Major PJ Boxall

Major PJ Boxall

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, in 1967 Captain PJ Boxall FGRS led a 25-man expedition to study the island and peoples of Socotra, which lies in the Indian Ocean 600 miles east of Aden.

Sponsored by the famous explorer Sir Earnest Shackleton, the team comprised personnel from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force as well as civilians and members of the Hadrami Bedouin Legion.

Socotra is a remote island and has been described as ‘the most alien place on the planet’. Boxall described his experiences there as being ‘a battle against nature’ and often ‘too difficult for camels’. The photograph shows him inspecting local artefacts.

His miniature medals are, from left to right: The Order of the Special Royal Emblem for Expatriate Officers, Sultan’s Commendation Medal, General Service Medal, Peace Medal and 15th Anniversary Medal, all awarded by the Sultan of Oman. His two British medals at the right-hand end are the General Service Medal (GSM) 1918-62 with Arabian Peninsula and Cyprus Clasps and the GSM 1962-2007 with South Arabia Clasp.