John-Ward Leighton CD


John-Ward Leighton CD: Ted’s Farms
Ted’s Farm:: Photo ©Copyright 1970 by John-Ward Leighton CD

John-Ward Leighton CD: Cyprus Hotels
Cyprus Hotel: Photo ©Copyright 1970 by John-Ward Leighton CD
It was my fourth post during our six-month deployment to Cyprus. We had taken over from the Van Does and I had spent the first two weeks at UN HQ in Nicosia and then the cement plant and a tour of two weeks providing road security in a village half way between Nicosia and Kyrenia for the twice a day convoy. It was hotter than hell and the village smelled of sheep shit and armpit with the resulting swarms of flies dung beetles and the largest cockroaches I had ever seen with the occasion high-speed lizard and gecko and some huge flying buzzards.

When you got away from the coast the landscape on the central plateau was desert like with blowing dust and stiffing heat. Every hamlet had swarms of stray dogs that seemingly barked all night and would greet our patrol vehicles in swarms of dogs trying to bite anything they could get a hold of.

That is until the patrol personnel started to play to play “dog polo” by giving the dog’s running along side a whack with a golf club or fungo bat. The dogs caught on pretty quickly and instead of rushing the vehicle they would flee in terror. They also recognized that it was the Canadian patrol vehicles where the danger was and often still attacked and bit the Danish patrol personnel leading to some very painful rabies shots.

The DYLAN piece was a heard over a small Sony transistor in the evenings just before our first night patrol up the hill to the next UN post just after the sun went down. Radio Luxembourg was the only English speaking station we could get with Rock and Roll music.

The UN tour wasn’t particularly dangerous until 1970 when the Turks invaded and took over the North side of Cyprus…

And that was where I first heard the Dylan piece that reminds me of 1965, and all my old army friends.