British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum

Recent Books by Forum Members

   

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > Other Commonwealth Military Insignia > Arab Nations

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books  SEARCH
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25-04-15, 12:06 PM
Eddie Parks's Avatar
Eddie Parks Eddie Parks is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,543
Default Ras al Khaimah Mobile Force

Ras al Khaimah Mobile Force

Ras al Khaimah (RAK) is one of the smallest of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It lies in the northeast of the UAE and is divided into two parts, one on the Gulf coast that includes the capital, also known as Ras al Khaimah and the second smaller part inland with no coastline.

When the British announced their plans to withdraw from the area in the late 1960s the seven Emirates began planning to join their destinies together in what would become the UAE. But that of course did not mean that they actually trusted each other. And the smaller Emirates felt they were likely to be bullied by the larger and richer Abu Dhabi and Dubai, both of which were in the process of establishing private armies of their own.

Up until this point the security of the area had been in the hands of the Trucial Oman Scouts (TOS), a British led unit that had established a reputation for evenhandedness and military prowess.

Little RAK could not afford a big army, in fact it could not really afford a little army, but Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed had contacts in far off places and found the funding for his army in Saudi Arabia, always keen to build up it’s prestige in the area and still smarting from having been put in it’s place by the British and in particular the TOS.

But he still needed an officer to raise, train and mold the force he wanted and found him in the shape of David Neild, a young major serving with the TOS. Neild had operated in the RAK area and was known to the tribesmen and a man who could be trusted. He was duly persuaded to resign his British commission and build a private army in RAK.

The army he built would become the Ras al Khaimah Mobile Force (RAKMF). Numbering just 300 men when it was first raised in 1961 it was equipped with Ferret scout cars, GPMGs, mortars and later Belfast built Shoreland armoured cars. The force was highly effective and remained in being until it was finally absorbed into the UAE army in 1976.

The RAKMF was uniformed in a similar way to the other British influenced units in the trucial states. Field dress was a khaki shirt and slacks with a blue-grey shamagh with a black agal. British officers generally wore suede desert boots and the soldiers wore chaplis – brown leather sandals. For barracks and parade officers had olive green bush jackets and soldiers wore a brick red beret. The basic badge of the force was a representation of a tribal watchtower with a scroll underneath reading Ras al Khaimah in Arabic.

Information on the RAKMF insignia is virtually non-existent and the best source is a brief film documentary made in 1961 or 1962 by a very youthful John Snow. From the images in the film we can see that Neild – and presumably his officers -wore the force badge on his agal and as collar badges on his bush jacket. Unfortunately there is no picture in which both are visible, but it would be normal to expect that the “cap” badge would be larger than the collars. Judging by the size of the agal the badge looks to be about 60mm high while the collars seem smaller. Buttons and rank badges seem to be of white metal. There seem to be no shoulder titles.

The other ranks cap badge, worn on the red beret also seems about 60mm high and might be made of brass, although the colour values on the film are poor.

Looking at actual badges from my collection the basic badge is of really good quality manufacture and is 40mm high with British style lugs N/S. Note that the detail of this badge is at variance with the OR’s badge. I am beginning to think this may be a collar badge.

The centre of the second badge is virtually identical with the first but is enclosed in a palm leaf wreath and with E/W lugs. I am inclined to think this may be a latter pattern or perhaps an officer’s beret badge?

Can anybody add to the general knowledge, was there a shoulder title? Or buttons?
Attached Images
File Type: png Neild badge.png (95.4 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg Neild collars.jpg (11.5 KB, 125 views)
File Type: png Beret Badge.png (114.8 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Badge 1.jpg (39.2 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg Badge 2.jpg (50.3 KB, 78 views)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14-12-15, 02:57 AM
Quicksilver Quicksilver is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Feilding NZ
Posts: 609
Default Ras Al Khaimah

Attached is a scan of a Ras Al Khaimah headdress badge. This is a bronzed high quality stamped badge similar to Eddies palm leaf wreathed white metal one which he shows in his message. At present I have no knowledge of when this was issued or by whom it was worn. A press cutting I have of David Neild who raised the force shows him wearing the white metal badge without the palm leaves. Perhaps the palm leaf version is a later version designed not to be mixed up with the SAF Ordnance Services badge.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ras Al Khaimah.jpg (47.5 KB, 39 views)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15-12-15, 03:38 AM
Flatdog Flatdog is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 277
Default

Gentlemen,

I think the wreathed version may be for the Police. The Ras Al Khaimah municipality shows this badge In a couple of forms. Check out this link:
http://rakmunicipality.ae/en/index.p...ewsdetails/299

By the way if anyone can source one of the non-wreathed white metal ones do let me know. Thank you kindly.

Clay

Last edited by Flatdog; 15-12-15 at 03:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15-12-15, 07:52 AM
Mike Jackson's Avatar
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,329
Default Swing the Lamp!

Ras al Khaimah had an ongoing border dispute with Oman over the Massandam Peninsular which came to a head in 1978. Comd Northern Oman Bde (Brig PNR "Scrubber" Stewart-Richardson (late Coldstream Guards)) accompanied by his Brigade Major and an SO2 Int (MJ) plus the Comd's driver flew up to the jebel above Buqa and then by foot (inadvertently) across the unmarked border in RAK - where the four of us bumped into a teenage Jundi of the RAKMF squatting in a sangar. I'm not sure who was most surprised, but we all had a courteous chat about goats and water channels etc and withdrew with dignity intact. Scrubber claimed later that our action helped defuse the situation! I'm not sure I agree. I regret I did not buy the Jundi's badge - if he had been wearing one.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 15-12-15, 10:55 AM
Eddie Parks's Avatar
Eddie Parks Eddie Parks is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,543
Default

Thanks Mike!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29-01-16, 09:18 AM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 986
Default David Neild's New Book

Eddie

I had the fortune last night to have dinner with David Neild. He had come down to Dubai from his home in Ras Al Khaimah to give a fascinating speech to the RE Gulf Association about the history of the UAE and his time in the TOS and forming the RAKMF.

He also presented to the Association his new book ‘A Soldier in Arabia’ of which I was able to obtain a pre-launch signed copy. On a cursory flick through – it looks packed with information and photographs.

Unfortunately, I was sat at a different table for the meal and perhaps was only able to talk to him personally for 5 to 10 minutes. However, I did recollect your thread, if not the specifics of your questions and said I was a member of a badge forum that had expressed interest in the badges of the RAKMF. We talked a while about both TOS and RAKMF badges and he gave me his address.

I said that if anyone on the forum was interested in his book, I would pass on their email or contact details. As such I will contact him again and would be willing to reiterate the questions in your thread should you not already be in contact yourself. Before I do however, as I don’t want to bother him too much, was there anything else that he may be able to help you with. Of course I’m sure he’ll be more amenable to answering questions if there is some interest in his book...............

However, please let me know if I can help as a conduit.

If any forum member is interested in his book I will be more than happy to pass on your email address.
Mark (Dubaiguy)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0592.jpg (78.6 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0593.jpg (67.8 KB, 51 views)

Last edited by dubaiguy; 29-01-16 at 09:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29-01-16, 09:39 AM
Mike Jackson's Avatar
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,329
Default

Trying to track down his book online I came across this . Very confusing.

http://www.ibtauris.com/Books/Societ...2FAE9B3F795%7D

Do you know the source of the RAKMF book? Mike
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29-01-16, 11:04 AM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 986
Default

Hi Mike

Same title, different book I guess. My understanding from his speech was that it wasn't launched yet (if launch is the right word) and he was waiting on the Abu Dhabi book fare to 'launch' it. Again my understanding was that was going to be sometime soon.

The publisher details are:
Medina Publishing Ltd
310 Ewell Rd
Surbiton
Surrey KT6 7AL
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29-01-16, 04:19 PM
Wmr-RHB's Avatar
Wmr-RHB Wmr-RHB is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,390
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubaiguy View Post
Hi Mike

Same title, different book I guess. My understanding from his speech was that it wasn't launched yet (if launch is the right word) and he was waiting on the Abu Dhabi book fare to 'launch' it. Again my understanding was that was going to be sometime soon.

The publisher details are:
Medina Publishing Ltd
310 Ewell Rd
Surbiton
Surrey KT6 7AL
As you have the book, I assume it is possible to provide the ISBN.

(It most probably will be different from the one found by Mike: ISBN: 9781780760827)
__________________
Henk

Interested in the lineage of the unit your badge represents?
Try: Regimental lineages
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 29-01-16, 05:16 PM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 986
Default

Yes Henk
978-1-909339-63-7
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29-01-16, 05:31 PM
Mike Jackson's Avatar
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,329
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubaiguy View Post
Hi Mike

Same title, different book I guess. My understanding from his speech was that it wasn't launched yet (if launch is the right word) and he was waiting on the Abu Dhabi book fare to 'launch' it. Again my understanding was that was going to be sometime soon.

The publisher details are:
Medina Publishing Ltd
310 Ewell Rd
Surbiton
Surrey KT6 7AL
Thanks. Now purchased by Mrs J thanks to targeting intelligence provided by 54 Bty! Mike
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 29-01-16, 05:50 PM
54Bty's Avatar
54Bty 54Bty is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 6,315
Default

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1...=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Marc
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 30-01-16, 09:15 AM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 986
Default

Nield has replied to my email and confirmed that the watchtower badge wreathed by leaves is not RAKMF. He didn't know what is was, except that it wasn't RAKMF. I did send him Eddie's photo to be sure he had an image to look at and not just a description.

He also confirmed that the RAKMF did have their own buttons and shoulder titles, but did not elucidate further as to what they looked like. I'll try to get him to be more specific in due course.

Thanks to Marc, for pointing out that Neild's book is available on Amazon in the UK on 31st March. The Amazon price is a little less than I paid Nield here in Dubai and delivery appears to be free in the UK from Amazon, so that would seem the best way to purchase for those that want one. Though of course I'm happy to pass on email addresses.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 30-01-16, 10:59 AM
Eddie Parks's Avatar
Eddie Parks Eddie Parks is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,543
Default

Thanks Mark, that's very helpful. I presume that the tower with the wreath was, as has been suggested the RAK police. It would be nice to pin down exactly what shoulder titles and buttons were worn and perhaps see a photograph??

I am going to order both those books via Amazon or perhaps ABEbooks.

Eddie
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-04-16, 08:27 AM
Eddie Parks's Avatar
Eddie Parks Eddie Parks is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,543
Default

My copy of David Neild's book arrived today, hot off the press. In it, I note that he says the RAKMF adopted the wreathless badge as above which was already in use by the RAK police. There is a pic of him with the then chief of police and both are wearing the same badge.
Eddie
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

mhs link

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:42 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.