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National Service in Egypt

In Egypt the camp had three large search lights and around the perimeter fence were forty dugouts with a guard in each one.


I joined in January 1952 and was demobbed in December 1953.  I did my basic training in the East Lancs Regiment.  I had my first medical two months earlier but failed due to having “blackouts”.  I was eventually allowed to join when I was eighteen.  I was found to be still unfit after training and so was transferred to the Ordnance Corps.  I had further training at Aldershot and was sent to Southsea on the south coast.  I did a clerks course, learning how to type and such.  From there I was sent to Egypt.

In Egypt, the camp had three large searchlights and around the perimeter fence were forty dugouts with a guard in each one.  I had to contact them all by radio if we saw any movement along the fence.  Sometimes it was a real callout, usually an Egyptian trying to steal goods.  Sometimes the men got the dogs out and set them on them.  They made a real mess.

Editor’s Note: The sound clip that accompanies this memory adds an interesting historical note to life in the army in the post-war period.  In 1946 the Middle East forces went on strike because the dates for demob were pushed back.  One of our contributors was part of the strike and suffered the consequences at a court-martial afterwards.

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