Wording for Dad's Memorial
Peter Allen - 2629233
14/09/1929 to 19/09/2020
My Father, Grenadier Guardsman Peter Allen, was first introduced to the guards whilst attending Army Cadets in 1946 with two of his friends, Ron Cole and Terry Beard. A Grenadier Guards recruitment officer attended one evening and all three enjoyed the talk so much that they decided to join when they were of age.
Dad worked in a furniture factory when he left school. One day, Ron Cole called in and told him that ‘today was the day’ he left his job and all three signed-up for the Grenadier Guards.
The following words are Dad’s account of his service 5th May 1947 to 4th May 1959.
It began at Caterham, the Guards Dept and after months of footdrill and weapons training, I finally Passed Out and joined the 1st Battalion at Windsor Victoria Barracks. I was part of the honour guard at Westminster Abbey when our Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, married Prince Phillip in November 1947.
After Christmas on 11th February 1948 we left for Palestine. Billet at Lydda Nathanya and then Mount Carmel and finally into Haifa until we left on 30th June 1948 for Tripoli and Gialo Barracks.
16th September 1948 I was transferred to the 3rd Battalion on it’s way to Malaysia, arriving 7th October to Camp Sungai Besi and School in Kajang (just a Platoon). I patrolled the Rubber plantations.
I became a Drummer whilst in Malaysia and in July 1949 left for London and Chelsea Barracks. I performed public duties until
returning to Tripoli in 1951, this time to Zavia Barracks (the name from the Italian influence in Tripoli). Problems in Egypt had us leaving in October 1951 by boat to Tobruk. We went on to El Adem then flew to Fayid and Tel-El-Kebir, leaving in February 1952 for Deversoir. Following a 1st night’s new camp, heavy drinking session, early next morning I was rudely awoken by Drummy and told to pack. I was to become the Support Company Bugler at Abu-Sultan Wharf, on the edge of the Suez Canal, where I stayed until October 1952.
I was de-mobbed on 10th January 1953 and finished as a reserve on 4th May 1959.
‘Once a Grenadier, Always a Grenadier’
‘Gentlemen of the Guards, Men of other Regiments’
It was whilst Dad was in Malaysia, 12th March 1949, that his patrol came under ambush from the Communists. Dad was in a vehicle travelling the Sungei Jeloh Valley. In the 15cwt truck were 10 guardsmen.
Captain D W Hargreaves - wounded
Corporal L P Chriscoli - fatally wounded.
Guardsman V T Herrett - killed
Guardsman I R Hall - killed
Guardsman T Ryan - killed
Guardsman A E Martin - killed
Guardsman B Stanley - wounded
Guardsman G Hilman - wounded
Driver Guardsman Brenchley - unscathed
Guardsman P Allen - unscathed
There was a log across the track in front of the convoy, they were in the lead truck. They stopped and Dad heard the click of a rifle and shouted. Those in the back dropped onto the floor of the truck, Dad believes he was saved by the inside wheel arch, others within the truck received bullet wounds or were killed.
Captain D W Hargreaves left the front of the truck and ran up towards the firing, he was shot returning to it. Corporal Chriscoli was taken to the Military hospital and died the following day.
Dad with Mum (Margaret) and in later years, my family, have visited the War Graves Cemetery in Kuala Lumpur. They are beautifully maintained and we were honoured to have laid flowers for his colleagues.
He told stories of the valour of his friends and gave great accounts of times whilst serving. I think that this final assessment from Lieutenant Colonel Roberts on his Certificate of Service is a good testimony of him:
“ This drummer has served in Palestine, Malaysia, Libya and the Canal Zone as well as doing two years public duties in London.
He is hardworking, trustworthy and extremely popular with all ranks.
Allen has considerable personality. His cheerfulness and ready sense of humour have been invaluable to both his contemporaries and seniors in recent troubled times in The Canal Zone.
Clean, Honest and Sober. I strongly recommend him to any civilian employer”
Dad loved being a Guardsman.
He was always a Grenadier.
Members Lockdown Story
What follows may not be typical or even welcome, but it has kept the mental marbles rolling while I campaigned against traffic pollution and climate change.
It has been seen around the world by scientists, chemists, epidemiologists etc. and continues to attract notice. A copy sent to American President Donald Trump, for example, has resulted in my receiving 3 despatches a day from the White House! I trust you are keeping well yourself -and don’t mind reading on:-
94 years old and just emerging from lockdown, I have been devoting time to an alternative appraisal of the Coronavirus.
From the start it brought to mind ancient biblical accounts of plagues inflicted upon Egypt and a recalcitrant Pharaoh.
Today’s has been preceded by fire, ‘flu, flood, drought, famine, tornado, tsunami, cyclone, hurricane, earthquake, landslide, cancer, heart disease and (as Greenpeace lately remind me) a swarming of locusts in Africa. It invites the question: what is demanded of us in these cases?
No politician allows God into the equation, but helpful to the argument that we ourselves are swarming the Earth is an
article published by the BBC entitled “Are we witnessing the death of the car?” My theory suggests we should give up
Driving cars, flying planes, holidaying in cruise ships and launching space vehicles, then immediately resume our duty of care for our troubled, overrun planet. Thousands of grounded aircraft, millions of laid-up cars here give credence to this.
The air we breathe is noticeably cleaner, less polluted; but are we taking the hint?
Communicating related findings over the years to both Church and State, I often stressed it should be illegal to drive a car for the selfish convenience of one person or to park outside someone else’s home. Now I am more inclined to argue it should not be legal to drive a car at all unless in quite exceptional circumstances.
Money set aside for the building of roads would be much better allocated for the building of a pipeline to carry surplus water from the flooded North of England down to the dry South East. The aeronautical industry should dry its tears and start to think of introducing the cleaner, safer dirigible for distant flight.
It is an appropriate time to remind ourselves of the scientific prediction that, due to our self-serving lifestyle, the next ten years will see the death of a million other species. Will it include our own ? Tell any motorists they are in the vanguard of another Mass Extinction and they will laugh in your face, some so addicted they would rather die than be denied their precious vehicle.
It is clear we cannot go back to our self-centred life as it used to be. Another writer says “We have an opportunity to see what our cities would look like when designed for people, not cars !” It is important to remember that the car is not just a serial polluter but, being accident-prone, has long earned title as the biggest killer on Earth, claiming millions more lives than any virus
With Compliments and Best Wishes for your own, your families’ and your colleagues’ health and safety
Thanks John a very interesting story
Sometimes, even in the later stages of life, you come across something which makes you realise what you have been missing out on. It may be a tremendous view, a really nice bottle of wine, an activity you have never tried before or in my case, as a confirmed tomato addict, a new recipe which brings a whole new dimension to a favourite staple.
After growing tomatoes outside for a few years with relatively little roaring success this year was different. Being restricted
to staying at home for most of the week I had the time to nurture the plants which I had always hoped would deliver my favourite fruit and sandwich filler. Being able to water and feed them properly I was rewarded with a bumper crop – now what to do with them. Fortunately, my wife came across a
recipe which she did not think was too challenging and gave it a go.
The result, obviously the reason I married her 46 years ago, absolute bliss on a plate!
The recipe is too good not to share.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Thanks Dave my cooking is not up to much but I will certainly try this one out, and hope lots of you will to.
Dave’s Recipe The best tomato dish yet?
If you are currently blessed with a home grown tomato mountain do have a go at this. It is a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe and has been the best discovery of lockdown so far…
The punchy dressing, with its garlic, ginger and fish sauce, is what makes this salad so special. Use whatever mixture of tomatoes you can get your hands on, and serve alongside a range of other veg dishes to create a summer spread. If you want to make the salad vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, swap the fish sauce for a tablespoon and a half of soy sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Prep 20 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4 as a side
5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
35g ginger, peeled and julienned
135ml olive oil
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
3-4 limes – zest finely grated, to get 1 tbsp, and juiced, to get 3 tbsp
2 tbsp fish sauce – check for gluten content, if need be (or, for vegetarians and vegans, 1½ tbsp light soy sauce)
2½ tbsp (10g) coriander leaves, roughly chopped
500g vine or heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1.5cm thick slices
300g mixed cherry tomatoes (red, yellow, orange, black), cut in half lengthways
½ red onion, peeled and cut into thin rounds (60g net weight)
Put the garlic, ginger, oil and a half-teaspoon of flaked salt in a small saute pan, set it over a medium-low heat and cook gently, swirling the pan every now and then, for 20-25 minutes, until the solids are lightly golden. Strain through a sieve set over a bowl to catch the oil, then leave the oil to cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the solids to a plate lined with absorbent paper, where they will crisp up further.
Once the oil has cooled a little, use a fork to whisk in the lime zest and juice, fish sauce and coriander.
Gently toss all the tomatoes with a teaspoon of flaked salt and a generous grind of pepper, then arrange on a platter with the sliced red onion, so everything sits in a single layer and overlaps slightly. Spoon over the dressing, scatter on the crisp ginger and garlic, and serve right away.
Plenty of tasty bread to mop up the juices is a necessity
Stories from Richard Sutton-Joines
The Worst Butler In London
I do remember my first day as a (temporary) butler i had to go to the bottom of the grounds to get eggs from the chicken hutches for breakfast it was only once i had closed the hutch door i turned round to see prince (The ex-police guard dog) running towards me (I had forgotten to lock the door to his kennel) the next thing i knew he had sank his teeth into my left arm so the eggs went flying and i had a very heavy dog hanging from my arm . I remember i was trying to get him off me shouting as loud as i could for some help After what seemed ages i could see rescue on the way in the form of the two maids (both had broom sticks) the chef (He had a frying pan) and the chuffer (He also had broom stick) when they got to me they were all trying to hit the dog to make him let go of my arm but it seemed i was being hit more than the dog!. After sometime prince had had enough of being hit with broom sticks frying pan etc and let go and ran off.(It must have looked like a Norman Wisdom film being made if anyone had seen us all).
My white shirt and white jacket were now red.
(Prince had torn a section of my arm) We got to the kitchens and i had a towel wrapped around my arm and the chauffeur drove me to the hospital.
I remember going into the hospital and then seeing black dots going around and around my eyes and feeling sick. The next thing i knew i woke up having been treated (Stitches etc).
When we got back to the house my boss came to see me and thought it was the funniest thing he had seen in years as he said "My little army had to come and save the grenadier guard" his wife on the other hand reminded me the cost of a new shirt and jacket would come out of my wages!.
It was strange as Prince and i made friends and after a while i could go and play ball with him. But still have the scars to remind me of that day.
On one occasion the lady of the house had gone into my flat had searched the draws and found my white serving gloves taken one then went around the house with the small step ladders running her hand over the top of all the doors. She then called me to see her and said "What is this "holding a white gloved hand in said "One of my white gloves Madam" She said "It is dust and i will not have it in my house". So from then on the maids and i had to make sure the tops of the doors were cleaned every other day.
When the family had gone to bed it was my job to make sure the lights were off and the ash trays were cleaned etc. One evening i found about £200 in £10 £20 and £50s lying around or peeking up from the side of the sofas chairs etc. In the morning i put it on the bosses breakfast tray he asked why and i told him he then said "keep it if my wife keeps dropping money about she does not need it" (Only the boss and his wife were using the areas the money was found) I never found any more money after that. I put the money i had found n the staff treats box.
One morning the lady of the house said to go into the dining room and flick a duster over the frames of the paintings (They had four L.S.Lowerys worth a fortune matchstick men painter) well i had my yellow duster flicking away when it caught on some paint that was sicking up and i found i had pulled a section of the painting off the canvas. I went to the kitchen and found some glue and using a matchstick stuck it back on!
(To this day i wonder if it was ever noticed.?)
The Lady of the House
The lady of the house suffered from terrible wind and trying to serve a meal in silence with the two maids trying not to laugh whenever wind was blown was terrible for me as i had to keep a straight face and if i caught the eye of one of the maids trying not to laugh it would nearly set me off. I had to wait until i got to the kitchen took a towel and went in the garden putting the towel over my mouth.
The thing was she would pass wind even when they had guests round. (I just hope they did not think it was the butler who did it!).
During my six months as butler the boss and his wife went away for three weeks over the Christmas holidays.
The boss said i had to stay as i was security and i was to look after the two maids
(I found out he had taken the passports from the maids so they could not leave the country while they were
The bass called us all for our Christmas gifts i remember he gave me a card (It had a picture of him and his wife on the front) with £1500 and the lady of the house gave me a coffee mug with an orange on top.
The other staff was giving various items. The chef and chauffer were going away. It left myself and the two maids.
I made a deal with them that they could invite the husbands to stay a week as long as they did the cooking and they all helped clean the place up after.
It was i must say one of the best Christmases i have had. they made a fantastic dinner after we went to the underground bowling alley which had its own bar.
In the evening we put on a couple of films in the cinema (As you do).
The week passed and it was time to clean the house and say good bye to the husbands. The maids were sad to see the husbands go but happy they had a chance to see them again.
(The guard dog Prince did not miss out as i bought him a lot of toys and treats).
Thanks Richard if you have any stories please let me know, and I can add them in the next Review
Mr Brian Lethby Hello Les I am Brian Lethby- ex 3rd Bn - Cyprus...circa 1957 -59 (Colonel Duncan was Asst. Adjt then) so sadly living out in East Sussex in Hailsham, whilst I have been less active then I would like because of my location away from London I am trying hard to get back into coming into London more frequently as I missed Remembrance Day - 'Black Sunday' and even the Troop this 3 years ago, away from the West Kent Branch in Tunbridge Wells, which is no more and amalgamated with the other 2 Branches in Kent. I played an active part and always seen as the young whipper snapper wanting to take over the social side of the branch and with me now 76 ...but that never happened as the old guys did not want some 'wet behind the ears Grenadier....and they sadly took the branch into mothballs and why I joined the London Branch sadly not as active as I would like to be. I mention out of interest that I am involved in the Guards Association Branch located in Eastbourne and made up from all 5 Foot Guards Regiments and the Blues and Royals the main events usually the Christmas Lunch but also other members meet during the year... I am in touch with several Grenadiers but they are scattered around Sussex. I know this was from the past at Wellington Barracks back in 2010 but I documented with photos and a copy to RHQ of this Great Day with The Queen and Prince Phillip on the presentation of New Colours of the 1st Bn and enclose a few snippets from the day.And back in 1982 there was a visit by the Grenadier Association of of about a 100 ex- Grenadiers from all branches to 1st Bn stationed at the time at Munster in Germany in the CO was Colonel Houston and RSM Hardman what a great week we had...And all on Video too....We even had a Aussie in the trip and he was a real card, though moved to Auss. and this is all on a 3 hour Video taking in our trip to the Oeder Dam and on way home to Oosterbek on the Day of the Annual celebrations of the Arnhem drop..We stopped at the Hartestein Hotel used as HQ by General 'Boy' Browning ex-Gren .... we Grenadiers were very well received by the Dutch as in a subsequent visit to Holland and in Nimegen as an Association the regiment had in attendance members all ranks from the 1st Bn. to mark the naming underneath Nimegen Bridge of a street to be called... 'Grenadier Straat'...We were entertained by the Burgermeister of Nimegen on one of the moored river boats and each given a specially struck medal to mark the day when our guys kicked the Germans off the Bridge...on the way back to Germany....Of special significance was by all of us a visit by us all to the Military Cemetery under the leadership of Major Peter Lewis...rip We sadly saw a line of 10 headstones of young Grenadiers killed in the action around the bridge...Notably one young Capitan who was a Dutchman who got out of Holland and escaped to England in 1940, The sad irony was that he was from I believe from Nimegen and was killed in the fighting in the town.. it makes me so proud to have been a Grenadier....Well like most Grenadiers I have more stories to tell ...but another time as I lived for being a Grenadier from the age of 16 at school, when I was in the Army Cadets in the Royal Fusiliers up to rank of Colour Sergeant at 18 and my association with Pirbright... never thought one day I would return to Pirbright de jeveau,,, then to the 'barrack room facilities of Tower of London and ultimately down at Caterham for 13 weeks in the days of RSM Freddy Clutton ... believe or not happy days... 11th August sent in by Peter Allen when I returned back from Malaya with the 3rd Battalion and we were at Chelsea Barracks doing public duties I did so many Tower of London guards even the Ravens knew my name and there was always many people watching this event we had the long wooden guard room just past the Bloody Tower and in the middle was a big coal fired stove giving of heat and fumes in the winter months the winter of 1950 I was doing a guard and waiting to go out for the Keys ceremony I told the guard Sergeant I would be in my little room [ just for the Drummer ] and to let me know when it was time to go out and to sound the last post at the top of the steps anyway a little while later my door opened and a one of the guard told me that I had missed the Ceremony I was put on a charge when I went to answer the charge later I was informed that it was the first time the last post had not been sounded I explained that I told the guard Sergeant where I would be the result was the N C O`s were reprimanded and I was not punished I continued to perform guard duties at The Tower until the Battalion left for Tripoli in 1951 maybe there is something the records about this incident Peter Allen Thank you Peter I remember the Tower Guard very well, as a young Guardsman just out of training, and in those days the fog used to roll in of a night time. you see things that are not really there ?? 23rd September sent in by Mike Bunch I read with interest the notes and memories of guard duty at the Tower of London.I remember well one particular duty, it was January 31st 1953. At about midnight all the alarms at the Tower started to sound and the full guard was posted at various points around the Tower. Rumours abounded that someone had broken in and stolen some of the Crown Jewels, others that the Tower was under attack (who from) was never mentioned. The rain was lashing down and everyone was absolutely soaked through. After what then seemed an eternity it was discovered the the moat was flooded. More rumours.The Governor of the Tower sent for the Chief Yeoman Warder and explained that the North Sea had risen to such an extent due to the very extreme weather on the North East Coast and this had caused a surge of water such as had never been seen before to raise the level of the Thames and caused floods from the East Coast down into London and into the moat short circuiting the alarm systems. The Crown Jewels were safe and we hadn't been attacked. (What a good Guard can do without really trying! )The sequel to this was that when we dismounted at Chelsea we had to quickly change into fatigues and at 4pm we were on our way to Canvey Island to fill sandbags, load DUKW's, build walls and sleep on the floor in the village hall at either Eastwood o quite
You forget episodes like this until something triggers the memory. Oh! Happ Days
The Guards Depot R.S.Ms (Caterham)
H Darrell Coldstream Guards July 1881 August 1881S White Coldstream Guards Aug 1881 June 1883
E Dickerson Coldstream Guards July 1884 April 1885
J Jones Grenadier Guards August 1885 November 1887
H Martin Coldstream Guards January 1888 March 1891
E Telfer Scots Guards March 1891 May 1891
J Sparks Coldstream Guards May 1891 January 1893
W Stewart Scots Guards February 1893 May 1896
W J Cock Grenadier Guards March 1897 April 1897
G Gooding Coldstream Guards May 1897 November 1897
J C Mant Scots Guards December 1897 December 1899
J Skidmore Grenadier Guards September 1900 February 1901
J Boyd Coldstream Guards February 1901 September 1902
J Mitchell Scots Guards December 1902 February 1903
C A Baylis Irish Guards March 1903 January 1905
J Teece Grenadier Guards January 1905 December 1909
F J Caunell Coldstream Guards December 1909 April 1911
J Tate Scots Guards April 1911 May 1913
J Kirk Irish Guards May 1913 December 1913
H Wood Grenadier Guards December 1913 August 1915
E Ellis Coldstream Guards August 1915 April 1916
J Barwick MC Scots Guards April 1916 July 1919
A E Pettit MC Scots Guards July 1919 December 1920
C Harradine DCM Irish Guards January 1921 April 1922
W E Hawkins Grenadier Guards May 1922 October 1924
F Gill Coldstream Guards October 1924 April 1930
W A Blakeley Scots Guards July 1930 July 1931
J D Hughes Welsh Guards July 1931 February 1934
G F G Turner Grenadier Guards February 1934 November 1934
R Brittain Coldstream Guards December 1934 October 1935
A J Brand Grenadier Guards October 1935 August 1936
M Jones Coldstream Guards September 1936 February 1937
W J Dorman Scots Guards February 1937 May 1939
J Hastings Irish Guards May 1939 May 1939
H McKinney Irish Guards May 1939 July 1940
J A Stack MC Irish Guards July 1940 September 1940
P Dunne Welsh Guards October 1940 July 1944
D Hobbs MBE Grenadier Guards July 1945 August 1945
S M Hamilton MBE Scots Guards August 1945 August 1946
W Rooney MM Irish Guards August 1946 December 1949
B E Hillier DCM Welsh Guards December 1949 September 1951
W L A Nash Grenadier Guards September 1951 March 1953
R J S Tyacke Coldstream Guards March 1953 October 1953
D Whyte Scots Guards October 1953 April 1956
L C Drouett Grenadier Guards April 1956 May 1957
F Clutton MM Grenadier Guards May 1957 March 1958
W Rodger Scots Guards March 1958 October 1960
Guards Depot closes in October 1960
Garrison Sergeant Majors London District
1940 -1950 WO1 Thomas Coldstream Guards
1950 – 1951 WO1 George Ho Irish Guards
1952 – 1952 WO1 Frederick Thomas Aylen Coldstream Guards
1952 – 1965 WO1 George Stone MVO MBE Irish Guards
1965 – 1977 WO1 Tom Taylor MVO MBE Grenadier Guards
1977 - 1987 WO1 Alex Dumon MVO MBE Coldstream Guards
1987 – 2002 WO1 Alan Perry Mason MVO MBE Coldstream
2002 – 2015 WO1 Billy Mott MVO OBE Welsh Guards 2015 - WO1 Andrew ‘Vern’ Stokes Coldstream Guards
Thanks Mike there is lots for members to read and remember Les12th February 2019 update from Brian Lethby
I am Brian Lethby - Squad 5708 - National Service2. RegNo:233888237 - Guardsman 3. Served in Grenadier Guards 4. Served From 17th AprIl 1957 -Till April 1959 5. Trained At CaterBarracks till June 1959 - Commandant was Lt Col Bowes-Lyon MC 6. RSM Freddie Clutton and later Captain Clutton7. Infantry Training at Pirbright -June till end September 19578. Embarkation Leave till October 19579. Posted end October 1957 to 3 Bn Grenadiers and Embarked to Cyprus on Troopship MS Nevasa 10. Arrived at 3rd Bn. Camp Elizabeth out Nicosiand attached to No 1 Company- Major Ratcliffe OC.11. Moved to HQ and attended course as Clerk B3 and passed attached to Bn HQ as Part 2 Orders Clerk,12. At this time Colonel Duncan was a Lieutenant and Asst Adjutant to Captain Simon Loder... 13. The CO was Lt Colonel PC Brittain 14. Posted back in 1958 to UK to join Guards Trng Btn. attached to Officers Overseas Trng. Company. 15. Moved then in Pirbright into Brigade Guards Boys Company as Asst' Company Clerk 16. Company Company Commander was Major Bonham-Carter - Coldstream Guards 17. Completed service till termination in April 1959 and returning to my old job in Civvy Street Just of passing interest I was placed on reserve after applying to do a Parachute Course and was posted to the10th Parachute Bn TAFVR. I attended an induction course at Wood Lane to be told the next course was not for 6 months! So it happened that the Paras HQ faced the HQ of the Royal Marines Commando TAVR. So I walked out of Para HQ and went to the RM HQ, applied to join as a Royal Marine and for the next 5 years after completing and passing out on my Green Beret Course I served in that Commando of (48) Commando TAVR on exercises in Germany and then for next 3 years as a trained Cliff Assault Leader. So I resigned as a reservist in 1966 after Troop Commander turned down my application to do my Parachute Course. Finally I could not escape the services I applied for interview and was accepted by Artist Rifles - 21st SAS Regt based in Duke Street, Euston, London. I joined an intake of 38 Trooper recruits as only ex serving member of the military and retained my Army Number, I attended selection course and after the first sickner, 18 failed and kicked out. ''no second chance'' but l went onto course at Brecon and survived and our numbers reduced in further. This is where the story ends...my company an advertising agency posted me to work for the company in Germany as a Graphic Designer.
I had interview with SAS Squadron Commander, told him I had to
resign but he reminded me that a SAS Trooper in training does notresign, but your MOD papers will show you ''Failed to attend aSelection Course'... That was the end of my happy Service Career!!!!Brian Lethby Honi Soit Que Maly Panse will add it to this page.24th Jun