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Any Additional Information Please On India Chitral Relief Force Upu Card 1895?

 
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Posted 02/20/2021   7:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add peterh to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
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:

29th March

Camp

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

Yours sincerely
HWB(?)

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?

My questions?

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.



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Edited by peterh - 02/21/2021 6:42 pm

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Posted 02/20/2021   9:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Hushed" looks possible
maybe the author is referring to a conflict (show)
but "hushed about" is not a phrase I have read before
It may be a colloquialism.

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Posted 02/20/2021   9:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You may wish to read this for pertinence?

The Pathan Revolt in Northern India

The political amhitions of Umra Khan, the Chief of
Jaudoul, and Muhammad Sharif Khan, the Khan of Dir,
were perhaps the two most conspicuous features of the
Chitral disturbance. When the star of Umra Khan was in
the ascendant it necessitated the hurried departure into exile
among- the Swatis of Muhammad Sharif Khan. The British
expedition put an end for a time at least to the hopes of
the Chief of Jandoul, and the Khan of Dir linking his
fortunes with ours found himself in th'^. position, at the close of
the campaign, of a border chieftain with the added prestige of
being directly supported by the British Government. Since
1885 it is alleged that Muhammad Sharif Khan has endeavoured
to pursue an aggressive policy beyond Chakdara and among
the people in the Talash Valley which has caused a feeling of
unrest in Upper Swat. Beyond this- there was nothing
apparent in the political condition of things which led to the
least uneasiness, and nothing which could be brought forward
as explanatory of the desperate struggle which broke out around
Malakand Camp and Chakdara post towards the end of
July.


https://archive.org/stream/pathanre...ich_djvu.txt
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Edited by rod222 - 02/20/2021 9:42 pm
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India
423 Posts
Posted 02/21/2021   1:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
peterh

Quote:

1. Where was FPO 5A at this date? Was it at Dargai?


Chitral Relief Force Stationary Office FPO 5A was located in Dargai (34.1798N 71.8883E) (now in Malakand district of Khaibar Pakhtunkhwa province) from Apr 22,1895 to Sep 4,1895.

The FPO 5A postmark is Proud type D5 combined datestamp and obliterator which is recorded used from Apr 22,1895 to Jul 22,1895.

Actually the complete letterings in the upper part of the annulus of the postmark is F.P.O. I. and here the I. is not impressed on the card.

peterh

Quote:

2. Was the writer at Dargai also?


No. The sender wrote the card in Dir (35.1977N 71.8749E), now in Upper Dir district of Khaibar Pakhtunkhwa province.

The name of the place is mentioned in the 3rd line of the message.

peterh wrote:

Quote:

The message reads:

29th March

Camp

DW (or Dur?)



peterh

Quote:

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?


It is impossible that the card traversed 196km from Dir to Dargai the same day. Generally it took 3 days as Chitral Relief Forces mail to/from the north of Dargai was carried by runners.

Most probably the sender forgot to post the letter on Mar 29,1895, when the forces were being mobilized frequently and posted the card later at Dargai but that is purely conjecture.

peterh

Quote:

6. How many items are recorded from FPO 5A during this campaign?


My census figure of covers/cards from Chitral Relief Force FPO 5A is 7 (+this one). Surely there can be more in existence.

It may be mentioned that mail from FPO 5A is relatively the commonest among other FPOs of Chitral Relief Force 1895.
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Posted 02/21/2021   1:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
peterh

Quote:

4. Can anyone help further with identifying the writer?


The only contemporary British military official in India, with the initials HWB, I could find, is Henry William Brackenbury (1837-1904), Gen. and Military Member of the Council of the Viceroy of India (1891-96) but that cannot be him.

peterh

Quote:

5. Any clues on the last word in the eighth line of the message?


I read it marched but does that make any sense?

I think the word after Yours is ever.

peterh wrote:

Quote:

Yours sincerely
HWB(?)
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Posted 02/21/2021   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
peterh

Quote:

There was another pupil at Sedburgh 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


Royal Welsh Fusiliers was not involved in Chitral Relief Force 1895.
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Posted 02/21/2021   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Rod - thanks for your suggestions. That word is still not making sense to me.

I think your link relates to a later action in the same area.
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Posted 02/21/2021   6:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Joy - thank you so much for your comments, clarifications and suggestions.

I am still struggling to make sense of the dates, because as far as I can see, the relief force did not reach the Dir area until around 19th/20th April. Maybe the writer put 29th instead of 19th?

The account of the action on the Jandol river may match with this:

On 17th April 1895, the Third Brigade and part of the Second Brigade crossed the Panjkora River and the Third Brigade marched up the Jandol valley. A large body of tribesmen advanced from Mian Kilai. The Third Brigade moved forward to attack, driving the tribesmen from ridge to ridge. The tribesmen fell back and finally withdrew to the west.

This is from here: https://www.britishbattles.com/nort...-of-chitral/

As far as the writer is concerned, I was heading in the wrong direction entirely, having been too eager to follow the Sedbergh School theory.

Another possibility is that the writer could be Arthur Lynden-Bell, who was Adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the Royal East Kent Regiment (the Buffs). That battalion was part of the Third Brigade of the relief force, which was the brigade involved in the action described above.

I may be completely wrong again, of course, but I thought I could perhaps make that scrawled signature to be A L-B?

The card could of course have been written by one of the British soldiers rather than an officer, but I thought (perhaps wrongly) that with the addressee being an old boy of a posh British private school, that he was more likely to be an officer.

I found the attached fuller signature of Lynden-Bell online, from 1915 by which time he was a major-general. I think there are some similarities, but maybe my imagination is getting the better of me.


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Edited by peterh - 02/21/2021 6:44 pm
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Posted 02/21/2021   10:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think the last word on line eight might be twisted or hurled. one meaning the opposition wouldn't stay in one place or kept changing directions. The other was I think a colloquial term of the era mean thrown around or knocked about. If the author was in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers then the mystery word might be a Welsh word. The RWF have a museum at their Barracks in Brecon, perhaps they could help with your enquiries. The signature could be a nickname. handwriting of the age was usually neat but not always Legible.
I notice the place name Malakand in one reply. was the force sent to Chitral also the one known as the Malakand field force?
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Posted 02/21/2021   10:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
perhaps make that scrawled signature to be A L-B?


I think that has promise, I can certainly see the A (It's how I do my own) but the "L" has a problem, I cannot see that.
But we're not talking about perfection here.
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Posted 02/22/2021   3:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Noocassel:

Quote:
I think the last word on line eight might be twisted or hurled. one meaning the opposition wouldn't stay in one place or kept changing directions. The other was I think a colloquial term of the era mean thrown around or knocked about. If the author was in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers then the mystery word might be a Welsh word. The RWF have a museum at their Barracks in Brecon, perhaps they could help with your enquiries. The signature could be a nickname. handwriting of the age was usually neat but not always Legible.
I notice the place name Malakand in one reply. was the force sent to Chitral also the one known as the Malakand field force?


Thanks for the word suggestions. Twisted certainly looks a possibility.

I think we can abandon the Royal Welsh Fusiliers connection - it was due to me misinterpreting something I found online, and as Joy states that regiment was not at Chitral, although I believe the 2nd battalion was in India at the time.

As for Malakand, it was just north of Dargai on the route the relief force took to Chitral. I believe the Malakand Field Force was established a couple of years later in 1897.
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Posted 02/22/2021   3:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rod
Quote:

I think that has promise, I can certainly see the A (It's how I do my own) but the "L" has a problem, I cannot see that.
But we're not talking about perfection here.


Thanks Rod. Maybe it will be anybody's guess?

What would help would be a list of all the British officers and men involved in this action, but I don't know if that exists anywhere.

I know I am wandering far away from philately with this, but the stories of the people involved are just as interesting as the postal history.
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Posted 02/22/2021   4:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I know I am wandering far away from philately with this,


I disagree, respectfully,
I think that is the cynosure of Philately,
to take one down roads, less travelled,
Learn about personalities, conflicts, humanities.

"less we forget" comes to mind.

Keep doing what you are doing, without fear or regret.

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Posted 02/22/2021   5:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add peterh to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Rod - very well put
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Posted 02/23/2021   1:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
peterh

Quote:

I am still struggling to make sense of the dates, because as far as I can see, the relief force did not reach the Dir area until around 19th/20th April. Maybe the writer put 29th instead of 19th?

The account of the action on the Jandol river may match with this:

On 17th April 1895, the Third Brigade and part of the Second Brigade crossed the Panjkora River and the Third Brigade marched up the Jandol valley. A large body of tribesmen advanced from Mian Kilai. The Third Brigade moved forward to attack, driving the tribesmen from ridge to ridge. The tribesmen fell back and finally withdrew to the west.

This is from here:
https://www.britishbattles.com/nort...-of-chitral/


Ahoy Pyotr, don't believe in everything on the web.

The Chitral Relief Force 1895 Report dt. (Mian Kalay) Apr 27,1895 by SM Edwardes, Lt., 2 Mumbai Grenadiers Regiment and JS Fowler, Lt., Royal Engineers Corps from Mar 4 to Apr 16,1895, submitted to Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, 2 Brigade, Chitral Relief Force for forwarding to HJ Waterfield, Brig.-Gen., 2 Brigade, Chitral Relief Force (File No. 1026), clearly recorded that the Force had arrived at Dir on Mar 28,1895 which corroborates perfectly with the date of writing of the postal card.

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