This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: ADM 3851).


I. The departing High Commissioner, Sir Humphrey Trevelyan, reviews the Naval task force supporting the British withdrawal. He is accompanied by Admiral Sir Michael Le Fanu, C-in-C Middle East Command, who is to return with him to Britain. The two men review the fleet from a position on top of the bridge of the minesweeper HMS Appleton - among the ships present are the Fleet Replenishment Ship Resurgent, a Tide Class tanker (Tidespring or Tideflow), and the tanker Dewdale. Trevelyan goes onboard the assault ship Intrepid to witness a fly past of 24 Wessex helicopters followed by flights of Buccaneers and Sea Vixens both in diamond nine formations. Two Gannet anti-submarine aircraft follow along behind. Cut back to Appleton and the fleet review - HMS London (D.16), the flagship HMS Eagle, HMS Ajax (F.114), HMS Albion, HMS Minerva (F.45), fleet radar picket HMS Barrosa (D.68), the landing ship Sir Galahad. The ships on which Trevelyan embarks fly the High Commissioner's flag, a Union Jack with a central motif of a two-masted dhow.

II. Men stack crates of ammunition onboard a powered lighter lying bows-to in the harbour. Nearby LCA F.5 runs alongside L.706, a LCM(9) from Intrepid. A tractor helps with the loading of the lighter. Cut to a view from a vehicle driving through the town past drab blocks of flats - the vehicle has an extempore wire-cutter on the front. Cut back to the harbour, where troops load kit onto the lighter - they are men of one of the Royal Corps of Transport's port units and wear Army Department Fleet and GHQ Far East Land Forces insignia - they clear their rifles and settle down as the lighter pulls away and makes off across the harbour.

III. Two marines of 42 Commando lie behind a low earth parapet, one with a GPMG on a bipod. Covered by the machine gunner, another marine sets off a blue smoke grenade, and upon this signal a Wessex HU.5 of 848 Squadron flies in to pick up a waiting squad - in their haste to board the helicopter, two of the men stumble on the arid, bare soil. MS of a mortar pit - a marine holds a 81mm bomb to the barrel, ready to fire. LA of flag bearing the insignia of 42 Commando.

IV. On Khormaksar airfield Sir Humphrey Trevelyan reviews detachments from all the services and, after a last-minute word to the press, boards the RAF Transport Command Britannia 'Spica' (XM 518) for the flight home.

V. Royal Marines stack kit on cargo nets to be picked up by 848's Wessex helicopters for transport to Albion. One Wessex touches down long enough to return empty cargo nets - the whole operation has an air of working against the clock.

The High Commissioner Sir Humphrey Trevelyan flies out of Aden on 28 November. The remaining garrison prepares for departure on the following day.



Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
17 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
594 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Department of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence [Royal Navy]