Information received from his daughter Anne Chapman
Charlie Served with the Royal Army Service Corps; service number:
Charlie Ruthven was first deployed to Durban in South Africa, then on to Alexandria, Moascar and Cairo in Egypt, Baghdad in Iraq, Syria, Transjordan and India.
The “safe conduct certificate” was given to Anne’s son by Charlie’s friend Eric when James visited him in Leicester. They were dropped over enemy lines and some forward British troops picked them up and were told if faced by the enemy to wave the paper and make sure they did not use their gun.
Charlie was employed constructing ‘Bailey’ bridges. By 1945 these were deemed inferior to the American ‘pontoon’ bridge which did not take so long to build. Charlie was saved from re-training on these new bridges by the conclusion of the war.
Tel-el-Kebir in WW2 was a site for the Eighth Army vehicle park, a military hospital and a large ordnance depot, with many electrical and mechanical repair workshops including the RAOC Base Vehicle Depot Tel-el-Kebir, BVD(E).
Helwan is a district of Greater Cairo situated on the Nile opposite the ruins of Memphis.
A selection of photographs sent to Charlie by his two children John and Anne and some recording his time in Africa and the Middle East can be seen in the photograph section.