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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13484

  • David Grant
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I have been collecting items relating to the Indian Contingent during the Boer War. I imagine that there is little or no interest in such items but in case anyone should, here are few items that I have.



Kroonstad Remount Station

Double Circle Field Post Office 1
Used Cape Colony, Advance Depot, De Aar, Modder River, Kimberley and Bloemfontein by Field Post Office 1. Re-allocated to FPO 13( Bloemfontein and Kroonstad )on the 1st May 1900 and used there until replaced 17th October 1901.
This example, on a registered one penny postal stationary envelope( up rated with 2 penny lilacs) is dated 20th August 1900.
Durban 1st September 1900 – Tuticorin 4th October 1900 and arrival at Jhulum ( Chak Khasa ) 8th October 1900.

Kroonstad was an important Remount Station and large numbers of Indian Remount Troops were stationed there. This registered envelope may have contained important news for the recipient. Jhelum was an important recruitment centre for the British Army. I hope that the calligraphy on the left may be the sender of the envelope. As yet I have been unable to find someone to translate the Urdu.





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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13487

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Deelfontein
[/u][/u]

These two envelopes were sent from Deelfontein Imperial Yeomanry Hospital. I imagine the sender was a hospital orderly or storekeeper rather than a patient. Both envelopes, although in different hands, both are addressed to Daulatulla. There is a Photograph Album of the Hospital at Deelfontein at the Imperial War Museum. If anyone has time or the inclination I would appreciate someone looking through it for any photographs of Indians.






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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13488

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Thank you for showing this interesting envelope. Although I have collected only medals and badges for the Boer War period, I regret not having cast my net wider when I see items like this one.

Regards
Brett
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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13489

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Advance Depot Pretoria
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22nd December 1900 to Rawalpindi via Durban ( Jan 2nd ) Tuticorin ( 1st February) and Gujar-Khan (6th February 1901) from Advance Depot, Pretoria APO 75 (APO D/Stamp 55 ).
The other three envelopes use British Postage stamps. This one has a Cape Colony stamp used in the Transvaal.









Again if any one can translate I would appreciate knowing
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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13490

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Capt. John C.C. Perkin. Indian Staff Corps

Although not strictly an Indian Envelope this postcard describes Major Perkin's appointment as Officer in Charge of the Military Accounts for the Indian Contingent. For extra sentimentality, the three rubber stamps he uses in compiling the rolls ( date, Office and Rank)of the Indian Contingent are born on the reverse of the card. For information - Glacis Castle is an office at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, that is now occupied by the curator of the Castle Military Museum.






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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 5 months ago #13491

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The Transport Secunda left Bombay on the 18/09/99 1. with the first contingent of Indian Troops that were to serve in South Africa up until the end of the Second-Anglo Boer War. This force was to number some 10,000 men of various branches of the Indian Army, Ordinance, Veterinary and Hospital Departments and included saddlers, farriers, laundry men, cooks and butchers. Telegram No.94 of 20th September 1899 mentions that the

"Director-General of the Post Office of India proposes, and the Commander-in-Chief in India recommends, two postal offices should be sent to Natal in connection with India Contingent”

This proposal was turned down in Telegram 112 of 25th September 1899

“ In reply to your letter of the 21st instant, forwarding a copy of a telegram from the Viceroy of India in regard to a proposal to send two postal officers to Natal in connection with the Indian Contingent, I am directed by the Marquis of Lansdowne to acquaint you, for the information of Lord George Hamilton, that as there does not appear to be any urgent necessity for the employment of these officers with the force in Natal, he regrets that he is unable to concur in the proposal”.

By May the following year the decision had been rescinded and four officers were requested to proceed to Cape Town. (Telegram 418)

“Secretary of State for War has received telegram from General Commanding, Line of Communication, at Cape Town, saying correspondence regarding native troops requires early attention, and asking to send four clerks from various districts Indian Post Office for duty with Army Post Office. Can you carry out the arrangement?”.

So by the 9th June,1900 four postal officers set off on the voyage to the front. ( Telegram 438A)

“Army Post Office, South Africa, Four Clerks leave for Cape Town, per steamer “Umlazi” leaving Calcutta 9th June. Terms offered are Rs.2 per day field allowance each, and kit allowance, Rs 50; also free rations while on field service in South Africa.”

The names of the four are given on the medal roll for the Queen’s South Africa Medal under the heading of the “Indian Postal Department”.

1.Sub Postmaster Chatterjee C.H.
2.Postmaster Aladin
3.Clerk Bishen Das
4.Clerk Moodlier J.K.R.G.

All four have service clasps for “Cape Colony” In addition Aladin and Moodlier have clasps to show that they also served in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

Before the conclusion of the War, the death of the Queen Empress, necessitated a second campaign medal, the King’s South Africa Medal. This was issued with two clasps; “South Africa 1901” and “South Africa 1902”. It was always issued to participants in the Second Anglo-Boer War, in conjunction with the Queen’s Medal, who had 18 months service in South Africa up until the 31st May 1902. All four Postal Department employees mentioned for the Queen’s Medal also received the King’s Medal. It is the purchase of the King’s Medal, named on the rim in impressed capital letters to “Clerk Bishen Das I.P.D.” that instigated the collecting of this postal ephemera.

Multiple bibliographic and internet searchers have produced one reference. “The Postage Stamp in War” authored by Fred J. Melville . Here mention is made of “The Indian forces in South Africa also had their own postal establishment, with a special series of postmarks.,”

No other information is available to me. If anyone has any ideas for further research or should come across any other envelopes, I would be a grateful recipient.

Clerk Bishan Das I.P.D
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