THE CIVIL CANTONMENT AT RAF HABBANIYA
The Civil Cantonment was part of RAF Habbaniya
and was a 'town within a town' with about 10,000
residents. They were the civilian workers and their
families and the families of the RAF Iraq Levies.
They were of many races, religions and cultures
because at the end of the Mesopotamian
campaign of the First World War there were many
displaced peoples. Many had fought against the
Ottomans and the Red Russians and, having been
on the side of the Allies came under the
protection of the British and worked for them
when peace came to Mesopotamia. They include:
Indians, Armenians, Assyrians, Russians,
The list of peoples is not exhaustive and I
welcome notification of any omissions.
Many of the residents moved from Hinaidi
Cantonment to Dhibban (Habbaniya) when the
RAF moved there in 1936.
Background to the Civil Cantonment
The administration of the Civil Cantonment
The Civil Cantonment was run by an administrator
appointed by the RAF authorities. Some details have
been given to me and any further information would be
Mr J Ingram, a civilian, was probably the first
Superintendant and was wounded in the Raschid Ali
Siege & Battle.
Mr Paul Apostolof-Boyarin arrived at Habbaniya in 1936
and was Deputy Supertintendant until some time in the
early 1950's. His son, Paul, has recently joined the
Association and has clear memories of living in the
second quarter from the CC gate.
In 1954-55 the Deputy Superintendant was a Mr Jones,
ex Indian Army & police. He was married to a Persian or
Armenian lady. My father recounts a wonderful story
of him bringing 1000 Armenian women and children
down from the North of Iraq and I will include this in due
In 1946 Sqn Ldr Lovatt-Campbell became the first RAF
Officer I/C and was followed by Sqn Ldr Stevenson, Sqn
Ldr Quittendon and finally (from November 1954) by Sqn
Ldr F N Morris (the father of the Association Hon
Secretary). The Officer I/C lived in the 1st quarter by the
C C gate.
In October 1955 Sqn Ldr Morris handed over the C C to
an Iraqi Army Officer - Officer Sleeman.
The Levy Memorial in the RAF Cemetery
Chaikana in Civil Cantonment 1955
Garden of OC Civil Cantonment 1955
Mrs Jean Morris with Christopher & Bruce. The dog Rani
was raised as a puppy by Sqn Ldr & Mrs Lovatt-Campbell
Chokidar in Civil Cantonment 1955
This page is still under construction. Plans of the
CC and more photographs will be added.
Click on the small plan adjacent to see a full
page version which you can download. This has
been photographed from an A1 sized display
board which is shown at meetings and reunions.