I am posting this for Joy Daschaudhuri to look at, but would welcome help from any forum members.
I am keen to find out more about the postal history and social history of the item.
This is an Indian UPU card sent to the UK in 1895.
The postmark is F.P.O. No. 5A dated 29 AP 95, with a transit mark BOMBAY F MY 8 95
The letter is addressed to C.B MacTier in Liverpool and I believe is from an officer or soldier in the Chitral Relief Force, which as far as I understand, consisted of British officers and Indian troops, although maybe there were also British other ranks?
The message reads:
DW (or Dur?)
Dear C.B.M. Many thanks for
your letter. Am coming home
in autumn after this show
is over if I can get leave.
We had a small show the
other day on the Jandoul
River but nothing to speak of
as they have been too ...shed(?)
about and wouldn't stand.
Rumour hath it that we will
be up here most of the
summer. Write soon letters
more welcome than ever here
I have found information about the addressee, CB MacTier, online, in a history of his school (Sedbergh). He was born June 13th 1872 and in the school history written in 1895, was described as being in business in Liverpool. The card is sent C/O Messrs. Ogilvie Gillanders, solicitors in Liverpool.
I have tried to identify the sender, but I can't make out whether the signature is a full name or just initials. It appears to end in 'B'.
There was another pupil at Sedbergh School who would have spent one year there at the same time as MacTier, whose name was Randle Barnett Barker, who was in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in India and probably was at Chitral, but I can't make the signature match his name. Barker had a distinguished subsequent career and was killed in action in 1918.
I don't know if there is a list available anywhere of officers in the various forces involved at Chitral?
1. Where was FPO 5A at this date? Was it at Dargai?
2. Was the writer at Dargai also?
3. There is a month difference between the manuscript date and the postmark. Is there an explanation for this or has the writer simply written the wrong month?
4. Can anyone help further with identifying the writer?
5. Any clues on the last word in the eighth line of the message?
6. How many items are recorded from FPO 5A during this campaign?
Many thanks for any help on the above and any other comments or observation.