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Living History !

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:40 am
by Bill Bentley
I did not serve in the 10th or 11th Hussars, nor did I serve in the Kings Royal Hussars, I served in the 14/20th Kings Hussars, of which I am very proud.

Somewhere out there, there will be the son of, or the nephew of, one of us 14/20th Kings Hussars who will, one day, write a book about our life and times. Sure there are all sorts of Regimental Journals and official records from which they can gather information, but those ‚official journals‘ are, well yes, ‚official‘, and not of the lads and by the lads, you, me, us.

Nobody can have missed the fact that we are disappearing rather quickly and soon there will be nobody left to tell the story, as it was, from the horses mouth so to speak. So I should like to invite those of you still here to tell your stories, before it is too late.

I do not wish or intend for Noah’s Arc to be renamed ‚Bill’s Boat‘, I shall, given time, write my own story. But I know of many a fine character from my time with the 14/20th Kings Hussars and I should like their stories, your stories, to be recorded, so that whoever it is that one day writes about us has a source that can be relied upon, albeit unofficial and so, perhaps, nearer to the truth.

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:41 am
by Bill Bentley
I should like to kick this thread off, talking, rather appropriately, about our first President, Brian Draper. Brian was a Sergeant on the permanent staff at the JLR RAC in Bovington when I first met him, it must have been 1970 or 1971. One day, whilst demonstrating the ‚death slide‘, prior to us Junior Leaders using it, it broke ! Brian fell quite some way and, I believe, broke his back. I recall visiting him in hospital, I think it was down in Devon somewhere, I think we had been using the Commando’s rope course at Bickerly or Ashburton, please do correct me if you know better ! Anyway, for us, JL’s, he (Brian) was a gonner, who could stay in the army after such an accident ? He must have been quite a guy to get back on his feet and not only stay in the army but to achieve the highest possible rank for a ‚soldier‘. I understand that Brian retired as a Lt. Colonel ! I’m sure that he did a lot of other things too, but very significantly he became the first President of Noah’s Arc.

I guess that Brian started as a Trooper, but where and when I can’t tell you. Where was he born and where did he grow up etc. ? I understand that he was also the RSM and that, as a Major, he commanded HQ Squadron during the Gulf War. I know that he served in Northern Ireland. What a career ! It sounds a bit like the Richard Sharp legend to me.

Brian and I had a lot of exchanges before he passed away and I was delighted and proud to have been able to get hold of some of his military memorabilia, which he donated to raise funds for Noah’s Arc. I was struck by just how many Hawk and or Eagle figures he had collected, several of which I now have. Some were rather obviously ‚screaming Eagle’s‘ - American, did he serve in the USA ?

A true HAWK through and through an inspiration and a friend.

Remembering that Brian still has family, who can fill in the gaps about this remarkable man who we all knew personally … let us together document ‚the legend of Brian Draper‘.

There are other remarkable stories out there, why do you not tell yours …

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:57 am
by john kerwin
Hi Bill
If you go on general chat, and scroll down to Old photos. you wiil find some picks of my old pal Drac from over 50 odd years ago, when we were young troopers.


One time when we were duty radio ops at lefka comcen. It was my turn to drive down to the coastal air strip to pick up the mail. the Auster that delivered the bag, would not land. Instead he dropped a marker with a message. It read something like can't land as you are surrounded by troops dug in.
I got a message back to the comcen on the radio. About 10 or 15 mins later a land rover flew down the track in a cloud of dust. Driven by Maj (clug) Harris and Drac as shot gun. His first words ( WHAT THE Fs GOING ON ) showed him the note. At this his face turned bright red, and off he went into the
bushes and scrub armed only with his cane, all Drac and I could hear was the swish of the cane and F OFF F OFF , a few mins later there was a shout and 2 lines of these troops, only one in any sort of uniform, and all armed to the teeth, slunk off tails between there legs. Were they Greek or Turks who knows. And off they went, all we heard any one of them say was Mad Mad British.
All Drac and I were thinking was how the hell did we get away with that in one piece. With that we drove back to base Glug in one vehicle Drac and I in the other. And that was the last we heard of that.( Maj R E D Harris MC MBE was one brave guy. God rest his soul )
After that we never had any bother with the mail.
Some years later. I got talking to an ex para sgt, in a pub in whitefeild. He told me he was in cyprus at the same time as us, and one of his jobs was to ride shot gun on the mail planes. And on one trip how they had aborted a landing as the airstrip had troops dug in all around.( What a small world )

Re: Living History !

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:40 pm
by PINKY
Hi Bill,
When I joined the regiment in Hohne in 1980 Drac was A sqn SSM, if I'm correct he got the 20th Hussars (XHX) 'thing' going, from that moment on they were called the 20th. A true legend. When he retired he came with family and friends to visit Alberta, myself and 2 other ex 1420H guys living over here and our wives met up with Drac and family for a few beers...…….or so we thought, we pub crawled around downtown Calgary until way passed midnight, we had a great night as brothers do! Pete Shepard, Drac, Mark Coen and yours truly.
ATB
Pinky
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Re: Living History !

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:45 pm
by king hussar
Bill. drac started life in warrington,joined jlr in may 1961 the rest is history

Re: Living History !

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:55 pm
by king hussar
Bill,correction drac started life in Ormskirk then moved to warrington

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:00 am
by Arnie
Hi Bill and all, I would imagine in the age of tech that NOAH's Arc will be a huge source of anecdotal stories for any Historian who wants to write the 'official' history of the magnificent 14th/20th King's Hussars.
Me personally, I have been writing 'my' story for several years now. It was originally started as a keepsake for my children and grandchildren BUT. Late on in the narrative I gave it to a teacher relly to proof read, which she never did. But she made several suggestions about changes, as did 2 of my kids.
I started to take their advice and chopped and changed it around, but then thought, hang on, they are making changes as though I was going to try and publish the book. This was not my original intention. Too late, the manuscript was now so messed up on the computer that even though I intend to do it as I meant to it will take a while to put it back in order. Luckily my son (stepson) is a whizz on the computer and he has just come back from Brisbane to reside in WA and has agreed to help. So it won't be too long in the sorting out. Fingers crossed.

Arnie :D :D :D :D :D

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:12 pm
by DRACSDRAGON
Hi Bill,
I’ve just read your latest chat. Thank you so much for the nice things you said about my husband, Drac, I know he was a great person and to hear that other people feel the same is more than I can say.
Just one thing though, during the first Gulf War he was QM and not HQ Sqd leader.
He came from Haskayne, then Ormskirk, and Warrington before joining JLR.

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:12 pm
by DRACSDRAGON
Hi Bill,
I’ve just read your latest chat. Thank you so much for the nice things you said about my husband, Drac, I know he was a great person and to hear that other people feel the same is more than I can say.
Just one thing though, during the first Gulf War he was QM and not HQ Sqd leader.
He came from Haskayne, then Ormskirk, and Warrington before joining JLR.

Re: Living History !

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:06 pm
by mini Drac
Made a brilliant bacon and egg butty too!

Re: Living History !

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:48 pm
by Bill Bentley
Thanks everyone for your input SO FAR ...
Especially Denny and Natalle who were clearly nearer than any of us lads to Brian.

I guess more than 90% of us former Junior Leaders, once we had understood that Rank actually goes beyond Sergeant, dreamt for a moment about reaching the dizzy heights of Lt. Colonel, but it's probably less than 1% who actually achieve it, success in anybody's books ! We all know that to get on you have to tread on toes and push and shove at times and, on the way, most people make enemies and like elephants, enemies never forget.

That's one of the things that I so liked about Brian, I've never heard anybody slag him off, very unusual for an ex RSM and more so for one who 'left the ranks'. Who can tell us how Brian got the nickname Drac ?

Another thing that I liked about Brian's way was: who else could get away with calling their wife a dragon in public and how many wives are tough enough to not only accept it, but to actually be chuffed about it ? The old saying that 'behind every great man there is a great woman' is obviously well founded. That's one of the qualities that I also like about us real Brit's, many of us can call our best friends an arsehole ... and nobody runs off to file charges. Here in Germany one really has to watch one's words, I slag them off in English and very fast, with a northern accent and they just look at me in wonder (or disgust) !

Keep the info comming ...

Re: Living History !

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:04 pm
by king hussar
Bill the name of drac came about while playing rugby at school he bit some one in the scrum(as you do ) .

Re: Living History !

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:35 pm
by Arnie
Hi yall, being a clerk and steeped in abbreviations I always truly thought it was short for Director Royal Armoured Corps, which seemed a suitable nickname.
Arnie

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:31 am
by Bill Bentley
Arnie, I am glad that you have mentioned your book. You know well how much I respect your opinions, even when we choose to disagree sometimes. I would like to order one of the first copies, signed by you of course ! Why not place on this thread a few tasters, to encourage others to want a copy …

I also thought that DRAC had something to do with high ambitions !

King Hussar, bit someone in the scrum ? Is that short for scrotum ? I hear that you have to have leather balls to play rugby :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Living History !

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:41 am
by mini Drac
Drac short for Dracula on account of biting off an ear lobe. Sounds bad, but he was thin and weedy then and his opponent was huge......and he couldn’t reach the guys scrotum 😂🤣🤣