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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’ [‎14r] (32/490)

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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south-west to J. Jarban, and thence east to J. Amamma (7,300 feet) and J.
Warwa (5,879 feet) ; the portion of this range, west of J. Basesa, is Turkish
and east of it, Haushab',
To the east of the Tiban, in Haushabi country, between it and the
Wadial Milah, lies an iriegular mass of bare and rugged mountains
between 3,000 and 4,000 feet high, while to their east again are the Danbari
hills, the southernmost range of the Radfan system. Bordering the Tiban
on the west, is a high mountain wall, pierced in places by wadis draining
east to the Tiban, of which the main feature is the mass of J. Hasha (8,417
feet), the lower eastern spurs being in the territory of the Amir of Dala.
1 he Amiri country is entirely composed of mountains of an exces
sively rugged and abrupt description. On the east is the continuous range
formed by Jabal Harir (7,754 feet), a flat topped ridge running north to
south, with exceedingly steep and precipitous sides falling away to the
Bana, and J. Halmin, connected with Harir by a col, a rugged mountain,
rising steeply on the west in sharp peaks and running eastwards in long
ridges to the Bana. In the centre are the Shairi hills and the rugged pro
montory jutting out from the head of the Dala valley, and culminating in
the remarkable plateau of Ad Dubiyat, whence it falls away in a series of
rockv foot-hills to the Suheb valley. The north-western part is occupied
by the great mountain mass of J. Jihaf (7,840 feet), the summit of which
contains fertile valleys and slopes, and which extends southwards in two
great spurs, the easterly, culminating in the bluff of J. Mafari (6,490 feet),
and the westerly, forming the Humedi mountains, with the abrupt pinnacles
of J Misman (7,033 feet) and J. Seyan. On the north are sheer precipices
of 2,000 feet.
The south-western part is an intricate mass of rugged mountains,
separated from the Jihaf system by the deep gorge of the Tabaghain,
of which the most conspicuous peaks to the north are J. an Nad (7 131
feet) and J. Mashwara (6,355 feet), continuing down to the Haushabi
mountains between the Tiban and the Wadi al Milah.
The Radfan range, in the south-eastern corner, juts to the north in
bold spurs, and falls away on the east to the Bana. The principal peak
is J. al Huria (6 107 feet), and the range encloses fertile valleys.
To the north of J. Harir in Amiri territory, are the Shaibi mountains,
connected with Harir on the south, and with Mares on the west. They
are excessively steep and rugged, but contain fertile valleys. J. Awabil
(7,648 feet) is the principal peak. North of the Shaibi, across the Bana, is
the high plateau of Rube'aten with J. Anitha, and J. Shamroh (7,881 feet),
as its most conspicuous peaks. To the east of the Shaibi mountains, and
separated from them by the Bana, are the lofty and rugged peaks of the
Upper Yafa'i which present an inhospitable and serrated front to the south.
The higher points, of which J. Al Ah is the principal, rise to above 8,000
feet, and enclose deep valleys which are said to be very fertile They have,
as yet, not been visited by Europeans. To their south, separated from the
Radfan mountains by the Bana, are the Lower Yafa'i hills, which rise at
their highest point, in Jabal Maufaja, to 7,276 feet, and are composed of
short ridges running east and west, well wooded, and with tne slopes culti
vated by terraced fields. To their south again, separated from the Lower
Yafa’i by the River Hassan, is the maritime range of the Fadli tribe, the
peaks varying from some 2,000 feet to 5,600 feet (J. Ures).

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’ [‎14r] (32/490), 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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