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I am looking for newspaper reports of the death of my best friend from school days, almost 50 years ago. David Thomas Henderson was a member of the British navy, serving in Aden in 1967 (HMS Sheba, I think). He was killed in service in May that year. David left school during that year to join the navy. He was 18 when he died. Does anyone know if it is possible to access local English language newspapers of the time, and which, if any of these carried accounts events such as the death of servicemen?
Not much help sorry. But as no one has answered. The only newspaper I can remember reading was... The Dhow. I think it was a Forces paper.
Not a wizard on puters. But googled Dhow Newspaper and info on it comes up. It was Registered at The GPO as a newspaper. So, if you have a contact in Aden, perhaps they would be able to access back numbers?
Also if you go into Britains Small Wars there is a lot to search.
The only reference to your friend that I have managed to find is in the above link.
When you open it you will find an option to search by name, conflict or year.
Click on by name and you will see a row of name abbreviations: Abbot-Byron, Caddick- EytonJones, Facer-Ivey.
Click on the last one and scroll down through the names beginning with "H".
Your friend is listed as:
Henderson David T Writer* 93802 Sheba 17 May 1967 Died.
*A Royal Navy "Writer" is a clerk.
The fact that your friend is listed as "Died" suggests that he died of natural causes other than by terrorist action or other means.
Few, if any, deceased were repatriated from Aden at that time and it likely that he is buried in Silent Valley Cemetery.
I'll do a bit more digging and see if his name occurs on the list of servicemen buried there.
I hope that this is of some help.
Vic Balsdon 45 Commando RM Aden 1966-67
Please disregard my comment reference the fact that your friend is listed as "Died" meaning that it was due to natural causes. This may not necessarily have been the case as I have since looked more thoroughly at the list and there are several Royal Marines listed there as "Died" and I know for a fact that they died as the result of terrorist and/or dissident actions.
Please accept my apologies.
Regarding burials in Aden, I have heard that some British people who were victims of terrorism were buried at sea. Does anyone know where information on these burials can be found. In particular I have been looking for details of the burial of Bill (Osbert) Figg who was shot down outside his bakery (the Greek Bakery) in Crater in 1967.
This link confirms that Bill Figg was buried at sea.
Ignore the poor grammar!
The link doesn't appear to work, so will try to copy and paste the article.
"UK AND ADEN: WOUNDED BRITISH WOMAN FLOWN TO HOSPITAL IN UK, AND BRITON SHOT DEAD IN ADEN
Please read the Disclaimer
AS VIOLENCE IN ADEN CONTINUES, A BRITISH WOMAN, SERIOUSLY INJURED WHEN A BOMB EXPLODED 11 DAYS AGO AT A PARTY, WAS FLOWN TO HOSPITAL IN ENGLAND. AND A BRITON, SHOT DEAD IN HIS CAR, WAS BURIED TODAY (FRIDAY). FORTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD MRS. BETTY ELLIS, THE WIFE OF A BRITISH CIVILIAN OFFICIAL IN ADEN, IS NOW UNDERGOING SPECIAL TREATMENT IN STOKE MANDERVILLE HOSPITAL, IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. AFTER THE BOMB ATTACK, RAF SURGEONS OPERATED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT TO SAVE HER LIFE, AND THEY SAID SHE WAS THE MOST SERIOUSLY INJURED PERSON THEY HAD EVER SEEN WHO HAD SURVIVED. MR. WILLIAM FIGG, A BRITON WHO RAN A BAKER'S SHOP IN ADEN, AND WAS SHOT DEAD WHEN SITTING IN HIS CAR IN THE STREET, WAS BURIED AT SEA TODAY. THE KILLINGS WAS DESCRIBED WANTON AND BRUTAL BY THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IN ADEN. BRITONS IN ADEN HAVE NOW BEEN WARNED TO AVOID PARTIES, AND TO THINK SERIOUSLY BEFORE TAKING THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF BRITAIN FOR THE EASTER HOLIDAYS.
Timecode: 10:00:00:00 - 10:00:54:09
Duration: 00:00:54:09 sec.
Copyright: BBC (UK)
Restrictions: Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed. "
I hope that this is of some help.
Bill Figg was one of the original oil refinery construction workers when Bechtel/Wimpey were building the place.
Many thanks for the info regarding Bill Figg have been looking for this for many years.
Found on my web site in one of the Little Aden Mercury's a picture of Bill Figg. He is shown with a group of refinery staff labelled. Butchers Bakers etc. Must have left the refinery on it's completion and joined the Greek Bakery in Crater.
Have seen that photo of the catering staff during the construction of the refinery.
As you say he must have began at the bakery after the refinery was built.
Hi Vic. I have just realised that you were a mamber of 45 Royal Marine Commando's. you were in the camp opposite to me back in 1966-67. I was the Nco in chatge of the Medical Centre of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. We lost 8 of our lads during that period, but even after all the deaths, I still have fond memories of Aden and would love to go back just one more time and stand in Silent Valley and pay my respects to my friend John Cain and all of the other lads who are still on duty out there. We buried John in December 1966 and it still feels like yesterday. I turned 76 this year. Best wishes. Anthony.
Small world, eh?
So we were on opposite sides of the road, then.
As in your case, we lost some good blokes in 45 during that time as well, though I was only there for a bit more than a year (October '66 to the withdrawal in November '67).
One of them, Anthony "Noddy" Dunn, was a lad that I had taken through part of his training.
I should also very much like to go back, and not just to Silent Valley, but up country to Al habilayn, which appears on Google Earth as a large town/city these days, not the airstrip and tents that I knew. However, it's all pipe dreams, I'm afraid.
Good to hear from you.
Hi again Vic. It certainly is a small world. In dare say that you had a look at the BBC's idea of what life was like out in Aden back in the 60's. What a load of absolute tripe. I cringed every time one of those RMP's sallied off into the desert with just a pistol or Sterling and very little ammo. They were putting their heads in a noose and not really showing any soldiering skills in the blatant way that they went out un-accompanied into the unknown.
Just who were their advisers???? Clowns from Jake Carno's Circus methinks!!
I had a look at the Aden Veterans Association "Roll of Honour" page and I cannot find any mention of any deaths recorded against the RMP's. Is this an omen perhaps.
Ahh well, must take my lady her morning cup of "tea" or else I will be on "B.C's orders".
All the very best Vic, stay healthy.
Good morning, Anthony
I haven't bothered to watch any of the "Last Post" series, for reasons stated elsewhere under the thread of that name.
I didn't come across them at all during the year + that I was in Aden, though I heard that they turned up at BP Camp guardroom on one very brief occasion and left with their tails between their legs!
As for them going "up country", the very idea generates hoots of derisive mirth.
Had they done so, I imagine the tribesmen (g*****s) would have been incapable of any sort of aggression due to uncontrollable fits of the giggles.
Whoever it was that came up with the idea of a story about the RMPs in Aden should really have done a bit more research.
I used to pop across the road occasionally to your camp to visit the WVS (I think that the "R" bit came a bit later) lady in her little hut. She would organise flowers to be sent via Interflora for birthdays and anniversaries.
I hope that you and your family are all well.