Category Archives: Aden Protectorates

Lines in the sand – epilogue

Northern Mahra, Yemen, 1964 The Shackleton was the Brits’ ultimate weapon, and they really hated having to employ it. Its arrival signalled Aden’s belated recognition that we had a major problem on our collective hands – not this particular little … Continue reading

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Lines in the sand – day three

Northern Mahra, Yemen, 1964 The sun was climbing behind a bank of low clouds. Our soldiers were huddling about their fires, shivering in the chill wind and checking and rechecking their equipment. I dressed hurriedly, then stepped over to our … Continue reading

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Lines in the sand – day two

Northern Mahra, Yemen, 1964 Dawn next day was a bleary affair. A sand-laden wind moaned among the tent ropes and the tents bucked and heaved. We sat in the bleached dawn sunlight after a breakfast of eggs, chips and sand, … Continue reading

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Lines in the sand – day one

Northern Mahra, Yemen, 1964 Prologue A landscape of desiccated plains – cliff and gully country rising to the gypsum monoliths of Jebel Habshiya – northern Mahra was barren, rocky and useless. It was hard to cross and easy to defend. … Continue reading

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The men who came to dinner

Seiyun, Yemen, 1962 Clean-shaven and plump, Hussein Bin Ali Mansur Al Kathiri – the Sultan of Kathiri – was in his mid-40s. A pleasant, rather ordinary-looking man, he was often seen strolling about in the town, or even having coffee … Continue reading

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Dino and Maureen

Aden, 1963 I bought my first car — ever — in Aden, in 1962. It was a brand-new Ford Zephyr. The car I actually wanted — a Ford Zodiac (big brother to the Zephyr) – was temporarily out of stock … Continue reading

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The fair sex – or lack thereof

Aden, Yemen, 1963 Girls were in short supply in Aden. Hardly surprising since it was essentially a military base in an uncompromisingly awful place, but there it was. If there were any local (Arab) prostitutes – and I’m sure there … Continue reading

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