The camp was so large the perimeter fence was 7 miles long.
This did not include the airfield which was outside the fence and
open to the surrounding desert. The 'Unclimable Fence' was 10
feet high and curved outwards. Kleftiwallahs still got in though!
Wide rolling gates across the apron kept the camp secure at night.
RAF stations usually have RAF Police Dogs but Habbaniya was
almost unique in having RAF Mounted Police as well!
Hand tinted photo - John Black,
Mounted Policeman 1948-50
RAF Mounted Policeman.
Photo - John Tate 1954
Where else in the RAF but at Habbaniya were parades conducted on
horseback? Even in 1955 the Station Commander, Gp Capt 'Brookie'
Brookes reviewed a parade on horseback as these photographs show.
A Parade in 1955. On the airfield apron in front of hangars 5 & 6. Photo - Dr Morris
Another highly unusual feature for an RAF station was the presence of
the Royal Exodus Hunt - YES - a real foxhunt with hunt kennels for the
pack of hounds, mounted riders and a Master of Hunt. The hunt moved
from Hinaidi to Habbaniya but sadly had to close in 1955 when the Levies
disbanded. They used to hunt desert fox and jackal around Habbaniya.
A typical scene with hounds and horses as the
Hunt sets off in this photo from the late
Margaret Evans whose father worked in
AMWD from 1935 to 1937. The Hunt may
therefore still have been at Hinaidi.
A Huntsman & hounds at Habbaniya in
1954-55. Photo by John Winter.