This site is in the process of being modified and updated with new material.
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I am extremely grateful to the following contributors of vital pictures, information, or simply their memories. You may know some of them and I hope I have not missed anybody
Major Mousa Saad (Tobruk)
General Suleiman Obeidi (Benghazi - Historian)
Visit his web-site 'Rommel in Libya'
John Seccombe (ex R.A.F.) - George Mirowski (ex Army) - Albert Webb - Andy Lamnea (ex R.N.) - Hatem Sabrey (Tripoli) -
Alain Blottière (Paris) - Kuno Goss (Afrika Korp) - Mike (Webmaster TEARS) - Dave Cass (R.E.) -
Dr Noel Cutajar (Malta) - Miloud El Nibou (Libya) -
Dave Austin - Emily Buck - Andrew Simmonds - Don Jones - Andrew Bedford - Dennis Turner -
Ray Eale - Darrell Earnshaw - Patricia Dawson - Dave Johnson - Lydia Pappas - Sue Jones -
R. Max Morris - Dave McKeon - David Wilson - Tony Dow - Harry Crick - Nicholas Galbraith - Bill Krouwel
- Michael Mayers - John Fleet - Suzanne Russo - Josie Bailey - Alfred Jones - Jean Huppert - Keith Hawkes -
Jean-Pierre Misson (Belgium) - Peter Follet - Cliff Hill - Alastair Burns - Mike Dawdry - Mohamed Kroush (South Africa) -
Bob Heath - Jim Myall - Ken Oliver - Brian Daly - Ray Doran - Keith Weller - Ernie Campbell - Jason Rix
For the restoration...
Al Burdy Company
Dott. Arch. Khalil Abdel Hadi
Dott. ssa Arch. Marina Cappellino - of CISAM Italy.
Eng. Mohamed Khalil & Eng. Osama Ghinjiwa - of Al Burdy Company.
1961 Hastings Crash comments - Ralph Rix & Ernie Campbell
Argosy XR133 crash... with pic's
contributions from Ray Doran & Keith Weller
1961 Hastings Crash update - Brian Daly
CONCLUSION to The Belgammel Ram saga - Ken Oliver
'LADY BE GOOD' pictures
Photograph of John Brill & his mother!
[All others have been plagiarised from here!]
Restoration of the building and mural has finished!
WWII bunker found with names scrawled on the walls.
This site is constantly updated in a progressive, not destructive, fashion which may confuse some visitors.
The first page depicts my original web page and the story as told to me in 1961 when I took the pictures (with B/W film).
The site has had to be modified as various people have provided photographs and fragments of ‘truth’.
The way the truth unfolded is in itself interesting and I am grateful to those that made its publicity possible.
Rather than remove the original story, (which is still relayed to tourists in Libya) I feel that it provides interest and continuity.
If anybody remembers events or people on these pages, or if you find this interesting and wish to
comment please get in touch via the e-mail button
Please note that all images are copyright their owners with the exception of the Mrs Brill Mural which is now public domain.
Permission for their reproduction may be sought via the e-mail link.
All pictures are copyright their owners. Permission may be sought via the e-mail link
Last updated 21 April 2014
EXCLUSIVE: Finally, the world can see the artist John Brill - painting his mother
Bardiyah (Bardia) Masterpiece
I photographed this remarkable mural during the two years I spent in Libya 1961 - 1963
I was at R.A.F. El Adem (south of Tobruk)
but mostly at the small compound of the Bombing Range (a further 20m)
Since then it has suffered considerable damage as can be seen on these pages
The title was purported to be " A Soldier's Dream of Home " but is
now known to be
" Pleasures of Avarice - Pleasures of Art "
The mural completely fills a wall of a room in Bardiyah, a harbour town close to the border with Egypt.
The mural was purportedly produced with boot polish by a prisoner of war, using fingers, matchsticks and the like.
(see update pages.)
If it is still there (2004) it will have deteriorated even more than it had in the 19 years between it's creation and my visit to the town.
(see update pages.)
It is now some 62 years since it was produced.
My inexperienced photography resulted in badly lit and slightly out of focus pictures, which were all taken from the left end of the wall.
The resulting parallax error can be seen, where the right end has less height than the left, and slopes.
At a little over the age of 18, I saw the mural more as a curiosity than appreciating it for what it really is...
How age changes one's perspective!
The photographs are a very poor substitute for the awe inspiring vision when first seen in full sized reality.
The true beauty and very fine detail was clearly visible to the naked eye, from across the room.
The enlargements shown on other pages are a poor attempt to convey that detail and share this experience.
I am not an artist, in fact I cannot draw a decent circle, let alone hope to interpret the artist's intended meaning or thoughts.
It would add great interest and be of benefit to all viewers, if people with artisitic insight were to generously offer their
comments about this mural by e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
It is becoming increasingly unlikely, but...
was anybody now viewing this page, present in this room at the time of production?
Just below the skulls at the top left of the mural is the inscription...
J. Brill R A S C 21 4 42
When did he append his name, start or finish, and how long did the mural take to produce?
(see update pages.)
The artist, John Brill - painting his mother
Generous courtesy of a family member who owns Copyright
Private John Frederick Brill (4617871) 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment
died in action 1st July 1942 at the very young age of 22,
fighting for his country in a far off inhospitable land.
He was buried at the El Alemein War Cemetery.
He was the son of Frederick and Eliza
from Wanstead in Essex
and later Thorpe Bay.