7 platoon C Company, Holfast upon arrival at Airport camp via VC10, 1977
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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.

We are so proud of Belize... I have returned several times

Photograph and text by John William Boston

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