53 Squadron

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


I have been trying for years to locate a man, who was with the Royal Engineer’s on Beef Island, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in 1968. He was working on establishing the first runway on the island. His name was: LCP Anthony (Tony) Smith.

Many of the engineers from this group would come to the island of Virgin Gorda, a short distance away for some R&R and to “raise the roof”, when they had the opportunity. This is when I met Tony. We dated for several months, until his return to England. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what part of England he came from - so I have had no luck locating him by myself

All the stories Tony told me about his life back “home”, I have wondered for years, how his life has progressed.

I would love to have the opportunity to write to him, or email, just to say hello and that life is good, at least for me and hopefully for him, too.

53 went out to Oman in the Dhofar region based in Salala

I went here from Waterbeach in 1972. We updated the medical room and built a water tank.

Went to Sharjah with 53, then onto Salalah, back to Sharjah then onto Masirah, finally finishing back at Sharjah.

53 FLD SQN AIR SUPP.(5 troop 55-training)Did stint in Falklands.Went to Italy bombing campaign (Kosovo) kicking tin,ended up in Kosovo,at border then drove to Pristina..rebuild and clean up Russians mess,as Engineers do...!!!does anyone remember the "No Duff" we had..?

Anyone remember me from my time at 53 ADR Squadron Waterbeach, 2 Field Support Squadron Iserlohn, 1 FSTRE Gibraltar and on tour with 34 Squadron Belize. Drop me a line

I noted in the Daily Telegraph the death announcement of Colonel N D Clifford MBE late Royal Engineers. He was the Officer Commanding Exercise Treasure Island - the extension of Beef Island Airstrip in the late 1960's. As Lt Lear RAPC (commissioned in the RE) I served in the Main Body and Rear Party.

53 (Airfields) Squadron RE arrived on Sir Galahad in 1968 and unloaded 200 or so men and the plant to extend and surface the existing short dirt strip.

Nigel Clifford helped to plan the redesigned airstrip and see the construction through. A rear party finally sailed away in 1969.

A further upgrade happened I believe in 2004. Our work lasted for more than 30 years!

I served throughout the Exercise - as Paymaster and Force Accountant and also as a member of the church choir.

Very happy memories - despite the dengue fever!