Monday, April 16, 2012

The Blog is Back!

I'm happy to report that, with the help off my son John and friend Yanni Mavromichalis, I have been able to restore my original Horse-and-Musket Blog and Website with all of the old galleries. The wonders of hidden files in Mac Lion OS!

Friday, April 13, 2012

5th (Royal Irish) Lancers

The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers can trace it's origins back to 1689 when a dragoon regiment known as "Wynne's Regiment of Enniskillen Dragoons" was organized.

A small detachment was sent to serve with the Heavy Camel Corps during the Egyptian Campaign, where they suffered some casualties at Abu Klea. The Regiment provided two squadrons of cavalry for the Gordon Relief Force, along with the 20th hussars and 9th Bengal Cavalry. They saw action at Suakin on the Red Sea, Hasheen and Tamai. During the fighting at Suakin, they charged with lances and routed the opposing Dervishes. The regiment was awarded the battle honour "Suakin 1885" and the two squadrons were awarded the Egyptian Medal with clasps "Suakin 1885" and "Toftek".

The Royal Irish Lancers at Suakin, 20th March, 1885

I commissioned one troop of the 5th for my Colonial war-games, using Perry figures to which I added bamboo lances from Foundry and GMB lance pennants. They may have to serve in my 2nd Afghan War until I commission the 9th (Queen's Own Royal) Lancers. The Regiment was awarded the Battle Honours: Charasiah, Kabul 1879, Kandahar 1880 and Afghanistan 1878-1880.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

45th (Rattray's Sikh) Native Regiment of Infantry

The 45th Rattray's Sikhs originated as the 1st Bengal Military Police Battalion. Raised in April 1856, at Lahore by Captain Thomas Rattray, the unit originally consisted of a troop of 100 cavalry and 500 infantry,  of which 50% were Sikhs and 50% Dogras, Rajputs and Muslims from the Punjab and NW Frontier. In 1864 the infantry section was redesignated Bengal Native Infantry as the '45th (Rattray's Sikh) Native Regiment of Infantry'.

45th platoon on the march, regimental Bhishti in tow

Afghanistan 1879
In March 1879 a detachment of the 45th under Lt. Barclay was providing a protective escort for Capt. Leach, Royal Engineers, who was carrying out a survey when they were attacked on a hill by large numbers of Shinwari tribesmen. The party began an orderly withdrawal, but Barclay was hit. Some of the Sikhs started to carry him downhill while Leach organised a skirmishing line to cover the retreat. As the tribesmen closed in for a rush, Leach called the troops together and led them in a sudden bayonet charge. After a fierce fight he was able to continue the withdrawal, although the outnumbered Sikhs had to charge twice more before Barclay could be got away. Leach was awarded the Victoria Cross.

And here they are in real life captured in this excellent photo (public domain) from Wikipedea.

45th Rattray's Sikhs with prisoners from the Second Anglo-Afghan War 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Sword and the Flame

After a long break, and much time trying to get my old Blog working, I'm going to focus my efforts on this new blog. Eventually I will try to load the old galleries.

Meanwhile, what's new?

Well the Second Afghan War for one. I'm going to take the liberty of directing the reader to Jeff Lower's article in his own blog which tells the tale of the building and gaming of our group's first Colonial units and skirmish game.

On the British/Indian side was one tough platoon of Sikh's, painted for me by Carl Robson. The native Pathan tribesmen were painted by Jeff, Will and myself over two Saturday's recently.

We all feel that the the venerable Sword and the Flame rules are a great way of gaming this period. More units of British and Indian troops will arrive shortly.

Perry's Sudan War Sikh's painted as 45th (Rattray's) Sikhs

Rattray's victorious!

I would like to thank Ethan "Mad Guru" Reiff for not only providing the original inspiration by putting on "Maiwand Day" at the Muzeo last year, but also providing numerous helpful pieces of advise to get us from a very minimal understanding of the period, to being really hooked!