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The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14793

  • LinneyI
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Gentlemen
I always felt that it was a pity that no clasps were issued with bronze QSAs - those on bronze IGS 54 and 97 always add something extra to what would otherwise be a plain medal. Of course, the scale of issue would have been far smaller that than that

of the bronze QSA.
I have been looking for a bronze QSA for some time now and I sought an example where it had some connection to one of the clasps. A little while ago, one such surfaced; engraved in running script to "39 Kneader Kuppusawmy S&T Corps". The copy of the roll page indicated a clasp entitlement of "Defence of Ladysmith" and "Transvaal". However, a firm hand on the RHS of the roll observed that "clasps not to be issued to these followers" and another note reads that "bronze medals sent by GOC South Africa to India for distribution". I do recall reading somewhere that bronze QSAs were named in India.
I would suggest that - at one time - clasps were considered for the bronze QSA; ample precedent existed in the case of the IGS; or else one might ask why the compiler of the roll bothered to make the appropriate entries? In any case, I trust that Kneader Kuppusawmy wore his medal with pride - knowing that his caling helped sustain the gallant defenders of Ladysmith. Any infantryman knows about regular rations!
Also shown on the RHS of the pic is an unnamed bronze QSA: stated to be a specimin and was from a collection formed in the 1950's.
Regards to all
IL.
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The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14795

  • David Grant
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Thanks for showing that. There is the man after yours, 40 Kneader Abdul Gafoor for sale at Aberdeen Medals. They have a fine selection of Indian QSAs from DNW sales of the past few months. I placed a bid when it was at DNW because I have a photograph of the bakery at Ladysmith where both men might possibly have worked.





On the question of clasps: my own feeling is that no clasps were originally officially intended for the bronze medal despite the precedent of Indian Medals that you mention. The original order of some 100 000 medals placed at the Royal Mint makes no mention of clasps been manufactured and sent out with the medals. Also you can not cancel what has not been intended hence no mention of cancelling the clasps. With the forms printed as they were with columns for clasps, I think the clerk just did what clerks do. Fill in as much detail as you can and thank goodness they did. Later rolls omit this information and I think the official line had filtered down by then. Speculation but with the lack of any mention of clasps for the bronze medal, I feel has some merit. (I await information from the "committee on bronze medals to natives" to report back.)

The criterion for the award of medals, as copied at www.angloboerwar.com/medals-and-awards/b...s-south-africa-medal
does mention clasps for "both classes" of medals. This was published in 1903 by which time the whole process of awarding bronze medals had been so fouled up that it was irretrievable. The enthusiasm for awarding bronze medals had also petered out so that of the original order, only some 10% were delivered. I think the regulations, in regard to bronze medals, were obsolete before they were at the printing press.

The medal were named in India.

Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.
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Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14798

  • Henk Loots
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Hi
I sold Gafoor's QSA some 4 years ago without knowing of his Ladysmith connection!
Henk

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The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14833

  • David Grant
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The hero of the Indian Army made famous by Kipling's immortal lines.

Gunga Din


You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

So no collection would be complete without a few Bhisties. I have three (none to Gunga Din unfortunately ) Two from the Rawal Pindi District in silver and bronze and one from Umballa District




Bhistie Corps
[/color]

Letter from Lord Roberts to Lord Lansdowne after the battle of Paardeberg quoted in “The National Army Museum Book of the Boer War” Field Marshall Lord Carver

Our water supply arrangements are quite inadequate for an army operating in a barren dry country, such as this; and, as you know, we have had to apply to India to send us bhisties and puckals for bullocks.

The Bhistie Corps embarked at Bombay on the Nankin on the 17th March 1900 (1052 strong) and on the Muttra on the 27th March (927 strong) and disembarked at East London on the 15th April (Muttra) for service in Cape Colony. It was commanded by Capt. HC Ricketts, 15th Bengal Lancers, from March to August 1900. The Bhistie Corps was divided into two, No III and No. IV, but were later merged into one, the No.II Bhistie Corps. No.II Bhistie Corps was later commanded by the previous 2nd in command, Capt. CEEFK Macquod 1st Lancers, Hyderabad Contingent, from 19th June 1900 until demobilization in India

(A) beasties or water-carrier corps 1,000 strong, dispatched in March 1900 – Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol.7
WO 100/296 p58

The first is of high numismatic importance since it is in silver whereas the roll says it was issued in bronze. The Journal of the O.M.R.S. published my explanation for this rarity.






Queen’s South Africa Medal 682 Bhisti Lall Khan S & T Corps


Roll Bhistie Corps: Rawal Pindi District; medal in bronze issued off roll WO 100/298. entitled to clasp “Cape Colony” dated 20th September 1901




Queen’s South Africa Medal 490 Bhisti Jaffer S & T Corps

Roll Bhistie Corps: Rawal Pindi District; medal in bronze issued off roll WO 100/298 p 306. entitled to clasp “Cape Colony” dated 20th September 1901



Queen’s South Africa Medal 79 Bhisti Elahi Bux S & T Corps


Roll Bhistie Corps: Umballa District; medal in bronze issued off roll WO 100/298 p 316. entitled to clasp “Cape Colony” dated 20th September 1901

Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.
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Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
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The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14835

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Thank you for your post on Gunga Din and the real-life bhistis represented in your collection. As usual, it was interesting and informative, while Kipling's poem was an added bonus.

Regards
Brett

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The Indian Contingent 5 years 8 months ago #14841

  • djb
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This is such an excellent thread. Many thanks to all those who have contributed to it.

Dr David Biggins

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Dr David Biggins
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