Robert Ernest Cheesman

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Major Robert Ernest Cheesman, CBE (1878 – February 13, 1962) was a military officer, explorer and ornithologist.

Cheesman was Private Secretary to Sir Percy Cox during his tenure as High Commissioner in Iraq.

In 1923, during a journey into the Arabian Peninsula, Cheesman collected over 300 specimens from the Hasa oasis, several of them previously unknown to science. These specimens are currently in the British Museum.

He is credited with discovering Cheesman's Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani).

Cheesman was the first man to map the Arabian coast from the Gulf of Salwah to Uqair. In 1924 he fixed the position of Hofuf and identified the site of ancient Gerrha. He presented his findings to Ibn Sa'ud at his court in Hofuf. He was later given the Gill Memorial Award for this work by the Royal Geographical Society.


'Report on a collection of mammals made by Col. J.E.B. Hotson in Shiraz, Persia', Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 573-581.


  • Travellers in Arabia, Eid Al Yahya, Stacey International (2006). ISBN 0-9552193-1-0 (9780955219313)
  • In Unknown Arabia, R. E. Cheesman Macmillan & Co. (1926)

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