Information in the Operations Record Book of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment sheds new light on this picture.
It is now clear that the photograph shows No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment in the Salerno operation.
The photograph is one of a set of photographs published in “The Aeroplane” magazine on 26th November 1943 showing “Balloons at Salerno” and the Operations Record Book of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment, has an entry dated 16th September (when the unit was located in the Salerno beach-head) stating, “We are visited by the public relations officer, who takes a number of photographs of men working with balloons on the beaches.”
Incidentally, the lorry shown is not a Bedford QL, but a CMP (Canadian Military Pattern), 3-tonner. In Tripoli, before the operation, three 3-ton lorries were provided (reluctantly) by the Army for the use of No. 6 Beach Balloon Detachment.