Mentioned in an earlier post about the Home for Heroes exhibition which details the Yemeni community living and working in South Shields.Well not surprisingly, because of their numbers and length of settlement within the area, the Yemeni community’s involvement and contribution to the First World War is rich and an ongoing line of inquiry. A volunteer and former historian, Peter Livsey, is concentrating solely on this avenue of research.
This South Shields’ community has been fluid as it is a seafaring population. These men who sailed on merchant ships may not have been born in South Shields but when signing onto a ship around the country such as Liverpool and Cardiff, they gave their home address as South Shields, such as ‘2 Lytton Street, High Shields’.
These men serving the war effort would have still passed through South Shields and signed into one of the many Arab boarding houses that sprung up in the area to accommodate the influx of men. Once this happened, they could sign on at a British port as a British subject.