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National Memorial Arboretum
Pictures of our short visit

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The Suez crisis of 1956 is often viewed as a major focus of post-war political history, less well-known, certainly among the wider British public, were the years of conflict that preceded it. It was from those earlier years that the roots of the 'Suez Crisis' were sown in the towns and villages of the Suez Canal Zone in what became known as the 'Egyptian Emergency' of 1951-54.

The Canal Zone was known as 'the worst posting in the world' and the British Armed Forces (about a third of whom were RAF personnel) stationed there were mainly conscripts of Nation Service. The hostile climate, primitive sanitation, diseases and poor food all combined to make life very unpleasant. As if this was not enough, Egyptian terrorists began murderous attacks upon servicemen and their families, army camps, airfields and installations.

By the time the Anglo-Egyptian agreement ended the conflict in 1954, the numbers of post-war casualties accounted for some 1,400 lives. It took 50 years of campaigning before veterans finally received the Canal Zone Medal.

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