Seventeen miles round of barbed wire,
With mines, searchlights and guns to fire
Tel-el-Kebir, our sandy resort,
Otherwise known as ‘Tek’ for short.
Two Base Workshop almost in the middle,
Where exactly is still a riddle.
That’s where you may have seen me,
Playing football for the R.E.M.E.
Think of mates, Lofty and Mo,
Where they are now I just don’t know.
Do you remember Eskimo Nell,
And Queen Farida we would yell.
And, in the middle of all this sand,
Ivy Benson and her Girl band.
Joyce Grenfell came and Donald Peers,
He crooned his way thru’ all the jeers.
Cinema under starlit skies,
Being pestered by those bloody flies.
Not to mention in your bed at night,
Mozzies, bugs and things that bite.
Were you on the Big Parade in ’53,
When Queen was crowned now that’s history.
Marlish, Ala-Keefick and Shufti,
Seemed English like Del Boy’s ‘Cushti’.
Bromide in the tea’s been laced,
And poms unmixed; loved the taste.
Sand to clean your plate, knife and fork,
But keep an eye on the Shite Hawk.
Then thru’out all this fun,
Neguib called Egyptians to the gun.
News of other Squaddies,
Going home but just as bodies.
Explosions and gun fire on the border,
Increase guard duties that’s the order.
Can’t believe they stole a Scammel,
How’d they get it out, was it pulled by a camel.
Armed grey taxi became well known,
Ration trucks in pairs and not alone.
Did you see one of our pranks?
Lorries went out, came back disguised as tanks.
But thru’ all this toil and strife,
Laughter was our way of life.
So memories of ‘TEK ’ are not bitter,
Of days when we were fitter.

(Terry Murphy)

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