In Town Today
Terry and Inez Covell
By Margaret Sheard….
I met Terry Covell for the first time in November last year when he came with other British Army ex-servicemen to attend the Remembrance Day event in Kyrenia. Terry now keeps in touch with other Suffolk Regiment “old boys” and attends their reunions and also the Minden Day events. I have written extensively about the Suffolk Regiment which started with the Memories of a British ex-serviceman in Cyprus, written by Derek Chilvers and myself (see link at the end of this article) and this led to other articles of some of the lads from ‘C’ Company of the Suffolks and their very successful “Old Boys” Reunions. Terry was attached to ‘B’ Company and did his National Service at Kykko Camp, although he did not know any of the current ‘C’ Company lads while he was there. It was discovering the article on the internet which Derek and I wrote that he decided to make contact with them and so another Cyprus ex-serviceman joined their group in the UK.
Initial training was at Bury St Edmunds and Terry was the only one from his area so he never met up with anyone when he went home on leave. He used to hitch-hike home and Inez would drive him back. I have started to wonder where all the ‘B’ Company lads are now, do they have reunions of the lads who served in the Suffolk Regiment ’B’ Company in Cyprus?
Terry and his wife Inez have been coming to Cyprus on holiday since 1969 and always find it so relaxing and peaceful. This time they had come for 2½ weeks and were staying in a cottage in Bellapais so we arranged to have lunch together and we collected them and made our way to Rafters Restaurant, our local hostelry, for a traditional Sunday Lunch where they met the very popular owner, Abbas. We lingered over our lunch in the patio area at the rear of the restaurant and I had an opportunity of chatting and finding out a bit more about them.
Terry is from Denver, a village near Downham Market in Norfolk and Inez was originally from Downham Market but the family moved to Denver where her father had a garage – A.T. Johnson Garage, so she knew Terry from an early age and remembers he used to call at the garage sometimes around 7.30am for petrol, in those days there was a cable over which vehicles drove which signalled their entrance with the sound of a bell, and Inez would have to go out and serve petrol still feeling very sleepy. Terry and Inez were married in 1960 when Terry returned from Cyprus after completing his National Service and they have now been married for 55 years and have 1 son and 2 daughters.
I prompted Terry to recall some of his memories of Cyprus and he said some of his duties included Camp K (Kokkinotrimithia) which was a Detention Camp for Greek Cypriots, he also did patrols in the Peristerona and Orounda areas where there was an electric power station. Terry also remembers one incident when some of his colleagues were sent to the Arms Store, where he was working, to clean rifles and guns, one of the lads managed to pull the trigger of a pistol and it went off, the bullet went through the partition and landed on the Company Sergeant Major’s desk, who naturally was not amused, and the officer in charge was severely reprimanded for allowing loaded weapons into the store. Of course this could have had a disastrous outcome so everyone was lucky that day.
We had a little tour around the area and showed Terry and Inez the location of Five Finger Bungalows in Ozankoy, as they had been interested in finding the complex the day before with no success. Chris took them in to meet the owner, Arif Kayımoğlu, who showed them a photograph of his grandfather sitting with a UN officer outside the family coffee shop in the centre of the village at a time when there were still problems.
We took Terry and Inez back to Bellapais after a very enjoyable afternoon and this time took them along the back road which runs parallel with the Crusader Way, a route Terry said he would not have ventured along. We look forward to meeting up with Terry again if he is able to attend the Remembrance event in Kyrenia again this year, when hopefully I can arrange another trip to Wayne’s Keep during the time he is here.
British Army Memories in Cyprus – 1958/59 click here