Can you help?

John Jay writes:

I am trying to make contact with the family of the late John Lawrence.

The reason is that my late father, Alec Jay, was in a prisoner of war working party with him in early 1944 and they were involved in organising a strike against bad conditions along with an Australian called Bill McGuinness.

I am trying to put together details of my father’s POW experiences and it is possible that Private Lawrence’s family may have information that might help me. I have purchased John Lawrence’s book, A POW’s Story, which may contain useful information but the family may have further details that may be helpful.

John can be contacted by e-mail at or by phone on 07836 621930.

Sarrah Feldman writes:

I don’t know whether you will be able to help me, I might be totally grasping at straws but this is my story….

In 1951/52 my father Lt. Col. Richard Basset, was serving with The Rifle Brigade (now the Royal Green Jackets) in Egypt. When families were permitted to go my mother, accompanied by myself and my brother went to join my father. We were living in what used to be an Italian prisoner of war camp, which was renamed Kensington Village! I was two years old when I got ill and was admitted to the nearest army hospital, it turned out that I had typhoid, I was quarantined for several weeks and my mother was not allowed to see me.

Because the hospital was short staffed I was looked after by a soldier, who was himself recovering from typhoid, called Frankie. My mother tells me he came from Brighton and she thinks he was serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment. When eventually my mother was allowed to see me she tells me that I just started crying and calling for Frankie! Although I was too young to remember this story after, much re-telling over the years, has become part of my childhood.

I know it’s a long shot and the information I have is extremely scanty but I would very much like to try and find Frankie.

I would appreciate any help you might be able to give me in my search.

Sarrah can be contacted at:

Karen O’Brien writes:

I am researching my Dad’s military career. He served with the 1st battalion in Suez. He was there from 1949-53. His name was John ‘Pat’ O’Brien & he was a Colour Sergeant.

I am trying to find anyone that remembers him, as although I know he served in Suez & Jordan, I know nothing about what he did there. I have an album with many photos & names.

I am very keen to contact a Jerry ‘Darkie’ Webb, who I’m told is still around, but did not have any contact details for him. I have several photos of him & his wife, with my parents, so I assume they were friends.

Sadly, my dad passed away in 1978, very unexpectedly. I have applied for the GSM Canal Zone on his behalf.

Karen can be contacted by e-mail at:

Michael de Gruchy writes:

On behalf of a friend, I’m attempting to contact Michael Howlett Johnson, of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

He enlisted around 1957 and was a captain in the regiment in 1962.

He also served with the 1st bn Ghana Regiment in the 1960s.

If you have any information please send it to the following e-mail address or forward the address to Mr Johnson so he may respond.

Terry Harwood writes:

I am wondering, is there anyone out there who served in the 1st battalion in the Suez in 1951 – 1953.

I was in B Company Royal Sussex. MELF 16, and would like to hear from anyone who was out there at that time.

I would also like to know if anyone has received the medal that they were promised.

If they have received it I would like to know how I would go about receiving mine as I would like to show my grandchildren.

Terry can be contacted at via our e-mail address.

Dennis Verlander writes:

I am trying to contact members of The Royal Sussex Regiment who visited “Petra” whilst stationed at Aqaba,50/51 I was attached with the 4th Royal Tank Regiment.

Dennis can be contacted by e-mail at: