Friday, 25 January 2013

It's Official

It's Official

Katy did do military service and I have photographs to prove it :-)

I found some old information that commented on an ambulance 63-KG-65 being featured in a book Land Rover Military Portfolio by Bob Morrison. This was Katy's military registration so I had to get a copy of that book. I ordered it, but the weather in the UK has been dreadful and delivery was delayed which was quite frustrating.

Anyway it arrived today and on page 90 and 91 there is an article reprinted from a Land Rover Owner International magazine in October 1992 (where it was pages 38-9 if you have an old copy and want to look).

It has pictures taken by Laurie Manton (former assistant editor of Soldier Magazine) and in the article there is a front view and a rear view of a Marshall's 127 Crash Rescue Ambulance and in both pictures the registration number is clear and it reads the magic 63-KG-65

I am so happy to have confirmation of this. I've always hoped I would find definitive evidence that she was a true working ambulance and I now have it

In the article it states that the 127's were being taken out there to replace the "worn out" 101's that had originally been deployed. The Article say that they were deployed to 24 Field Ambulance, RAMC whic accorring to one military history website was deployed 24/6/1992 to Croatia. Operation Hanwood 1992 Zagreb, Knin Split, Sarajevo and various other locations. The date is consistent with the questionable date on Katy's Military History card

In the picture you can definitely see she had no side window on the Passenger side which was one thing that had confused me about the camper conversion as the camper windows are smaller and I could not see a logical reason why to replace them. It is now clear it wasn't a replacement.

I know that inside Katy there were brave men (and women I don't know, but the officer in charge of the unit was a woman so I don't see why not) doing hard duties in an extremely difficult places, I'd like to think in looking after her and doing this research I've done a little to help keep the memory of that hard work alive  

There is a lot more in the book than this simple picture as there are a number of articles by Bob that talk about stockpiled 127's and political intervention from Paddy Ashdown to ger them released. There is clearly a lot more to learn about this

I would of course like to thank Bob and Laurie for taking the pictures and writing the article. without that I would still be in the dark on this

I've included only a small thumbnail of the article as I've not had permission to reprint it so it's not fair to put it in at a scale that would be usable under "fair use"

Update 11th April 2015, I now have permission to share the pictures from this article so here they are

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 Summary

Well it's been another fun year. One in which I've learned a lot more, made some new friends and got a lot more things sorted to the point that Katy is becoming a pleasure to drive

January stated with tyre troubles. I was having to use Katy as a daily drive because Suzuki were unable to get my car serviced. A bit of a pain having those punctures, but I learned something and solved a problem

February was MOT time, the first in our ownership and quite a worry as there was a lot still to do. we were amazed and delighted when she passed 1st time. In March we stated preparing for the camping year with a new fridge (still to be properly fitted) and a whole load of cleaning and repainting. She will need a respray some time, but more mechanical aspects to sort out first

We headed out for real adventures in April with a tour to Scarborough and back down through the welsh borders meeting up with a fellow 127 owner. Both were a real delight and it showed us what fun we could look forward to

May was the first Car show we attended as part of the South Wales Land Rover Club. It was a real fun day out and about the last sunshine we had this summer. We also had a bit of a moment on the Mendip roads (it's amazing how much body roll an undulating road can induce) which made us decide that we really did need to upgrade the suspension 

Whilst I was researching what suspension to get I fitted  some new seats in June. Rhian fixed some ones I got from one of the SWLRC guys and I discovered that the original colour of the carpet lining in the cab had been pink

Then it was back to full blown mechanical work in July with the rear springs and dampers being replaced with upgraded ones. August should have been a month of getting out and about, but one of the wettest summers on record meant that all I was doing was doing on-line shopping for wheels. I thought I had found a set of original military wheels until we attended the Eastnor mud fest which was a place I got some really good advice on wheels and plans changed again

In September the new Wolf wheels and studs arrived and we got out to some more car shows which was fun. It's such fun meeting up with like minded people and having good times.

Refurbishment continued in October as the suspension upgrades continued with the front springs and dampers, but the driving experience still wasn't what I wanted it to be so in November a new 28mm rear anti-roll bar was fitted.

The final job was in December when the front anti-roll bar was fitted, she drives a lot betterso we're ready for fun and games

What we are all hoping for is a year of adventures rather than refurbishment. There is more refurbishment to do as we noted the track rod ends needed replacing when doing the front anti roll bar, and in January she's going to be booked in to get the fridge finally fitted in properly, after that I still have leaks to resolve - both oil and water, but we really are hoping for more driving and less time at the workshop.

Only time will tell 
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