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.

Hi Jim/Lads, As you say Jim, my memories of TEK are sand, sand and more sand. There was a swimmg pool there, but believe it or not, I never knew it existed util a mate of mine showed me a photo of it a couple of years ago I can vividly remember the searchligt posts around the perimeter having spent a lot of my time on numbers 10, 11 and 12. Did have about a month at Qassassin and some time at Fanara doing our annual range qualifications. Our Company also had about six months at Lake Timsah. Firstly setting it up as a holiday camp then, as a reward for all the hard work we put in, we had a month as resident company. For some reason I was appointed "Life Guard" and spent a lot of that month just wearing swimmers sitting up in a small tower watching the swimmers. Typical Army psychology giving me that duty, I was certainly nowhere near the strongest swimmer in the Coy. Maybe they decided I was not fit to do anything else.
Owing to that duty, when I lay out in the desert sands at night I looked like a shadow. I was as black as the ace of spades.
Cheers all, Taffy.

Re: William James (Jay) McDowall, RASC.

Taffy, we had floodlights right around our camp perimeter. It took me a while ( I was slow) to figure out why they pointed away from the camp and we patrolled inside in the dark.

The Suez Garrison was not a bad looking Garrison, the Treaty Road and a railroad split it in two. We had a really nice swimming pool, open air cinema, small row of shops, a theatre (for ENSA shows), an MMG tea room and several churches. Not a tree in sight. I don't think we had a NAAFI, but I'm sure some of the larger camps had their own.
Plus a hospital, where I spent a couple of weeks. I was considered "ambulatory" and therefore unpaid help. I didn't complain, because they had nurses (which I think contributed to my longer than usual recovery period).

I mentioned the ENSA shows - I saw Terry Thomas, Ivy Benson, Joyce Grenfell, Ronnie Ronalde, Ruby Murray and a couple of talent shows put on by the lads themselves. Correction: Terry Thomas had to turn back because the Suez Garrison was in lockdown during the Neguib/Nasser revolt.


I just realized it - as I am writing this I can see the camp gate vividly and many of the other places I mentioned.