1946 - 1970
The first BRIXMIS Tour was on 5 Ocotober 1946 when it crossed the Glienicker Bridge to take over the Mission House in Potsdam. Lunch was cooked for the crew by a Soviet Field Kitchen team and the next four days were spent in trying to obtain the services of plumbers, carpenters and electricians.
Potsdam was chosen as the location for the Mission House because it was the Rear HQ of GSFG, which after some years moved to Zossen Wunsdorf, just south of Berlin, the former HQ of the German Wehrmacht and German Army High Command.
The First Mission House
Click this image to enlarge
The first 'Mission House' was actually a group of four detached houses in a small close just off the main Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse in Potsdam [Map].
The houses included one for the Chief (51F) when he was in Potsdam, a Tour Officers' house (51C) and one for the Drivers (51). The house shown above was the CSM's house (51B) which was permanently manned and acted as the Mission House HQ. Note the radio aerial running from a downstairs window to a tree.
On 18 July 1958 the East German authorities organised a demonstration against British intervention in Jordan, which resulted in a tour car (No.21) being smashed up in the complex and covered in paint with the driver, Tony Harrison, still inside it. Another tour car had its tyres slashed.
A paint stained Chris Hallett with tour car No.21
The mob also ransacked the ground floor of the Drivers’ House.
[Both the above images were submitted by Peter Maylam]
The Soviets later paid £1,200 in 'crisp white fivers’ in compensation and they provided a new Mission House
in this villa on Seestrasse, Potsdam.
The first tour vehicles were wartime Humber Box Body 4x4 vehicles, similar to the example opposite, painted dark maroon with Union Jack flags on the sides, rear and roof.
The first ‘Operational' Tour was sent to Magdeburg via Route 1 through Brandenburg and Burg with instructions to return via the autobahn. The Tour was detained by the Soviets in Brandenburg and a British protest to C-in-C GSFG followed.
BRIXMIS operated without hindrance during the Berlin Blockade of 1948/49.
By the early 1950s Opel Kapitans had replaced the Humber Box Body 4x4 and Humber Snipes were also in the fleet.
Danny Williamson and a 1951 Opel Kapitan
Opel Kapitan in 1959
In the late 1960s BRIXMIS also had a Safari Land Rover.
It was mainly used for sites that were hard to get into and needed four-wheel drive.
Don Wistow (Tour Offr) and Frank Naylor (Driver) with Safari Land Rover No.12.
Photograph was taken by Tony Dewey (Tour NCO). Circa 1967-68
Frank Naylor managed to write off the Safari Land Rover near Neustrelitz,
resulting in a 12-hour detention and theTour NCO, Geoff Goulding,
suffering a broken knee. Nice one Frank!
[Submitted by Frank Naylor]
Mission Photograph Christmas 1948
[Submitted by Joe Jones]
Mission Photograph Early 1953
[Submitted by Len Holman]
Back Row: Pte Kenyon (RASC Driver), L/Cpl Searle (RASC Driver), Cpl Jones (RAF Clerk), Cpl Hawkins (RASC Clerk), Cpl Brown NCO i/c MT (RASC), L/Cpl Collins (RASV Driver), Pte Wheeler (RASC Clerk)
Row 2: RSM Thompson (Scots Fusiliers), Maj Hallett (17/21st L), Flt Lt Bliss, Maj Harmour, Capt Aurich, Plt Offr Aylin, Sgt Styles (RASC), Cpl Dye (RM)
Row 3: Maj Hall (RA), Sqn Ldr Davis, ? ? (Secretary), Brig Dewhurst, Col Young, Col Spice, Maj Reynolds (RM)
Front Row: Pte Holman (RASC Driver), SAC ? ?, Pte McClunnan (RASC Driver), Pte Godson (RASC Driver), Pte Lowe (RASC Driver), Pte Wright (RASC Driver)
Mission Photograph 1962/63
[Submitted by Gus Stevens]
Front Row: Toby Caulfield, Ian Wellstead, Gordon Young (Deputy), Jock Holden (Chief), Reg Bond, Nick Browne
Row 2: Pat Clarke, Noel Archer, Al Fairbairn, Crick Grundy, Geoff Wilkinson, Stuart Money
Row 3: Fred Rackman, Fred Perry (?), Ron Riley, ? ?, ? Evans, Mick McClean
Row 4: ? ?, Mick Drew, Roy Moore, Ray Pringle-Scott, Jock Cowan
Back Row: Ken Bywater, Jim Prevalin, Dave Grey, Gus Stevens, Ray Hill