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A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:04 am
by Bob_H
With kind permission from Geoff Hutchinson we are pleased to publish his personal memoirs of "A Hawk in Ireland"

A good read for everyone in our Regiment, especially those who served tours in NI. Thank you Geoff (you'll need PDF to read it). It's quite large, give it time to load, it's well worth it.

Caveat: This document must not be downloaded, distributed or altered in any way. If you have comments for Geoff please leave them below or email: © Geoff Hutchinson 2014

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:16 pm
by tigger
A cracking read

I served under Geoff on the third tour, so his tale stirred old memories of the Newry tour (I have some memories that he could use to expand on that chapter)

I also at times served with Totty (was my troop sgt in JLR) and Pete Webb (Troop Sgt Hohne), both who I believed became troubled souls after their encounters in Ireland so I never knew them before the experiences which shaped their later life

So many names and memories, well done to Geoff for writing it down

Cheers Trev

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:53 pm
Hi there,
As a NIG arriving in Hohne in 1980 I honestly never heard many war stories from the NI tours, often worked with Ron Agar (great bloke) doing fatigues as he was the sqms's cpl, learnt about his story some years later.
Great read. Proud to of served with the 14/20H.

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:14 am
by Shep
A great read Geof
It's amazing what you forget thank you for stirring the memories
The names the places A hard job made easier by our professionalism and the trust we had in each other



Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:55 am
by Bill Bentley
I suppose it was the dream of most Junior Leaders, to one day attain a position of true leadership and perhaps get a bit more recognition than everyone else. Geoff's tale tells it as it was for him and how luck has a large part to play in surviving to achieve ones goals. Not many made it as far as you Geoff, well done !

PS Getting cited by ones superiors is one thing, getting regognised and respected by those who worked for you is another thing altogether.

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:33 pm
by Phil(Quassie)Baldwin
Bill heres some who would agree with you.
D.Sqn Int Cell
Chalky White and Jock Chudziack REME myself, Keith"Scouse"Hughes, Brian"Spider"Webb who replaced Joe Handley. The Fuzzy haired person in the Shades trying to look cool in Geoffs photo(which I took on a timer) was a L/Cpl from the angle irons Continuety NCO who just lets say was RTUd and replaced by the guy in the background under the mug shots
p07.jpg (35.46 KiB) Viewed 10822 times

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:01 am
Well done Geoff, I really enjoyed reading the article. It certainly brought back exciting memories, and the frustrating times that we had to endure in NI.
Stay well

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:45 pm
by Mac McNulty
Hi Geoff,

A good read and thanks for the memories I did the last three tours mentioned in the book so plenty of names, places and incidents to stir ones brain.

There must be thousands of individual stories out there but not all have the inclination, commitment or the memory to put them down on paper so well done.



Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:42 pm
by Paul Keller
How odd !!
Had a clean out of one of my spare bedrooms today and found my three copies of B Sqns "Hawk" magazine, from our Maze prison tour in 1990, i abruptley ended the clean up, sat down with a coffee and went back in time !
Wonderful memories !!

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:32 am
by tigger
I was part of Geoff's troop in Newry on his thirs tour

as memory serves the troop was made up of the following

Lt. Weatherall-Pepper
Pakka Singh
Steve Rowlett
Jock Hynes
Bobby Broe
Joe Ellis
Eddy Birkin
John Lowe
Scouce Highton
and I think Ernie Pattle

I well remember the incidents Geoff mentioned , as well as some he mised like driving the Ferret through a eight foot high stone wall that bordered the Newry to Warrenpoint canal after losing control on black ice and teetering above the water, Eddy Birkin Baled out and stood on my head in his haste to get to safety.

The time we staked out what we informed was a snipers hide but in fact turned out to be a witches coven meeting place complete with the skull of a ram tied to a tree which they danced around.

The day we we're manning the warren point road permanent VCP and came under fire from some one with a Garand, we all baled out of our bunks grabbed our rifles and flack jackets , the paras baled and grabbed their rifles and red berets (coz as we all know those red berets stop fuckin everything lol)

and finally when we chased a team of PIRA bombers over the border rammed their car into a ditch and engaged in a fire fight with me manning the 30. cal, brassing up anything and every thing that moved (not sure how many cows and sheep I slew that day) but the enduring memory of that day was of scouce tearing his beret off his head and shoving the cap badge into the face of the Garda officer and shouting remember that badge you Paddy f****r cos were the one who kicked your ass today and fuck off before I shoot you to which the Garda officer turned round and F****d off (I remember scouse got a right royal bollicking for that)

My commander on that day was from the RMP who had come along as support he had dismounted to arrest the persons in the car , he completely shit himself when the opened up, and couldn't stop talking about it over the intercom in the way back into Newry.

Eddy Birkin was also of note when the car bomb was detonated outside the police station, he was in the bath on the second floor when the evacuation was called , once outside he was noted for his absence
I spoke up and said where he was for my candour it was me sent back into the building to get him out of the bath standing next to Eddy wrapped in his bath towel while standing in a shop doorway watching him turn blue with cold was quite amusing.

There are many memories and I could fill pages but will leave it at that

Cheer Trev

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:55 am
by Phil(Quassie)Baldwin
Hi Trev
As Geoff said in a reply to me it is from his memory bank going back 40 odd years. Ther are bound to be things in the wrong order and some left out. Such as the lid on our Int rover not being fastened open and slamming shut and us all debussing me ending up in a ditch thinking we had taken a shot.

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:49 pm
by tigger
Hi Phil

my two penneth wasn't to critisize Geoff far from it , but rather to fill out some of memories from some one else who was there, in fact I got something wrong, Ernie Pattle was at Gorforth, yhe other member was Charlie George.

Pakka spoke the imortal woeds I arrest this bus and every one in it, he then took the bus to Bessbrooke mill and got the bloody thing stuck in the entrance

Other memories of that tour are of that bloody Irish DJ (Gloria Huneyford) coming to visit the castle and catching one of the boys stripping lead off the roof, to be weighed in for a couple of extra quid for beer money, she dobbed in him and that was another story

Any one else who was ther can throw in there bit as well and we could really fill Geoffs memoirs out into very interesting (even more than it is now) testament to our tour there,

A person see's so much and its difficult to recall after such a long time but each of us has a nugget of memory that can flesh out the memory to make it so much better

Phil you have such brillient recall of these thing, put your memories down too it all helps.

Cheers Trev

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:09 pm
by Phil(Quassie)Baldwin
Draw your claws in tigger I was only pointing out that as Geoff said it is from memory when I pointed out that A.Sqn took over from B.Sqn not the QOH Gosford castle 74 he had just got it the wrong way round the QOH took over from A.Sqn no criticism intended. Was Gloria on her way out of the Sgts mess having got her extra "fees" when she noticed The REME guy that was attached to Ajax Sqn 2RTR having it away with lead from the roof above the ops room. Oh and his name is Clive MacDonald he used to work here as a driver.
Just a foot note Trev You mentioned my memory my signature below is the Baldwin family motto it translates to I will not forget

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:06 pm
by Geoff Hutch
Thanks for all your comments, none taken personally. I'm amending the original to read that the bucket of piss was thrown at the end of our tour when we handed over to the QOH, well deserved it was to. Kev Whittaker was also helpful with his account of the ND on our first tour at Gosford. I mentioned briefly the incident on the border that tigger talks about but didn't want to go too deeply into it as I wasn't there, add to that some of it could still perhaps have repercussions. Tigger, you weren't munching a twix when you crashed were you? :D

Re: A Hawk in Ireland

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:56 am
by tigger
Nice one Geoff

the monicer handed out by John Lowe of the "Twixy bar Kid" still make me smile.

I seem to have recall of a nite FOOT patrol down the highstreet in Newry when a couple of local lads walked towards the patrol, munching on a bag of chips .

As they passed a shop doorway one of the brick was standing in , our brave lad asked the pair, "Give us a chip" to which the lilting responce of "fuck off yea Brit Bastard, buy yer fekking own chips!"and on the wandered to the next doorway where a rather larger more intimidating figure stood, the hand of said large person fell smack into the chip wrap without invitation, and removed all the chips. "thanks very much boys now go and buy somemore you , (not sure exactly what expleative was used ) and away they went chasened and hungry.

Scouse Highton, I believe passed away prematurly some years ago, And Weatherall- Pepper died in a motorcycle (bought by the troop) accident in Cyprus after an accident involving a landrover, very sad he was a cool dude and would have gone far I think.

Of the troop in Newry I have bumped into all but one (at reunions or walking through Manchester, even called in to Geoff's office on Deansgate once, never went back the tea was shocking) or had correspondance with them all (through this site) The missing person is Bobby Broe (anybody know his where abouts?)

Once again graet memoir Geoff

Cheers Trev