Wireless log of morning of Friday, 25th January 1952; the wireless set was on the grass running down to the Sweetwater Canal, at the bridge outside Bn HQ 1st East Lancashire Regt. Lt-Col Jones ordered the log so that he could know what was going on. He was watching the Caracol. See aerial photo of Ismailia the times are nearly all approximate as I had no watch,


Air OP - a spotter plane overhead, a Westland Lysander, I..think
Bureau Sanitaire - the secondary police station
LF - the lst Lancashire Fusiliers
Acorn - signal code for intelligence officer
Caracol - the main police station
Seagull - signal code for second in command
Royals - the Royal Dragoons
Auxiliaries - auxiliary Egyptian police, mostly without uniforms and not disciplined.
3 Para - the 3rd Parachute Regiment
Arashiya - an Arab quarter of Ismailia
Sunray - signal code for commander
FS - Field Security
41 Fd Rgt - 41 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Colonel Malik - the Egyptian Army liaison officer with the British

Page 1

0637 6 police on firing position on roof (Air OP)
0640 Commander reports owing to lack of officers in Caracol he will probably have to use force (Comdr Rover)

0645 No one on roof. Police skulking under trees in rear (Air OP)

0649 Lot (8) of police on Bureau Sanitaire armed with rifles (Air OP)
0655 LFs received above message (verified receipt)(1LF)
0658 (20) police on North building of Bureau Sanitaire except for 1 on South building (Air OP)

0700 SW corner of North building of BS defended position of oil drums with 10 police on ground (Air OP)

0705 Police on roof of bureau Sanitaire appear to be drawing ammunition

0707 3 riflemen on South end of bureau Sanitaire (Air OP)

0709 Police taking up positions around Bureau Sanitaire on ground (Control to lLF and CMDR ROVER)
0715 Inform Acorn very fat officer wearing Khaki SD on roof of Bureau Sanitaire (Air OP)
Approx times

Page 2
0713 Vehicle fired on from roof of BS (?)

0715 (Exact time) Battle going on in bureau Sanitaire (control to 1LF')

0718 NW side of BS. Police collected. Only 10 on East side (Air OP)

0723 Battle still in progress (control to 1LF)

0726 Malik with Egyptian general. Egyptian general refuses to leave house until firing ceases. Caracol ordered to cease firing and to hang out white flag. Egyptian general will then go down to caracol (1LF)

0727 caracol surrounded. Officers keep arriving. ordered to get wogs out. No success. Comdr not anxious to open fire. Hopes wogs see sense, BS certain firing. Round of blank fired. All fired back. general shooting. wants to have 0726 message verified. Verified by seagull. Sounds promising. Remaining outside caracol. (From commdr)

0747 Almost all police have left roof of BS . Only 5 or 6 and 1 or 2 bodies on roof now (Air OP)

Page 3

0748 Situation status quo. Not anxious to blow place down, awaiting major-general. Then if fire from BS will try to get maj-general to BS (Commdr

0749 Eg general does not intend to get police out (seagull)

0750 Arms and thugs hidden in Stelio's Gardens in rear of cordon. Rue Abbas Makim (1 E Lan R)

Page 4

0753 (Exact Am of opinion must blow place down. Can I wait for few hours to get sense out of general (Comdr)

0754 ----i. Tell police they have acted honourably and come out.
----------ii. Use fire engine hoses. (Seagull to Bde Comdr)

0755 Follow up first suggestion in Bureau Sanitaire. (Comdr) and Caracol. (Comdr to Seagull)

0800 Our people have stopped firing at Sanitaire Bureau (B Sqdn Royals)

Page 4 continued

0813 Malik says he has reached complete impasse. In that case tell General his Caracol will be severely damaged. Lives on his head, (Seagull to Comdr) Big Sunray says good thing if regular police could come out with arms. NOT auxiliaries. Pass to Malik. (Bde Comdr to Seagull)

0824 Malik told general. General will concert officers in Caracol to see if accept these terms. Is doubtful if they wall. (Seagull to comdr)

Page 5

0835 Armed wogs running west to East in Arab Town outside cordon area of 1 E Lan R. 1 E Lan R is engaging them. only few of them. That is the sniping you can hear. (Control to Comdr)

0845 Sitrep from 3 Para

1 No of pers in cage A Army Lg 4
B 1 officer 36 OR railway police
C 26 OH army police (other? police)
2 Police cas 1OR shot dead. N side of railway.
3 Own cas 1 OR wounded
4 Arms and ammo impounded. 60 assorted rifles
1.38 revolver
small amount of var ammo.
Law and order maintained in Arashiya. (3 Para to Seagull)

0851 Still parleying with Caracol. Think things look like Happening. (Comdr to Seagull)

Page 6

0935 Seagull to set. Sunray what is position about army (Egyptian)
Seagull 1 shot fired from Egyptian camp killed 1 LF, Camp covered. Normal activity among Egyptians. Comd Make point clear to Big Sunray, Warn Douglas to be prepared. Have no success at Caracol. Am opening with 2 pounders. Tanks will return fire with Beca. (From Comdr to Seagull)
Seagull 2 dead 3 wounded our casualties.

0940 Don't endanger lives unnecessarily. (Seagull to 1LF)

Page 6 continued

0945 Seagull to Sunray Ask Sunray to call me.

0955 3 ORs killed 5 wounded - 4ORs., 1 officer (From 1 LF)

0957 2 police officers brought in by sub units. Found hiding in cupboard in Hotel Ismailia. 1 officer believed holding rank of colonel. (From 3 Para)

Page 7

1000 hrs Seagull on set Called to ask whether Caracol is to go in.
Comdr Caracol has gone in. Seagull, Pause after softeningup. Another broadcast now to Police. (Seagull to Bde Comdr)

1001 Ambulance to French Square. (1LF)

1007 Further ambulance sent to French Square (to 1LF)

1009 Confirm report that bureau S. has surrendered (To 1 LF) we confirm that (1 LF)

1010 Do you require FS team now? (To 1LF)

(1012 Se Liaison officer to set (D15) Cancelled. CROSSED OUT IN ORIGINAL

1014 (I,0, on set)

Seagull will you confirm that Caracol has surrendered. Do you want FS? Sunray No. Caracol has shown no sign of surrendering. Unconfirmed reports that BS has surrendered. Report about Caracol is quite incorrect.

Page 8

1014 Sunray what is true posn at bureau sanitaire? (To Seagull)

1015 1 LF' Sunray to set`, ( on other net)

1022 Seagull to set. Sunray Rumour of surrender in BS is incorrect. Ascertain number are now coming out hands up (acc to armd car cmdr) Tonight 1 want to relieve LFs. If possible I would like another unit to take over.
Seagull Cas to LF 7 wounded, 3 killed.

1030 IO to set,. Seagull, Tell sunray or IO to call me,

1032 Seagull Agreed that our 2nd bn be made available this evening. Had report from Caracol that police want ambulance for wounded, unwilling to surrender. Seagull Ambulance not to be sent until surrender,

Page 9

1046 Small parties coming out of BS (From 1LF) FS to be sent

1047 1 or 2 police on top of BS (Air OP)

1050 Seagull All police will now be considered POW None to be evacuated
Sunray Heard rumours that 200 people surrendered in BS
Seagull Small parties coming out now.

1050 Party of police being marched towards French Square (Air OP)

1055 We are now in French Square ( Comdr)

1056 At Caracol by green bus is deep pit which contains 6 police. Pit leads to door underground (Air OP)

1057 FS men have been sent (To 1LF)

Page 10

1103 I think BS is finished. Large crowds have surrendered (200 or 300 and more coming in) Get transport to move them.
Seagull 41 Fd Rt are providing transport (Sunray to Seagull)

1106 Will you arrange for transport to move prisoners now. Arrange through gunner rep. (Control to 1LF)

1115 We have 2 Egyptian Red X officials who want to pass cordon. Can they pass (3 Para)

1120 Who are these officials? If doctors, yes. if not lot me know who they are. (Control to 3 Para)

1122 Still one or two people being winkled out of BS (Air OP)

1125 Are these officials doctors? (Control)
..........No they are not doctors. They call themselves Red X officials (3 Para)

1127 Use initiative. If part of ambulance let them through. (Control to 3 Para) Search them.

Page 11

1130 Egyptian POW being taken away. App. no. 400 (1LF to Control)

page 11 continued

1134 Sunray Is malik with you?
..........Seagull No. Not for 3 hrs. probably on bridge.
..........Sunray Want him urgently. (Sunray to Seagull)

1137 Please confirm whether Egyptian ambulances can collect wounded from BS (Control to 1LF)

1141 Egypt. Ambulance will be let through if OK with Sunray (1LF to Control)

1143 Egypt. Ambulances will come through your cordons after searching. When return, check wounded number (To 1LF and 1 E Lan R)

1145 Malik is not on bridge. May be in HQ in Moascar. Phone him (Seagull to Control)

1146 Have you received supplies of Tear gas? (Control to 1LF)

Page 12

1155 Malik, Egyptian Army off. Also member of Egyptian Red Crescent, have gone through barrier into Ismailia looking for ambulances (1 E Lan R to Control)

1200 Everyone to look for Colonel Malik. He is to be told to report to
Sunray, Urgent,

1215 Coming out of Caracol surrendering now ( B Sqd Royals to Control)

1217 21 elderly people come out so far, Elderly sergeant type. (B Sqd Royals)

1220 Ask your Sunray to report this location straight away (Control to 3 Para)

1223 Police officer just come out of Caracol to see Brigadier. Being sent in jeep.

1225 Sunray has left location.

1225 Contacted Colonel Mallett (B.M.Rover) ( should be Malik?)

Page 13

1230 Have you sent police captain down to this location as well an Colonel Mallett (Control to BM) (should be Malik?)

No (BM)
He is still outside Caracol (BM) He is being sent dawn.

1231 Confirm whether 400 Egyptian police have been removed? (Control to 1LF)

All except about 80 men (1LF)

1237 33 thugs and 1 women surrendered at back of Caracol now (b Sqdn Royals) 100 prisoners including police,

1239 what percentage are thugs and what % police? (Control to B Sqdn Royals)

1234 3 ORs killed.1 off. Wounded.11 OR wounded (1LF to Control)

1245 Total figure is 300 now. Taking some sorting out. Percentage follows. All from Caracol. (B Sqdn Royals )

1246 Sunray at (aracoL

Page 14 ----Bill's writing

1251 19b Check 40 police killed. 3 to 4 hundred rifles SMLE. 1000s rds .300. No. of carbines (believed Italian) (B Sqdn Royals)

1254 19B 400 From Caracol- Gellabiahs, greatcoats, uniforms. Impossible to say which are police. (B Sqdn Royals)

1300 Netting call.

1315 Proceed to Ferry Pt, and check report that there are 6 Egyptian tanks on other side. (To Air OP)

1320 NO tanks, but there are 6 armoured cars, directly opposite Ferry Pt. (From Air OP)

1323 Sunray. Like to confirm that LFs reserve coy are going through
lsmailia picking up odd policeman. Pass general warning - NO looting. (Sunray to Seagull)

Page 14 continued

1324 Reserve coy go through Ismailia mopping up police. No looting. (Seagull to 1LF)

Page 15

1325 Send 3 3ton vehicles to collect arms and ammo from Bureau Sanitaire (1LF to Control)

1326 Sunray. Police officers from Caracol are to be sent to Timsah leave camp. See they are secure and well fed. (Sunray to Seagull)

(1333) Sunray requires a packet of cigarettes at Caracol, ) Crossed out in original.

1340 5 3tonners will be at BS at 1400hrs. (Control to 1LF)

1345 May this unit stand down? (Sapper to Control)

Yes. Except for small recce party. (Control to sapper)

1350 36 dead, 60 wounded,557 rifles captured at Bureau Sanitaire. (B Sqdn Royals to Control.)

1352 fr DI Sweep of this area begins 1415 (1LFs to Control)

Bill's writing.

Citation of No 14049945 Cpl (acting Sgt) Henry Foster
The Lancashire Fusiliers

Sgt Foster was platoon sergeant of 8 platoon of C Company on the morning of 25th January 1952. At about 0900 hours his platoon was ordered to enter the courtyard of the Egyptian Police Barracks in the Bureau Sanitaire, Ismalia and to clear the left wing of the building. The Egyptian Police were covering the courtyard with heavy rifle fire, and in the first five minutes of the action Sgt Foster received a bullet wound in his right upper arm. He ignored this and carried on. The platoon was held up about half way across the courtyard and Sgt Foster moved about in the open putting LMG's into fire positions and encouraging his men. About five minutes later he was again hit in the leg but ignored this wound and remained at his post. Under cover of MG fire from the tanks in support the platoon managed to reach the building and gain lodgement. Resistance was strong, and Sgt Foster led a party throwing grenades. Shortly after this, and about half an hour after receiving his first wound, he was again hit by a rifle bullet in the leg this time severely. Although in great pain, he refused assistance - he was only evacuated on the direct order
of his platoon commander.

Throughout the action Sgt Foster had shown complete disregard for his own safety and his gallantry and good leadership were an example to all ranks of his company.