Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

For all discussions regarding military actions short of war and the Great Game on the North West frontier of India, 1837-1901.

Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 02 May 2014 23:07

I am looking for personal accounts or memoirs of soldiers who took part in any of the expeditions on the North West Frontier from 1849 to the end of the Victorian period. I am looking for both officers and enlisted men, although particularly the latter where possible. If anyone can suggest sources of such accounts I would be very grateful.

Mark
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Les Waring » 03 May 2014 14:16

Mark

Although they are only short accounts, taken from longer memoirs, four men of the 32nd Foot wrote of the May 1852 operations in Swat and the Ranizai Valley, under Sir Colin Campbell. The 32nd seems to have played more of a supporting role in this operation, the main fighting (and village burning) being done by Gurkhas and several of the Frontier Forces.

You can find three of these accounts, by men who actually took part, in:

METCALFE Henry (ed. Sir Francis Tuker) (1953) The Chronicle of Private Henry Metcalfe. Cassell and Company (London) pp.17-18

RYDER John (‘A Private Soldier’ ) (1853) Four Years Service in India W.H. Burton . Leicester

WATERFIELD Robert (ed. Arthur Swinson & Donald Scott)(1968) The Memoirs of Private Waterfield Cassell (London) pp. 130 – 140. In the form of a diary.
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Ryder’s was the only one of these published during his lifetime. My copy was downloaded from Project Gutenburg, Google Books or Internet Archive. The NAM has an original printed copy which I have consulted.

There is a fourth, unpublished, account by another private of the 32nd , on which I am currently working with a descendant of the author. Although he did not accompany the force which left Peshawar for this operation (only three companies of the 32nd participated) he gives some interesting details about it and its aftermath.

The men of the 32nd who participated in this operation later received the IGSM with a clasp for Northwest Frontier. The rest of the regiment did not.

Best

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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 03 May 2014 15:00

Thanks, Les! That is exactly the type of thing I am looking for. I have found Ryder's book and will see if I can acquire the other two.

Mark
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby rclpillinger » 03 May 2014 23:38

Mark

My Grandfather, Major Roland Pillinger, spent two tours in the NW Frontier with the Tenth Royal Hussars at Rawal Pindi. These were 1880-84 and 1906-12.

Whilst I have very little written information from him of the first tour, ther is a letter in the "about" section of the website I have of his army life http://www.majorpillinger.com from a fellow recruit joining the Regiment at the same time. This letter explains the poor state of the Regiment when they arrived in 1880, brought about by the disaster at the Cabul River crossing in Afhanistan when many soldiers were drowned, and the cholora outbreak that occurred in the Khyber Pass as the Regiment was withdrawing.
I have a great deal of information about Regimental life in the second tour, as I have most copies of the Regimental Gazette magazine which my Grandfather introduced and editted from 1907. This details the hunting expeditions of several Commissioned Officers in Africa as well as India and China, sports and social events, drama, education, the comings and goings of officers and men into and out of the Regiment and on furlow, promotions, movement of other Regiments, movements of families and bands to the hill stations in the hot weather, illnesses and obituaries as well as other day to day events and weather events.

If I can be of any help please get in touch.

Richard
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Owen » 04 May 2014 12:16

Mark,

You probably have this already, but in case not. The ebook: The Story of the Malakand Field Force, by
Sir Winston S. Churchill. I haven't read it personally, but it's on my list of things to read...one day!

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9404/9404-h/9404-h.htm

Owen
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 04 May 2014 21:50

Richard - very interesting stuff, I will take a closer look as I progress through my research.

Owen - I do have a copy of Churchill's book but thank you for the suggestion :)

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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 06 May 2014 12:59

Can anyone else suggest further souces? I seem to be able to turn up quite a few to officers (partcularly the higher ranks) but few to enlisted men. If anyone can suggest personal accounts or similar from the non-commissioned ranks I would be partcularly grateful.

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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 31 May 2014 20:55

I am still looking for personal accounts from soldiers, either officers or enlisted men, for any of the following North West Frontier expeditions. If anyone can help I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance!

Mark


1849 Baizai Expedition
1850 Kohat Pass Expedition
1851 Miranzai Expedition
1851-2 Mohmand Expedition
1852 Ranizai Expedition
1852 Utman Khel Expedition
1852 Waziri Expedition
1852-3 Black Mountain Expedition
1853 Hindustani Fanatics
1853 Shirani Expedition
1853-4 Bori Valley Expedition
1854 Mohmand Expedition
1855 Aka Khel Expedition
1855 Orakzai Expedition
1855 Miranzai Valley Expedition
1856 Kurram Valley Expedition
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby ragbones » 27 Oct 2016 20:30

I'm terribly new to studying the NWF so please forgive me if these are "obvious" to those more experienced:

- Lumsden of the Guides, by General Sir Peter Lumsden and George Elsmie;
- With the Malakand & Buner Field Forces on the North West Frontiers of India 1897-1898, by The Viscount Fincastle V.C. and P.C. Elliott-Lockhart.

Best wishes,
Wayne
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 28 Oct 2016 13:35

Thanks, Wayne! I have copies of these books, fascinating to read.

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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby bill wright » 02 Nov 2016 19:41

DEAR MARK

The 1852 Expeditions especially the Ranizai and Doaba Valley ones, are covered in 2 issues of the Journal for Army Hist Research - Winter 1987 and Spring 1988 - which included the journal of Lieutenant Peter S. Lumsden (later a general and brother of the better-known Harry Lumsden). Total of 22 pages in the two issues. You will find it useful.
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Re: Personal Accounts/Memoirs from the North West Frontier

Postby Mark » 03 Nov 2016 09:39

bill wright wrote:DEAR MARK

The 1852 Expeditions especially the Ranizai and Doaba Valley ones, are covered in 2 issues of the Journal for Army Hist Research - Winter 1987 and Spring 1988 - which included the journal of Lieutenant Peter S. Lumsden (later a general and brother of the better-known Harry Lumsden). Total of 22 pages in the two issues. You will find it useful.


Thanks Bill, your suggestions are greatly appreciated. :D

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