Who are they?

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Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 20 Sep 2013 07:42

I happened on this photograph (out of copyright) with the title of "Highlanders of Amir Yaqub at Gandamak." Now the 51st Regiment of Foot were not a Highland regiment so who are they?

They do not look particularly British to me so perhaps an Afghan unit?

I have to say that the "kilts" are more in the nature of tablecloths, and the baggy white bloomers are decidedly non-British.

Any ideas?

Stuart
Highlanders_of_Amir_Yaqub_at_Gandamak small.jpg
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Last edited by Stuart_Bates on 20 Sep 2013 07:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 20 Sep 2013 07:44

Here is the link which states the 51st Regiment 1879.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... ndamak.jpg

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Garen » 20 Sep 2013 09:29

Hello Stuart

I wrote a little paragraph on this lot on my website - right here (Afghans in kilts, fifth point). I don't see any of the 51st there, unless they're the tiny group in the trees at the back looking on.

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 21 Sep 2013 00:17

Thanks Garen,

and I can see why these uniforms were a source of amusement to British troops.

The helmets are quite weird in that they seem to be made of cardboard/papier mache so presumably sola pith without cover. They are not well formed and I notice several chinstraps affixed to the exterior and some to the interior.

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Maureene » 21 Sep 2013 09:50

Amazon has a print for sale which is a page from a 1909 Illustrated London News, featuring Afghan soldiers in kilts.

If you read the description at the bottom of the image, there is information about this practice, and there is a reference to 1880.

My computer skills prevent me copying and posting the image here, but the Amazon link is
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Afghan-Soldiers ... B0088WNMC0

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 21 Sep 2013 22:38

Here is the illustration and if it infringes copyright then I shall remove it.

Stuart
http://www.militarysunhelmets.com
Highlanders_of_Amir_Yaqub_at_Gandamak small 2.jpg
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Re: Who are they?

Postby jf42 » 22 Sep 2013 01:15

There is an Angus McBride illustration of these boys in the Osprey book on the Northwest Frontier
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Garen » 22 Sep 2013 01:19

The text underneath is interesting, but I'd say is not true as far as the 'Highlanders' pictured goes. Ayub Khan didn't have a chance to have his men strip kilts from the British - it would have had to have been the 92nd Highlanders at Kandahar and there was no time for that.

What Abdurahman would have probably seen is Yaqub Khan's Highlanders - with kilts they made themselves in imitation of the 92nd. And of course we can see that even in 1879 they wore pantaloons under the kilts to keep the Mahommedan law intact.

The Afghan army had their uniforms modelled on British patterns at the time of the second Afghan war, and before that even.

Interesting piece and print though!
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Garen » 22 Sep 2013 01:20

jf42 wrote:There is an Angus McBride illustration of these boys in the Osprey book on the Northwest Frontier

And on the same page they show an 1879 Yaqub Khan and label him an 1880 Ayub Khan!
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Maureene » 22 Sep 2013 06:22

Stuart, would it be possible for you to post a separate image of the wording from the second image, so it can be read? (There is another link of this image here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Print ... 675.l25570. Scroll down for larger version. )

A description of the original photograph which is titled ' The Amirs Highlanders, 1879' says:
A photograph of Afghan soldiers dressed in kilts, taken by John Burke [1845-1900] in 1879. This photograph is from an album entitled 'The Afghan War, Attogk to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab . The Afghans were very impressed with the ferocity and fighting skills of the British Highland regiments. In imitation, Afghan troops were dressed in kilts in an attempt to instil them with similiar martial qualities. A pioneer of photography in India, John Burke began working in Peshawar, as an assistant to the commercial photographer William Baker. Baker took up photography on retiring from the British Army in 1861 and Burke himself had worked as an apothecary in the Royal Artillery. When Baker stopped working in 1873 Burke carried on, recording the evolution of the Indian Raj in the late nineteenth century. Burke accompanied the British army on its advance into Afghanistan during the Second Afghan War of 1878-1879. (from gettyimages.com)

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 22 Sep 2013 08:54

This appears to be the best I can do. CTRL + may make it more readable

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HighLanders smll caption.jpg
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Maureene » 22 Sep 2013 22:10

Thanks Stuart

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Re: Who are they?

Postby Stuart_Bates » 22 Sep 2013 23:46

I managed a better crop but Ctrl + still required.

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HighLanders smll caption 2.jpg
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Re: Who are they?

Postby Maureene » 23 Sep 2013 08:53

Thanks, Stuart, this one is easier to read.
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