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General Service Medal Southern Desert Iraq


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Southern Desert Iraq

Awarded to the RAF for its services against the Akhwan in the Southern Desert, under the command Air Commodore T.C.R. Higgins between 8 and 22 January 1928, or under the command of Wing Commander E.R.C. Nanson between 22 January and 3 June 1928.

Guys, does anyone know anything more about this campaign other than what's above? I've surfed the net but have drawn a blank?

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I'm afraid I don't know anymore the campaign either.

However here is the somewhat battered group to Pte / ACI Bert Glandfield / Glanfield. It's a pity they didn't put a rim on the early GSMs as they get a lot of contact wear from the adjacent medals.

In WWI Glandfield served with MGC then (name spelt Glanfield) with KOYLI for Iraq. He then transferred to the RAF for S D Iraq and NWF. Unfortunately I don't have his RAF LS Medal.

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I'm afraid I don't know anymore the campaign either.

However here is the somewhat battered group to Pte / ACI Bert Glandfield / Glanfield. It's a pity they didn't put a rim on the early GSMs as they get a lot of contact wear from the adjacent medals.

In WWI Glandfield served with MGC then (name spelt Glanfield) with KOYLI for Iraq. He then transferred to the RAF for S D Iraq and NWF. Unfortunately I don't have his RAF LS Medal.

That's certainly a very interesting (and well polished) group. Thank you for sharing it with me. Sad that so little information is known about this campaign.

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Off the top of my head - and I have been here in Saudi since 1989 - the Akhwan or Ikhwan were the zealous unitarian religious movement of King Ibn Saud's forces who aggressively aided in the expansion of what became the Saudi kingdom. Following Ibn Saud's retaking of Riyadh in 1902 he consolidated and expanded his rule in the Arabian Peninsula by ousting the Al Rashid from Ha'il in the north, the Ottomans from Hofhuf in the east, the Hashemites from the Hijaz in the West and the Idrisi in the South.

Ibn Saud's realm was known initially as the Sultanate of Nejd - the heartland of Arabia and the forces supporting him and from whence the Akhwan hailed. With the fall of the Kingdom of the Hijaz in 1926 it was restyled the Sultanate of Nejd & Hijaz and became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. In the aftermath of the Great War and the consolidation of spheres of influence between Britain & France in accordance with the Sykes-Picot agreement - basically Lebanon & Syria to France and Mesopotamia, Palestine and Transjordan to Britain there was a need to demarcate borders. The border with what became Iraq was agreed at the Treaty of Al Uqair (small port on the coast between Bahrain and Qatar) in 1922.

The setting of such borders was not in accord with the Ikhwan's ideology who strove to spread their unitarian viewpoint in an aggressive and martial manner and indeed Ibn Saud's control over this movement lessened until they were in open rebellion. The Ikhwan conducted numerous raids across the border into Iraq, as well as Transjordan. Neither the regimes of King Faisal in Iraq nor Emir Abdullah in Transjordan had the wherewithal to repel these incursions and relied upon British Forces, mainly air power through the RAF, to repel the Ikhwan.

In Iraq Faisal tried to introduce conscription to build up the Iraqi forces but was in part blocked by the British who were wary of allowing him to build up a force which would assist him to achieve his goal of early independence for Iraq. With the incursions continuing the British campaign in 1928 commenced. This pushed back the Ikhwan who had rebelled against Ibn Saud into Arabia where he defeated them at the battle of Sabila / Artawiyah in early 1930.

I hope this gives an idea of the background to the campaign.

Kind regards,

Owain

Edited by oamotme
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