Aden – 1917

Aden can be seen as a minor campaign in the First World War. Aden is a city in Saudi Arabia, while also a shipping port, used for stopping at on trips between Asia and the Suez Canal. Britain held a protectorate over Aden; however ever since the outbreak of war in 1914 the Ottomans had threatened this. Troops from the Indian Army were the force behind this protectorate of which they were able to drive off several small attacks from Turkish troops.

In 1918, the 1/7th Hampshire reached Aden, where they helped to defuse part of the ‘local war’ between the Turks and troops in Aden, which had been happening since 1915, since Turkey had entered the War. The situation in Aden was worsened due to the employment of troops who were not used to the hot weather. However the arrival of more troops meant that the Turks backed off. Since then the Aden Field Force had kept the Turks at bay, despite the fact they were not the strongest of forces. When the 1/7th Hampshire arrived in Aden in January 1918, they too suffered with the heat.

At once the 1/7th took over all outposts at Sheikh Othman, ten miles from Aden, to cover the water supply. The 1/7th Hampshire remained in Aden until March 1918, until half the battalion was moved on. Apart from a few minor attacks by Turkish forces, very little happened after this; even though fighting had finished, influenza had spread to Aden meaning the 1/7th Hampshire lost many men to disease.