|David Lloyd Owen with 'Y' Patrol vehicle "Aramis" (sometime WWII)
The New Zealanders were tough, self-reliant individuals with an earthy sense of humour and an indomitable spirit. They could bear almost any hardship with a shrug of the shoulders and a determination to take more if it was necessary. I found them slightly aloof and a little suspicious of me at first for they did not know what kind of man I might turn out to be. They were wary of British Officers whom they sometimes suspected of being ignorant fops. But once they realized that you were prepared to muck in with them and did not wish to stand apart they were not only most entertaining company, but they became wonderful friends.
|New Zealand members of the LRDG pause for tea in the Western Desert, 27 March 1941.
Photo Courtesy IWM- E2307
|New Zealand R Patrol troopers with 'Rotowaro',
30cwt Chevy- photo courtesy lrdg.de
There is hardly any need to describe the Guardsmen. Their characteristics as soldiers are so well known and written in the immortal pages of three hundred years of military history. Even the worst of them are good, and let it suffice to say that we were fortunate in that we had the best.
|Vehicles of 'G' Patrol preparing to leave Siwa. 'G' Patrol was formed in 1940 from volunteers from the Coldstream and Scots Guards. 'G' and 'Y' Patrols routinely operated from Siwa.
--Courtesy IWM HU 16614
The men of the Yeomanry units were those with whom I lived and fought when I took command of them in 1941, and I have never known such comradeship before of since. They were mostly countrymen, and thus knew how to move silently and how to outwit their enemy, for they had done it often enough as poachers. They were the salt of the English earth and I never doubted their worth.
The Rhodesians served with me throughout the war and I saw a lot of them. It took me most of that time to know them well and then I knew how very friendly they were. They are naturally reticent and use few words. Quiet and unassuming they seldom spark, but behind this rather forbidding facade there lies a loyalty, a kindness and a spirit which is unconquerable. As soldiers they were unique in that one knew that they would never get into bad trouble for their emotions were not subject to excessive changes of temperature and they were, therefore, preeminently reliable."
|Close up view of (Rhodesian) S-Patrol's Pilot Truck. Note camouflage pattern and the mesh covering over the large holes cut in the engine's bonnet. Also of interest is the way the headlights have been painted. --Courtesy lrdg.hegewisch.org
~~Major General (Ret) DAVID LLOYD OWEN,
"The Desert, My Dwelling Place", 1957, pgs 58-59
Purchase "The Desert, My Dwelling Place" Here