Sunday, June 24, 2012

Colonial Collection

Here are a couple of photos of the Imperial forces in their display cabinet.

Imperial Cavalry

Sikh platoons

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Punjab Frontier Force: No1 Kohat Mountain Battery

The Mountain Batteries that fought on the NW Frontier are themselves very colorful units. I have chosen the No.1 Kohat Mountain Battery based at Abbotabad under the command of Captain A C Fergusson, RA.

The next image is of an actual battery in action. It comes from the Victorian Wars Forum where it was kindly posted by Alex. Thank you Alex for this priceless old photo.

Peshawar Mountain Battery in Action, Kuram Valley, N. W.Frontier India

For my battery, I used the Wargames Foundry Sikh Mountain Battery. The steel gun is a 2.5 inch RML (rifled muzzle loader), also called a 7 pounder for the shell it fired.

Sikh gunners of No.1 Kohat Mountain Battery

No.1 Kohat Mountain Battery served with Lord Roberts at Peiwar Kotal and saw heavy action at Kabul during the Second Afghan War of 1878-80.

Sikh Mountain Battery gunner

Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force: Cavalry

For the Mounted troops of the Queen's Guides, I used Perry Sudan Campaign figures, substituting swords for lances for the troopers. The Guides officer's silk pugree is more elaborate than most Imperial officers.

Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force: Cavalry

Lieutenant Walter Hamilton, Queen's Own Corps of Guides

Lieutenant Walter Hamilton, Queen's Own Corps of Guides

Lieutenant Walter Hamilton, Queen's Own Corps of Guides

Jemadar Jewand Singh




Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force

The Corps of Guides was raised in Peshawar by Lieutenant Harry Lumsden in December 1846, comprising one troop of cavalry and two companies of infantry, about 300 men in total.

Harry Lumsden 

The Corps of Guides was part of the Frontier Force brigade and it engaged in regular action along the North-West Frontier becoming an elite unit. The Guides was the first unit in the Indian or British Armies to dress in khaki. 
The designations of the Corps of Guides was:
  • The Corps of Guides (1846)
  • The Corps of Guides, Punjab Irregular Force (1857)
  • Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force (1865)
  • Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force (1876)
  • Queen's Own Corps of Guides (1901)

On the 3rd September 1879, without warning, Afghan soldiers attacked the British Commissioner's Residency in Kabul and were joined by the civilian population. 4 British personnel and 69 Indian troops faced thousands of Afghan soldiers and civilians. The Indian troops were 21 Guides Cavalry and 48 Guides Infantry under Lieutenant Walter Richard Pollock Hamilton. The British Envoy, Sir Pierre Louis Napoleon Cavagnari, KCB, C.S.I. was killed in the attack.

The Guides fought desperately, charging out of the Residency to bayonet the crews of artillery brought against them. During one of these attacks Lieutenant Hamilton was killed. The Residency was set on fire and the buidlings started to collapse. 

The remaining Guides were commanded by Jemadar Jewand Singh (Guides Cavalry). The Guides rejected Afghan offers to surrender and after 12 hours of fighting the few remaining men fixed bayonets and charged to their deaths. Over 600 Afghan were killed in the action. Lieutenant Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

British officers of the Guides. Lieutenant Walter Hamilton VC stands on the right. 

My unit of Foot Guides uses Foundry figures. They have been painted based largely upon a print by Richard Simkin.

Corps of Guides (Infantry & Cavalry) - Richard Simkin

Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force

Guides infantry in their distinctive poshteens


15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry

The 15th (Ludhiana) Sikhs trace their origins to 1846, when they were known as the Regiment of Ludhiana. In 1861 they became the 15th Bengal Native Infantry and in 1864 the 15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry. In 1885 they became the 15th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry (Ludhiana Sikhs).

British and Indian Officers of the 15th Bengal Native Infantry (Ludhiana Sikhs) 1885

The 15th Sikhs took an active part in the Second Anglo-Afghan War under the command of Lt. Colonel G. R. Hennessy. The Regiment joined General Stewart's invasion force on 24th October 1878 at Multan. At Sukkur the regiment was split into half-battalions, with one proceeding to Kandahar and Kelat-i-Ghilzai, and the other escorting a large convoy to Kandahar - the regiment was reunited at Kandahar in February 1879, where it garrisoned the citadel. 

15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry

At the end of March 1880 the Sikhs marched through the valley of Khushk-i-Nakhud, and it joined Stewart's column on its way to Kabul at Karez-i-Oba. Four days later they saw action serving in Brigadier General R Barter's 1st Infantry Brigade of 1st Division at Ahmed Khel, and then again at Arzu on 23rd April. Operations in and around the Logar Valley included fighting at Jabar Kila in May. 

After marching with Roberts' column to Kandahar in August, the 15th Sikhs were heavily involved in fighting Ghazis during the reconnaisance of Ayub Khan's position, and it was engaged again on the following day at the Battle of Kandahar, on 1st September 1880, serving in the 3rd Infantry Division under Major General Sir Charles Metcalfe McGregor.

My Ludhiana Sikhs wear the "transitional" uniforms of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, part khaki, part full dress. The figures are Perry Sudan Campaign Sikhs. In Afghanistan they still wore their traditional striped turban. They wore all-khaki uniforms in the Sudan, including khaki turbans.

In the Sudan Campaign the 15th Sikhs fought in the Battle of Tofrek, March 1885 and the Battle of Tamai in December 1888.