1965/05/27 – John “Jock” Provan – 29 Field Squadron RE – ✝

Am 27 Mai des Jahres 1965 ereignete sich auf dem Weg in das Manöver „Canal Turn“ ein schwerer Unfall. John Provan, der gerade eben erst seine Driving Licence für ein Linkslenker gemacht hat, streifte mit seinem 3t-Bedford RL dabei ein parkendes Auto. Durch den Aufprall auf das parkende Fahrzeug, schleuderte der LKW herum, rutschte durch einen Graben und kollidierte mit einem Baum.

Zeitzeugen, die damals live mit dabei waren, berichteten:
 „Es war schrecklich! Wir saßen auf der Ladefläche und hörten den Aufprall! Dann fielen wir auch schon durcheinander. Natürlich auch alles was an Ausrüstung mit auf der Ladefläche war! Zum Glück, kamen wir alle mit ein paar Blessuren davon, außer John, er wurde tödlich verletzt! Aber wir haben ihn nie vergessen!“


On May 27, 1965, a serious accident occurred on the way to the exercise “Canal Turn”.  John Provan, who has just finished his driving license for a left-hand drive, touched a parking car with his 3t-Bedford RL. By the impact on the parked vehicle, the truck hurled around, sliding through a ditch and colliding with a tree.

Some of his comrads told me:

“It was horrible! We sat on the loading area and heard the impact! Then we were all mixed. Of course, everything was equipped with equipment on the loading area! Fortunately, we all came out with a few bruises, except John, he was mortally injured! But we have never forgotten him!”


The full damaged Bedford RL

The full damaged Bedford RL


And of course, we will remember them all:

 In Memoriam

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    • B.A.(Mac) Obermaier on November 14, 2018 at 5:20 pm
    • Antworten

    Finding his article was a surprise and brings back very clear and awful memories, some in slow motion about the accident which resulted in the death of John “Jock” Provan our driver on the day. Mates scrambling to get us out etc. Much of what took place has been covered by others above. I recall very little about the weeks afterward, not even the funeral although my wife remembers me joining her in the UK on leave about that time which might explain it. I remember John as a bright, cheerful and talkative individual not yet in his prime and I often think of him particularly at this time of year.

    1. Thanks for your entry, mate! And specially thanks for the kind words about Jock! Not all memories are good, so this one must be a really hard one for all who know about that!
      Thanks again!

    • Tony "Smudge" Smith (not Anthony) on Januar 14, 2018 at 2:57 pm
    • Antworten

    I was a passenger in the 3 tonner behind John “Jock,s” vehicle on that fateful day. We were travelling in convoy. I heard the crash happen and we came to a standstill just beyond. I’ll never ever forget the sight of the vehicle on it’s side, the trailer it was towing was still upright. The passengers in the vehicle were all tangled up with equipment that was also being carried in the back of the vehicle. We all helped to free the people trapped. Unfortunately we couldn’t help John “Jock”, who was fatally trapped on the drivers side (left) of the vehicle. Corporal Obermaier was the passenger in the cab with John “Jock”. He luckily climbed out but had a terrible gash on his forehead. He was more concerned about his mens situation than his own injury. I often think about this day. I was only fresh from 1Trg. Regt so hadn’t really got to know fellow soldiers then.

    • Bob Provan on Januar 14, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    • Antworten

    Please note Sapper Provan’s name was not David but was John Provan from Paisley in Scotland. He may however have been known as David although I have no knowledge of this. I am his older Brother Robert Provan and he died on my 28th Birthday. 27th May 1965. The parents mentioned at the funeral were our parents Robert Provan and Elizabeth Provan. The accident described is exactly as told to our parents at the time by the Army. I remember it well for my brother Sapper John began his Army career in the same Royal Engineer Barracks as I served my National service in at Farnborough. I have never forgotten that day 27th May 1965. This is a nice tribute to him from the Army and his friends at the time.

      • Provan on Juni 29, 2023 at 9:32 pm
      • Antworten

      Thank you so much for all your work and sympathy and for correcting John’s name from David. I am the oldest in the surviving family at age 86 myself a former Corporal in RE No 1 Training Regiment Farnborough and appreciate your comradeship with John. John’s Parents have now passed and also a brother and sister. He was sadly missed by all. My big regret is I never made it it to see his grave and have searched both Hameln and Hanover Cemetery’s with no success. I had hoped to have a photo one day.. Take care and thank you so much

    • keith summerscales on Juni 7, 2017 at 9:48 am
    • Antworten

    The day i arrived in 29fld sqn RE: I along with a few others was in the adjudants office having just arrived from uk and being breifed on which sqns we were going to. The phone rang and he was told of the accident he then informed a few of us we were going to 29 and we would probally be practising our drill. Three of us were posted to 29 and the three of us were on the funereal cortage. Have been back to Hannover a few times to visit his grave along with other comrades that lost there lives.

    • john donaldson on Januar 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    • Antworten

    I was riding in an armoured pig with my section,lost as usual,when we came upon this accident by chance.We helped out as best we could,but I remember the German undertakers putting Jock in a coffin to remove hi
    m,very sad day.the funeral day was even worse with his parents there.

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