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Alf Avison
Trips down memory lane - Back to Egypt !

Meet Alf Avison, former squaddie, who is inviting former service men who defended the Suez Canal in the 1950’s to join fellow veterans for reunions in Egypt. 

As a hobby, Alf has been organizing these reunion visits to the Canal Zone area in Egypt ever since he retired.  He arranges annual visits to Egypt’s Fayid and Ismalia area visiting many area’s of interest for former service men as well as some of the great sights of Egypt. 


Mr Avison, now a retired industrial relations consultant and former trade union official, told us about his service days and said “Back in those days, there was no television, so people didn’t realise what was going on. Many people still don’t realise that we lost 1,000 servicemen in Egypt, twice as many as in the Falklands and there are a lot of people buried out there. One day we had friends that we shared the same tent with and the next day their beds would be empty and they were never mentioned again. I have found that like myself, many people love the experience of going back to Egypt, although many things have changed there is still a lot of memorabilia there and recollections of times gone by come flooding back. It’s very emotional to visit the cemeteries and see the many graves of 18 to 20 year-olds buried there”.

At its peak, the Canal Zone area ‘emergency’ saw 800,000 servicemen and women drafted in to patrol the region, which came under attack from the Egyptian Government

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after it went back on a treaty that stated British troops could retain a military base there until 1956.
cameronia cinema
Cameronia Cinema

shops in old fayid
Shops in Old Fayid

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More shops in Old Fayid


Mr Avison, President of 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 onto Cyprus.

These days, Alf is a father of two and grandfather of nine with two great-grandchildren.  To date he has helped to organise more than 30 of these trips to Egypt and he isn't ready to quit yet, so if you would like to make one of these trips but have never fancied the idea of going by yourself, then why not get in touch with Alf!

For those who can not make the trips but wish to see the graves where their loved ones are buried, Alf also offers his services to photograph the graves and pass them onto their relatives.

Any ex-servicemen or relatives interested in taking part in of one of these trips can find out more by emailing Alf directly at: or writing to Alf at the following address:

Alf Avison
(President) Middle East Land Forces Association,
P.O. Box 99,
PE11 9NS

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Cameronia Cinema as it is today

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Photo's supplied by Alf Avison      

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