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Generals Don't Cruch Garlic.

From battle-scarred Beirut to the leafy lanes and gentle hills of rural Warwickshire, Peter and Nancy Crooks have woven together from their diaries and an extraordinary collection of letters going back to 1812, a remarkable and moving record of family history in war and peace, as well as offering thoughtful reflection on some of the most significant events in recent Middle East history.


Boy from the Moor.

Helen Balkwill's true account of the life and sudden disappearance of her father in 1969 in Aden, Yemen.


Royal Horse Artillery
In The Aden Protectorate 1963-64

The insurgency on the Yemeni border is described in this well-illustrated summary of a sub-unit's fighting in the harsh desert and jebel (mountain) of the area know as the Radfan.  Written by one of J Battery's former forward observation officers, Richard Mountford, it provides a vivid picture of operations.  The Battery was equipped with the superb Italian-made 105mm pack howitzer - "pack" because it could be broken down into 12 parts for transport by mule, which the Italian Army's mountain troops still used, although in the Radfan the guns were moved by RAF Belvederes. Allan Mallinsonn, Privately published - copies may be ordered directly from the author at

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"Yemen: Heartbreak and Hope"

By The Reverend Peter Crooks MBE

Published by Lulu at


The Armed Forces of Aden

By Cliff Lord & David Birtles

Published in 2000 by Helion & Co - ISBN 1 874622 40 X

A compact book full of historical facts, and though a ‘limited edition’ is still available by searching ‘on line’. It contains detailed records of the armed forces that were raised in, or seconded to, Aden and the Protectorates during the 128 years of British rule. It also gives an insight into the political and military involvement of Britain, India, Yemen, Turkey, plus internally that of the Protectorates, during those years of political change in ‘South Arabia’..

It is also a well illustrated book opening with the usual introductory chapters followed by the factual military history of Aden itself. Maps and a plentiful cross section of old photographs help to highlight those years of almost continual military and political change.

Of the 112 pages, over 50 are devoted to a comprehensive Directory of the Units who served there – including some fascinating old organisations – to name a few the 1st Yemen Infantry, 23 Fortress Company Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners, Aden Defence Light Section Indian Submarine Corps, Desert Guards, Lahej Trained Forces (I hate to think what the untrained forces were like?) & Mukalla Prison (warders or inmates?) – all playing their part amongst the array of multinational forces who kept some form of law and order. Exactly how this was achieved – especially with submarine and miners units - can only be gleaned from the book!

A selection of factually historical appendices finish off the book, each one listing such things as the comparative tables of Arabic / British ranks, specific operations of early times, lists of British military formations who served over all the years, badges and insignia, honours and awards and a comprehensive glossary of terms and abbreviations..

The Armed Forces of Aden is a reference book and besides making a refreshing read, it also presents a detailed insight into the complex political and military history of Aden during its 150 years of strategic emergence as both a deep water and well protected port on the newly opened sea route from Europe to the Middle and Far East, just as the world was opening up to the advent of oil, trade and empire building by European nations.



Without Glory in Arabia

Chris Morton has brought this publication to our attention and as we all have a connection with this neck of the woods it is likely to contain something for everyone.

"Without Glory in Arabia: The British Retreat from Aden"

"I bought this book as a present.  The person who received it had once served in Aden.  He said it was one of the best books on the subject he had ever read.""The book brought back many memories (good and not so good) of Southern Arabia 1965-67 and helped to explain what was going on seemingly behind the scenes.  The first half concerns events "up country" and the second in Aden itself.  For me it put a useful new perspective on an eventful period"

 Source: Chris Morton's endorsement



"Courage & Strength"
Stories and Poems by Combat Stress Veterans
Kings University Press

A profoundly moving collection of stories and poems, this book is written by men and women of the armed forces affected by combat and by the exacting demands of military service. There are stories from many arena and eras: Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf, Falkland Islands, Northern Island, the Cold War and World War II. Many of the works recount moments of reflection in the field, while others deal with the mental torment that can last a lifetime. There are rich themes of love, of appreciation and of a deeply shared humanity.

The authors seek to share their experience through many voices that embrace both poignant detail along with irreverent wit and sometimes biting humour! This anthology provides the reader with an opportunity to reflect upon their own lifetime experience and their own need of courage in the face of adversity. The truths provided by these writers will form a treasure trove of strength for any reader to return to again and again.

***All Proceeds Going to Support Combat Stress***

Introduction by Sandi Toksvig. Foreword by General the Lord Richard Dannatt, GCB CBE MC DL

Excerpt from Introduction: "This volume is full of astonishing work. It is painfully and often brilliantly written and in the midst I found something wonderful about the human spirit. In Lee Harrison’s poem From a Veteran to a Veteran, I found a life sustaining Post Script when he wrote “There is always HOPE.” This book has hope in it. Thank you for supporting Combat Stress.”

To purchase, email




"Aden - Assassination of a British Crown Colony "

My third book complements and completes the British involvement in Aden with a subtitle "Murder on the street of Aden" which sounds very dramatic, and so it was.                                                                    For those who served in Aden during the last four years, it's a memory they will never forget, and an experience of both excitement and sheer terror.

This book covers the final years as the situation developed into full-blown battles in the districts of Crater, Shiekh Othman, Maalla, nicknamed the "Murder Mile" and the main shopping area of Tawahi.                    The never-ending patrols and guard duties in checkpoints watch towers and Mansura Prison. These duties were carried out by the Battalions who rotated around the Colony, their operations and stories are recalled here in these pages. 

The book has hundreds of photographs with maps which shows where incidents took place and how dramatic the living and operational conditions were. In particular, the factual details which were available and, possibly the only detailed account of the massacre and tragedy which took place on June 20th, 1967.

For those who served in Aden, this is your history covering where and what you did, to pass onto your future generations and keep the memories alive.

This publication is available from Denis JB Sparrow,( or phone 01453 763552.        Priced at £36 including UK post& packing. by cheque or bank transfer. 


"Aden's Northwest Frontier"


The writing of this book was prompted by a request from London to produce a report to prove the need to make an award for the general service medal covering the years 1961 to 1964 when an award was considered by the high command and our government that the service during those years did not conform to the regulations laid down by the governments medal office, for example troops being in harms way!.  Even though the 30-page document with photographs showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the criteria had been met, an award was refused. The details researched were the foundation of this book. Although thousands of servicemen and women served in Aden, many did not serve upcountry or were even aware of what it was like and what went on.                                                                                                                                  This book tells that history and its conflicts in an A4 format to allow hundreds of large size photographs and maps to enhance the story being told. This history covers, wherever possible, a diary of events month by month and year by year like no other book available.                                                                                  

From 1881 when British Troops were first involved up-country in Dhala on the Yemen border at the request of the Dhala Imir right up to the withdrawal of 45 Commando Royal Marines in 1967. These details cover the different Battalions and sub-units who served upcountry and a full account of the Radfan operations. The final chapters cover the weapons, machines and a rouges gallery of images some would prefer not to be seen. For those who were there and those interested in British Military History, this is a book of true facts by those who were there not to be missed. 

This book is still available price £36 including UK postage and packing.    

"Aden In Pictures"


This book due to popular demand has been reprinted twice since its first publication in 2011. 

With a smaller number being printed there are a few remaining available the price for this book £40. including UK postage and packing. A special price for all three is available on request.

Email or 01453 763552. payment by cheque or bank transfer.


Coal, Frankincense & Myrrh
Yemen and British Yemenis
By Tim Smith

The reputed home of the Queen of Sheba, Yemen has been at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years thanks to its position on the ancient spice routes. Ten thousand years of trade along Yemen's Red Sea and Indian Ocean coasts, over its mountains and across its deserts made it a meeting point of people, ideas, money and goods and the centuries of trading generated much wealth. There has been a British presence in Yemen ever since the early 1600s when the East India Company set up trading posts in Mukha (Mocha in the west), a port then famous as the world centre for trade in coffee. In 1839 the port city of Aden was captured to provide a base to protect British trade routes. This began an even stronger relationship which would last some 130 years until 1967 when the Britain finally pulled out, having granted independence after several years of insurgency against British rule including riots and attacks on its troops. But Britain's links do not end there. Yemen is the mother country of the longest-established of Britain's Muslim communities.

Yemenis came to Britain from the 1890s onwards, many as an indirect result of having joined the British Merchant Navy, and after World War Two there was further emigration. By the mid-1970s there were some 15,000 Yemenis in Britain, though today this figure has shrunk back considerably. One of the poorest countries in the region, Yemen still maintains much of its tribal character and old ways. People wear traditional dress and the custom of chewing the narcotic plant khat in the afternoons is still widely observed. Yemen remains a country of great mystery and in recent years it has attracted the curiosity of a growing number of the more adventurous tourists

Published 2nd October 2008 by Dewi Lewis Publishing. ISBN Number 978-1-904587-65-1

�8.54 (+ �2.40 pp) (from Amazon)

Dancing on the Heads of Snakes

By V. Clark

Yemen is the dark horse of the Middle East. Every so often it enters the headlines for one alarming reason or another-links with al-Qaeda, kidnapped Westerners, explosive population growth-then sinks into obscurity again. But, as Victoria Clark argues in this riveting book, we ignore Yemen at our peril. The poorest state in the Arab world, it is still dominated by its tribal makeup and has become a perfect breeding ground for insurgent and terrorist movements. Clark returns to the country where she was born to discover a perilously fragile state that deserves more of our understanding and attention. On a series of visits to Yemen between 2004 and 2009, she meets politicians, influential tribesmen, oil workers and jihadists as well as ordinary Yemenis. Untangling Yemen's history before examining the country's role in both al-Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement today, Clark presents a lively, clear, and up-to-date account of a little-known state whose chronic instability is increasingly engaging the general reader.

Published 5th March 2010 by Yale University Press. ISBN Number 987-0-300-11701-1

Ghosts from Aden's past

members, having been side-tracked, and given the privilege of writing a further book titled 'Unfriendly Fire' I have finally completed my final book about the Aden saga, Ghosts from Aden's Past.

The book begins with the oldest pictures of the 1800s I could find to remind readers how we the British arrived in Aden and its climb to be one of the busiest ports and military base's in the world. The book, in an A4 format with 219 pages, tell that story in words and photographs, on through the years until November 1967 when the British withdrew its military forces, and onwards through the years of turmoil and fighting with Yemen and and terrorist forces within its own borders.

A lot of the details and photographs were supplied by the people who still live in Aden and the Radfan, they show the damage and the rebuilding of streets and the expanding cities. Right up to present day 2021.

The book is supplies direct from myself, £28, including P&P. Cheques or bank transfer, 01452 763552 or

Aden's Unfriendly Fire

2021 is the 54th anniversary of the blackest day in Aden's history and the troops who served there, when British troops were ambushed by Aden's Federal Forces and left dead and wounded in the desert sands and those on the streets of Crater, were mutilated and executed.

This book has been made possible because of the dogged persistence of former Royal Fusilier Jimmy Carrol, a witness and survivor of those final hours of what took place on the 20th June 1967.

The book relates his account alongside those of the Royal Corps of Transport, 2 Para, Military Police and those Fusiliers who were involved as signallers and pig drivers.

It also raises the question of the competence of both Aden's High Commission and above all the senior command in Aden. By doing so it highlights how direction from  our Government at that time was followed and its interpretation by those on the ground without repercussions vibrating through the ranks from above who, were more concerned in protecting themselves and their rank and reputation.

Were orders given unlawful, by not allowing ranks to protect themselves under fire?

Also, when everyone is demanding an apology being made to terrorists for how they were treated by British Troops, and it would seem everyone who has an axe to grind.

It's about time an apology was made by the British Government and High Command to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Argylls and Royal Corps of Transport, even all the British Armed Forces who served in Aden for their failure in their complete lack of due care towards them in Aden.

The book has been published, and is available at £19 including P&P. Contact

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