The Suez Veterans Association

The main aim of the Association is to re-kindle and promote a spirit of comradeship amongst those who served in the

Suez Canal Zone, Egypt.     

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Re: William James (Jay) McDowall, RASC.

Taffy, I'm not sure if we are running out of things to talk about, more likely we don't think what we have to share is of interest. We couldn't be more wrong.

For instance, I have seen The Suez Canal Zone called "Britains largest Garrison". Wrong! It was a military zone made up of many garrisons ( maybe as many as twelve.- twenty?). Because of this, we had different experiences. Some of the garrisons were sparse and forbidding " hellholes" while others had lidos, spas and lakeside boating.
I visited TEK a few times on convoy duty and (right or wrong) my memory of it is "Desert, desert, desert" and tents as far as the eye could see.
My impressions of Ismaelia and Fayid were of a little tropical location with paved streets and some palm trees (close?).
My own Garrison (Suez) was somewhere in between - Right at the south end of Treaty Road which ran right past our camp gate, about half a mile further on and you were "In Egypt". We were close enough to the Gulf of Suez, and.the Red Sea, that we had monthly outings to the beaches there (another recovered memory).

The geographic location of our garrisons not only determined our comforts but also how involved we got in "the goings on" with the Wafdists and other baddies. e.g., the Suez Garrison was located just outside the city of Suez ,which we never saw but could hear at night (especially during Ramadan).

What I am trying to say is -- we all have something to tell about our time in the Canal Zone.

Our dear departed friend Tony Tolan lived a nomad's life as a member of a RAF Airfield Construction crew. He had no camp, no Garrison, no place to call home - his tent was pitched where he was working and then he moved on.
As I said, the Canal Zone was not the same for all. So if somebody's experience doesn't match yours, just remember -- it wasn't.


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