The Yemeni Contribution to World War 1 and World War 2

    South Shields lost one of the largest proportion of Merchant Navy sailors in WW1 and approximately 1 in 4 of these men were Yemeni.



    We take a brief look at some of the South Shields Yemeni men who served Britain.

    A story of a South Shields Yemeni Hero. - an account by his daughter, Rita Moore.

    "My father Ahmed Hussain Mohamed 'Omari' was born in Yemen and served in the merchant navy. On June 29th 1941 he was a fireman on the SS Rio Azul when they were torpedoed by an enemy submarine which resulted in the ship sinking very

    Ahmed Hussain Mohamed Omari who served in WW2

    quickly as they were carrying iron ore. Although injured he managed to make it to a life raft along with seventeen crew members. There were forty five crew members on board and the rest were killed when they were hit or went down with the ship.

    Men including Omari on rafts before rescue by HMS Esperance Bay

    The Captain, thirty-one crew & one DEMS gunner were eventually lost, a number dying whilst adrift and just after rescue. Eighteen men had originally survived the sinking and finding two life-rafts, which they lashed together found themselves adrift for fifteen days, surviving on their meagre rations consisting of a one gallon flask and one jar of fresh water.

    On the fifteenth day the ships bosun although exhausted asked one of his shipmates to lash a tobacco tin onto the end of a water scoop, which was used to form a crude heliograph. The flashes were seen from a passing ship and six crew & three gunners were picked up by HMS Esperance Bay. My father did not like talking about it too much but he did say that some of his friends died through drinking sea water and when they were rescued they were badly burned with the heat of the sun and their skin had peeled off in places".



    Michael Muckble, son of one of the first Yemenis to come to South Shields.

    Michael Muckble (left) was awarded a certificate for bravery in WW2, signed by Winston Churchill himself.

    Michael Muckble

    Certificate of Bravery Awarded to Michael Muckble by Sir Winston Churchill

    Muckble Family Medals



    Ahmed bin Ahmed

    Ahmed Bin Ahmed

    Ahmed bin Ahmed died 1939 at Sea (far right) Ahmed bin Ahmed lost his life in WW1 on his ship, Stanbrook. His name is inscribed on the memorial below along with the names of his comerades who also paid the ultimate price.

    Stanbrook Memorial - London

    Names of the 20 men who died on Stanbrook in 1939 including Ahmed bin Ahmed pictured right.

    The Stanbrook



    Mohamed Ali - (Sharkey)

    Mohammed Ali (Sharkey)

    Mohamed Ali (Sharkey) was born in Aden and came to South Shields in the early 1900s . His ship was torpedoed by the Germans on at least two occasions during WW2. His family came to know about his seafaring experiences through letters written by Ali to his son, Hassan that were found in later years.



    Here are a full list of fatalities recorded during World War Two - Taken from Book of Remembrance.(1)

    List of Fatalities WW2

    Abat, Ahmed 57, Wilson Street
    Abat, Ahmed 35, Cuthbert Street
    Abdul, Abdulla 76, Cuthbert Street
    Abdul, Fakis 40, Portberry Street
    Abdul, Rajack 4, Church Way
    Abdulla, Nassir 4, Thrift Street
    Abdullah, Hassan 40, Portberry Street
    Abdullah, Hassen 7, Spring Lane
    Abdullah, Hawed 40, Portberry Street
    Abdullah, Naser Saleh 120, Maxwell Street
    Achmed, Fakir 40, Portberry Street
    Adowa, Ali 42, Bythorne Street
    Ahmed, Abdullah 9, Spring Lane
    Ahmed, Ahmed Bin 4, Cornwallis Square
    Ahmed, Ahmed Bin 212, Maxwell Street
    Ahmed, Ali 208, Maxwell Street
    Ahmed, Ali 22, Cuthbert Street
    Ahmed, Ali 75, Eldon Street
    Ahmed, Ali 46, Laygate Lane
    Ahmed, Ali Mohamed 65, Laygate Lane
    Ahmed, Hassan 40, Portberry Street
    Ahmed, Hassan 14, Cornwallis Square
    Ahmed, Hassen 5, Portberry Way
    Ahmed, Mohamed 96, Commercial Road
    Ahmed, Mohamed 33, Cuthbert Street
    Ahmed, Mohamed 46, Laygate Lane
    Ahmed, Mussard 2, Portberry Way
    Ahmed, Nagi 6, Cornwallis Street
    Ahmed, Said 96, Commercial Road
    Ahmed, Said 45, Cuthbert Street
    Ahmed, Saleh 53, Laygate Lane
    Ahmed, Saleh, 96, Commercial Road
    Ali, Abdulla 42, Wilson Street
    Ali, Aboukir 49, Wilson Street
    Ali, Basser 9, Spring Lane
    Ali, Dewan 30, Agnes Street
    Ali, Dola Bin 128, Livingstone Street
    Ali, Hamed Abdo 4, Market Place
    Ali, Hassone 4, Church Way
    Ali, Ismail 56, Winchester Street
    Aziz, Faid Abdul 14, Portberry Street
    Achmed, Issa 120, Maxwell Street
    Ali, Fazel 25, Market Place
    Ali, Massadar
    Ali, William Norman 5, Cornwallis Square
    Alum, Mohamed 33, Cuthbert Street
    Ali, Kaid 4, Drifter Street
    Ali, Monassah 46, Laygate Lane
    Ali, Mobarah 1, Alice Street
    Ali, Mohamed 96, Commercial Road
    Ali, Mohamed 3, Portberry Way
    Ali, Mohamed 33, Cuthbert Street
    Ali, Mohamed 5, Cornwallis Square
    Ali, Mohamed 118, Maxwell Street
    Ali, Mohamed Hassan 40, Portberry Street
    Ali, Mohamed Saif 27, Cuthbert Street
    Ali, Mossadder 29, Maxwell Street
    Ali, Maslih Mohamed 31/33, Cuthbert Street
    Ali, Nagi 53, Laygate Lane
    Ali, Nassa 96, Aderley Street
    Ali, Ranem 42, Wilson Street
    Ali, Salem 96, Commercial Road
    Ali, Serf 9, Spring Lane
    Ali, Silton 96, Commercial Road
    Bey, Mohamed 96, Commercial Road
    Bul, Warmaya 49, Laygate Lane
    Benali, Dollah 142, Dunlop Crescent
    Cassim, Ahmed 63, Maxwell Street
    Djamah, Mohamed 1, Alice Street
    Drasid, Mohamed 65, Legit Lane
    Dualch, Ibrahim 1, Alice Street
    Dubai, Ali M. 9, Spring Lane
    Dhoole, Mohamed 72, Cuthbert Street
    Faid, Hassan 14, Portberry Way
    Gaffar, Abdul 40, Portberry Street
    Gelhit, Ali 40, Portberry Street
    Husain, Mohamed 1, Alice Street
    Hamid, Abdul 11, Market Street
    Hamid, Ahmed 9, Spring Lane
    Hashim, Said Ali 22, Portberry Street
    Hassan, Abdullah 9, Spring Lane
    Hassan, Ahmed 120, Maxwell Street
    Hassan, Ahmed 96, Commercial Road
    Hassan, Ali 4, Cornwallis Square
    Hassan, Mahomed 73, Eldon Street
    Hassan, Mohamed 18, Portberry Way
    Hassan, Said 73, Eldon Street
    Hassen, Mohamed 55, Wilson Street
    Ismail, James 72, Eldon Street
    Ismail, Mohamed Bin 26, Ormande Street
    Kaid, Abdul Wahab 10, Portberry Way
    Kalim, Paul 34, Winchester Street
    Karika, Hassan 12, Portberry Way
    Kassem, Ahmed Mohamed 9, Spring Lane
    Kayt, Ahmed 111, Maxwell Street
    Khassim, Abdul 49, Laygate
    Khoma, Mohud Ahmed 27, Cuthbert Street
    Mahomed, Isa 10, Cambridge Street
    Mehson, Ahmed 2, Brinkburn Street
    Mendi, Abu 8, South Frederick Street
    Mursid, Hassan 53, Laygate Lane
    Muthana, Nasser 96, Commercial Road
    Muttana, Saleh 31 or 33 Cuthbert Street
    Musleh, Mohamed
    Mohamed, Saif 9,Spring Lane
    Mobaricknih, 49, Winchester Street
    Mohamed, Ali 156, Back Frederick Street
    Mohamed, Ali 9, Spring Lane
    Mohamed, Ali 53, Henry Street
    Mohamed, Ali 19, Green Street
    Mohamed, Ameen, 40, Portberry Way
    Mohamed, bin Mohamed Hajeb 96, Commercial Road
    Mohamed, Ibraham 40, Portberry Street
    Mohamed, Musid 96, Commercial Road
    Mohamed, Nagu 20, Cornwallis Square
    Mohamed, Said 33, Cuthbert Street
    Mohamet, Ali 118, Maxwell Street
    Mohamed, Rasid 9, Spring Lane
    Mohsen, Mohamed 25, Laygate Lane
    Moseley, Mohamed 45, Cuthbert Street
    Motalet, Abdul 7, Lawson Street
    Moussa, Mohamed 23, Albemarle Street
    Mugbil, Abdul 9, Spring Lane
    Muhamed Ali, 120, Maxwell Street
    Murgan, Shaht Gad 53, Back Raglan Street
    Nagee, Ahmed 96, Commercial Road
    Nagi, Abdul 86 , Commercial Road
    Nagi, Abdulla 2, Portberry Way
    Nagi, Ahmed 9, Spring Lane
    Nagi, Hassan 31, Cuthbert Street
    Nagi, Missula 32, Cuthbert Street
    Nagi, Mohamed 97, Commercial Road
    Nagi, Salei 54, Back Laygate
    Noman, Ali Bin Ahmed 9, Spring Lane
    Noor, Ali Jama 10, Cambridge Street
    Omar, Nasir 4, Thrift Street
    Rabore, Abdo Abdulla 34, Eleanor Street
    Rahim, Abdul 1, Clyford Street
    Rahman, Abdul 11, Market Place
    Rahoman, Abdul 1, Thrift Street
    Ramon, Ahmet 40, Portberry Street
    Said, Said 9, Spring Lane
    Saleh, Ahmed 9, Spring Lane
    Saleh, Mohamed Abdulla 84, Commercial Road
    Said, Abdi Noor 21, Chapter Row
    Said, Ali Ahmed 53, Cuthbert Street
    Said, Alley 33, Cuthbert Street
    Said, Ben 2, Cornwallis Square
    Said, Hassan 31, Cuthbert Street
    Said, Mohamed 9, Spring Lane
    Said, Mohamed 9, Spring Lane
    Said, Mohamed 23, Eldon Street
    Said, Saleh 9, Spring Lane
    Said, Hail 4, Thrift Street
    Said, Haya 40, Portberry Street
    Saleh, Ali 59, Laygate Street
    Saleh, Ghalib 96, Commercial Street
    Saleh, Mohamed 96, Commercial Street
    Saleh, Mohamed 65, Derby Terrace
    Saleh, Mohamet 53, Laygate Lane
    Sali, Ali 1, Queen Street
    Sali, Musleh 75 Eldon Street
    Sanan, Ali 105, Maxwell Street
    Sayeed, Aien 86, Saville Street
    Shagnir, Ali Abdulla 96, Commercial Road
    Shaibi, Nazir Mana 120, Maxwell Street
    Sheriff, Hamed 65, Derby Terrace
    Ujoman, Musin 1, Thrift Street
    Yahta, Said 9, Spring Lane
    Yoyam Abdulla 33, Cuthbert Street



    South Shields Yemenis in Ruhleben.(2)

    Records also exist showing evidence of South Shields Yemeni men as young as 25 in Ruhleben Civilian Internment Camp which was open between 1914-1918.

    Ruhleben Coat of Arms

    Name: Salam Abuzed
    Address: 79 East Holborn Street, South Shields or Tawahi Aden
    Age: 27
    Occupation: Fireman
    Barrack: 21
    Comments: Coloured

    Name: Musleh Ahmed
    Address: 170 Holborn Street, South Shields
    Age: 37
    Occupation: Sailor
    Barrack: 21
    Comments: Coloured

    Name: Sayed Ahmed
    Address: 97 Holborn Street, South Shields or Tawahi Aden
    Age: 27
    Occupation: Fireman
    Barrack: 21
    Comments: Rl to England 6/9/1916,Coloured

    Musleh Abnud
    Musleh Abnud was a sailor from 79 West Holborn, South Shields, Durham, who was released from Ruhleben on Jan 1st 1918,as noted at Marcus Bateman's merchant navy POW site.


    Yemeni men taken as prisoners of war in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey:(3)

    Name: Mudrain S
    Occupation: Fireman
    Address: 93 East Holborn Street
    South Shields
    Birth: West Quarter
    Ship: On 129752
    Comments: Released 7/1/1916

    Name: Mualeh, Jajahj
    Occupation: Seaman
    Address: 77 East Holborn Street
    South Shields
    Birth: West Quarter
    Ship: On 129752
    Comments: Released 7/1/1916

    Name: Mohammed, Said
    Occupation: Sailor
    Address: 79 East Holborn Street
    South Shields
    Birth: West Quarter
    Ship: Unknown
    Comments: Released 7/1/1916

    Name: Ali, Maho Med
    Occupation: Fireman
    Address: 77-79 East Holborn Street
    South Shields
    Birth: West Quarter
    Ship: Unknown
    Comments: Ex Redan Released 6/12/1915

    Name: Mohammed, Naggi
    Occupation: Fireman
    Address: 20 Nelson Bank
    South Shields
    Birth: West Quarter
    Ship: Unknown
    Comments: Released 7/1/1916

    Name: Raga, Omar
    Occupation: Fireman and Trimmer
    Address: Holborn Street
    South Shields
    Ship: Unknown

    (1) North East War Memorials Project. Available at: With thanks to James Pasby. Full list of names can be found in 'Book of Remembrance 1939-45 Toc H' held at South Tyneside Central Library NZ366672.

    (2) THE RUHLEBEN STORY. 2016. THE RUHLEBEN STORY. Available at:
    (3) Misc Crew Lists for Great Eastern Railway Ships. Available at:*
    Its original source is held at the National Archives reference MT 9/1238 "List of Merchant Seamen and Fishermen detained as Prisoners of War in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey,Board of Trade Printed List 31st May 1918" printed by the Board of Trade.

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