Edward Ashley Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Edward Ashley's service in the Sultan's Armed Forces Jebel Regiment Dhofar between 1970-1977, incorporating training materials including a training booklet, 'Know Your Enemy' and 'Jebel Regiment's Standard Operating Procedures'; materials on anti-guerrilla operations including 'Commander's Diary' Situation Reports' and 'Operation Instructions'; including maps of areas which were used during the joint military operations; 'Oman Humour', including cartoons; congratulatory letters and Jebel Regiment awards; a staff list of individuals who served in the Sultan's Armed Forces, including a letter from ex-staff relating to the establishment of the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum; and photographic material relating to Edward Ashley's service in Oman, subsequent Sultan's Armed Forces Association reunions including a trip to Oman in 1984.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Ashley (1934-2001)

Born 30 June 1934 in Lancashire. Commissioned into the King's Regiment in 1954 having spent 2 years at RMA Sandhurst, and transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1957. Attended the Defence Services Staff College in India in 1965. Served in the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF) in Oman for two separate tours, in times when Oman was threatened, both in terms of the security of the Hormuz Straits, and by South Yemeni communist movements which supported the rebel movement in Dhofar, the southern province bordering on the Indian Ocean. On first tour in 1971-72, Ashley was the Brigade Major of the then Dhofar Area and in the second in 1975-76, he was Commanding Officer (CO) of the Jebel Regiment. This Regiment's Operation Husn was conducted in March 1975, it was a joint operation with other army units and the air force and was decisive. Ashley from his operations room coordinated the operation. The rebellion was declared over on 11 December 1975 and a ceasefire with Yemen was declared in March 1976. By this time, the Sultan's army was organised into the Southern Oman Brigade, responsible for operations in Dhofar, and the Northern Oman Brigade. Ashley retired as a Lieutenant Colonel on 22 May 1986, and lived in Chipping in the Ribble Valley where he took an active part in local life. He died in 2001, aged 67.


1. Training

2. Anti-Guerrilla Operations

3. Oman Humour

4. Jebel Regiment Awards

5. Sultan's Armed Forces Association

6. Staff Lists

7. Photographic Material

Access Information


For further information on how to use the Middle East Centre Archive, please see our Archon entry at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13531965

Acquisition Information

Received as a gift from Ian Buttenshaw 19 July 2006 and the book 'Elementary Omani Colloquial Arabic' (Ref 1/2/3) received as a gift from Keith Ashley on 1 Oct 2008

Archivist's Note

Fonds, Series, sub-series and file level descriptions created by H. Al-Khaizaran 16 May 2008, revised 30 May, 3 Jul 2008. Biographical history based on the information provided by Ian Buttenshaw, on Edward Ashley's obituary from the Sultan's Armed Forces Journal, Major-General John Graham, and the archivist's understanding from what is known from the papers themselves. Revised by Debbie Usher 1 Oct 2008.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions on copying or quotation other than statutory regulations and preservation concerns. Copyright in the photographs has been assigned to the Archive.

Related Material

In Middle East Centre Archive

Other collections of papers relating to Omani military history in the 1970s include:

  • GB165-0327 Graham
  • GB165-0339 McKeown
  • GB165-0328 Searle
  • GB165-0367 Murly-Gotto
  • GB165-0333 Sultan's Armed Forces Association
  • GB165-0410 Hepworth
  • GB165-0337 Partington


Geographical Names