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Remembered Today:

1 / 6 th East Surrey Regiment - Aden - WW1


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Can anyone please tell me what the 1/6th East Surrey Regiment did whilst in Aden?

The Battalion is mentioned many times on the net but it appears to never be discussed at length.

Did they fight any major actions against the Turks?

Many Thanks,


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1/6th Queen's left for India 29.10.14, Bombay 2.12.14, arrived Aden 7.2.17, returned to India 14.1.18.

I doubt they did see action in Aden - it was a staging post, developed in the age of steam as a coaling stop-off en route to India following the development of the Canal. I don't think (apart from recalcitrant tribesmen) there was any action.

However, it is possible the Bn saw action in the Afghan War of 1919, though I'm afraid I don't know.

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According to the Regimental history they did see action albeit not a lot. Edited highlights as follows

The battalion embarked at Karachi on the "Egra" on the 1st of Feb 1917 arriving at Aden on the 7th. Shortly after it's arrival they provided a company, which was relieved periodically to a flying column, at Halwan and also sent smaller parties out on reconnaissance duties

It was first deployed on the 2nd of August as a unit (doesn't say where) but suffered no casualties. At the end of October they moved into camp at Sheikh Othman and moved in to the outpost line on the 12th of November.

On the 22nd they took part in the destruction of Jabir a fortified post nine miles from the British front line, they formed the rearguard for the 7th Rajputs during the withdrawl back to our lines but suffered no casualties as the Tuks did not pursue them.

On the 20th of December a small column under Lt Col A.P.Grayson carried out a reconnaissance of Hatum the defences of which were sucessfully destroyed.

On the 22nd they covered the withdrawl of another battalion form Darb losing 2 men killed and 3 wounded.

On the 5th of January 1918 they captured Hatum without much opposition and dug in about a mile ceyond it under rifle and artillery fire and when the order came to withdraw they entered a rearguard action losing 4 killed and 23 wounded.

They were returned to India on the 14th of January.

A quick scan through SDGW confirms that of the 71 dead in the battalion during the war the vast majority died of disease either in India or in the Gulf

All the best Hambo

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I have to say that my main memory of Aden is reading Spike Millgan's description of it somewhere - not reprintable on a family forum!

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