This is the first of a series of six volumes containing records of expeditions against frontier tribes on all the frontiers of India, and of operations embarked upon overseas by the Government of India, involving troops of the Indian Army and British troops stationed in India at the relevant time.They incorporate the work compiled in 1873 by Col W.H.Paget (Revised in 1884 by Lieut A.H. Mason RE) describing expeditions against the North-West Frontier Tribes, authorised by the Punjab Government, as “a valuable guide to those who might have future dealings with these turbulent neighbours.” It was with this warfare in mind that Kipling wrote those lines, addressed to The Young British Soldier:
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
An’ the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle an’ blow out your brains,
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Each volume deals with a distinct geographical division, laid out in the introduction of this volume which goes on to describe the terrain and the differing tribesman, their characteristics and their worth as fighting men. Operations described in this volume include the expedition to Gilgit, Hunza and Nagir in1891 led by Lt Col Durand in which three VCs were awarded to officers of the Indian Army; the siege of Chitral in in March/April 1895 which a small force of Indian troops under Brevet Major Townshend held out against a large force of tribesmen for six weeks when a relief force arrived (twenty-one years later he would surrender to the Turks at Kut); the Malakand and Mohmand Field Forces in 1897 (Churchill served in the former expedition and wrote a book about it); operations against the Black Mountain and Swati Valley tribes. Composition of Forces, casualties and names of personalities feature thr oughout the narrative.
FRONTIER AND OVERSEAS EXPEDITIONS FROM INDIA: VOLUME I TRIBES NORTH OF THE KABUL RIVER
Description of terrain and tribesmen and their characteristics, operations in Gilgit, Hunza and Nagir; Mohmand and Malakand Field Forces among others. Force composition, casualties and personalties.