The 3rd The Kings Own Hussars moved down from Adlum in Syria to Sarafand (the Aldershot of Palestine) in the autumn of 1945 joining the 6th Airborne Division, as the only remaining Airborne Cavalry Regiment in the British Army, acting as the Division's Reconnaissance Regiment. The Regiment was minus it's original “B" Squadron who had been sent to Java early in the war and were captured by the Japanese. A new “B" squadron was formed from the replacement personnel.
The Regiment was equipped with Cromwell Tanks, Staghound Armoured Cars mounting a 37mm cannon and two Besa 30 cal machine guns. Jeeps mounting twin Vickers "K" machine guns on a pedestal amidships and White Half Tracks mounting two Vickers "K" machine guns on a pedestal amidships and a Bren gun on the gun ring forward and to the left of the driver.
The last few months of 1945 and early 1946 the Regiments ranks were swelled by over 400 men of the old 1st and 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments and the 21st and 22nd Independent Parachute Companies which had been disbanded. (These men replaced those going home on demob.) During the next two years more than 300 all ranks of the Regiment qualified as parachutists.
The Regiment moved to an abandoned airfield at Ramat David near Nazareth in the north of Palestine in January 1947, where I joined them (having moved up from Egypt when my original Regiment The 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queens Bays) returned to the UK).
Having had two years in the Bays during peacetime I was bored stiff. The Regiment had had a hard war and all "old hands" were waiting for demob and being replaced with us new boys. All I did in Italy with the Bays was to drive a three tonner full of sand for the Parade ground and act as a taxi driver for the junior officers going to Trieste or Venice and the inevitable guard duty.
Then the Regiment moved to Fanara in the Canal Zone in Egypt. There was nothing to do but drill and clean the tanks. I managed to become the Colonel's crew on 12-foot dinghies at the Bitter Lakes Yacht Club (I had learnt to sail while at school in the USA). That was fun sailing up and down the lakes either with the Colonel or on my own. As soon as notice appeared on the Orders board asking for volunteers to transfer to the 3rd Hussars I jumped at the chance.
I left Fanara by Regimental Transport to Port Said here we debussed and crossed the Suez Canal to the transit camp on the Palestine side. Waited there for several days for the "UP" train to Haifa. Spent most of the time swimming in the canal. When the train finally arrived, I was issued with a Browning 9mm automatic and a Sten gun. Boarded the train and chugged off to Haifa. I think the journey took the most part of two days, armed guards in the carriages and a modified armoured car running on the rails leading the train. The journey was uneventful, we arrived in Haifa and were transported to Ramat David. I was posted to Assault Troop "C" Squadron. The Troop was equipped with Jeeps and Halftracks. I was allocated one of the Halftracks to drive.
My first few weeks with the Regiment were spent based at Mount Carmel overlooking Haifa, patrolled the streets of Haifa in my half-track, trying to make sure that the peace was maintained.
In February 1947 "C" Squadron was detached and based in Rosh Pinah north of Tiberius. Assault Troop was based at Metulla (the tip of Palestine where Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine all meet).
On one occasion my half-track was stationed on a hilltop overlooking the 3 frontiers. In the distance a large number of mounted Arabs could be seen advancing towards us. I was instructed "to get us out of here" by the Troop Leader a newly arrived 2nd Lieutenant. I selected reverse and let out the clutch, the engine revved up but nothing else happened. I tried again with the same result. (All the time these mounted tribesmen were getting closer) I looked down and saw the Troop Leader foot resting on the four-wheel drive lever, which he had knocked into neutral. I swore at him to get "your bloody foot off the gear shift". He looked down and moved his foot. I quickly engaged the four-wheel drive, selected reverse, turned round, and hastened back to the rest of the troop.
Most of my time in Palestine was spent patrolling the border area between Metulla, Rosh Pinah and Tiberius with occasional trips to Haifa to patrol the streets.
In June 1947 "B" squadron was detached returning to the UK to join the 2nd Parachute Brigade near Andover as its armoured support squadron.
In April 1948 I was sent home to attend a parachute course at Upper Heyford, by the time the course was completed and I was presented with my wings the Palestine Mandate was coming to an end. It was decided that I was to wait for the Regiment's return at Bovington where I was employed as a driver.
When the mandate ended in Palestine, I moved first to Barnard Castle for leave and then to Lubeck in Germany reverting back to its normal role as an Armoured Cavalry Regiment equipped with Centurion Mk l tanks.
One day I saw on the notice board that men were required to join the 4th Queen's Own Hussars going to Malaya (the Malayan Emergency to prevent Communist take over of Malaya). Having had enough of peace time soldiering I put my name forward and joined the 4th in June 1948 just in time to board the transport for Singapore. I remained in Malaya for 8 years. I left the Army in 1950 and went rubber planting. Got tired of looking at trees so joined the Malayan Military Forces in 1951. That is another story.