Received from Mick Dawes



This is the first edition of ‘The Wheel’ which is a newsletter for the benefit of all ranks and families in 5 Field Squadron and which will be published regularly with news, feature articles and forecasts of events. I welcome this newssheet as an excellent means of keeping everybody in touch with events and with each other. Its success will depend very much on your contributions and your efforts to make it an interesting and useful publication.

Some people ask “Why The Wheel”? The reason is that 5 Field Company were the first Royal Engineer unit to become mechanised. This took place between the two world wars and we keep the wheel as a symbol of our progress, from old methods to new.

I wish “The Wheel” every success and hope all members of the Squadron will give it their fullest support.

G.W.A Napier
Officer Commanding.


1. 10 Oct 1787  Formed as the Plymouth Company of the Royal Military Artificers under Warrant.
2. 1793 Sent detachment to West Indies but all died.
3. 1797 Coy commended for Loyalty during Spithead Naval Meeting.
4. 1798-9 Detachment raided Bruges Canal.
5. 1806 Detachment sent to Cape of Good Hope.
6. 1806 Temporarily numbered 6 Coy.
7. 1811-19 Merged into Bn organisation became 1 Coy/2Bn
8. 1819 Was renumbered 9 Coy.
9. 1819 The 5 Coy/2 Bn became 5 Coy having taken part in the Peninsular War (CiudadRodrigo,BedajosSan Sebastion). 1811-14 and in the Netherlands and France 1815-18.
10. 1819-21 At Chathan.  11. 1822 At Portsmouth.
12. 1823-31 Quebec including erection of Citadel in 1828.
13. 1832-3 At Portsmouth.   14. 1834 12 and 15 Coys were absorbed by 5 Coy.  
15. 1834-9 In Bermuda.
16. 1840-3 Woolwich.
17. 1844-50 Halifax N.S.
18. 1850 Woolwich.
19. 1850-52 In London when it assisted in the construction and working of the great Exhibition.
20. 1852-60 At Woolich  21.1861 Chatham. 22. 1862-7 Bemuda. 23. 1867-70 Nova Scotia.
24. 1870 Chatham. 25. 1870-1 Aldershot. 26. 1872 Chatham. 27. 1872-6 Portsmouth.
28. 1877-8 Aldershot.
29. 1877 Reorganised as Fd Coy to include mounted Sec.
30. 1878-84 At Cape Town and took part in the Zulu War 1879 (Sqn won a VC) Rorke's Drift.
31. 1884-8 In Gibralter where it became a fortress Coy in 1885.
32. 1888-90 At Chatham. 33. 1891-9 Portsmouth.
34. 1899 Reconverted to a Fd Coy.
35. 1900-03 South African War, in 8 Div. 36. 1903-14 At Aldershot in 2 Div.
37. 1914-19 In France in 2 Div. 38. 1920-38 Remained with 2 Div. at Aldershot between wars.
39. 1939-40 In France in 2 Div. 40. 1942-3 In Arakan Operations.
41. 1944 Dimapur still in 2 Br. Div.
42. 1945-6 In Japan in British-Indian Div.
43. 1947 Dutch East Indies.
44. 1948 Incorporated as a Fd Sqn in 23 Fd Engr Regt in BAOR on its formation
45. 1958 On disbandment of Regt. 5 Fd Sqn came under command of 5 Inf Bde Group.


The Squadron strength is now 202, roll on the day when we all get together in the same place at the same time, still morning parades are looking a bit healthier, if that’s the right word! with all the wheezing that goes on, most blokes must be having the late risers three course breakfast, a cup of tea, a cigarette and a good cough,
New arrivals to our ranks are Spr Hobson to 1 Tp from a job well done East of Suez, he also has the distinction of being the only one on the PT kit parade with brown knees, mind you there were some with
brown plimsoles, (point in passing the other Squadrons are now having plimsoles black polished as well.). Spr Lane to 2 Tp from the training brigade, Sprs Anderson 196 and Ellis also came to us from 1 Regt and
have settled down well enough to be picked for the Quarter Guard, well done lads, While on the subject of the Quarter Guard, the final selection his been made and is; Cpl Cappleman, L/Cpl Webster, Sprs
Pateman, Bunker, Anderson 196, Addy, Ellis, Compton, Beaumont, the ones who had to stand down for no other reasons except we can only have six Sprs on the guard with one reserve, and unfortunately did not fit in
height wise were L/Cpl Meredith, Sprs Stroud, Ferguson, O'Hara and Kelly. Lets wish the Quarter Guard the best of luck, they're trying very hard and will not lot us down.

              L/Cpl Hesketh took over the job of movements clerk very soon after his arrival, he is unfortunately suffering from bad burns and having daily treatment and we wish him a speedy recovery, may join us on parade very soon,

              L/Cpl Hamshaw to 1 Tp, we haven't seen him out of No.2. dress yet but perhaps by the time we go to print he will have found out where the SQMS keeps the denims.

              Spr Fisher to HQ Tp now busy on the MT, we are looking forward to having Mrs. Fisher with us very soon. (Spr Fisher is also looking forward to having Mrs. Fisher with us soon),

              Spr Allen to HQ Tp now busy being the Squadron draughtsman and learning how to make a decent cup of coffee. Spr Allen took over from Spr Livingstone who gave the drawing office a new look during his
short spell there, he, like a lot of us lately, let his feelings run away with him while he had a paint brush in his hand, and painted the drawing office table regimental blue, much to the 2IC's disgust, still he managed to get away in time, escaping down to the MT, still with a paint brush in his hand to use his draughtsman skill to do a bit of sign writing, taking over from  Spr Queen who has gone for a spell in “Nick”, still Queen was with us long enough to win the Squadron Table Tennis competition.

              The MT in between hunting for the elusive Edwards, Parades, more Parades, decorating etc. got a well done on the CREs inspection, mind you there was rather a lot of rushing around before the inspection, but a lot of work has been done, and it looks like all systems go for the big one on Tuesday 30th.

               The Blocks look much better these days, once we overcome the persistent shortage of plugs in basins and baths and the paint gets time to dry, we will be well on the way to a good standard. Judging by the amount of rubbisb we cleared out, a good spring clean was overdue, it is now possible to walk through the attics, mind you, it pays tolook where you are going, just in case you trip over someone having a nap.

                A Lot of hard work has been done and you must agree its worth it, a good final spurt on Monday 29th should ensure all is well on the 30th.

                 Wild rumours are flying around about what we will have to do for the second parade on the 30th. Why worry, after all we have managed lately, we can take anything in our stride, all we need is an all out effort from everyone and we'll be OK.

                   The 'Q' department is functioning in top gear, hows this for service, the OC before lunch said he would like  the MT to have new coveralls for the inspection, when he came back after lunch the SQMS had produced 50 sets, we are not asking him where he got them from.

                    Spr Rye has left the bedding store to take up employment in 1 Tp, hope he can fit it in with his football. Spr Hanson has taken over looking after our bedding when he is not dashing around fitting new panes of glass, at the rate we break windows he will never catch up. One Spr managed to break six windows in as many minutes, mind you it cost him a few D.Marks.

                      The Sqn "chippy" Spr Allinson is now back with us after leave, and now has a chippies shop, some people haven't noticed it yet, but he has moved the Squadron noticeboard to a position just inside the entrance of block 3. Habit dies hard, we still get lots of people sneaking past the SSMs office to read orders.

                      2 Tp had a flood due to blocked drains (wonder what they put down the drains) when  plumbing assistance arrived in the form of German Contractors, the flood was cleared, repairs were carried out and true to the tradition of German contractors, a radiator was replaced with one with a big split in it, and the flood started again.


A L/Cpl from HQ Troop marched into the SSMs office
and asked if he could keep a bird in his bunk,
 he just managed to explain in time that the bird he wanted was a "Budgie".


Seen on parade a Spr with a jersey heavy wool, no eppaulettes,
just a big split and a dirty big safety pin holding it together,
must have been seeing things !!!!!!


                       A Spr reported his belt missing, another Spr came and reported his steel helmet missing, then another one came and said someone had pinched his steel locker, wonder what the next Spr will report.

                       Seriously though, make sure you keep your valuables locked up. If you havn't got a decent padlock, get one. Ask L/cpl Wainwright, Spr Addy and Spr Wade.

                       Saddest sight of the month: see the happy smiling bronzed faces of Oberstdorf Party slowly take on a look of disbelief when the SSM told them very shortly after their return, that not only were they working straight away, but that they were on parade next day and that the barber shop was open ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
Who do we believe? the Ssgt who says ski-ing at Oberstdorf is really winter warfare training and its tough or the smiling Pay Sgt sporting a natty line in jumpers and ski type slacks who reckons its all good fun.

Tallest tale of the month:- the story from an NCO who said he saw the SSM look happy when he saw the new Squadron flag flying proudly in the breeze.

                          Congratulations to Mrs and Sgt Kimber on the birth of a daughter Julie Ann, who weighed in at 7lb 13ozs. Well done Mrs Kimber, must say Sgt Kimber looks a lot happier these days. Can't think what he was worried about, Mrs Kimber did all the work!!.
                           Congratulations to Mrs and Cpl Whittingham on the birth of a son Gary Paul, Cpl Whittingham is keeping very quiet about it, or perhaps he's just being modest, best wishes to Mrs Whittingham.


                         Cpl McCarthy took another step up the ladder to success, being promoted to Sub Cpl.

                         L/Cpl Burkinshaw did well this month, he got his first stripe,reached the ripe old age of 21 and now has the distinction of being the only Orderly Cpl in 4 Div Engrs with his own office, mind you he painted it himself and is very proud of his green leather desk, which he covered himself. We wish him success in his new job, and if he does it as well as he did the job of movements clerk, we will have no cause for complaint.

                         L/Cpl Harvey took his first step up the ladder, its not true he got it for devotion to duty in carrying out frequent repairs to the push button bell system between the SSMs office and the SQMS Department.

                         Congratulations to SSGT Leach on promotion.

                        Cpl Robertson has left us on promotion to Sgt. We managed to get him into the WOs and Sgts Mess before he left. He asked us to say farewell on his behalf.


                    As far as work is concerned its all on the training programme but no doubt we will manage to fit some more in.

                    Some information about Bridge Camp, for the first fortnight, hard work, no one will be allowed home, we then have Easter Break when we can all return to Paderborn, then back to Bridge Camp for another fortnight when no one will be allowed home. So please planaccordingly. We will have a families day at Bridge Camp. Ideas at the moment are Sports, a river trip on a paddle steamer, with a social evening and dance. Details will be published on Sqn Orders soon.

Trip To Hamburg

                     Date April 29. Ideas at the moment are trip to the Zoo for the children, show in the evening for the families, the single men will no doubt have definite plans for the evening. Once againsussestions are welcome.

                     We now have a Squadron commettee to plan and organise social activities, they have lots of ideas, but would like to know what you would like, members to contact are, Spr Bunker, Sig Bundock, Cpl Cairns, SSM, Cpl Smith in the 'Q' stores. We would like very much to have more members on the committee, any volunteers, it would be very nice to have help from wives, how about it girls?.

                     The first highlight on the social calender is Rorkes Drift Day. Those who saw the film "ZULU" will know all about Rorkes Drift, we are not going to repeat that all over again, beside there aren't enough Zulus left, but what we are going to have is a Squadron Rorkes Drift Ball-Party etc. In fact when we find out the Zulu for Ball-Party etc we will give it that title. Does anyone know the term for a dance or party in Zulu language?. What is definite, is the date; 17th Feb. Time 8pm to 1am, band, the best, a 5 piece group who can play anything , Bar, of course, with waiter service, cabaret of course, how about some talent? can anyone sing, dance etc?. We know there are plenty of comedians around, but can anyone produce an act?. Lets make it an evening to remember, in the nicest possible way of course. The committee met on Sunday 28th Jan to discuss arrangements, we will try and get the use of the Officers Mess, failing that we will find a good spot outside Barracks. Once again can we have some help to get things going please give any ideas to the committee.

                     We hope to run lots of Squadron social activities, what we want to know, is what you want.


                     We would like to print articles from you, to start the ball rolling, here's an article from Cpl McCarthy, who has also offered to give practical help to radio owners and potential radio owners. You can contact him in HQ Troop,Teusday evenings between 6pm and 8pm.


                      It is quickly apparent to all newcomers to BAOR thatthe cost of electrical equipment, such as radios, record players and tape recorders is far lower than in Britain.
                      However, before going hurridly off to the NAAFI with hard earned credits in hand; it is wise to consider the 'pros' and 'cons' of the various makes and models available and then matching those to  ones own requirments.
                     In selecting a radio set, ensure that any radio considered can receive UKW (German) or VHF (English). This enables you to listen to BFBS and is a point to watch mainly when purchasing a British radio as VHF transmission in England are comparativly few and subsequently British sets are mainly fitted with long and medium wave reception only. Record players and tape recorders are fairly well a matter of liking a particular desighn of a model. Whatever equipment is bought in this line one can be sure that over here it is good value for money.

                     For single men, any apparatus that is solid, robust and capable of withstanding the knocks and bumps of barrack room life, will reasonably be the best buy. This sort of equipment is found in the cheaper range of goods on the market.

                     For married men the more intricate  and more expensive equipment will show its worth. All the equipment mentioned have stereophonic radio in which the German radio services are pioneers.

                     Fially a word concerning all electrical apperatus. At some time or other most things are in need of repair and electricalgoods are no exception. Therefore, before making the final choice in any equipment, consider how quickly repairs can be made. A little known British firm spells trouble on the continent, and the same is true when one returns to Britain with a little known continental make from the spares point of view.

                      So, by selecting from NAAFI, any equipment made by any big international concern, one is well on the way to inexpensive listening pleasure in the knowledge that should a break down occur, repairs can be effected reasonably quickly.


                       West German waiter Peter Schell this month claimed a new world record, he spent 168 hrs under a running shower. He even ate and slept without breaking his shower bath in a flatin Munich. After his record feat , Schell said ' i still feel relatively well after standingunder the shower for a whole week.

                        After seeing a certain Spr from 2 Troop who had been using, among other things, his head for painting the other night, a week under a shower isn't such a daft idea.

                         The months big news was not prescription charges nor massive defence cuts east of Suaz. It was Italian designer Emilio Pucci's world shattering prediction about the colour of men's casual clothes this year, in his first ever men's collection, Pucci gave a tast of what we can expect West of Suaz in 1968, bright purple slacks worn with mauve jackets, pink trousers worn under pink and green checked jackets, at least one member of the Squadron who returned from leave recently, must have come back via Italy, besides looking around, whats new with purple clothes, one of our cooks has had a purple shirt for some time now, the SSMs comments when he saw it and the other rather peculier addments worn with it, can't be printed.

                         If you want to meet Red Riding Hood, take a trip to Steinau, West Germany. In fact there are dozens of Red Riding Hoods, big and little in the town. For this was where the Grim Brothers of fairy tale fame used to live. Many of the girls there wear red hoods to show that they are still single. Married women traditionally wear green hoods.
                       A bit of advice lads, just because a girl is wearing a red hood, it doesn't mean she's looking for a bloke, and we are not running any trips to Steinau.


                        Amid the deafening rackets of their modern mortars and machine guns, The North Vietnames still like the quiet hiss of a deadly primative arrow.
It can be an effective weapon when quietness is called for in night attacks. American troops recently found the ground around their positions littered with arrows after one such attack, and jets have returned with arrows in their tails.
Still when it comes to quiet warfare, we can teach them a thing or two, like new idea, before you get too close to the enemy, you stop, take out your plimsolls from your ammo pouches.


                         Why is snow always white and not some other colour?. Its because snow crystals act like prisms in reverse. They transform all the colours which make up a rainbow into pure white

Can a helicopter fly sideways?
Yes it can, but only for a short time.


                         A cold snap can mean that car locks freeze solid. If you are caught like this, use a match or cigarette lighter to heat the key. Then put it gently into the lock to thaw it out. Do not use force, or the key may snap in the lock. To prevent being frozen out, put sewing-machine oil into the door locks once a week. This will help to keep water out of the works.

                         Do not fill your radiator up to the top in winter. Your instruction book will give the ideal level-usually a little above the tops of the cooling tubes. Too much water will only gush out of the overflow pipe when the engine starts, and there is a chance that some of the anti-freeze mixture will be lost. Persistant over-filling will mean that the cooling system could freeze up in a cold spell.
                        Wiper blades can freeze to the screen in cold weather if the car is lefr in the open for a few hours. Pull the blades off the sreen carefully by holding the arms at the top where the blades are joined to them. If you pull the arms from the middle, you may bend them. Never swith the wiper motor on to unstick frozen blades, for the strain might burn the motor out.
                       Remember that it is illegal to carry petrol in a polythene container. The seams may leak slightly and gas may be given off resulting in an explosion.


                        Have you anything to sell?
                        Something you want to buy?
                        Have you something you want to exchange?
If so this space is yours, just give the details to the SSM and it will appear in the next  issue of 'The Wheel'

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