7 platoon C Company, Holfast upon arrival at Airport camp via VC10, 1977
My platoon (7plt. C Company, third Battalion the Queens Regiment) at Airport camp 1977 . We had just got off RAF VC10 (troop Carrier) from England as Belize had asked the Army to assist you through the Guatemala Insurgent issue. We were proud to get them out of your Country.
If you ever need the Boys (and Girls) of the need for our assistance you have that as Belize is a “protectorate Of the Crown”
My Military Duty whilst stationed on the Island of Ambergris caye was to trek the 44 mile R/T Weekly to Monitor the Mexican Forces building up (Southern Mexican Yucatán) You see, this period 1977 was the period of Guatemala incursions to Raid Belize and her offshore Islands. Mexico swore to ‘take Ambergris Caye if mainland Belize fell as Mexico believes it has territorial rights to Ambergris Caye.
But at this time prior to the independence of Belize, we (the British Army and the Royal Air Force with her Harrier Jets) protected Belize and her Countryman and as I did my weekly trek (very lightly armed) was happy to watch the Mexican Army retreat as did the Guatemalan’s on the mainland, as neither had the stomach to take on the government of Belize.
Whilst trekking, a flight of Harrier jets would be my beacon through the jungle as they gave me the inspiration to carry on.
When we the Army patrolled deep jungle in the Sabun capturing your ever annoying neighbours, I would just love the wildlife, massive hummingbirds, huge wingspan of the butterflies and of course very own Howler monkeys.
So many fond memories- many relating to the Guatemalan Incursion’s on the mainland, which caused myself to being posted to San Pedro and Patrol (by foot) to Xcalak - due to yet again, Mexico planned on invading Ambergris Caye should Belize fall to Guatemala.
Thanks to British Army intervention, we never allowed that to happen...the circumstances of which carry many a fine Story.
London’s (UK)MoD leased an Army House Named ‘Coral Lodge’ which was my ‘Cover’ Training British Soldiers on Island Survival.
Whilst gathering intelligence from Xcalak- I would be laden with British Army Canned rations for delivery to Peter and Peggy Hancock R.I.P.
We are so proud of Belize... I have returned several times
Photograph and text by John William Boston
INSIDE STORY From Blighty to Belize Christmas in Belize 1977
First transmitted in 1978, this
programme focuses on the day to day
lives of the British troops guarding
the Belize/Guatemala border and
their celebrations on Christmas Day,
1977. It’s a very different life here
than the squaddies are used to, but
it’s not quite a ‘Caribbean holiday’.
They struggle to come to terms with
the daily routine, the boredom,
missing their loved ones and meeting
the basic needs of life such as
ensuring there is enough fresh food
A story produced by Associated Press in the 1970s regarding the Guatemalan claim and the Guatemalans' attempt to invade the then, British Honduras.
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