Welcome to the Oman


In October 1960 I was posted to Bahrain to join 19 Topo Sqn where we had two weeks to acclimatise before being posted up-country. Initially I was going to 1 Troop at Nizwa but before that we were to move to Ibri to assist 2 Troop set up camp. Actually Im not sure why we were sent to Ibri but it was a pleasant month.


After our arrival at Ibri we met up with old friends from Harrogate and Fernhurst so during the evening a few drinks were consumed. The few drinks had a powerful effect such that I cannot remember the end of the evening.


I awoke next morning with a headache but also had this strange sensation on my scalp. I realised that I was in a sleeping bag which explained was why I was unable to scratch my head. When I extricated my hands out of the bag I then found the answer as to my itch.


I was bald, and the odd feeling was caused by flies walking over my scalp!!


To this day I do not know what prompted the four of us to have our heads shaved but below is the evidence to back up the story


Alex (Jock) Johnstone


From left to right: Alex (Jock) Johnstone, Dave Clifton, Bev Hill and Geordie Walters

Location:  2 Troop, 19 Topo Sqn.  Ibri, Oman.  November 1960


A reply from Bev Hill, one of the four

There is a long story here but firstly the unidentified sapper I believe is Geordie Walters, a driver with 2 Troop. The story starts a year or so earlier in Harrogate when I bet Dave Clifton, Mick Guise and Tim Holt that they would not have their heads shaved. As a result Dave became bald, Mick had a Monk cut and Tim had a Mohican. The cost to me I think was 3 each. I seem to remember they were confined to camp (Penny Pot) as a result.
When Dave Clifton passed through 2 Troop at Ibri on his way to Nizwa he asked me to shave his head again because of the heat. As the beer flowed in the club that night the scissors got carried away. The photo is the result but not all of it. If I remember correctly there was one or two more baldies including Clefty Waller.
I have a number of photographs from Ibri which I will forward later.
Nice one Alex.
Bev Hill

The story from Harrogate about the coiffures of the three mentioned is one of those legends that even we non ex-boys have heard many times over the years.