‘File 28/35 Defence of Qatar’ [11r] (21/150)
The record is made up of 1 file (73 folios). It was created in 6 Feb 1939-20 Aug 1941. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
s s o p a g.
REPORT Oil LAUDING GROUND AID FLYIIIG BOAT
ALIGNING AREA > D O HAT-ES-ZEKRIT, QATAR*
I left BAHREIN by launch about 0615 hours local time and
arrived at the company’s pier at DOHAT ZEKRIT about 1330 hours# where
I was met by Mr. DICKSON the Local Manager* We proceeded to the camp
which is approximately 6^ miles from the pier.
About two miles from the landing stage Mr. DICKSON pointed •
to me an area that he considered might be suitable for landing ground;
we drove over this in a car but it was rather uneven and very stony.
On our arrival at the camp I explained to Mr. DICKSON what area and
surface were required for landing ground and was told that I should be
extremely lucky if I found anything s litable in the vicinity. Mr.
DICKSON had a certain amount of flying experience in the Canadian Air
Force during the war which v/as a great help to me as he has some idea
as to what would and what would not make a landing ground.
The following morning we started early and made an extensive
tour of the area up to 15 miles from the camp in search of possible
landing grounds. The country in the vicinity of the camp at JA3AL
DUKHAN is extremely rough and broken with a lot of odd snapped hills
varying from 100 to 300 ft. above the level of the surrounding country,
the surface being light sandy soil with a lot of loose stone. The
camp is situated on the northern end of a small coastal plain about 4
^ miles by a mile which is generally soft and sandy with harder ridges
running through it.
The result of my search was the discovery of three possible
areas marked "A’', "B" and n C" on the attached nap. I will deal with
these three areas separately.
On the sandy coastal plain about a mile south of the camp
consists of soft sand to the depth of about a foot, the car, a "Ford
V8 n Saloon, fitted with large tyres did not sink appreciably when
driven on straight course, but the surface begins to cut up rather
badly if one braked hard or if the car was turned two or three times
in small diameter circle. The loading of a car of this type is very
light and the surface in its present state would not support aircraft.
The area is large enough to get a minimum run of 800 yards in any
direction and in the opinion of Mr. DICKSON and myself, if oil was
found a landing ground could be constructed by laying down heavy oil
and sand mixed, or bitumen and sand. Plenty of stone is available
for packing if required. The possibi of this area Id be home
This is situated some IS miles from the camp on the DOHA
road, about two miles Test of UMM AL GAHAB Nells as shown on the
attached map. This area is about 900 yards long in a NNW of the
direction and an average width of about 300 yards. Surface hard and
composed of small gravel and soil and should be hard enough to support
any modern aircraft. The length is into the prevailing wind; there is
little or no possibility of extension in other direction. A "Vincent"
or "Valentia"~ could, in my opinion, use this area without further work
other txan marking out, though to my mind it is too far from the camp
to be of any use.
This is the area referred to earlier in this report and is
situated on DOHAT ZEKRIT road about 4^ miles from the camp. This site
is between 70 and 100 ft., above sea level. The surface is composed of
four inches of hard packed sand and gravel with larger stone and earth
below. It is extremely hard but as shown on the sketch it is not
level and there are two undulations running across the area. I
succeeded in getting a small "L" shaped area 400 yards by 190 yards and
200 by 75 which could possibly, with a small amount of work, be
About this item
The file, while entitled ‘Defence of Qatar’, chiefly concerns the issue of six rifles and 1,200 rounds of small arms ammunition (SAA) to British personnel employed by Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL) in Qatar during the war. The principal correspondents in the file are: the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain (Hugh Weightman; Major Reginald George Evelin William Alban) and the Manager of PCL at Bahrain (Ernest Vincent Packer).
The file includes:
- correspondence relating to a report, entitled an ‘Appreciation of the Defence of Qatar against tribal attack and sabotage’ prepared by staff at Air HQ in Iraq, and sent to the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. on 6 February 1939 (f 2). A copy of the report is not included in the file, however, the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain’s comments on the report are (ff 3-5);
- a copy of a report prepared by the Air Liaison Officer at Bahrain (R Coates) in July 1939, being a reconnaissance of possible landing grounds and flying boat mooring areas at Dohat-es-Zekrit [Zikrīt] (ff 11-12);
- correspondence dated September 1939, relating to protection for British personnel working on the Qatar oil field, and a request by the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain to the Air Officer Commanding at Bahrain, for six rifles and SAA to be loaned to PCL’s British employees in Qatar (ff 13-19). Later correspondence, dated June and July 1941, details the eventual receipt of the rifles and ammunition by PCL (f 21, f 26), a rifle register (f 28), and a note written by the PCL Manager, describing the poor condition of the rifles (f 32);
- correspondence dated July 1939, relating to PCL’s plans to close down their operations in Qatar and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. , including: copies of letters from the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. in Bahrain to the Rulers of Qatar and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. , informing them of PCL’s closure of operations (ff 47-54); the return of the six rifles and ammunition to the Defence Officer in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. (Major H T Hewitt), the latter’s complaint at the poor condition of the rifles, and the PCL Manager’s response that the rifles had been received in poor condition (ff 57-59).
- Extent and format
- 1 file (73 folios)
The file’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 69-74) mirror the chronological arrangement.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 75; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 1-74; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.
- Written in
- English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script View the complete information for this record
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