Loading the player...

Rights Information

Scenes of Long Range Desert Group in North Africa, WWII. LRDG vehicles coming down sand dune towards camera. Landscape. Group of military personnel meeting including French and Major Clayton. A large group of LRDG soldiers and vehicles in the desert. Mountain range [Tibesti]. Camels resting. Village in desert. Large number of soldiers at Zouar, the Free French outpost. The Free French marching for Colonel Bagnold at Zouar. French and Free French flags (and one other) flying. Locals in stone building. LRDG men playing football.

Photographed by S.A.S. Trooper W. R. Adams of the 1074 L.R.D.G. (Long Range Desert Group) circa December 1940 to January 1941.

Cataloguer’s Notes: The Long Range Desert Group was formed by Ralph Bagnold in 1940 and played a major part in the Allies victory in North Africa in World War Two. The Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) became the forward eyes and ears of the Allies and together with the Special Air Service played a secretive but vital role for the Allies.

The LRDG had two particular roles in the war in North Africa. They were to get behind enemy lines and act as scouts and gather intelligence to feed back to British military headquarters. To begin with, Bagnold’s new unit was known as the Long Range Patrol Group.

After getting the agreement of General Wavell to create such a unit, Bagnold was given 150 New Zealand volunteers, most of whom had a farming background. Bagnold believed that they would be more adept at maintaining vehicles in a difficult environment should mechanical problems occur.

The LRDG had three main patrols of forty men each. Their vehicle of choice was a Chevrolet 30-cwt truck”.

“Clayton ended his operations in the Fezzan on 14 January and went south to Tummo, on the French border. The patrols cut across the north-eastern corner of Niger Province to the Free French outpost of Zouar. Although Chad was the first part of the French Empire to declare for de Gaulle, the French in the adjoining Niger Province were supporters of Vichy. The patrols crossed some unexplored desert and entered the western foothills of Tibesti, a region of castle-like rocks, red-brown gravel, acacia trees, and thin grass. They saw scores of gazelle, some of which they shot and ate. A smooth-surfaced road led them through a steep mountain defile to Zouar, where a native guard presented arms as they arrived.”

Favourite item:

Request information

Year 1940

Reference number F80261

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Amateur

Duration 0:04:25

Credits Photography: W R Adams

We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Whakamahia ai mātou ngā pihikete ki te rapu māramatanga ki te āhua o tō whakamahi i tēnei paetukutuku, ki te whakapai hoki i tō whai wāhi mai. Ki te rapu kōrero anō pānuitia te kaupapahere tūmataiti.