Suez Canal battle vets invited on one last reunion trip

REMEMBERED: Fayid War Cemetery in Egypt and (inset) Alf Avison
REMEMBERED: Fayid War Cemetery in Egypt and (inset) Alf Avison

FORMER servicemen from Hartlepool and East Durham who defended the Suez Canal in the 1950s are being invited on one last reunion trip.

Ex-squaddie Alf Avison, 78, has previously appeared in the Mail asking fellow ex-service personnel on a visit around the Suez Canal Zone “emergency” area.

Sadly it will be the final visit of the group, due to age and health reasons.

At its peak, the “emergency” saw 800,000 servicemen and women drafted to patrol the region, which came under attack from the Egyptian Government after it went back on a treaty that said British troops could retain a military base there until 1956.

Mr Avison, from the Middle East Land Forces Association, was called up for national service in 1954 and was posted to GHQ Fayid Canal Zone with the Royal Army Service Corps before moving on to Cyprus.

As a hobby he arranges annual visits to Egypt’s Fayid and Ismailia area.

The retired industrial relations consultant and former trade union official said: “I know that many service people who live in the Hartlepool Mail circulation area were stationed there during the troubled times of the 1950s.

“Many of our service personnel died and are buried in the cemeteries that we visit, Ismailia, ­Fayid, ­Moascar and ­Tel­ el ­Kebir.

“I will take photos of any friends or loved ones graves if any of your readers would like me to.” The visit runs from April 25-May 8, 2015.

To join the trip write to Alf Avison, Middle East Land Forces Association, PO Box 99, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 9NS or email alfavison@talktalk.net