British signaller served with Signal Squadron, 16th Independent Parachute Bde in GB, Cyprus and during landings at Suez, Egypt, 1955-1957
REEL 1 Background in Edinburgh and Kemsing in GB, 1937-1955: family; acceptance of wartime situation as child in Kemsing; memories of Second World War; education and training as radio officer for Merchant Navy; Morse Code training. Aspects of enlistment and training with Royal Corps of Signals in GB, 1955: volunteering for Royal Corps of Signals, 2/1955; reception on arrival at Richmond; arrival at Gallowgate Camp; description of camp; issue of uniform; barrack life; adjusting to army life.
REEL 2 Continues: weapons training; basic nature of facilities; behaviour of instructors; daily routine and inspections; discipline; opinion of rations; lack of recreational time; passing out parade; joining 3 Training Regt at Catterick Camp; promotion to Lance Corporal; conditions at Catterick Camp in contrast to Gallowgate Camp; character of wireless training.
REEL 3 Continues: types of wireless sets used; operating 38 Wireless Set; recreational activities. Aspects of period as signaller with Signal Squadron, 16th Independent Parachute Bde in GB, 1955-1956: decision to join Signal Squadron; reception on arrival at Aldershot; pattern of pre-parachute training; description of parachute training.
REEL 4 Continues: night jump; character of signal squadron; incident of being placed on charge; reaction of girlfriend to his posting to Cyprus, 1/1956. Aspects of operations as signaller with Signal Squadron, 16th Independent Parachute Bde in Cyprus, 1956: flight from GB to Cyprus in Avro Shackelton; facilities in tented camp; visit to Nicosia prior to introduction of movement restrictions; off duty activities; leave in GB, 8/1956; move to camp on Nicosia/Kyrenia road; explosion during beach visit at Kyrenia.
REEL 5 Continues: forest fire during Operation Lucky Alphonse; accidents; question of treatment of EOKA prisoners; role as wireless operator during search operations; opinion of Austin Champ; degree of awareness of situation in Egypt; method of calling in air strikes; equipment carried during parachute drops. Recollections of operations as signaller with Signal Squadron, 16th Independent Parachute Bde during landings at Suez, Egypt, 11/1956: selection for operation; briefing; personal preparations for drop.
REEL 6 Continues: loading of aircraft for drop; equipment carried; reasons for preference for Handley Page Hastings rather than Vickers Valetta; emplaning and character of flight; description of approach to drop zone at El Gamil; parachute drop with dislodged container; landing on drop zone and making way towards rendezvous point in control tower; setting up radio set in control tower; air support received; description of Wombat recoilless rifles; shelling of control tower; sight of second drop; state of his ankle; sight of Egyptian MiG 15 attacking airfield.
REEL 7 Continues: firing Egyptian weapons; brief ceasefire; problems of keeping awake; sight of Royal Navy bombardment; volunteering to taking ammunition to forward units using jeep; move to deserted barracks on coastal road; reaction to sight of dead civilians; water supply from Fleet Air Arm on first day of landings; volunteering for potential second drop further down canal; return to Cyprus and standing by for second abortive drop; return to GB.
REEL 8 Continues: Aspects of period as NCO with Signal Squadron, 16th Independent Parachute Bde in GB, 1957: being placed on charge for misuse of vehicle over cricket match with RAF; opinion of officers; passing motorcycle licence; decision to leave army, 1957; demobilisation course; handing in equipment; return to civilian life and joining police force. Membership of El Gamil Association. Story of 16th Independent Parachute Bde receiving freedom of Aldershot. Question of recognition of military service and landing at Suez.