The Navy requested 2,850 tons of coal for the three cruisers that were due to arrive before the Medina. Luke Thomas had the Admiralty contract but only had lighters available to hold 2,000 tons. One option considered was to get another agency to load the balance of 850 tons. Cowasjee Dinshaw was approached but his response was interesting: his firm only stocked Indian coal. He knew that this would not be acceptable, as the Royal Navy always had to be supplied with Cardiff coal (even Newcastle coal would not have been acceptable!). In an emergency, on a request for ‘full speed ahead’, Cardiff coal responded better – perhaps the modern equivalent would be the difference between 5 Star petrol compared to 4 Star (with Indian coal probably rating only 2 Star!).
The H.M.S. Medina leaving Portsmouth with escorts
King George V and Queen Mary aboard the Medina
The Medina anchored at 11.15am to an Imperial Salute fired by the shore battery and the ships in the harbour. It was a beautiful day with a fresh breeze blowing.
H.M.S. Medina, a 12,500 ton former P & O liner was put on duty as a Royal Yacht. The three masts were for radio communication.
The regiment forming the Guard of Honour was 1st Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment seen here wearing white duck suits and white helmets. The inspecting party is moving across to begin the inspection. The band of the Lincolnshire Regiment with colours flying is immediately behind the guard of honour.
Note that the King's Colour rather than the Regimental Colour is on parade, as befits a Guard of Honour for the Sovereign. A number of presentations were made and their Majesties then entered a carriage drawn by 2 white horses to be driven to the reception hall.
Each member of the 1st Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment was granted two weeks extra pay as a compliment – equal to £1, quite a lot of money those days. the Regiment stayed in Aden until November 1912 , when they were relieved, and returned to their old barracks in Portsmouth.
Cowasjee Dinshaw gratuitously provided a special carriage for the King to use. At one stage he had offered to provide a carriage with four horses. The Resident was only prepared to accept this offer if a very reliable driver could be procured from Bombay; otherwise ‘the less pretentious pair will be less risky’. Cowasjee settled for the easy option but had two white horses sent from Australia. These can be seen in the photograph to the left of the guard of honour.
Presumably Cowasjee Dinshaw earned his MVO for his part in this Royal Visit as he already had it by the time of the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1921.
Aden was particularly well decorated for the visit. A general public subscription had raised 25,000 Rupees, to which the Government had added another 10,000 Rupees.
The reception hall erected over the statue of Queen Victoria for the visit by King George V.
After the ceremony their Majesties drove to the Residency along troop-lined roads to take tea with Sir James and Lady Bell. All the leading members of the Aden community had been invited and had an opportunity to converse with their Majesties.
Leaving the Residency at Ra's Tarshyne at 5.30pm their Majesties received an Imperial salute as they left the shore. They boarded the Medina which departed at 6pm for India.