MEDAL FOR SERVICE IN THE SUEZ CANAL ZONE
16th OCTOBER 1951 to 19th OCTOBER 1954
1. As announced by the Prime Minister on 11th June 2003, the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals has had under consideration the case for recognition of service in the Suez Canal Zone betwteen 1951 and 1954, with special regard to the hardships and dangers which accompanied duty there.
2. Their recommendations have been duly submitted to The Queen who has graciously approved the award of the Naval General Service Medal, instituted in 1915, and the General Service Medal (Army and Royal Air Force), instituted in 1918, with clasp 'Canal Zone' for specified service as described below. The qualifying criteria have been published in a Command Paper which has been seen and approved by The Queen and laid before Parliament. Medals can now be issued by the Ministry of Defence's medal offices. Applications from veterans and their families are welcomed at the addresses detailed below. All claims will be checked against official records held by the department to confirm eligibility to the medal, or as instructed by the individual medal office.
3. The following categories of personnel will be eligible for the award of the appropriate general Service Medal with clasp:
a) Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force personnel and equivalent Reserve Forces based in the Suez Canal Zone (described at Schedule 1)
b) civilians who served full time with the Royal Navy, Army or Royal Air Force during the qualifying period provided that they wore the approved uniform of their organisation. (see Schedule 2)
c) military personnel of Commonwealth or Colonial forces, subject to the approval of their respective governments.
d) persons of foreign nationality properly enlisted or enrolled in any of the qualifying categories described above.
4. Qualifying service for each of these categories will be 30 (thirty) days or more continuous service in the Suez Canal Zone between 16 October 1051 and 19 October 1954.
5. Service at sea will not count towards the qualifying period. Nor will time spent in the Suez canal Zone on official visits, inspections etc by personnel based elsewhere.
6. If qualifying service was brought to an end before the completion of the specified qualification period on account of death, wounding or other disability due to operational service, the reduced period of service will be sufficient qualification for the award of the appropriate General Service Medal with Clasp. The grant of a British Honour, Decoration or Medal of the status of the British Empire Medal or above, or a Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, for service in the Suez canal Zone between 16 October 1951 and 19 October 1954 will also qualify the recipient for the appropriate General Service Medal with Clasp.
7. The award of the Medals and Clasps will be made as soon as possible to qualified applicants. Veterans of the Canal Zone, or the next of kin of those who have died, will need to apply in writing to the appropriate medal office, giving full name, date of birth and Service number. the next of kin of those who served will be required to supply supporting documentation. The addresses of the medal offices are as follows:
Royal Naval Medal Office, Room 1068, Centurion Building, Grange Road, Gosport, Hants PO13 9XA
Royal Marines Medal Office, Room 038, Centurion Building, Grange Rd, Gosport, Hants PO13 9XA
Army Medal Office, Government Buildings, Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, Worcs. WR9 8AU
Royal Air Force Medal Office, Rm 6, Blding 248A, RAF PMA, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester GL3 1EZ
8. In common with other campaign medals, all applications will be dealt with strictly in the order that they are received. Claims will be acknowledged on receipt, and medals will be issued as quickly as possible.
Geographical boundaries of the Suez Canal Zone
Northern boundary: The northern boundary of the area is the Mediterranean coast at Port Said between 32° 15' E and 32° 20' E.
Western boundary: This follows the urban boundary of Port Said, then southwards to El-Tina forming a narrow corridor along the western Canal bank. This corridor is approximately one mile wide at most points but incorporates the 'Treaty' and 'Canal' roads and all camps along these routes.
The boundary then follows the 'Erskine line' running directly west from El-Tina to the Bar el Baqar Drain and then SW along this Drain Diversion to the edge of the cultivated area of the Nile Delta (near Faqus) continuing as far as El Tawila. From there it runs south to El Abbasa between El Qurein and El Isdiya. From El Abbasa the boundary runs south by east to El Ribeiqi then due south to the 30th parallel.
Southern boundary: The southern boundary runs east along the 30th parallel to the edge of the Gebel Ataqa and along the line of the escarpment to Ras Umm Mughera. It then follows the coastline northward through Ras el Adabya and Suez to Port Taufiq.
Eastern boundary: From Port Taufi the boundary floows the line of the eastern bank of the Canal to the urban boundary of Port Fouad on the Mediterranean coast. This boundary incorporates installations along the east bank including the Marines quarantine station near Port Taufiq and the transit camp at Port Fouad.
Civilian Units which served in the Suez Canal Zone
A full list of those civilian units which served in the Suez Canal Zone between 1951 and 1954 is no longer available. The following bodies may have been involved:
Members of other similar bodies which provided full time service in support of the Armed Forces in the Canal Zone during the relevant period will also be eligible for the medal (provided that they wore the approved uniform of the organisation concerned). They, or their next of kin, should submit supporting documentation when they apply for the medal, including evidence of the membership of the organisation and proof of their service in the Canal Zone between the dates specified in the Command Paper and detailed above.
Applications should be submitted as appropriate to:
Civilian Honours Unit, Room 464, St Giles Court, 1-13 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LD
Royal Fleet Auxillary Medal Centre, SO3 RFA CS1A, Room F11, Lancelot Building, PP29 HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3NH
Back to Previous Page
Back to Main Page