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Universal Carrier

The Universal Carrier known as the Bren Gun Carrier and sometimes the Bren Carrier from the light machine gun armament, is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrongs and other companies. The first carriers – the Bren Carrier and the Scout Carrier with specific roles – entered service before the war, but a single improved design that could replace these, the Universal, was introduced in 1940; the vehicle was used by British Commonwealth forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were used for transporting personnel and equipment support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built by 1960 in the United Kingdom and abroad, it is the most produced armoured fighting vehicle in history; the origins of the Universal Carrier family can be traced back to the Carden Loyd tankettes family, developed in the 1920s, the Mk VI tankette. In 1934, Vickers-Armstrongs produced, as a commercial venture, a light tracked vehicle that could be used either to carry a machine gun or to tow a light field gun.

The VA. D50 had an armoured box at the front for driver and a gunner and bench seating at the back for the gun crew; the War Office considered it as a possible replacement for their "Dragon" artillery tractors and took 69 as the "Light Dragon Mark III". One was built as the "Carrier, Machine-Gun Experimental", carrying its crew; the decision was made to drop the machine gun and its team and the next design had a crew of three – driver and gunner in the front, third crew-member on the left in the rear and the right rear open for stowage. A small number of this design as "Carrier, Machine-Gun No 1 Mark 1" were built and entered service in 1936; some were converted into pilot models for the Machine gun Carrier, Cavalry Carrier and Scout Carrier – the others were used for training. The carrier put the commander at the front sitting side by side; the Ford Flathead V8 engine that powered it was placed in the centre of the vehicle with the final drive at the rear. The suspension and running gear were based on that used on the Vickers light tank series using Horstmann springs.

Directional control was through a vertical steering wheel. Small turns moved the front road wheel assembly, warping the track so the vehicle drifted to that side. Further movement of the wheel braked the appropriate track to give a turn; the hull in front of the commander's position jutted forward to give room for the Bren gun to fire through a simple slit. To either side of the engine was an area in which passengers could ride or stores could be carried. There were several types of Carrier that varied in design according to their purpose: "Medium Machine Gun Carrier", "Bren Gun Carrier", "Scout Carrier" and "Cavalry Carrier". However, production of a single model came to be preferred and the Universal design appeared in 1940, it differed from the previous models in that the rear section of the body had a rectangular shape, with more space for the crew. Production of Carriers began in 1934 and ended in 1960. Before the Universal design was introduced, the vehicles were produced by Aveling and Porter, Bedford Vehicles, the British branch of the Ford Motor Company, Morris Motors Limited, the Sentinel Waggon Works, the Thornycroft company.

With the introduction of the Universal, production in the UK was undertaken by Aveling-Barford, Sentinel and Wolseley Motors. By 1945 production amounted to 57,000 of all models, including some 2,400 early ones; the Universal Carriers, in different variants, were produced in allied countries. Ford Motor Company of Canada manufactured about 29,000 vehicles known as the Ford C01UC Universal Carrier. Smaller numbers of them were produced in Australia, where hulls were made in several places in Victoria and by South Australian Railways workshops in Adelaide, South Australia. About 1,300 were produced in New Zealand; the United States of America manufactured Universal Carriers for allied use with GAE and GAEA V-8 Ford engines. About 20,000 were produced; the Universal Carrier was ubiquitous in all the theatres during the Second World War with British and Commonwealth armies, from the war in the East to the occupation of Iceland. Although the theory and policy was that the carrier was a "fire power transport" and the crew would dismount to fight, practice differed.

It could carry machine guns, infantrymen, supplies and observation equipment. The seven mechanized divisional cavalry regiments in the BEF during 1939–1940 were equipped with Scout Carriers – 44 carriers and 28 light tanks in each regiment. There were 10 Bren Carriers in each infantry battalion in the same period; the reconnaissance corps regiments – which replaced the cavalry regiments in supporting Infantry divisions after 1940 – were each equipped with 63 carriers, along with 28 Humber Scout Cars. Universal Carriers were issued to the support companies in infantry rifle battalions for carrying support weapons. A British armoured division of 1940–41 had 109 carriers. A British Carrier platoon had ten Universal Carriers with three carrier sections of three Universal Carriers each plus another Universal Carrier in the platoon HQ; each Universal Carrier had a rifleman and a driver-mechanic. One Universal Carrier in each section was commanded by the other two by corporals. All the Universal Carriers were armed with a Bren light machine gun and one carrier in e

Henry De Mel

Sir Henry Lawson De Mel, Chevalier was a Ceylonese industrialist, lawyer and politician. He was a member of the Legislative Council and founder of the H. L. De Mel & Co. Henry De Mel was born 21 January 1877, the son of Jacob De Mel and Dona Helena née Ferdinando, a cousin of Sir Charles Henry de Soysa, he was educated at S. Thomas' College and Royal College, Colombo. In 1898, he started his legal career with the law firm Peiris & De Mel and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1904, he married the daughter of Mudaliyar S. H. Jayawickrame of Kurunegala, he gave up his legal career to concentrate on his plantation and mining interests and was an avid motorist. De Mel was the producer and exporter of the world's highest quality graphite and supplied Dixon Ticonderoga Company. In 1919, de Mel became the first Ceylonese CBE. In 1921 he was elected unopposed to the Legislative Council of Ceylon on behalf of the Low Country Products Association and at the same election his brother-in-law, Sir James Peiris, was elected.

In 1931 he was knighted for his services to the government of Ceylon. His sons were the Right Reverend Lakdasa De Mel, the first Bishop of Kurunegala and R. S. F. de Mel, a former Mayor of Colombo. His daughter, married Dr. Percival Cholmondeley Chalmers de Silva, a renowned pediatrician. On 8 May 1936 De Mel died of injuries sustained after being shot while trying to resolve a dispute between two workers on one of his vast coconut plantations. Edith M. G. Fernando. Journey of a family. Colombo: R. F. S. De Mel

The Other Side of Heaven

The Other Side of Heaven is a 2001 American adventure drama film written and directed by Mitch Davis, based on John H. Groberg's autobiography In the Eye of the Storm; the film stars Christopher Gorham as Anne Hathaway as Jean Groberg. The film showcases Elder Groberg's experiences as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Tongan islands in the 1950s. During the 1950s, John Groberg graduates from Brigham Young University and is called on a 2-year mission to Tonga. Throughout the film and his fiancée Jean exchange letters monthly. After a long journey across the Pacific, Groberg arrives in Tonga and is sent to a group of remote islands, he is assigned Feki. As a new missionary, he struggles with learning the language, studies it intensely and learns more about Tongan culture. Groberg encounters a number of obstacles in his mission. One night, he forgets instructions he received to cover his feet and rats bite his soles while he is asleep. A local Christian minister warns the people not to listen to Feki.

He sends four men to beat them. However, one of the men, prevents the attack. Groberg learns from the drunken Tomasi that he had been baptized a member of the LDS Church many years ago as a boy. Tomasi begins attending church meetings; when a young boy falls out of a mango tree and becomes unconscious, Groberg gives him basic first aid and prays for him. When a young woman, at the behest of her family, attempts to seduce Elder Groberg, he responds by teaching her about marriage. A typhoon destroys trees and crops. People die in the storm, many die due to starvation and dehydration. Groberg is close to dying himself. After the supply boat arrives, the minister is found dead. While traveling at sea and his two counselors are caught in a large storm, he fears for his life. He swims until he finds an island where he locates his counselors, they are rescued and return to Tonga. Groberg returns one day to his hut to find, he is unhappy. Groberg describes some of the success they have experienced, the president is shocked to learn of new branches and meeting places on outer islands that have not been authorized.

Groberg and his counselors spend the entire night filling out the church records the president requested. In the morning, he finds the president is about to board a boat, gives him a large sheaf of forms documenting all they have accomplished; when his time as a missionary comes to an end, Groberg receives a telegram instructing him to return to New Zealand where he will travel to Idaho Falls, Idaho. When he is ready to depart, many islanders gather in their best clothing to see him off, testifying to the impact he has had during his stay. Once he arrives, he marries the two spend their honeymoon in a cottage by a beach. Christopher Gorham as John H. Groberg Anne Hathaway as Jean Sabin Joe Folau as Feki Nathaniel Lees as Kelepi Miriama Smith as Lavinia Alvin Fitisemanu as Tomasi Pua Magasiva as Finau John Sumner as President Stone Mitch Davis, the director, was inspired by John H. Groberg's autobiography, In the Eye of the Storm, wanted to tell Groberg's story via film. Deseret Book owned the rights, the company wanted to ensure that Davis captured the "spirit of the book".

John Groberg consented for the movie to be made after meeting Davis, the rights were secured. Producer Gerald R. Molen is noted for his work on films such as The Color Purple, Schindler's List, The Lost World: Jurassic Park; the film's budget was $7 million. Christopher Gorham was cast in the lead role as John Groberg. Director Mitch Davis selected him after auditioning "hundreds and hundreds of actors on both coasts" because Gorham exhibited "a little light in his eyes," according to Davis, he has since become a common name in Mormon cinema, appearing in other LDS roles with films such as We Love You, Sally Carmichael! and the sequel to Heaven, where he reprises the role of John Groberg. Anne Hathaway was cast as Jean Groberg. Hathaway stated that she liked how the character of Jean was committed to Groberg but lived her own life. Before beginning filming her parts of Heaven in New Zealand, she auditioned for The Princess Diaries; the real John and Jean Groberg gave feedback on the script. Jean Groberg provided Davis with the letters she and John exchanged, they were used in filming the scenes where John and Jean write to one another.

The film was shot on location in Auckland, New Zealand and the island of Rarotonga, capital of the Cook Islands. All of the filming equipment and necessary supplies had to arrive by boat; the island scenes were completed in two months. In both Rarotonga and Auckland, rain threatened to delay shoots, but Davis claimed that his prayers delayed much rain while filming. Disney produced and distributed The Other Side of Heaven. Hathaway's The Princess Diaries was released in 2001; the film opened theatrically on December 14, 2001 in two venues, earning $55,765 in its opening weekend, ranking number 41 in the domestic box office. By the end of its run a year on December 2, 2002, the film grossed $4,720,371 domestically and $39,643 overseas for a worldwide total of $4,760,014; the film received negative reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 29% approval rating based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 10. The site's consensus states: "The Other Side of Heaven preaches to the convert