Tigers burned bright in sun-kissed Caribbean

Colin Greetham and fellow team members from the Royal Hampshire Regiment at Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1962
Colin Greetham and fellow team members from the Royal Hampshire Regiment at Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1962

Saint Roger's halo didn't slip when he gave me interview

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It will be 50 years ago on Sunday that the last National Service men to serve in the old 1st Battalion of the Royal Hampshire Regiment were demobbed.

Among them was Colin Greetham who bade farewell to the Tigers on November 4, 1962, after his two-year stint.

For much of that time he enjoyed a dream posting – to the Caribbean, and Jamaica in particular as it prepared for independence.

All the pictures here today are from his collection and show several men from the wider Portsmouth area.

Colin, of Holt Down, Petersfield, was a driver who had some sporting prowess so managed to get into the camp’s football and cricket teams.

He says: ‘It made a big difference to my army life. When sports training and practice finished you had different meal times plus most of the matches were all over the island.

‘The football team played in the Jamaican 1st division and drew some large crowds. When we played in Kingston’s dock area we had to back the lorry up to the back door of the changing rooms for safety reasons. If we won a few bottles or stones would be thrown in our direction.’

At weekends the army organised many trips to the beach where the men enjoyed swimming and boating.

Colin adds: ‘I still keep in contact with several of those that I served with.

‘It is amazing that after time you can only remember the good times you had and seem to forget the bad.’

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at chris.owen@thenews.co.uk or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX