22 SAS Reid, William Timothy

Craig Robertson

Staff member
William Timothy
  • UNIT
22 SAS
  • RANK
Mention in Despatches
Dhofar, Oman 1971
parent unit The Queen's Lancashire Regiment
recommended for Queen's Commendation, awarded MiD
London Gazette 46085, 24th September 1973, Page 11399


Mention in Despatches : Since May 1971 Captain REID has commanded a SAS Troop which has been responsible for training a group of DHOFARI irregulars. This particular group, known as a FIRQAT, comprised forty three DHOFARIS all of whom had previously fought for the rebels and had surrendered to the Government Forces in February 1971. In return for their "loyalty" after one successful raid, they made continuous excessive demands for food, water, vehicles, tents, arms and ammunition etc., for themselves and their families.

The camp base at BARBEZUM was a waterless airstrip on the Southern edge of the EMPTY QUARTER, where daily shade temperatures exceeded 120°F. Resupply was difficult and erratic, and water often polluted, resulting in a high sickness rate among the FIRQAT and Training Team alike.

Despite these adverse conditions, and personal and political harassment Captain REID persevered with these arrogant and self-centred men, and succeeded in the space of three months in building them into a formidable fighting force of ever seventy strong.

In July 1971, concerned for the safety of the FIRQAT FAMILIES AND LIVESTOCK Capt REID organised and accompanied their move to a protected settlement some fifty miles away. With the FIRQAT encouraged and motivated the base camp was moved forward nearer the Jebel, and active operations began.

He organised and led them as reconnaissance and fighting patrols on to the enemy held Jebel, and in the first contact lasting nearly twenty four hours the enemy were driven back into the Jebel carrying four dead. The FIRQAT suffered only one slightly wounded. Subsequently he led a reconnaissance patrol which successfully obtained vital information for post monsoon operations, and returned safely to base despite a heavily armed band of sixty rebels who tried to intercept and engage the patrol.

There is no doubt that the successful outcome of these operations was largely due to Captain REID's sustained personal leadership, determination and tenacity despite every imaginable difficulty and hardship. The existence and location of this fighting force will play a major part in operations planned for the future, and for this it is recommended that Captain REID be awarded a Queens Commendation.

Place : Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman
Date of Action : May 1971 - August 1971
How Employed : Troop Commander