernauts” still left standing.
    Ron D

  175. Hi

    My dad was Gerry Bradnam, reading this has made me want to look out old photographs etc so will do that and maybe post some.

    I remember we live in Milldam Barracks before heading off to Singapore where we stayed first in the Savoy Hostel before moving into Neesoon Barrack and living in Stirling Road.

    I was only 8 then so a long time ago, sadly my dad passed away a number of years ago but I do remember some of the names previously mentioned, Monty was a close friend of my dads and George Mullins rings a bell.
    I remember the rafting expedition too, and the mishaps along the way, I seem to remember my dad having to have his finger sewn up in the middle of the jungle by an old lady with needle and thread, I seem to remember the raft catching alight and someone getting injured on the bamboo, they came to our house the first night they returned and all seemed to have varying degrees of cuts and bruises.
    My dad also went to Australia from Singapore.
    I also remember having some Magic Roundabout memorabilia that was given to him while filming in the solent.
    Thank you for posting, this has been a lovely day reading all your memories


  176. Hi Mandy i served in 200 sqn joining the sqn in singapore 1969 …your dad was the SSM sqn sergant major …and when we returned to browndown ….a very good and understanding man with a dry sence of humour …..i,m not sure where he went to next i think he was promoted to RSM …..The magic roundabout you mentioned could have been dougal he was the sqn mascot…..

  177. Hi Mandy, I served with the Sqn from 1967 to 1972. I knew your dad very well. I was volunteered by him for the raft trip and also went on the trip with him to Australia. I do have some photos taken on the raft trip and also in Australia. My good friend Ron Dawson another Hovernut,, also has some photos of the Australian trip. We did have a presentation from the Magic Roundabout at Browndown, we were gifted a dougle on wheels.
    Regards Jim

  178. Hello Mandy.

    Lovely to hear from a ‘New 200 Face,’ as it were.

    I, like most other 1st generation members, knew your dad quite well, and I must have ‘crewed’ for him on several occasions? Both my wife and I remember your Mum Sadie too. A lovely lady.

    I joined 200 at Gosport in 1966, as a Corporal Seaman crewmember, and
    was on the Singapore posting, and also the Australia trip in 1968, you mentioned.

    My daughter was born in BMH a few weeks after we the Sqdn arrived in “Singa’s”, and first took to the water in the Nee Soon Camp Pool, which no doubt you must have used quite a lot, it being on your door step as it were? We lived in a hiring in Sembawang Hills Drive, so it was just a few minutes taxi ride to Nee Soon, of course?

    A little while ago I was looking on Google Maps at the Sebawang Hills Estate area where we lived, and was astounded to see the bungalow hiring we lived in, is still there? A piece of the past amongst the modern. I also looked at what was Transit Road, which lead up to the camp, but of course that is completely unrecgnizable after forty odd years.

    I guess you have the Squadron Photo that was taken at “Jap Slip,” the Sqdn Base. I have a few pictures with your dad in, some of which Jim Hutchinson sent me. They’re forty old years old, and don’t show your dad off to his best, but you are most welcome to copies if you’d like them. My email is rwmd0418@yahoo.co.uk

    Best Regards

    Ron Dawson.

  179. Gentlemen,

    I received an email today from a gentlemen called Maurice Robinson who came across the site and wondered if anyone remembers him or can help remember a few names from the past, the email he sent is below:

    “Just browsing around my computer , came across your site , I was with the water transport as a reservist 1962/70 out of ST Georges Barracks Gosport /H.M.S Gunwharf , using G.S.Ls and Fast Launches, I was looking for old mates some of them ex regulars who you may have known , as I am now in my 80s its hard to remember them just need a reminder regards Maurice”

    If anyone wants to contact Maurice his email is p.m.robinson[at]btinternet.com obviously replace the [at] with the @ symbol in his address.



    p.s. I’m glad I put this page up as it certainly seems to have brought quite alot of people back in contact and its let me find out a little bit more about the wonderful and varied characters of 200 Hovercraft Squadron 🙂

  180. Like many guys I have just come across this by chance. Wow! so many names ‘jump out at me’. Peter McGregor…..we Trained together at HMS Daedelus and did many excercises together. Ron Dawson (Navigator) I am in touch with, also Mike Mooney.

    Would like to hear about Brian Halliwell, Randy Wright, Dave Medhurst, Martin Churchill and anyone else who remembers me.

  181. My name is Ian Baxter. I served as a “Greenie” with 200 Sqn. I the early 70’s. Found this blog by accident. What a blast from the past. I am in regular contact with Jim Collins who was a green triffid. Remember many of the names

  182. Hello Ian. Ron Dawson here, craft navigator for Roy Stokes and crewman Tom Buchan, mainly on XT614. I remember you and Roz, and seem to recall you lived near us in Hilsea, I think? My family and I lived in Peronne Close, then latterly in Peronne Road. Do you remember Frank Clifford and Roy Halliday? Roy was your REME clerk, and Frank one of the “Black Hand Gang.” Within the past year I’ve been in touch with Brian Leach, one of the 200 Pilots. Good to hear you are still up and running.


  183. Hi Ron, nice to hear from you. Ros and I lived round the corner in Bapaume Rd. I remember Frank and Roy. For the purpose of the blog our Greenie detachment at that time was Jim Collins, Mick Weston, Jim Fisher, John Winstanley and Louie Martin. I still see Jim and Celeste regularly and met Louie again at a dinner a couple of years back. Brian and his son stayed with us for a while when we lived in Cosham but then I think he went to Canada. Martin Churchill ran a couple of pubs locally then I believe he went to the Isle of Wight. Haven’t heard from either since.
    I now live in Alverstoke right by the Solent and get the noise of the cross Solent craft whenever the wind is in the right direction.

  184. Hello Vince. I would just like to thank you for maintaining the Blog, and to wish you, your family and all those “Hovernauts” still with us,

    Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

    Ron Dawson

  185. Hi Ron,

    its a pleasure as always and hope that the blog posts about Hovernauts such as my father and yourself continue to attract those Hovernauts not yet in contact.

    Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to yourself and all former Hovernauts 🙂


    Vincent Elgey

  186. To all those who knew L/Cpl Alan Mason (clerk) in the sqn 69/70 …have been informed Alan passed away at home in shrewsbury RIP Alan

  187. Dear Hovernauts,

    I’ve recently had access to the RCT Archive in relation to the Waggoners magazine and was able to locate and download a number of articles/reviews which mention the InterService Hovercraft Trials and 200 Squadron specifically included are articles on delpoyments, postings, exercises etc.

    I’m hoping that this might bring back a few memories for you and also may jog ones’ you’d totally forgotten about.

    You can find a link to the file in the blog post above under the heading

    Update 02.03.2017.

    Enjoy gentlemen

  188. Hi Vince. It’s so good to read and catch up with all you hover guys. I joined at Browndown and then on to Singapore. I would like to wish you all the very best.

  189. Hi Andy, this is my second attempt, not very good at it. When I left Freminton I joined HMS Centaur for a middle east tour and then onto HMS Victorious for far East tour.
    I then went on to 63 para rct, and after 5 years joined 200 hovercraft. Then 3 squadron in Malaya. 5 squadron Munster Germany.
    In.72 I then got a posting to BOBC Norway.
    And my final posting was JSMTC Scotland until completion of service in 82. In 83 I rejoined JSMTC Scotland as a civilian instructor IO1.
    I. bet now you wish you hadn’t asked, tell me how about you, how are you keeping and what are you up to, it was good to hear from you and it’s been a hall of a long time. I hope to hear from you again. Cheers Mic

  190. Hiya hopefully this is fairly secure. My email is Harker.andy@gmail.com. If you send me a phone number on that I’ll give you a call. I live in Spain near Torrevieja with my second wife Penny. The bit I probably remember most is arriving in Hong Kong.

  191. I am in a group called The Canal Zoners, having been born in Egypt, when my father was with the RASC Water Transport. I get a regular magazine from them.
    One article in the November issue was of interest to me, the obituary of Major Stuart Lawrence, (who won a MC at Suez) where it mentioned an incident involving a crash between a hovercraft and a motor bike.

    As the teenage daughter of an RCT WO1, having just returned from a tour in Singapore, we were living in married quarters in Milldam Barracks, Portsmouth, not far from HMS Vernon, where my father was based, as a navigator on an army LCT. I had become engaged (briefly) to a Sgt hovercraft pilot, who was the driver in that incident. Here is the account of it in further back on this thread.

    ”I recall a situation that caused some angst amongst the ‘Great & the Good’ when even before we went to Browndown Camp in 1967, Monty Poyntz’s craft collided with a motorcycle combination [a sort of ‘Wallace & Gromit’ thing] as he crossed the road running past HMS Daedalus whilst transiting from the camp to the Solent shoreline.
    The situation was somewhat legally complicated because apparently Monty didn’t have a road vehicle driving licence and yet he was at the controls of a vehicle [of sorts] using the highway at the time of the collision.)”

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