About Me

After leaving school in 1955 I attended Norwood Technical College, London, during the period 1956 to 1957. At Norwood I studied Marine Radio and obtained my Post Master General First Class Certificate of Competence in Radiotelegraphy and Authority to Operate, the required qualification to serve as a Radio Officer on British ships in the Merchant Navy at that time and a Board of Trade Radar Maintenance Certificate.

Upon qualifying I joined the Marconi International Marine Communications Company Ltd. and went to sea as a Radio Officer from 1957 until 1960. In the latter part of 1960 I transferred to their shore staff at the Company's East Ham (London) Depot where I was employed in the repair and refurbishment of marine communications receivers brought in for attention from ships in the Port of London docks.

I was offered a position in the Aden Depot of Marconi Marine in 1961 and, accompanied by my wife, took up the post on 31st August 1961 and worked in Aden until April 1965, repairing communications equipment, radar and other aids to navigation, Sperry gyro compasses and auto pilots on ships of all nationalities passing through the Port of Aden.

More information on my career as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy can be viewed on my web site www.oldmarconiman.co.uk together with details of the ships I served on.




Here are links to sites of interest to those wishing to know more about Aden in the 1960's: -




I would be delighted to hear from anyone who worked in or visited Aden in the 1960's.



(Protected email scrip courtesy Joe Maller - http://www.joemaller.com)


Recommended Reading


The following books are 'must' reading for those wishing to gain a deeper insight into the events leading up to the last days of the occupation of Aden by the British.



The War That Never Was

by Duff Hart-Davis, Published by Century 2011, London

ISBN 978-1-846-05825-7

"The true story of the men who fought Britains most secret Battle"

A detailed account of British Mercenary Operations in the Yemen from 1963 - 1967.


This book reveals for the first time the activities of the British Field Liasion Force in their very secret operations in support of the Royalists in their fight against the Republicans in the Yemeni uprising. This civil war was fostered by President Abdel Nasser who emplyed the Egyptian army in his aspirations to control the entire Arabian peninsular, the Port of Aden and ultimately the Persian Gulf, backed by the Soviet Union. The actions of the BFLF led to the eventual withdrawal of his forces by Nasser from the region at great cost to the Egyptians.


Aden Insurgency: The Savage War in South Arabia 1962–1967

by Jonathan Walker, Spellmount Publishers, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 OBJ

ISBN 1-86227-225-5


Britain and The Yemen Civil War 1962–65: Ministers, Mercenaries and Mandarins; Foreign Policy and the Limits of Covert Action 

by Clive Jones, published by Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 2004.

ISBN 1-90390-023-9.


The following is an extract from a review of these two books and the complete review can be seen on the web site of the British-Yemeni Society: -


'These two recently published books cast new light on the last five years of British ‘rule’ in Aden. In addition to new documentary source material, Jonathan Walker has made use of ‘oral testimonies’ from a number of former servicemen, civil servants and British civilians who had lived and worked (and, in some cases, fought) in Aden and the Federation during the period he covers. Like Clive Jones he has managed to access formerly closed intelligence material; and both writers, although unable to penetrate Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) documentation, have, as Walker puts it, managed to piece together the mechanics of the ‘secret war’ in South Arabia.'


Without Glory In Arabia: The British Retreat From Aden

by Peter Hinchcliffe, John T. Ducker & Maria Holt, published by I.B.Tauris, 2006.

ISBN 978-1-84511-140-3

An unconventional book with three main authors and several other subsidiary contributors, this is an important and significant account of an extraordinary period in British history. Peter Hinchcliffe served with the British Overseas Civil Service in Aden and the Federation of South Arabia and John Ducker with the British Overseas Civil Service in Aden and the Protectorate from 1960 - 1967. The book provides a fascinating insight into the life of Political Officers in the Eastern and Western Aden Protectorates and the Colony of Aden, military operations and the impact of HMG's policies in the years leading up to the final withdrawal of the British from Aden in 1967. Maria Holt documents interviews with British civilians who lived and worked in Aden prior to 1967 and presents an 'Oral History' of the recollections of Adeni and Yemeni citizens which she commenced in 1999.


One of The Originals: The Story of a Founder Member of the SAS

by Johnny Cooper, published by Pan Books, 1991.

ISBN 0 - 330 - 31464 - 5

Whilst chapters 1 - 8 of this book deal with the founding of the SAS in 1941 and John's service with the SAS through to 1960, the final chapter deals with his 'Arabian Assignments' and the activities of the British Mercenary Operations in the Yemen from May 1963 through to early 1966. The entire book makes interesting reading and the last chapter provides an intimate insight into the BMO's activities in the Yemen written by a man who was directly involved at the time. I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with John in Aden in 1964, and found him to be a truly remarkable man.


The Gaysh: A History of the Aden Protectorate Levies 1927-61

and the Federal Regular Army of South Arabia 1961-67

by Frank Edwards, published by Helion & Company, 2004.

ISBN 1-874622-96-5

Written in 1968 and only recently published as a strictly limited edition of 500 individually numbered copies (I have copy numbered 312) this book is a chronology of the founding of the Aden Protectorate Levies, an army created to serve the British, through to its renaming as the Federal Regular Army of South Arabia in November 1961.


© Charles D Harrington 2006. All rights reserved.