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Messages - Garen

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Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Wednesday 02 August 23 13:16 BST (UK)  »
1st Div NF. CofE 13/12/85

It's First Division, Northern Force, Camp of Exercise.

All three phrases are in this cutting from the Times of India, 31 December 1885

Excellent work, Shaun - thank you.

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Wednesday 02 August 23 09:22 BST (UK)  »
Sorry about this, but does anyone have any idea what this mean?
To me , it looks like
1st Div NF. CofE 13/12/85

Sorry, Nellie - I agree with your transcription, but I can't interpret that one either. I can only think 'Church of England' when I see C of E!

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Tuesday 01 August 23 10:42 BST (UK)  »
Thank you Garen…sorry to take up your time 😬

Not a problem! I learn from all this too :-)

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Tuesday 01 August 23 10:36 BST (UK)  »
I think it's Warley (Warley Barracks) and then Maidstone. Dilbhur was indeed a troopship operating in the 1860s.

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Tuesday 01 August 23 10:05 BST (UK)  »
The more you look at it the more you'll see :-) An excellent list of his stations in his medical history pages.

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Monday 31 July 23 23:56 BST (UK)  »
Could you point me towards the page of his records that gives these details please Garen, as I am struggling the understand half of what’s written there? 😬🤣

I didn't look in detail  but I see on p.3 (Medical History) under 'Regimental Number' at the top it says L/A RHA 1941, with L/A also at the very top of that page, also C Bde. RHA; page 5 (Medical History) mentions RHA B/F at the top-right; page 6 (Medical History) mentions L/A RHA top-right in red you can probably connect that to the red entry in March 1884; A/C is on the next page (Marriages/Baptisms); looks like F Bde. mentioned on p. 7 (promotions) c.1867; commander of L/A RHA (Marshall) mentioned at end of service on p.9.

A closer look might reveal more and match up some of the dates (eg. as with the red pen entry). It does look like A/C in the Afghan period.

How sad about Lilian's death. A very dangerous climate for the children of soldiers and civilians alike.

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Monday 31 July 23 12:44 BST (UK)  »
Hello Garen.
I have been looking at you website with great interest.
My gt gt grandfather Bomb William Biggs 1699, was in A Battery, C Brigade of the RHA during the 2nd Anglo/Afghan War.
They were based at Peshawar, where my gt grandfather William was born.
It is an amazing piece of research that you have compiled and am looking forward to reading through the posts in this thread…I think it might take me a while.
Basically, I am trying to work out, which battles my gt gt grandfather’s brigade where involved in!

Hello Nellie

Thanks for your message (and the kind words :-))

To dive right in - A/C RHA did not serve in the Afghan campaign. Looking at the service paper of the William Biggs that ShaunJ kindly posted, it shows a detailed, interesting service, but no campaign medals.

Like many Royal Artillery men he moved around the batteries a bit, with his record mentioning L/A and B/F as well as A/C.

Just to confirm this is your William - he was born in Oxford and married Louisa Sybilla Hopgood in Southampton in October 1878. A daughter, Lilian Emily, was born in December. I see this Louisa does appear to be on the 1911 Oxford census with a son, William, b. Peshawar c.1881/82, so that would look like it's your William here (and I see them in 1891 too).

It would be worth looking to see when A/C RHA garrisoned Peshawar - Biggs is recorded on his papers being at Umballa Nov 1879 and Peshawar Dec 1880 (the Afghan conflict was officially over Sep 1880). A quick look at the Relief lists in the newspapers show A/C moving to Peshawar from Umballa at the end of 1880 and then from Peshawar to Sialkot in Jan 1882, so that fits.

A full and interesting history for William Biggs, but no Afghan war battles to mention, I'm afraid!

Best - Garen

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Thursday 11 May 23 09:20 BST (UK)  »
Andy does raise an interesting point. Really, there wasn't a "scientific" border until the Durand line was established in the 1890s, and even then it's important to recognise that it (and any previous border demarcations) were from a British point of view (especially as various tribes' lands were split).

In the Afghan War, you left Peshawar and entered the Khyber Pass, once you hit Jamrud you were in 'Afghanistan'. A little further was Ali Masjid, the fort that defended the route to Kabul and the site of the first action of the Second Anglo-Afghan war.

This (attached) is extracted from a Military Staff Map, 1879.

Armed Forces / Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« on: Wednesday 10 May 23 09:23 BST (UK)  »
I use the term Khyber region to include the line up to Ali Masjid, Daka, Landi Kotal, Landi Khana, Jamrud - all places the 18th were posted and in the North Afghanistan theatre. They were out of India from May 1880 until March 1881.

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