The Ministry of Defence and The Royal British Legion have hosted a national event at the National Memorial Arboretum to mark 60 years since the ceasefire was announced in the Suez Canal Zone, Egypt…

The event was attended by many surviving veterans, Defence Minister Earl Howe and senior representatives of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

The service was led by The Venerable Jonathan Chaffey QHC, Chaplain-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force. During the service prayers were said in remembrance of the 450 British military casualties in the Suez Canal Zone from 1951 to 1956. The service and losses of former Colonial forces, including British East Africa (now Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), Mauritius, The Seychelles and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), were also honoured.

The service took place in the Arboretum’s Millennium Chapel and was followed by a procession, led by the Royal Signals Band and The Royal British Legion standard bearers, to the Suez Memorial where wreaths were laid.

Defence Minister Earl Howe said: "The deployment of British and Commonwealth forces to Suez is a significant part of our history, today’s event allowed us to remember those that were killed or injured in the operation whilst also giving us an opportunity to say thank you to those that served and reflect on the lessons learnt.Remembrance is an important time for the Armed Forces and the nation to come together to remember the sacrifices of those that have served in combat operations."

Lieutenant Colonel Colin Kemp, Trustee of The Royal British Legion, said: "It is crucial that we never forget the selfless sacrifice of those who serve, and work to preserve their memory in perpetuity. This was a fitting commemoration for this important anniversary. During the five-year conflict in the Suez Canal Zone our Armed Forces suffered a significant loss of life, with many veterans and their families requiring support long after the British withdrawal."