British Forces Aden was the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the Aden Protectorate during part of the 20th century. Their purpose was to preserve the security of the Protectorate from both internal threats and external aggression.
|Aden Command (RAF) (1928–1936)|
British Forces (in) Aden (1936–1956)
British Forces Arabian Peninsula (1956–1961)
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
British Forces Aden was originally formed as Aden Command in 1928. On its establishment, Aden Command was a Royal Air Force (RAF) command which was responsible for the control all British armed forces in the Protectorate. It was renamed British Forces in Aden, or simply British Forces Aden, in 1936 and renamed again in 1956 as British Forces Arabian Peninsula. In 1959 Middle East Command was divided into two commands split by the Suez Canal. The two parts were British Forces Arabian Peninsular, which was based at Aden, and the remnants in Cyprus which on 1 March 1961 was renamed Near East Command.
On 1 March 1961 British Forces Arabian Peninsula was renamed, again, this time as Middle East Command (Aden). The senior commanders were Air Marshal Sir Charles Elworthy, C-in-C Middle East; Rear Admiral Talbot, Flag Officer, Middle East; Major General Jim Robertson, GOC Middle East Land Forces; Air Vice Marshal David Lee, Air Officer Commanding, Air Forces Middle East, and GOC East Africa Command. The GOC and AOC were working from the command HQ at Aden while FOME initially was at Bahrain with his headquarters at HMS Juffair. FOME moved to HMS Sheba in the naval dockyard at Steamer Point after the 1961 Kuwait crisis (Walker, Aden Insurgency, 90); Rear Admiral Talbot seemingly moved on May 1, 1962. Naval forces reportedly included three frigates, the Amphibious Warfare Squadron, the commando carrier HMS Bulwark, and 45 Commando Royal Marines based ashore at Aden. 45 Commando had arrived on 23 April 1960, disembarking from Dunera, and settling in BP Camp, which had been turned over by 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
On 1 September 1967, following the British withdrawal from Aden at the end of the Emergency, the remaining British Forces in the Arabian Peninsula, including units at Salalah and Masirah, were reorganized under Headquarters British Forces Gulf, which was based at RAF Muharraq in Bahrain. British Forces Gulf was placed under the command of Rear Admiral John E. L. Martin, previously the last Flag Officer, Middle East, who handed over to Air Vice Marshal S B Grant on 4 April 1968. The command was disbanded on 15 December 1971.
Organization in 1939Edit
The structure of the units based in Aden in 1939:
- Aden Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals
- Aden Protectorate Levies – 4 Battalions
- 2/5th Battalion, Mahratta Light Infantry
- 20th Fortress Company, Royal Engineers
- 5th Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 9th Field Battery, Royal Artillery
- 15th Air Defence Battery, Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery
Commanders have included:
- 8 March 1928 Group Captain W G S Mitchell
- 5 September 1929 Group Captain C T MacLean (later Air Commodore)
- 7 August 1931 Group Captain O T Boyd
- 20 January 1934 Group Captain C F A Portal (Air Commodore from January 1935)
- 2 December 1935 Air Vice-Marshal E L Gossage
British Forces AdenEdit
- 1 July 1936 Air Commodore W A McClaughry
- 28 September 1938 Air Vice-Marshal G R M Reid
- 10 September 1941 Air Vice-Marshal F G D Hards
- 12 January 1943 Air Vice-Marshal F H MacNamara (RAAF)
- 12 March 1945 Air Vice-Marshal H T Lydford
- 8 March 1948 Air Vice-Marshal A C Stevens
- 1 March 1950 Air Vice-Marshal F J Fressanges
- 11 March 1952 Air Vice-Marshal D Macfadyen
- 12 October 1953 Air Vice-Marshal S O Bufton
- 17 September 1955 Air Vice-Marshal L F Sinclair
British Forces Arabian PeninsulaEdit
Commanders (Air Forces)Edit
Air Forces Middle EastEdit
- Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Overseas Commands - Middle East and Mediterranean Archived 10 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the corps (1920-2001) by Cliff Lord and Graham Watson, Page 54
- Middle East Record Volume 2, 1961, Volume 2, edited by Yitzhak Oron, .
- Lee, Flight from the Middle East.
- "Mideast Mirror". 1962.
- Nick Van der Bijl, British Military Operations in Aden and Radfan: 100 Years of British Colonial Rule, Pen & Sword, October 2014, p.59.
- British Military Aviation in 1967 Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine and Air of Authority - RAF Muharraq and http://www.radfanhunters.co.uk/Bahrain.htm
- "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 -- M".
- "Aden, Middle East Command03.09.1939". niehorster.org. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- The Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and its Antecedents. Helion and Company. 2003. p. 337.