175 IWT Sqn was a London based unit and the majority of the Sqn worked for Tate & Lyle in one way or another. The Skipper of 4085 (HMS GLAYVA) was a tug skipper on the Thames and hauled barges for T&L. As can be imagined we were not short of sugar or Golden Syrup on board.
At the time of the Suez crisis I was in Perham Down and had been seconded to the CRE with the task of re-wiring the tank hangers. All the tanks were being painted in desert cam. and out of the blue I was told to pack my kit, get into full FSMO and report to 17 Port Regt. who would xfer me to LCT 4085 which was my posting.(Note. I had just been busted from LCpl) I was taken from the camp to the port in a 15cwt and on arrival at the foot of the gangplank I was greeted by a WO2 with the words "Who the hell are you"? Spr Bernard I replied Electrician A2. F**** Spr. you should be a Sgt for this job. Get on board and put two stripes up as I can not promote you to acting Sgt. Suez was over before it started but the AER boys were not immediately released. We took 4085 (with no ballast) up to London and tied up at tower Pier for a few days. We had a ministerial visit to listen to the grievances of the guys who had gone from a good wage to Army pay and were having financial probs. On return to Marchwood the 175 guys were demobed and those from 17 Port Regt returned to their unit. Those of us who had been posted in as emergency cover were now left on board in command of our LCT’s. A few weeks passed then we were told to hand the craft over to the RCT and we Sappers were to become surplus to establishment in 17 Port Regt RE.