83 KB 31 went into service in 1984, making it a late Series III. There would have been between seven to nine of these vehicles in a Signals Group, and would have been situated near to the front line. Once there, they would both listen to enemy communications and try to jam them. Or, as Alan puts it, "Intelligence gathering - real cloak-and-dagger stuff!" Indeed it is - 83 KB 31's service record has a highly unusual undated entry in its service record that, after being fitted out by RACAL, credits it with being posted to the Royal Netherlands Embassy. Very little of its original RACAL-supplied kit remains, having been transferred to another vehicle. It has retained the Radio Silence kit, has on-board 240V and arctic-spec heating. The Borwnchurch roof rack is original, as is the square hole cut into the roof that might be for a mast, might be for a ventilation hood - or might just be an accident with a tin opener, who can tell? Cloak-and-dagger stuff!

According to the service history, 83 KB 31 was in three Signals outfits and went out to the Gulf. Oddly, the service history doesn't explain the markings it was wearing when released, markings which suggest that GCHQ had been given the keys. Alan plans to restore the vehicle to Gulf colours and markings. If you want to own a dagger-hiding-in-a-cloak 109, MVS have one or two sister vehicles still for sale, although neither are in quite as good condition.

Alan Russell