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‘Military report on the British Protectorate of Aden and the Amir of Dala’s territories, with special reports on certain other tribes and adjoining border districts’ [‎10v] (25/490)

The record is made up of 1 volume (243 folios). It was created in 1905-1908. It was written in English. 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.


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It is proposed to deal more particularly with the former, our relations
with the latter practically affecting the coast-line only, and preventing the
annexation of the ports by any foreign power.
The coast of the Red Sea is bounded by a maritime range, which, at a
distance of some 60 miles westwards of Aden, recedes from the sea,
leaving a considerable plain, again narrowed down to the coast, by the
Haushabi and Fadli hills. At a general distance of 30 to 40 miles north ot
Aden begin the foot hills of a series of st eeply scarped mountain chains, ot
igneous rt'ck, they strike approximately east and west, gradually increasing
in height to the northward from altitudes of between 2,000 and 4,000 feet,
till on the northern boundary of the British Protectorate, the lofty chain ot
mountains is reach d, extending from the Turkish mountains o^ A 1 And
(o,Ko6 feet) along the Mares range, to the high peaks of the Yafa 1 country.
These ranges are cut through, from the north, by the rivers Tibanand Bana
and by numerous well-defined Wadis, dry except in flood-time, and from
the north-east, by the river Hassan. #
The southern portion consists of sandy plain, in parts covered by
sparse thorn-trees, in which the only cultivation is to be found in, and near,
the beds of the rivers and wadis which intersect it, where the alluvial soil,
particularly in the ’Abdali country, between the two branches of the
Tiban, and the Fadli country, between the Bana and Hassan rivers, is
verv productive. In the central portion, as in the Haushabi, southern
»Amiri and Lower Yafa’i countries, consisting of an intricate mass of
sharply peaked mountains, the river and wadi beds, widening at^ times
into fertile little valleys, still remain the principal centres of habitation
and cultivation, while further to the north, where many of the ranges are
flat-topped, and elevated table lands occur, cultivation is carried on on the
summits, and on the slopes by means of terraced fields.
From the Fadli hills, eastwards, the maritime range continues near
the shore, retreating again in the Aulaki country, although the vicinity of
the coast is broken by smaller rocky hills. The mountain chains again in
crease in height the further inland they extend, till, to their north, the great
desert is reached, extending eastward between the 15th and 16th parallels
of latitude to the Hadramaut. The country is by all accounts more sterile
than that to the west, sandy tracts and plateaux covered with basaltic
debris occupying the intervening spaces between the mountains, and fewer
favourable sites for cultivation being found.
The coast-line.
A glance at the map will shew that the coast-line, extending from
Shekh Said on the west, to Kishn on the east, is roughly between 600 and
700 miles in extent. There are, however, comparatively few places that
need be considered in detail in a military report, and these would more
properly come under the heading of harbours. From Shekh Said eastwards,
to the mouth of the river Hassan, the coast is low and sandy, the hills
standing back a minimum distance of about ten miles, except in the case
of isolated mountain masses like Jabal Kharaz and the Aden peninsula
itself. It is diversified by occasional rocky head-lands, and inlets or Khors,
generally too shallow to admit of any but boats and small native craft,

About this item


The volume, a military report compiled in the Intelligence Branch of the QMG’s [Quartermaster General’s] Department and published at the Government Central Printing Office, Simla, is comprised of several sections, as follows:

  • section I, a Military Report on the British Protectorate of Aden , prepared by Captain Ernest Arthur Frederick Redl (ff 10-52), and including chapters on: geography; ethnography, with details of the different tribes living in the Protectorate; climate and health; natural resources; harbours and anchorages; communications; fortresses; history; native inhabitants’ administration; the military organisation and strength of native inhabitants; and political relations. A handwritten note is included in the report (f 49), and concerns the entitlements of Protectorate Chiefs to salutes, and issue to them of arms and ammunition, 1906;
  • section II, a Report on the Amir of Dala’s [Ad Dali’] Territories , prepared by Major J K Tod (ff 54-118), and including chapters on: geography; ethnography; climate and health; resources; communications; forts and fortified posts; history; administration, and military. Following the report is a gazetteer providing greater detail of the sixteen districts in Dala, including: topography; ruling families and allegiances; villages and population figures, including numbers of fighting men; water resources; agricultural and industrial activities;
  • section III, Reports on Haushabi, Subehi and Yafa’i Tribes, Turkish and North Western Border Districts and the River Tiban , divided into chapters, all prepared by Captain Redl unless otherwise specified, on: 1) the Haushabi [al-Ḥawshabī] (ff 120-130), and including a handwritten note, dated December 1905 (f 122), noting that the Sultan of Haushabi has agreed to abide by an agreement of 1895; 2) the Subehi tribes near the Turkish border (ff 130-144); 3) the districts of Turkish Yemen adjoining the British boundary (ff 144-165); 4) Tribes of the north-west frontier (ff 165-172); 5) a memorandum of the Yafa’i [Yāfi‘] tribe, prepared by Captain Gonville W Warneford (ff 172-183); 6) The Wadi Tiban (ff 184-185);
  • section IV, Routes (ff 186-228), detailing numerous routes between key points in Aden province, noting: distances; stages; nature of the terrain and its suitability for different modes of transport; available resources en route; territories crossed. A (duplicated) confidential memorandum, written by Captain G A F Sanders of the Aden Brigade, dated 24 August 1905, containing additional information for stages 5 and 6 of route 5 has been added to the volume (ff 195-198);
  • appendix I, a brief statement on inland trade between Aden and the Arabian mainland, 1903 (ff 229-230).

The volume is extensively illustrated throughout with fold-out maps, plans and illustrations, prepared by the Intelligence Branch (I.B.) and all of which describe the topography and terrain of the region. There are three maps included in a pocket at the end of the volume: a map of the Aden Protectorate (f 242); a view from the ruined village of Lakmat Magharam about one-and-a-half miles west of Sanah [Ṣanʻā'] (f 240); and a road sketch from Khalla through Awabil [‘Awābil] to the upper plateau of the Rubiatein [Ar Rubay‘atayn] tribe (f 241).

Extent and format
1 volume (243 folios)

The volume is arranged in four sections (numbered I-IV), with a single appendix. Sections I-III are arranged in numbered chapters while section IV is arranged in twenty-three numbered routes. The volume’s contents page (ff 6-8) lists the sections and their respective chapters/routes, with page numbers referring to the volume’s printed pagination system. A general index (ff 231-238) lists placenames referred to in the volume in alphabetically ascending order, also with page numbers referring to the volume’s printed pagination.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 243; 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.

Pagination: the file contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Military report on the British Protectorate of Aden and the Amir of Dala’s territories, with special reports on certain other tribes and adjoining border districts’ [‎10v] (25/490), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/59, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 February 2020]

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