Gerald de Gaury

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Gerald de Gaury MC (1897 – 1984) was a British military officer, Arabist, explorer, historian and diplomat.

He served in the Hampshire Regiment in the First World War, where he was wounded on several occasions, including in the Gallipoli Campaign. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1917:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed the greatest gallantry and initiative in organising and leading bombing attacks. Although subjected to heavy machine gun and rifle fire he captured an important enemy post. His fine example and disregard of danger were of great value to his men."[1]

He was the British political agent in Kuwait in the 1930s.

He organized and took part in the official visit of Sir Andrew Ryan to Riyadh in November 1935, to present Ibn Sa'ud with the Order of the Bath.

De Gaury was a fluent Arabic speaker and spent much time hunting with Ibn Sa'ud during his wartime assignment to the Nejd and Asir. In his day he was a foremost authority on the region and wrote a number of books on the region in later life.

An enthusiastic and skilled photographer, de Gaury is responsible for a large proportion of the photographs of the Arabian Peninsula from this period. He was also an accomplished watercolorist and sketch artist, frequently drawing or painting scenes from memory only hours after they had occurred.

He was a close friend of Freya Stark and Lesley Blanch, who said of him:

"He spoke beautiful Arabic, and could talk Arabic lore. Living among, and as one of, the royal household in Arabia, he knew a great deal and could tell you marvellous legends."[2]



  • Arabian Journeys and Other Desert Travels, (1950)
  • Arabia Phoenix, (Kegan Paul, 1946). ISBN 0-7103-0677-6
  • Faisal, King of Saudi Arabia, (Praeger, 1967). ASIN B0007DUTRE
  • Rulers of Mecca, (AMS Press, 1954). ISBN 978-0-404-16517-8
  • Three Kings in Baghdad: The Tragedy of Iraq's Monarchy, (I. B. Tauris, 2008). ISBN 978-1-84511-535-7
  • The Grand Captain, Gonzalo De Cordoba, (Longmans Green, 1955)