Field-Marshall Viscount Montgomery on Sunday (7 May) said that the combined action of the British, French, and Israeli Governments against Egypt in 1956 was morally wrong.
Field-Marshall Viscount Montgomery on Sunday (7 May) said that the combined action of the British, French, and Israeli Governments against Egypt in 1956 was morally wrong. The 79-year-old Field-Marshal made the remark during a Press conference in El Alamein where he is revisiting the scenes of his military triumphs in 1942 against the German and Italian forces led by Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel.
Lord Montgomery referred to Suez after apparently mis-hearing a questioner who asked about Britain's policy East of Suez. The Field-Marshal -- who at the time of the Suez action was Deputy-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe -- said that in his view the action of the Governments concerned was morally wrong.
Earlier, Lord Montgomery attended a ceremony which he described as the most solemn in the pilgrimage has been making to the desert battlefields around El Alamein since his arrival in Egypt last Wednesday (3 May) for a 10-day visit.
Accompanied by members of his old Eighth Army staff, he walked down a shingled path to the Military Cemetery in which more than 7,000 men who died on the desert battlefields are buried.
On the walls of the cemetery are inscribed the names of another 12,000 men who died in other Middle-East battlefields, and whose graves are not known.
Under a fierce sun, Lord Montgomery placed a wreath of poppies near the entrance to the cemetery, which nestles in a hollow and is hidden from the nearly Mediterranean by a smaller ridge.
The inscription on the wreath -- in Lord Montgomery's own handwriting -- read: "In memory of the comrades of the Eight Army who gave their lives fighting for freedom and justice".
Lord Montgomery paid tribute to the co-operation he had received during his visit from the Egyptian Army, and added that he would not forget the wonderful reception he had received.