BP Aden Kids

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Sappers in Aden

Though I was just kid then, my Dad Maurice Cannaby was Royal Engineers. I can remember quite a bit, we lived in little Aden, I can the remember the Crater incidents and when the BP oil refinery was bombed, all hell broke loose that night, the blast knocked us out of bed and lit the night so brightly.
Shortly after that we then moved to FALAISE.
I have some of Dads film and photos somewhere.
one of the most moving memories was Silent Valley.

As I can remember we were on the last families air plane out of Aden.

Email: m.cannaby@tiscali.co.uk

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Mike
I remember the pipe line bombing in Little Aden. The sirens going off and my father having to go and help fight the fire. After that the pipe lines to the jetty were patrolled I wonder where in Little Aden you were living. I am always looking for pictures for this web site. if you wish to share them please let me know.
Regards

Jonathan Wilkins

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Jonathan
I think Mike was refering to the two tanks that were blown up in the refinery itself, my Dad helped to fight the fires which burned all night and into the next day! I remember both pipeline bombings, the first of which I attended with my Dad, I remember my uniform being covered in the ox blood used to create foam and my bondu boots sticking to the pipeline as they were roasting hot, so was I come to think of it, I can still smell the stink of ox blood to this day!
Regards
Roddy

Email: wade@sky.com

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Roddy,
Interesting times we lived through.I can still remember the sirens sounding like something from WW2. I think very shortly after this we had wire mesh put over the patios to avoid grenade attacks. We lived next to the Pink House and that was targeted on two occasions with grenades. No injuries or damages just a loud bang. Quite exciting when your 11 years of age.
Hani Bassel sent in a copy of Jottings 19th May 1966 which shows the bomb damaged tanks.
Best wishes
Jonathan W

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Jonathan,

I'm scratching my head here. What was the Pink House?

Cathy

Email: cathyconcorde@btinternet.com

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Cathy,
The Pink House was a two story block of flats used to house military personnel and their families in Ghadir.It was situated by the clinic at the end of the road close to the National and Grindlays bank and Spinneys. It was always painted a ghastly shade of pink.

Jonathan W

Email: n606jp@comcast.net

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Jonathan,

Yes, I remember it well now that you've given me the lowdown on where it was. I had a pal who lived there that I played with.

Do you have any idea why a military house was there, as it was slighly out of the way for military families?

Cathy

Email: cathyconcorde@btinternet.com

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi, the night the tanks were blown up I can remember gun fire and rounds hitting the house. we had so many friends that were killed in Aden going through the pictures the other day brought back a lot of memories. we were on the last families fight out of Aden, as we were taking off the terrorists were mortaring the runway, as the troops pulled back to a safe area. if I can scan the pics up, I will put them up (by where ???)

Email: m.cannaby@tiscali.co.uk

Re: Sappers in Aden

Mike

If you scan the pictures please send them to me and I will include them in the site. The e-mail address is shown above. Best wishes

Jonathan Wilkins

Email: n606jp@comcast.net

Re: Sappers in Aden

Roddy

They were still using ox blood based foam in Devon Fire and Rescue Service until a few years ago and I can endorse your comments on the smell.
I once managed to spill the best part of a 25 litre drum of the stuff over myself - unloading drums from a flatbed lorry and the cap of this particular drum had not been secured.
I was given a wide berth by the rest of the watch for the remainder of the day.

Vic

Email: vpbalsdon@btinternet.com

Re: Sappers in Aden

Hi Vic
Nice to know that someone else fell foul to the dreaded oxblood aroma.
My last encounter was at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus back in 1974 whilst repositioning the awful stuff, trouble is it is so corrosive that it eats the drums after a while and whilst attempting to move them the drums just disintergrate, we too were avoided by pals just like you. God and were they ever heavy!!
Cheers old son
Roddy

Email: wade@sky.com

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