1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

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1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 15 Aug 2011 20:52

Hi All

Do any of our members have a list of 'British' infantry and cavalry regiments that took part in the Tirah Expedition? I would also like to know which of these regiments were particulary engaged against the Afridis - i.e. saw the most action?

Thanks in advance :)

Mark
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Re: Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby crimea1854 » 16 Aug 2011 21:35

Mark

The following is based on a list of those Regiments in my 1971 edition of British Battles and Medals:

1st Division, 1st Brigade:
1st Devons
2nd Notts & Derbys
1st Queens
2nd Green Howards

2nd Division, 3rd Brigade:
1st Dorsets
1st Gordons
2nd KOSB
1st Northants
detachment of 16th Lancers

Kurram Column:
No British Regiments.

Peshawur Column:
2nd Ox & Bucks
2nd R Inniskilling Fusiliers

Rawal Pindi Brigade (in reserve):
1st DCLI
2nd KOYLI

Swat Valley:
2nd R Sussex
1st R Scots Fusiliers

A small number of men from 2nd Durham LI & 19th Hussars also received the medal.

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Re: Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 17 Aug 2011 09:04

Brilliant, thanks so much, Martin! That really helps and points me in the right direction :)

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Re: Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Maureene » 17 Aug 2011 15:28

Mark

The FIBIS Fibiwiki has a page Tirah Campaign
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=Tirah_Campaign

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 18 Aug 2011 12:50

Thanks, Maureen! Much appreciated! I am quite interested in the Notts & Derbys so will investigate their role in the Tirah.

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Re: Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 18 Aug 2011 22:12

I have now acquired an India Medal 1895 with the clasps "Punjab Frontier 1897-98" and "Tirah 1897-98" named to 2818 Private Joseph Knight of the 2nd Battalion, Derbyshire Regiment. Looks like they saw some action, albeit held in reserve at first, with an officer of the regiment winning the VC during the short expedition/campaign.

Thanks all for your help above but if anyone can add anything else regarding the 2/Derbyshires or Private Knight I would love to hear from you.

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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby allswede » 11 Aug 2014 04:49

http://defence.pk/threads/frontier-revo ... 97.260321/ Mark will this be of any use to you.
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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 11 Aug 2014 15:12

allswede wrote:http://defence.pk/threads/frontier-revolt-of-1897.260321/ Mark will this be of any use to you.


Many thanks for the link. I have since put together some extensive research on Tirah, including all British and Indina regiments/units involved. A very interesting expedition that appears to be largely forgotten these days.

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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby MikeS » 08 Feb 2015 19:08

A small number of officers and men of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards were present on the Tirah Expedition. Anyone have any idea what they were doing? I can't seem to find them in the period literature so assume they were attached to other units.
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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 09 Feb 2015 21:07

Hi Mike

I am currently up to my eyeballs with various primary and secondary sources for the campaign in Tirah. if I come across something I will let you know.

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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby MikeS » 10 Feb 2015 06:27

Mark wrote:Hi Mike

I am currently up to my eyeballs with various primary and secondary sources for the campaign in Tirah. if I come across something I will let you know.

Mark

Thanks Mark. I know they were there as I'm researching an officer who was with the 4th DG's at the time, and going through Hart's Army list some of those officers (their service is usually listed as the North West Frontier or something similar) have the medal with one clasp and the ones who were with the Tirah Expedition have 2 clasps. However, finding period evidence is proving elusive. It appears that there was a few troops lurking around the Mohmand campaign, although not officially mentioned, so maybe they went from there to the Tirah Expedition.
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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby MikeS » 15 Feb 2015 21:27

By way of answering my own question, the 4th DG's (at least 2 squadrons) were stationed at Jamrud, at least from Aug-Dec 1897, busy with escort duty and reconnaissance. They didn't have an easy time as some officers and several men were killed while out on various patrols.
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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 16 Mar 2015 21:06

Hi Mike

I have just come across this passage during my research, which I though might be of interest to you. It is from 'The Risings on the North West Frontier' by the Pioneer Press, published in 1898:

'It now only remains for us, in connection with the general concentration at Barkai, to dispose of the Peshawar Column which, under General Hammond, had marched in from Bara; and before this not very eventful movement is alluded to a brief retrospect of the doings of the Peshawar Column from the time it was constituted may be conveniently introduced. The constant fighting in Tirah had so completely absorbed public attention that the very existence of a brigade at Peshawar had been almost forgotten. As a matter of fact nothing had occurred to direct more than passing attention to this force, as the task originally assigned to the column had been to play a waiting game on Sir William Lockhart's Main Column in Tirah and in the meantime to prevent local raids on the Peshawar border. But the long stay at Peshawar and Bara, though necessarily uneventful in the absence of concerted hostilities, proved to be no picnic for the troops. The British Cavalry with General Hammond in particular had a most trying time, not so much from sniping by straggling tribesmen—though they did not escape this experience and its attendant losses—as from the feverish climate of the Peshawar Valley during autumn. In the two squadrons of the 11th Hussars every Officer, and all the rank-and-file with four exceptions only, had suffered from fever. Some men had been unlucky enough to have three or four attacks, and the squadrons on arriving at Barkai were still thoroughly fever-stricken. The medical returns for the 4th Dragoon Guards were nearly as bad as those of the 11th Hussars. In fact even the unfortunate division in the Tochi had not fared much worse in this respect than had the Peshawar Column. But in addition to much sickness the column had also to repoit at least one regrettable episode in connection with the work of reconnoitring: due to the fact that the tribesmen, though careful not to expose themselves, were always very alert and allowed no opportunity to pass by of displaying their deadly marksmanship. On Sunday, October 10th, a troop under Captain F. T. Jones of the 4th Dragoon Guards was sent to reconnoitre the Bara Valley, and Captain Jones, leaving his troop at the mouth of the Sanighakhi, trotted through the pass with his advance party, consisting of Corporal Walton, one trooper and a mounted Khyber Rifle. As they reached the end a party of the enemy fired a volley at about 30 yards distance, killing on the spot Captain Jones, Corporal Walton and two horses. The enemy bolted before the troop could get a single shot at them. Information was immediately sent in to Colonel Sulivan, Commanding at Jamrud, who ordered out two guns of " K " Battery Royal Horse Artillery under Lieutenant Nairn, one squadron of the 4th Dragoon Guards under Captain Sellar, two companies of the Sussex Regiment under Major Donne, and two companies of the Khyber Rifles under Captain Barton; the whole being commanded by Major Littledale, 4th Dragoon Guards. Although this force searched the whole of the neighbouring valley and the adjacent hills, they could find no sign of the enemy, and eventually returned to camp about 2 p.m. The two bodies were brought in by Sergeant Clarke and his party. Captain Jones was hit in two places and Corporal Walton in four. It is scarcely worth while to recount other unfortunate incidents of a less serious nature, but it will be easily credited from what has already been said that the troops were highly delighted when at last the order came for them to move up the Bara Valley and they were thus given a possible chance of getting into action. As for General Hammond's march to Barkai, owing to the entire absence of opposition, there were no incidents calling for mention except those connected with the difficulty of getting the baggage through the valley, a purely physical difficulty not enhanced as in the case of General Yeatman-Biggs's Division, by fierce hostilities. On the 15th December the column, after regretfully learning that, owing to the flight of the enemy, no employment could be found for them in the Bara Valley, returned from Barkai to Jamrud, pending a new projected movement, this time up the Bazar Valley into which the tribesmen had apparently retreated.'

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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby MikeS » 17 Mar 2015 05:02

Mark,
Thank you. I hadn't read this account of the attack on F.T. Jones so it is much appreciated. The officer I'm researching had his charger shot from under him on September 3rd so it seems that they presented enticing targets.
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Re: 1897-98 Tirah Expedition: British Regiments Present

Postby Mark » 17 Mar 2015 11:07

I am still working my way through several other primary sources for the Tirah campaign, and if I find any more reference to the 4th Dragoons I will let you know.

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