Private Cyril Dwight, 1st Battalion, the Queen's Royal Regiment, and Royal West Kents, remembers his surprise recall to serve with the West Kents in the disastrous Suez campaign, 1956.
Cyril Dwight
Private Cyril Dwight

You were still on the reserves then?
Oh yes I had done 3 years and a bit and you come back and they put you on the reserve. Come out and just got a job. Just got settled in the job and in the evening the DR decides he is going to declare war on Nasser. What happens? In I go. Of course I have worked in offices all the time I have been in the army. Pay, MT, POL where do I go, back into B company again. It is going to be B company in the West Kents in C platoon. The officer says "I understand you can type" and says "Would you like to work in the office?" Being a bit bolshy I said "No" so they say "All right you can stop in the rifle company". Shot myself in the foot. No well I never had any training in the actual rifle offices because they have to do the radio and all and I have done a course but I have not done any of that for donkeys years you know. So I could not have done it any way. So we went, did a lot of training, spent many a pleasant night under canvas down on Salisbury Plain and walked in the dark and nobody knew where we were going but we got there in the end, then we got onto this train down in Dover and come up on this troop train all the way around Waterloo and all around there, down into Southampton and got on this boat down there and that was all tears and things, dreadful old boat, and we got out there and they shoved us in these assault boats and shoved us on the shore at Suez and we had to march up, went through the middle of Suez, one or two heart stopping moments when some fool let off a round and we spent a night sleeping on a desk in a school in Suez and then we marched on, got on a lorry and went up and we took over from the Airborne. There I met up there an officer from the Queen’s. There is me looking down at a trench and this guy said "I know you", once seen never forgotten. Think his name is Fielding. Anyway they went up there and we took over and they came back. We were stuck up there on the edge of the Suez Canal for four or five weeks. We had the Foreign Legion up in front of us and we had the Israelis over the other side of the Suez Canal. The old Foreign Legion they kill everything in sight. As far as whether it is true or not I just do not know but they say they only give them salt and wine. They have to live off the land and they shot anything that moved. We kept a little goat that we tried to keep as a pet you know but I expect they had that in the end.