Monday, August 13, 2007

Vienna Tattoo

Click to enlarge
As many people are aware - the British Army of occupation in Austria in June 1946 held a Searchlight tattoo in the grounds of the Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna which was manned by elements of the 78thDiv - 6th Armoured Div and 46th Div.

This was a most successful event and raised some 10,000GBP which was in the region of some 400,000 Austrian Schillings which was presented to the Mayor of Vienna who then arranged for 2400 Viennese children to have a holiday in the countryside with lots of good food and healthy fresh air.

My regiment of the 16th/5th Lancers took part in a sketch of a Dick Turpin type hold up of a stagecoach yelling "your money or your life" to the allegedly frightened occupants, who were rescued by a troop of Lancers who marched off the Brigands to jail as can be seen in the photograph.

The uniforms were of the 18th century Lancers with the exception of the lances themselves which were made up clothes poles as the original Lances were handed over to the 4th Queens Hussars who were performing a musical ride, which was the source of some amusement to the Lancers as who ever heard of Hussars with lances?


Blogger Nick Clark said...

Must have been some show and I bet 10,000 GBP would have been a fair amount of cash in those days Tom!
Interested to learn that you served with the 16/5th. Have you ever visited The Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum, Belvoir Castle, near Grantham? I went there once to do some research with regard to my grandfather who was with the 5th Royal Irish Lancers during WW1

Monday, 13 August, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Nick -
it was indeed " some show" and a hoot from start to finish...
you can read the whole story here

The head tourist guide at Schoenbrunn Palace was in touch after I wrote that and asked if he could use part of it for his Tourist Guide in umpteen languages ! He then sent me a vidoe of an old movie of some parts of the Tattoo !

never did get to the 16/5th or QRL museum as when I am in the U.K.- the time is usually packed running around.

My wife's Father was with 5th Irish in WW 1 also - he was wounded in the head and had a plate in so was on 100% pension - he would never accept that the 16/th had
incorporated the 5th Irish and that we had no horses - just Tanks - called me BL..... liar !

Monday, 13 August, 2007  
Blogger Peter G said...

Just for the record, the current value of the 1946 sum of £10,000 is just over £282,000.

Friday, 17 August, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Peter -
are you by any chance suggesting that we should have waited for inflation to kick in -

I doubt if it would pay for 2400 youngsters to have a good holiday these days - thinking back to the price of a Coffee and Sacher Torte in the 90's !

Some wise guy here in Vancouver is selling ONE cup of coffee ( special stuff)- for $15:oo(7:oo GBP) - and the line ups get longer !

"There is one born every minute" !

Saturday, 18 August, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for some info on this tattoo for ages. I was there with my Mum and brother My Dad was part of the tattoo We had a lovely time It was a great show. Afterwards my Dad lifted me up onto his horse I am only 4ft 10inch now so you can imagine how small I was at eight years old.It was high.But the tattoo was an unforgettable experience. Thank you for the photo. Am hoping to find more info now.
Rita Petts

Sunday, 21 October, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Rita - it's always good to meet someone who shares a good memory - I have more photo's if you wish i can scan them to you if you can give ,me your e-mail address --but leave out the ampersand as the bad guys can get hold of it.

You Father must have been in the 16th /5th Lancers or the 4th hussara to have been on a horse in that show...pehaps I knew him - or have a photo ?

Cheers Tom

Monday, 22 October, 2007  
Blogger Falk said...

I was in the 1st Royal Gloustershire Hussars and we were there also. I rode in the Musical Ride and we didn't have to borrow any lances. I have been unable to find very much mention of us being there, but we were. We trained in Judenburg. Each of us worked with two horses, a morning horse and an afternoon horse. I had a chestnut called 'Billy' and grey named 'King George the V' I rode 'Billy at the Tattoo in Schoenbrunn Palace. Anyone out there remember us?

Saturday, 11 October, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

sorry for the delay in responding but the fact that the 1st GH were at the tattoo doing a Musical Ride is news to me as we thought that they were 4th Hussars as at that time the 4th H were part of 26th Bde of 6th Armoured Div - and we did lend them our Lances and our riders had ordinary pointed poles with a pennant - as my photo's show -
At that time we had moved from the Judenburg /Knittelfeld area to the Friesach - Tribach - Althofen-Strassburg.

So which bde was your regt in ??

Thursday, 30 October, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Just done a quick check on the 1st RGH and find that they served all during the war as a Training regiment in the U.K. and finally went overseas in early '46 when they obviously took the place of the 4th Hussars when they went back to the Trieste area - Ron Goldstein will have actual dates of that move..

Thursday, 30 October, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

my grandfather was drummer with the 8th argylls i have some photos he is no longer with us , does any one have any stories of this , thankyou ,steven

Tuesday, 06 January, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at this Tattoo as a 9 year old. We had a school trip from the British Military School in Graz. Very exciting as we drove through the Soviet zone to get there and stayed in Vienna overnight.

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013  

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