Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


16th (Hejaz) Imperial Army Division

The Hejaz administration in 1845, was taken over directly by Constantinople, and it was constituted a vilayet under a vali or governor general.

  • The population was estimated at 300,000, about half of which were inhabitants of the towns and the remainder Bedouin, leading a nomad or pastoral life.
  • The principal tribes were the Sherarat, Beni Atiya and Huwetat in the north; the Juhena between Yambu' and Medina, and the various sections of the Harb throughout the centre and south; the Ateba also touch the Mecca border on the south-east.
  • All these tribes received surra or money payments of large amount from the Turkish government to ensure the safe conduct of the annual pilgrimage, otherwise they were practically independent of the Turkish administration, which is limited to the large towns and garrisons.

Right - The keffiyeh, held in place by a rope circlet, called an agal, was worn generally throughout the Ottoman empire, and into the WW1 period pictures. In the case of the troops from the Hajaz Corps, the keffiyeh, was distinctive.

  • In the 1876 till 1908 period it was a red-and-white keffiyeh, which also had decorative cotton or wool tassels on the sides. It is generally, believed that the bigger these tassels, the more value it has and the higher a person’s status.

In the WW1 period, generally, a wide selection of white, black keffiyeh were worn, and photographs show many traditional Yemeni designs and colours used as well.

Right - The 1882 Hamidiye (SultanAbdul Hamid II) cast brass coat of arms badge (7 x 5.8 cm). Worn by the Hejaz Division on the agal (keffiyeh head-cords).

1893 Hejaz Division Flag

Left - The special 1893 flag for the Hejaz Division.

The Hejaz Corps in WW1

In WW1, the restuctured Order of Battle, January - June 1918 of the Hejaz corps consisted of the following units:

  • 58th Division (These were Infantry Regiments 128, 129, and 130).
  • 1st Provisional Infantry Division.
  • 2nd Provisional Infantry Division.
  • 3rd Provisional Infantry Division.

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Corps Mounted Companies

Most photographs of the Hajaz corps mounted companies show them armed with the traditional Arab Hunting Spear: Az-Zagayah.

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