Canal Zone snippets

Syd Smith

Oftentimes think back to my time there and amongst the generally hard times etc those little brighter moments are recalled. Heres one might be worth mentioning:- Over and above our general jobs we also got other duties and these included armed escorts on trucks and lorries, mainly the 15 cwt and 3 Ton Bedfords. These journeys could be to anywhere along the Canal since 3 L of C was the main communications provider with its "base" at Moascar/Ismailia and with detachments at Port Said, Suez, El Ballah, TEK and Fayid plus others.

All journeys were either on the Canal Road or the Treaty Road. I did a lot on both but the Canal Road was favourite since at times there were troopships and civvy Liners going off to the Far East etc. The Canal ran parallel with the Canal Road and sometimes, since we staggered journey times, we would meet up with one of these going along. The distance between was not great and it was possible to slow down and drive alongside having a wave and a shouted greeting etc. to the troops, their wives and families and without fail when they saw us coming along it was all over to that side of the ship for this enjoyable but brief little exchange. Really brightened up the day and good to see something UK connected again. Amongst the lads the exchanges were mostly of the "get yer knees brown" variety but all polite and good natured since the women were in amongst them along the rails. It was one of those situations there where you made the best of it and of course as always it was your mates and the general morale kept you going though.

These (not very frequent) meetings with the passenger ships were a very welcome little interlude. Perhaps there are others on site here who were on one of those ships (or in one of the lorries) and would like to comment.


Syd Smith 26th October 2012