Everything and Anything

Family History

Derek in EgyptI’m not going down my dads path, who ensured our childhood weekends out consisted of visiting graveyards, but I’ve recently found out a bit about my grandad. Not only was he a railwayman, but he was in the national service, in Railway Squadron, serving in Egypt, in 1949. There he is, pictured to the left, at what I believe is Adabiya Docks, in Egypt.

He was admitted for National Service in 1947, only two years after the war. Had he been born two years earlier, I might not be here today.

He was sent to the Royal Engineers, 10 Railway Squadron, which according to the internet, was based in Suez. I presume building and maintenance of the railways surrounding the then join UK/French Suez canal would have been the primary reason for them to be there. 10 Railway Squadron was later re-organised into 10 Transportation Squadron, and was sent to Singapore in 1956, long after his national service time was up.

Details As previously written, me and my brother were installing lights in the attic. To facilitate this, the attic had to be emptied. So, down came old boxes, some unopened since they were closed, in some cases many years. This box was falling apart, so we were moving the contents to an empty shoebox when we spotted an old Army Service book. Inside was the above photo. I’ve taken photos of some of the pages.

In civilian life, he was a Steam locomotive fireman, and then a guard, and trainee Diesel driver during the 70’s. I know from more of these document that he was a part of the representatives from Croes Newydd depot in Wrexham during the meeting to discuss it’s closure. The main problem seemed to be that Croes Newydd was a fully staffed, full time depot, and Chester, where the work would be shifted to, was not, and the staff wanted to know why the reverse was not taking place.

I found two further photos in the same box – One of an army camp in the desert, and another of a group, I have identified my Granddad as the leftmost person one in the front row in the below photo. The group of documents and photos I have been digitising can be found here, on my flickr account.
Training Photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.