The Indian Contingent

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6 years 1 month ago #71 by David Grant
The Corps of Guides

This bronze QSA was my find of last year and it was found locally. The naming is indistinct but "Corps" and "Guides" as well as the prenominal number "35" can be seen with a glass. There are no bronze medals awarded to the Corps of Guides if WO 100/296 p240 -241 is to believed. Luckly for researchers, the distribution list bound with WO 100/296 makes mention of 2 silver and 8 bronze medals having been prepared by the 15th December 1904, roll number A.G.2/M/13108.





The 2 silver medals are found on page 241 with 3 others on p240. A similar medal to 39 Syce Mehr Ali was sold by Toad Hall in 1992 for £110. The group to have is to 1574 Farrier Kala sold by Hayward in 1972. QSA clasp CC;KSA;IGS clasps Punjab Fronteir and Malakand '97 and an IMSM. The interest for me was to find a medal not on the roll at the National Archives but can be proven to have been prepared.

Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.
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6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #74 by djb
David,

That sounds an excellent find! You must have been very pleased?!

I have only seen a few bronze QSAs but the naming if often quite light. Do you know if where the Indian QSAs were named?

Kind regards
David

David Biggins

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6 years 1 month ago #80 by David Grant
Those bronze medals named in running script were named up in Culcutta. The medal rolls for thes are anotated with "medals sent in bulk to GOC India" Those impressed silver and bronze (servants, IOC and maybe IHC )medals were named at Woolwich as far as I know. These last rolls have no anotation but have a stamp in the top left hand corner indicating that they were named at the mint before distribution.
ATB
David

Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
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6 years 1 month ago - 1 year 6 months ago #92 by David Grant
1206 Sowar Farrier Shaikh Noor Mohamed
1st Bombay Lancers









Queen’s Sudan Medal 1206 Sowar Shaikh Noor Mohamed 1st Bombay Lancers
Queen’s South Africa Medal, Clasp Cape Colony 1206 Sr Farr Shaikh Noor Mohamed 1st Bombay Lcrs.
King’s South Africa Medal Clasps SA01;SA02 1206 Sr Farr Shaikh Noor Mohamed 1st Bombay Lcrs.
AGS Somaliland 1902-04 1206 Sowar Shaik Noor Mohamed 31st DofC Lancers
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal 1206 Lcr. Duff Shaik Noor Mohamed 31st DofC Lancers
Khedive’s Sudan Medal 1206 Sowar Shaikh Noor Mohamed 1st Bombay Lancers


Christies (24 July 1984)




City Coins 2010 plus Sudan Medal to 1205 Sowar Shakh Mahomed Issac
1205 Sowar Shakh Mahomed Issac medal may have been issued in error to 1206 Sowar Shaikh Noor Mohamed or "reunited" by a collector in error. The two men appear one on top of the other on the medal roll for the Khedive's medal.



WO 100/82 p145











Served at the Base Veterinary Hospital with the Somaliland Field Force

LS&GC Medal Awarded in 1908 with gratuity.





“(E)arly in the month of May the Indian Army authorities were ordered to prepare a brigade of all arms for service in Egypt ( sic). The troops selected were as follows: 26th Bengal Infantry, 35th Sikhs, 1st Bombay Lancers, 5th Bombay Mountain Battery, two Maxim guns, one section, Queen’s Own (Madras) Sappers and Miners – in all about 4000 men. The command was entrusted to Colonel Egerton, of the Corps of Guides” ( W.S. Churchill “ The River War”)

The regiment was transported aboard two British India line ships HM Transports Vadala and Chyebassa . Landed at Suakin and joined Brigadier-General Egerton’s Force on the 31st May 1896.

“On 30th May the dreary town of Suakin was enlivened by the arrival of the first detachments, and during the following week the whole force disembarked at the rotten piers and assumed the duties of the defence” (Frontiers and Wars p 218)

“The Indian Contingent landed in the full expectation of being immediately employed against the enemy. After a week when all the stores had been landed, officers and men spent their time speculating when the order to march would come.... As (camels) did not arrive, General Egerton sent in a proposed scheme to the Sidar, in which he undertook to hold all the advance posts up to the Kokreb range, if he were supplied with 1000 camels for transport. A characteristic answer was returned to the effect that it was not intended to use the Indian contingent as a mobile force. They had come as a garrison that it was not intended to use the Indian contingent as a mobile force. They had come as a garrison for Suakin and a garrison for Suakin they should remain This information was not, however, communicated to the troops, who continued to hope for orders to advance until the fall of Dongola (Frontiers and Wars p218-9)

The heat when the contingent arrived was not great, but as the months wore on the temperature rose steadily, until in August and September the thermometer rarely fell below 103f during the night, and often rose to115f by day. Dust storms were frequent. A veritable plaque of flies tormented the unhappy soldiers. The unhealthy climate, the depressing inactivity, and the scantiness of fresh meat or the use of condensed water, provoked an outbreak of scurvy. At one time nearly all the followers and 50% of the troops were affected. Several large drafts were invalided to India. All the Europeans suffered acutely from prickly heat. Malarial fever was common. There were numerous cases of abscesses of the liver. Twenty-five per cent of the British Officers were invalided to England or India, and only six escaped a stay in hospital. The experiences of the battalion holding Tokar Fort were even worse than those of then troops in Suakin. At length the longed for time of departure arrived. With the feelings of relief and delight the Indian contingent shook the dust off their feet and returned to India (Frontiers and Wars p219)

Egerton’s Force broke up, November 1896. Regiment retured to Bombay, and proceeded to Poona. Discharged before the completion of the campaign medal roll.
Source WO 100/369 p30

From July to August,1899, India was asked to send a contingent of troops to hold Natal against a possible Boer invasion. This contingent of British Troops was to be made available initially for a short period in fear that India would be denuded of troops necessary for the protection of the Empire. Apart from regulation hospital, ordinance and veterinary establishments, Indian Followers were asked to be kept to a minimum other than those necessary to look after horses and mules aboard the transports.
By January 1900 the differentiation between Indian Troops that were on transport duties and those that could be available for use in South Africa was becoming blurred. Case No. 64-M from Mobilisation Section, Army Headquarters Quarters at Fort William on the 10th January 1900 proposed a scheme for the despatch of 1,700 horses to South Africa. This scheme proposed that 1700 horses were to be despatched from India for employment with the Mounted Infantry in South Africa. British Officers accompanied the horses at the scale of 2 officers to every 250 horses. Supplying units were also ordered to detail NCOs, men & followers to accompany the horses according to a pre-determined scale. The horses and men embarked from Bombay and Calcutta. The men took their carbines & swords, but were not permitted to carry lances. Forty rounds of ammunition per carbine was taken. The following Regiments furnished horses from the Bombay Command:1st Bombay Lancers, Poona;2nd Bombay Lancers, Deesa;3rd Bombay Cavalry, Neemuch and 4th Bombay Cavalry, Sirur All were to provide 30 horses each. The number of men detailed as conducting parties for the above form each of the regiments were as follows:
1 Duffadar
1 Farrier (selected for veterinary knowledge)
1 Sowar
8 Syces
Reference: "Schemes, etc...of the Various Expeditions which have taken place in India since 1888"Office of the QMG in India, Simla 1896-1904 (bound up in one volume)
This was further reinforced by the recommendation of Field-Marshall Commanding-in-Chief, South Africa, War Office. The proposal was that force a consisting of four troops syces should be sent from India to Durban, for employment in remount establishment. The Composition of each troop was to be - one duffadar, one salutri, five naiks 125 syces,” recruited, if possible, from hardy races in Northern India”.
(Telegramme 276)
By the end of January 1900 the decision by the Viceroy was that the “whole Native establishment will be available on arrival, South Africa”.(286).

Drafts that were despatched under this scheme was as follows

Ujina 11th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 90 horses (265)
Captain Baynes, 2nd Bombay Lancers
1 hospital assistant
10 native soldiers
24 Syces

Umta 13th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 300 horses (274)
Major Money RA
Captain Rotton RA
Lieutenant Stirling RA
1 hospital assistant
17 native soldiers
89 Syces


Pundua 14th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 199 horses (274)
Captain Gough 12th Bengal Cavalry
Lieutenant Wigraml, Staff Corps
1 hospital assistant
12 native soldiers
53 Syces

Nankin15th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 274 horses (274)
Captain Bailey, 16th Bengal Cavalry
Lieutenant Taylor, 2nd Bombay Lancers
1 hospital assistant
27 native soldiers
72 Syces


Fultala 19th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 280 horses (285)
Captain Patterson, 5th Bengal Cavalry
Lieutenant Maxwell, 6th Bengal Cavalry
1 hospital assistant
26 native soldiers
74 Syces

Purnea 20th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 220 horses(285)
Captain Brazier Creagh ,9th Bengal Cavalry
Lieutenant Maxwell, 18th Bengal Cavalry
1 hospital assistant
25 native soldiers
55 Syces


Upada 28th January from Bombay bound for Durban with 310 horses (309)
Captain Commeline, 2nd Bombay Lancers
Lieutenant Maxwell, 2nd Bombay Lancers
1 hospital assistant
40 native soldiers
104 Syces

Numbers of troops in South Africa at the end of January 1900 is given as (286)

Cavalry Duffadars 72
Sowars 93
Farrier Havidars 16
Sildalar Farriers 25
IST Farriers 41
Syce 800

When Frontiers and Overseas Expeditions from India was compiled the numbers are recorded as 469 native soldiers and “6602 native non-combatants were also sent” The medal rolls reveal that some 2000 Indian Soldiers and 9000 non-combatants served during the war in South Africa

The combination of QSM,QSA,KSA,KSM is possibly unique combination to an Indian Regiment. The Bombay Lancers were the only unit in the Sudan and that had detachments in South Africa. Within the Bombay Lancers there is only 3 men with this combination of medals

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6 years 1 month ago #102 by David Grant
Hospital Cook Ram Kishen 23rd Pioneers

Queen’s South Africa Medal (Bronze) Hospital Cook Ram Kishen 23rd Pioneers. On the roll for Defence of Ladysmith and Transvaal
23rd Pioneers saw service Chitral, Tibet, N.W Frontier 1908 in the same period so Ram Kishen's medal group could be quite extensive.
ex The Numasmatic Circular January 1996 £23
ex Mike Kaplan 2004

"In the opening year of the present century the 23rd Pioneers remained at Mian Mir in peace,….. Finally, at the close of the year and the period under review, the 23rd Pioneers proceeded to Waziristan to take part in the Blockade, that it was proposed to enforce on that part of the North-West Frontier against the Mahsuds and Wazirs." ( Lieut.-General Sir George MacMunn K.C.B.,K.C.S.I.,D.S.O. The History of the Sikh Pioneers).

Ram Kishen and two comrades left for South Africa and were to see service
at Ladysmith and in The Transvaal. Recruited as hospital staff for the force being formed at Mian Mir for service in South Africa.

"When the Indian contingent arrived in Natal early in October, it brought with it…one field hospital for natives of India accompanying it as transport drivers and in other capacities. (T)he establishment was entirely Indian, and consisted, in addition to the officers of the Indian Medical Service with the native field hospital, of assistant-surgeons of the Indian Medical Service, native ward orderlies, water-carriers, cooks, sweepers, and others." ( Times History of the War in South Africa. Vol. IV p 513-4 )

Sections C & D No.69 Native Field Hospital was composed of 2 British Officers, 1 British NCO, 4 Hospital Assistants, 8 native rank and file and 76 public followers and 15 private
followers. (Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India.)

The 69th Native Field Hospital was established under Maj. W.H.W. Elliott I.M.S.






"All the available medical personnel, equipment, and supplies were used for the formation of this hospital (at Intombi Spruit), only a proportion of the field hospitals and bearer companies remaining within the area exposed to the fire of the Boers." (Times History of the War in South Africa. Vol. IV p 516)

"Established about five miles southeast of Ladysmith, the area at Intombi Spruit was placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mapleton, R.A.M.C……… In addition to 30 doctors, both military and civilian, there were 120 medical personnel and 56 Indian Bearers." (Alan Chalmers, Bombardment of Ladysmith Anticipated - The Diary of a Siege p. 54)

Roll
3834 Sepoy Jagram Singh (Silver Medal with clasps Defence of Ladysmith & Transvaal issued 18th January 1905 as well as a King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps)

Hospital Sweeper Faqirin (Bronze Medal))

Hospital Cook Ram Kishen (Bronze Medal)

"No clasps to be issued to these followers. Bronze medals sent by G.o.C. South
Africa to India for distribution." See A.G.M./M/12752 (WO 100/296 p. 376)

Roll compiled 17th September 1901 Glacis Castle, Cape Town by Capt. John C.C.Perkin Controller of Military Accounts, Indian Contingent South African Force.

Possibly Ram Kishen returned to India soon after the relief of Ladysmith since he is not mentioned on the roll of the King’s Medal unlike the other two members of the contingent.

During my searches into the 65th Native Field Hospital, I came across a roll of deaths at the 65th Native Field Hospital. The first time I have found a list of African non-combatants. There are several more pages but one is reproduced below





ReferencesAlan Chalmers, Bombardment of Ladysmith Anticipated - The Diary of a Siege
Times History of the War in South Africa
Lieut.-General Sir George MacMunn K.C.B.,K.C.S.I.,D.S.O. The History of the Sikh Pioneers. Purnell & Son, ca. 1936
Peter Fleming, Bayonets to Lhasa.
Sir George S. Robertson, K.C.S.I., Chitral, the Story of a Minor Siege.
Lt-Gen Sir R.C.Low, K.C.B., Despatch from camp Dir 1st May 1895
Central Africa Roll for 23rd Pioneers.
Queen’s South Africa Medal Roll
The Siege of Ladysmith in 120 Pictures from photographs by Henry Kisch Geo Newnes Ltd., London 1900

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6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 3 weeks ago #115 by David Grant
10529 Salutri Allah Ditta
Messrs C.Dhanji Bhai and Company's Tonga Train


This is a recent addition thanks to the generosity of two collectors. It might very well be a reunite if there is only one Allah Ditta serving as a Salutri in the Commisariate Transport Corps.

Bronze IGS 54/Burma 85-87 (846 Salutry Allah Ditta Transpt Dep)
Bronze QSA (10529 Salutri Aliah Ditta, S & T Corps)

In addition there is a third medal to Aliah Ditta if anyone spots it. Last sold at DNW

Bronze IGS'54 Chin-Lushai 1889-90, (846 Salootry Alah Ditta, Comt. Transport Dept.) a rare double issue of a bronze medal





Salutri Allah Ditta served with the Tonga Train at Johannesburg,Diamond Hill, in Cape Colony and in The Orange Free State.


Official Report of the Indian Contingent to South Africa WO 108/404 224645
Telegramme 266 From Viceroy to Secretary of State for India, 14th January 1900
"Mr. Dhanjibhoy Lostal, Contractor, Rawal Pindi, offers for conveyance of wounded South Africa. train of 20 to 25 ambulance tongas, with horses and harness complete, similar to those used in Tirah expedition. Drivers and syces and supervising staff would have to be furnished at public expense. Shall accept?

Telegramme 356 7th March
Your telegramme of 5th March. Tonga Train despatched Durban per steamer Ujina 3rd March

Telegramme 358 7th March 1900
.... Ujina on 4th March.... Dhanjibhoy's ambulance train, 1 British non-commissioned Officer; 1 agent, 59 native followers; 50 ponys, 20 tongas...

Mr Dhanjibhoy also provided a similar service for the China Expedition.

Lord Roberts in his Recomendations 0f April 2, 1901 has this to say
"My thanks are due to Khem Bahadur Dhan-jibhoy, a Parsee gentleman, long resident in the Punjab, who presented tongas for ambulance purposes.  These tongas were horsed and fully equipped with drivers and all necessary gear.  They proved most useful."


Attachment TongaTrainChina.jpg not found



The Tonga Train in China from the Navy and Army Illustrated.
I presume the Tongas in South Africa were similar. If anyone comes across a photo I would be most intrested to see.

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