12 Trials at 1 Wrls Regiment

John Cole

Working out of No 1 Wireless Regiment which later became 13 Signals Regiment always meant long convoy drives up to the Corps Area and beyond. As an EW Squadron we were well equipped to deal with operational tasks, and also Sig Int for our own troops.

My first OC was a Maj Barker, a gentleman, and a one-only. The SSM at that time was WO2 Patsy Petherick, whose call of "Hey Rube" meant get ready for a move (he told us it was the call used in the circus world). He was right - we were a circus, but an efficient one. He left us and at a later date I saw him driving a Swiss-registered Rolls: don't know what he moved on to.

Bill Frame took over from Patsy, a much quieter man. We all liked Bill: no, discipline did not go downhill because he was a gentleman and our respect for him ensured that. Our I Corps Cpl, I believe, was called Taff Baker - a character but a good plotter and gatherer.

Luckily I did not hang around long at SHQ but was soon working with Alf Ramsey, a top detachment Cpl. Alf's NSU scooter, a little 50cc machine, was always loaded in the DF truck near the door. Alf used it to do recon. work around the local area, returning with bread rolls and such. At a later date I took over Alf's detachment.

You always had one, and we had our fair share. A young sub lieutenant, who later became famous at 9 Signal Regiment, became our Troop Officer. He wore his pistol on the wrong side so that passers-by could see it when he sat in his Champ, always trying to get us to drive over the speed limit, ignoring the fact that we would get the charge and not him. We were trying out the first oil-raised masts and were instructed to let them down in thunder, which we did. He gave a direct order raise it, and my reminder that it was ordered that we lower the b….. things did not help, so I raised it!!! Ever seen a very expensive jammer getting a full wham up its matched valves - 5000 UKP per set. No, my head did not roll. You meet them, and they go on. Bad luck - I met him twice more!

In those days we were often on the Border and had many a long stretch working for real. Later when 12 Trials became 225 Signal Squadron we moved to an old RAF forward Radar Station, Schafholdendorf, from there 225 moved to Langeleben.

This site has helped me get in touch with a few of the old 12 ops, and of course those from 225.

Here's wishing you all good health, luck, and good memories.

Take Care

John Cole 15th May 2013