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Canal Zone Medal ( Heads)Union Flag

RAOC Badge

Canal Zone Medal (Tails)  

our squad in training camp Blackdown 

 It all started when I received my call up papers instructing me to report to  "RAOC Blackdown"  well I had never heard of it let alone know where it was, somewhere by Aldershot we were told, so armed with my travel chit I went to the railway station for my ticket, you will have to change stations in London, well going to London was quite an experience in itself, so on the "15th January 1953" I set off, on the train I met two other lads, on asking if they were going to the same place as myself yes was their answer so we decided to all continue the journey together (they had not been to London either, so we thought safety in numbers) we changed stations and there were hundreds of lads all going to the same place, and it was then that our lives changed for ever. From Blackdown I went to Hillsea Barracks Portsmouth it was there that I was posted to Feltham and then on to Southampton to board the Dunera bound for Egypt.

Me at Blackdown

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Gradotti 2007