TIRAH CAMPAIGN A good campaign album, 35 photographs, 1897-1899
Lot 304
TIRAH CAMPAIGN A good campaign album, 35 photographs, 1897-1899
Sold for £625 (US$ 1,050) inc. premium
Lot Details
A good campaign album, 35 albumen images including a 2-part panorama, each numbered in the negative (together with a salt print of the Taj Mahal signed "W.F.B." in ink, and a watercolour), well captioned and dated in ink on the mounts, flyleaf inscribed "Captain C.J.H.H. Noble", original green half roan, lettered "Tirah Expeditonary Force, Law Bros." on upper cover, small loss from head of spine, oblong folio, 1897-1899


  • The Tirah Expeditionary Force was a huge affair involving over 40,000 troops, presenting a formidable challenge to the transport department in an area where animals were hard to come by. Eventually 60,000 camels, mules, elephants and bullocks were assembled. The campaign resulted from the breakdown of longstanding agreements with the Afridis and Orakzais for the safe passage and defence of the strategic Khyber Pass, and following a rebellion in 1897, when the the forts held by the locally-recruited Khyber Rifles were overrun. The most famous action of the campaign was the storming of the Dargai heights, finally achieved by the Gordon Highlanders. Two of the Gordons won VCs, and two more were awarded to men of the Derbyshire and Dorset regiments who were among those who made the earlier attempts.

    Captain Noble (1870-1901) had earlier served in the Black Mountain or Hazara Campaign 1891, and was transport officer to the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment throughout the Tirah Campaign, being present at the difficult capture of the Sampagha and Arhanga passes, the capture of Bagh, the forays to Dwatoi, the reconnaissance and engagement at Saran Sar, as well as operations in the Bazar valley at the conclusion of the campaign.

    The album traces the campaign from the camp established at Kohat, through to the Bara Valley, the scene of much suffering at the conclusion. Between there are views of Dargai, a Mountain Battery in action at Sampagha Pass, troops toiling up the Arhanga Pass, the camp at Maidan (including a 2-part panorama), a series of views at or near Bagh, the Kahn Pass, the Dargai Toi defile, and Mamanai. The final images show the camps of the Ist Division in subsequent months (Jamrud Jan-Apr. 1898; Ali Musjid Apr-Jun 1899).
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