Troop Leader, 5th Troop, ‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Own Hussars in his
Saladin - Aden 1967.
Captain Richard Vaughan-Griffith
The Queen’s Own Hussars from his Troop Leader’s Course in April 1967
during Troop Training on Salisbury Plain. The Regiment was then
converting to Saladin Armoured Cars in preparation for an active service
tour in Aden. It was there only some four months later that he was
involved in the action that was to result in the award of his Military
The British Government had decided to withdraw from Aden and to hand
over power to the National Liberation Front in preference to the
Federation for the Liberation of South Yemen. President Nasser of Egypt
with Russian backing was using FLOSY as a stalking horse in furtherance
of his ambition to take over Aden following the British withdrawal.
Nasser intended thereafter to use it as a base from which to attack and
destabilise the Gulf States. NLF did not want to be seen as lackeys of
the British and continued their attacks on our troops.
Shortly before The Queen’s Own
Hussars arrived in Aden, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers suffered
twenty two casualties when they were ambushed in the Crater by mutinous
police who had broken into their own armoury and taken to the roof tops.
‘C’ Squadron, The Queen’s Own Hussars was tasked with supporting both
1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment and the Lancashire Regiment who
were responsible for the towns of Sheikh Othman and Al-Mansoura
respectively. Al-Mansoura where the action took place is in the North of
Aden. On the edge of the town was the gaol in which those convicted of
terrorist offences were confined and in which one Company of the
Lancashire Regiment was permanently based.
A patrol of The Lancashire Regiment was ambushed in the town and forced
to take cover in buildings in which they were pinned down by intensive
machine gun fire from terrorists in surrounding buildings. Their radio
had been hit so all communication with them had been lost and two men
were wounded. 2nd Lieutenant Vaughan-Griffith was faced with extricating
the Lancashire Regiment’s patrol from these buildings with a half troop.
This was a formidable task which involved first identifying the
buildings in which the incommunicado patrol had taken cover. One of the
patrol poked a beret out of a window thereby allowing Vaughan-Griffith
to pinpoint their position. By using his armoured cars as shields and by
returning the heavy fire thus keeping the terrorists’ heads down, he
made it possible for a Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier to manoeuvre
into a position that enabled the first group of infantry to escape from
the building directly into the rear of the vehicle. Having extracted the
first group and delivered them safely to base at the gaol,
Vaughan-Griffith returned and rescued the second group from another
building under identical conditions. Six terrorists were reported killed
and seven wounded during the course of the action.
Throughout the two hour operation Vaughan-Griffith was forced to eschew
much of the protection of his Saladin turret thereby exposing himself to
the heavy terrorist fire. Being compelled by the situation to remain
static presented a further risk as stationary armoured car gave the
terrorists an opportunity to move into a position from which to launch a
‘Blindicide’ bazooka with which they were well supplied against it or to
lob a grenade into the turret.
Had Lt Vaughan-Griffith had been allowed to use his 76mm gun against the
buildings in which the terrorists were concealed, it would have made for
an easier task. However the principle of minimum force required that
express authority first be obtained from Brigade to use main armament. A
pusillanimous commander had twice refused to give permission for 1st,
The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, The Queen’s Own Hussars’ predecessors in
Aden, to use main armament during the slaying of the Royal
Northumberland Fusiliers in the Crater. There was therefore no prospect
of Vaughan-Griffith being given any such permission here and he had
confine himself to using his .30 Browning Machine Guns.
In addition to Vaughan-Griffith’s award of the Military Cross, the NCOs
commanding his other vehicles were each awarded a Mention in Despatches.
The citation to
Vaughan-Griffith’s Military Cross concludes “that he achieved this self
set task successfully under the most difficult operational conditions is
the measure of his outstanding example of courage, leadership and
Images of war in the Middle East, Ronald
Hornsey’s Photograph Album
3rd The Kings Own Hussars - Recce
Regiment of 6th Airborne Division in Palestine 1946 to 1948
Pictures above courtesy
of John Donnachie
Freedom of the City Of Worcester Parade
The Parade Gathering - 26th June 2015
The Parade 27th June 2015
The Parade Form Up
Post Parade - Worcester Race Course
Post Parade - The
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