Aden and The Persian Gulf
The advance party of the Irish Hussars flew to Aden on the 9th of October, and an element of that party flew on to Sharjah in the Persian Gulf, where ‘A’ Squadron was to operate under the direct command of Land Forces Persian Gulf.
On the 25th of October, the main party embarked at Southampton in the S.S. Oxfordshire and set sail for the new adventure. The Oxfordshire was a comfortable ship, the days passed quickly and the barren rocks of Aden were soon in sight.
They disembarked on 27th November less ‘A’ Squadron, whose main party sailed on to Sharjah.
Regimental Headquarters and one sabre squadron was stationed at Little Aden, twenty miles from Aden.
On loan from British Petroleum and probably the most comfortable in that part of the world, the accommodation was hutted buildings that had once housed the construction workers of the nearby BP refinery, the security and safety of which became one of the responsibilities of Lt Col Tim Pierson, as Commandant of Little Aden.
The main task of the squadron at Little Aden was support for the Federal Regular Army’s outposts on the Yemen border.
With a dissident movement in Yemen always trying to create trouble and a natural inclination to quarrelling among the tribes of the Protectorates, the FRA kept a battalion at Dhala, Mukeiras and Ataq, with an Irish Hussar troop under command.
At Sharjah was one Squadron in support of the Trucial Oman Scouts in a territory that stretched through the sultanate of Muscat and Omen to the Arabian Sean, where ‘patrolling’ meant trips of ten days covering 1500 miles. The troops of the squadron patrolled extensively, each doing an attachment in the northern part of the Trucial States and in Oman.
The third Squadron was stationed in Aden, its main task being internal security and general support of HQMELF.
The squadrons were rotated to get the experience of the widely varying duties in the different locations.
Despite the continuous rumblings of discontent and national aspiration that were to lead to the granting by the British Government of independence to Aden in 1968, the Irish Hussar’s year in the Colony, its adjacent wadis and jebels and in the sands of Sharjah, drew peacefully to a close.
The General Service Medal (GSM) 1962-2007 is awarded to army, RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who meet the qualifying criteria for service in any of the following geographical areas:
Borneo, Cyprus, Radfan, South Arabia, Malay Peninsula, Northern Ireland, Dhofar, Lebanon, Gulf, Kuwait and North Iraq/South Turkey.
- Cyprus 1963-64
- South Arabia
- Malay Peninsula
- Northern Ireland
- North Iraq and South Turkey