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Forbes Camp 1898. Taken from Forbes 1903 Dr Theodore Bent (1852-97), accompanied by his wife Mabel, made a collection of plants whilst studying the archaeology of Soqotra in 1896-7. The same year the joint British and Liverpool museums expedition to Soqotra and Abd al-Kuri, jointly led by Dr Henry Forbes (1851-1932) and W.R. Ogilvie-Grant (1863-1924), reached Abd al-Kuri on 3rd December and departed on 23rd February 1898 having during the intervening time spent 6 weeks on Soqotra. The primary objective of their expedition was Zoological but they also made a collection of plants which was sent to Balfour, who identified them and contributed the botanical sections to Forbe's the Natural History of Soqotra and Abd al-Kuri(1903). Undoubtedly the most important discovery made by the expedition was the bizarre Euphorbia abdelkuri Balf. f. (1903) from J Saleh on Abd al-Kuri. The same year as Forbes and Ogilvie-Grant visited the island the Vienna Academy of Science sent an expedition to explore southern Arabia. Dr Stefan Paulay (1839-1913), the ship's surgeon, and Prof. Oskar Simony, an Austrian Professor of Mathematics, made a collection of plants on Soqotra which were described by Dr Fritz Vierhapper (1907). They also visited Abd al-Kuri and made the first collection of plantsfrom the island of Semhah.

It is interesting to note that these last three expeditions did not add a significant number of new records or species to the flora of Soqotra which is a great testimony to Balfour and Schweinfurth's relatively thoroughness on their relatively short visits.

After this burst of activity at the end of the 19th century it was over 50 years until the island was again visited by a botanist. In 1953 George Basil Popov (b.1922), a British ecologist working for the Desert Locust Survey, undertook a general ecological survey of the island and published the first systematic description of its vegetation (Popov 1957). He is commemorated by Boswellia popoviana Hepper (1971).

In 1956 Dr Michael Gwynne (b.1932), a British tropical ecologist, and member of the University of Oxford Expedition to Soqotra made biological collections on the island including a collection of plants which are deposited at the British Museum. His most interesting find was probably Hemicrambe townsendii Gomez Campo (originally described as Fabrisinapis fruticosusC.C. Townsend), a shrub-like relative of the cabbage. Gwynne (1968) produced the first vegetation map of Soqotra based largely on Popov's vegetation survey.

During the next few years the island was visited by several British Army and Political officers many of whom made small collections of plants. This period ended with the Middle East Command Expedition to the Soqotran archipelago in the spring of 1967 the same year as the British withdrawal from Aden. Two Botanists accompanied the Expedition; Alan Radcliife-Smith (b.1938) from the Royal Botanic Garden Kew and John Lavranos (b.1926). They made a large collection of plants which included a number of new species: Boswellia popoviana Hepper, B. nana Hepper and Caralluma dioscorides Lavranos (1971).