33 Squadron

33 Field until 1959, then independent until 1967, then 33 Field until 1974, then 33 independent until 1992, then 33 field until 2007. Total 26 years independent, 31 years as Field. For reasons like this, I have avoided ALL names such as Amph, Cdo, Indep, Hugh, Pugh and Barney McGrue

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

From Clive Pledger - 

Hi Gordon.   33Fld squadron was my first posting after training.It was part of 37Eng Regt comprising 33sqn,10 sqn and 66 plant sqn and 325 engineer park. 33 had the honour of building long kesh internment camp in 1971 before I joined them also building the Bedrock Hilton sqn bar reckoned by many the best sqn bar ever..33 sqn went  back to NI in 1972 for op motorman and did 6 weeks at Ballykelly then 6 weeks in the maze(long kesh.)  33 sqn joined 37 eng reg in 1967 from Cyprus.  10 sqn moved to BOAR in 1973 as harrier support. and 33 became 33 ind fld sqn.They moved to NI permently in oct 1973 and I was posted to 66 plant sqn to run their signals.section.  Hope this helps.


Regards clive.


I lost my Dad in January aged 83yrs
I am interested to find out more about his TA days
He was at Bluebell Lane Huyton TA in the 50's

Will make some enquiries for you Joyce - are you on Facebook?

Would like to hear from anybody the was there at the start,working from Firewood park inBelfast.

Yeah and after that good old Antrim long hours but real work. I enjoyed much of the time over there. Those who were part of the Sqn will remember SSM Bobby Lampard, OC`s Maj Benham Croswell (BC) followed by Eric Barker. Great Sqn great guys.

HI Pete That is a long time Ago and it was Gerwood Park Great times and some great tours out there Yours Mick Burgess

Girdwoodpark belfast

I was with 10 Sqdn first and transferred into 33. The 10 Sqdn guys made up 3 Troop. We were still part of 37 Engr.Rgt. when we went to Castle Dilton in 73. Early 74 we went to Antrim Bridge Camp as it was then as 33 Ind.Fld.Sqdn. with the Black Shamrock as the Sqdn logo. I was part of the advance party that went out early 74 to set the camp up. We were living in a big Nissan Hut at the bottom of the camp to start with which got really cramped when the whole Squadron moved in in late summer that year. It was a great posting. We served as general Engineer support for a fairly large area of N.I. Girwood Park was a regular stop in those days - Flax Street Mill as well. I'm new to the site so don't know if it's OK to post photos. If it's allowed I still have a load of pictures of the Castle Dilton/ Antrim postings which I can add.

Matt - get your photos on here.
Info for you - https://www.facebook.com/groups/8597632671/

Walter McLaren, 33 Squadron Royal Engineers Veteran. Based at Ripon. Served in Mukeiras ADEN during 1963-1964. May have been known as Mac or Walt. It would be good to hear off any of the lads from that time.

Jan 1962 I walk through the gates of RHINE CAMP it was to be my first posting after training.It was like walking into a prison camp.I have a few photos on my facebook page.Have been unable to get in touch with any one,so far. It was then known as 33 Ind Field Sqn

Aye. Rhine Camp was also my first 'overseas' posting. What a dump. 16 March '62 and my intro to 'DTL's ! Two names come to mind there, apart from those I arrived with are driver Archie Lowe, and OC'S driver Jock Smart (I think).
Twynham huts if you where lucky. Who remembers 'YANA' coming out to see us ?
A night out was either building pyramids of empty KEO cans in the NAAFI or a taxi to Dhekalia. Then of course it could be the 'bar' at the end of the road. Not recomended. I was told the camp was an ex prison camp for EOKA but
never really knew. 33 Sqdn then moved to Slim Bks. A much better place.
But then, I was a callow youth of only 19 then !

I joined 33 Ind in May 62. I do not know about EOKA prisoners being held in Rhine Camp, but there was in the centre of the Camp 52 Military Corrective Training Centre. From what I seen one did not want to be an inmate.

Snap...I remember it well...same dates.. My name is Fred Nash...the bar at the end of the road was very popular lol...in & out of bounds 4 times a week ha ha

After my time out there,i was posted to 1ESD stores depot.55 years later I have been awarder GSM 1962-CYPRUS 1963-64.So if anyone d,ont know this,go to DBS-Medals and get more info GOOD LUCK EVERYONE

Snap, I've just received mine after applying in January 2020..my name is Fred Nash. I was in Cyprus Park Sqd as well same dates.

Castledillon from Oct 73 to early March 74. Benham-Crosswell was the OC. The SAS were in huts in the grounds. 33 Advance party went to Antrim late May 74 and the main party during late June. Best posting ever. I left for sunny Hohne in October 75

does any one remember the 4 TA lads who where sent to help build this place .I remember it was like a bomb site they used us like slaves.. building the pyramids.we were there about 2 months and I remember going up to the engineer park to pick up stores .palace barracks .girdwood.i remember the royal marines you to train on the loch near there.i served with 129 fld sqn from 1974 until disbanded in 1991.i then joined 4th ta battalion PWO and finished in 1998 as wo11.so if any one remembers us lads give us a wave we were a bit put to one side as being ta but I think we earned a grudging respect...24189871 Charlie McCaffer.

I joined 33 about june 1969. I was an engineer surveyor. We went to Anguilla in august '69 to take over from the first half of the squadron who had gone earlier in the year with the paras. We went there to build a new jetty in Road Bay which we completed before schedule. Back to the UK in march '70 then to NI in september that year. We were in Ballykelly. The RAF and Navy were there too. Great place! I was in the AMFL troop then, going to Greece on exercise. Back to NI then at Longkesh. We were posted then to Hong Kong where we built a road etc in the New Territories, coming back to the UK in about march or april. I left the mob in july of that year (72). Name coming to mind are Sandy Cox, Matt Blowers, Mick Rowley, Jacky Muir, Paddy Ferris, Johnny Harmes, Mick Pascoe, Tiny Hammond, John Melmouth,

I joined 33 in February of 72. Major BC was OC (Not a fan I must say). Brian Freeman 2ic. My troopy was John Field. Brilliant bloke. "Tom" Sawyer was SSM followed by Bobby Lampard. Both Top Top guys. Did Motorman, Dillon and then moved out to Antrim in '74. Eventually left in May '76. Without doubt the best days of my life. Although like most of us, I didn't realise that at the time.

I joined in June 67. Went to Libya as an electrician at the refuelling depot at Af Tahimi . Then to Anquilla in 69, building the jetty, and looking after the camp electrics. Then onto NI (Ballykelly) Back at Longmoor for a few months then NI again and the building of Longkesh. Like to hear from anyone in 33.

I was with 33squad in Dhekelia Cyprus 1965 - 1968

My father served as SSM 33 Indep.Fd. Sqn. RE between 1963-65 and was awarded an MBE during the sqns deployment to Nicosia at the end of 1963 (?). I ended up joining Chep in 1969 and served in 62 (NE) Sp Sqn RE (ex. Cyprus Park Sqn) between 1975-77 and also in 33 Indep. Fd. San. RE between 1979-81. Happy memories both as a pads brat and serving Sapper........

I was your father's Orderly Cpl during 1963. He was a great bloke to work with. I have several happy memories of the time I spent with him.

Thanks for the kind remarks Ron

Better known as George Thornley

As usual - must know you - Was in 33 from July 65 to 1968 when 33 was back in UK by then. Was in HQ Troop working in Office. Aye it was a hard life but somebody had to do it !!!! George were you in MT ?

I joined the Army Apprentice School in September 1950 and trained as a FITTER RE. I passed out in July 1953. My trade was a restricted Trade and would not get out of the Royal Engineers until I had served 22 years or more or in a Box. The advantage was that trade is that I could always "Claim My Trade" This meant I could pick and choose where I should be posted. I had chosen Motor Transport as my trade and after my Sapper training, I was posted to Perrhamdown to train to run an MT Section. After a few months of training, I passed my exams and found out that a new SQN was forming in Gillingham, Kent and they needed an NCO to form and run the MT section. Being a L/Cpl and Fitter REI claimed my trade and once shown how easy it was to claim my trade I found myself in 59 Airfield Construction Squadron Independent RE. I did not know it at the time but I was going to be far more than just a man who would run several MTs but be mixed up in several secret operations involving MI6

Mick Burgess
I Joined 33 field Squadron straight from training 15-6-71 the day after was our first tour of northern ireland ( where on the drive to Liverpool I picked up my nick name of Handbrake. I done another 3 tours after that one with a trip to Hong Kong in 72 and a great time on Alderney in the channel islands building a football pitch for the local school I ended my time in the army with Corp Lighting Troop in Herford Germany from 2-3-75 to 9-12-76 I spent another 10 years in Germany driving for Naffi where I meet a lot of my old friends From my days with 33

1975 berlin tiergarten digging cofferdam foundation for footbridge larry @ duffy found walther loaded still in holster duffy points weapon at my chest and askes I wonder if it still works and pulls trigger luckely working parts were corroded OC 38 fld sqn pinched it 20/4/20

Good day Gentlemen, I am trying to establish the approximate timeframe that the Sqn adopted the shamrock as the main feature on the Sqn flag (and just about everywhere else!). Due to the main libraires being temporarly closed, I am having to trawl the internet. never a great believer in only one source, I was hoping that someone out there can throw a little more light on this subject? I have been given a date of July 1974 (on being established as the NI Resident Sqn) and a date in 1971 (when a troop was deployed to Long Kesh).Whist it is not a life and death matter, it would be good to know for future reference. Any and all contributions accepted.

Ned Flanders - I did see your post and thanks in advance of further info. "Early 74 we went to Antrim Bridge Camp as it was then as 33 Ind.Fld.Sqdn. with the Black Shamrock as the Sqdn logo."

Hi , Anyone here in 33 fd Sqn Antrim 1999-2000. Who helped dismantle borucki sangar July-Aug 1999

I served in 33 Sqn in 1962-65 as Lcpl/Cpl at a Rhine Camp near Dekelia Cyprus. During this time the Sqn moved into Slim Bks Dekelia. The OC was Maj Johnson & 2ic Capt Spottiswood I think the SSM was WO2 Evans. There were several exercises in Libia and peace Keeping in Nicosia for this we, after 52 years, have been awarded GSM & Cyprus Bar. I was employed as MT Cpl and Ord Cpl.

Hi Derek
My father was indeed the SSM of 33 during your posting. He also received his GSM Cyprus which was long overdue. Dad passed away in 2016.
I joined the Corps in 1969 and served with 62 NE Sp Sqn in Rhine Camp and 33 Ind Fd Sqn in NI. Good times in the Zulu Warrior and Bridge Inn bars…..

Hello Bernie
I'm upset to hear you dad passed away. I enjoyed my time as his Ord Cpl, I learnt a mass of experience from him in Slim Bks. I bumped into him, in Hameln 35 Regt, 1968-71 while I was with REBCS he was a Capt.