Lieut.-Colonel P. G. B. Hall, D.S.O.
Major H. Knox (Q.M.)
Major H. Knox and Capt. A. N. Nisbet
By 8.0 a.m. on Sunday, 5th November 1961, the first party had already taken off from Lyneham, Wiltshire to fly the Atlantic, and on 6th and 7th November the remainder of the Battalion, less a small Rear Party left to look after Norton Barracks, followed also by air.
Their first stop was at Larges U.S. Air Force Base in the Azores. After a couple of hours they took off for Bermuda, arriving on Sunday evening. After a wait of some three hours it was then on to Kingston, Jamaica.
The leading elements of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment arrived in Belize City at 0830 hours on Monday, 6th November 1961, having flown the Atlantic in R.A.F. Transport Command Britannias to Kingston, Jamaica and from there in an assortment of aircraft including British West Indian Airway Viscounts and R.A.F. Shackletons.
As the battalion passed through Belize City people were still very dazed after their night of horror in the hurricane and where the combination of mud, washed into the town by the gigantic wave, which followed the hurricane, and the pile of debris and rubbish, combined to make a filthy stench. Soldiers of 1st Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment were already busy in the streets guarding outside food distribution centres, patrolling the streets and supervising huge fires burning rubbish.
The next two days were spent in Stanley Field Airport Camp, preparatory to the final move of the Battalion Group to Stann Creek.
The 1st Battalion moved from Belize City to the town of Stann Creek, about 35 miles South of Belize City on the coast, with a population of some 8000. This move was completed by Friday, 10th November, and the group set about the formidable task of resurrecting a demolished township. The main task of the Battalion was to organise relief and reconstruction in the urban and rural areas of the Stann Creek District.
At first, while 'A' Company strength slowly built up in Stann Creek, the battalion concentrated mainly in Belize itself, requisitioning all food from the stores and concentrating it in a central food Depot, where it was distributed again to a series of commissariats opened under the supervison of the battalion, but actually run by the merchants of the town, most of whom were Chinese.
Immediately on arrival No. 3 platoon ('A' Company) went straight up the valley to Pomona, about 12 miles from Stann Creek. After a day or two in Stann Creek, the rest of 'A' Comapny moved up to join 3 platoon at Pomona. Company H.Q. was set up there, likewise No. 3 platoon, who provided the guards at the local Commissariats. No. 2 platoon went a further 12 miles up the valley to a village called Middlesex, and No. 1 platoon, after reconnoitring the road to Mullins River, went off to Kendal to try to get through to Mango Creek.
On Sunday, 12th November, "B" Company arrived at Airport Camp, where they took up residence, followed on Wednesday, 15th November by the remaining fifty of H.Q. Company from Kingston, Jamaica aboard H.M.S. Vidal and latterly the Maya Prince, who disembarked at Stann Creek.
Tactical H.Q. was set up in the town of Stann Creek, Lieut.-Colonel P. G. B. Hall and the Intelligence Officer, Captain H. J. Lowles, took over the Police Station and set up a combined Operations Room and Officers’ Mess. Soon the walls became covered with maps, charts. From the moment of the arrival of Tactical H.Q. local government was temporarily taken over by the Battalion. To achieve this end, the Commanding Officer appointed various officers to control civilian departments.
Major R. G. A. Leman (Adjutant) was given the job of Town Major. The job of Queen’s Harbour Master was taken over by Captain A. M. Martyn and Captain A. N. Nisbet (M.T.O.), became Minister of Transport! Each department had its civilian head under command of the appointed Officer.
Major H. Knox (Q.M.) was made Minister of Food, ably assited by Sergeant Duffy. All shops were compulsorily closed and a currency freeze was put in operation to obviate the undoubted future growth of the black market and illegal monopolies. Food was issued daily to the people in exchange for food coupons which themselves were issued to the population on the basis of one coupon for one day’s work.