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Hi Gents

nearly passsd these in a while back

glad I didn't....

Trio of 'well rubbed' 81st pioneers buttons, together a long time.....

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tony

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The 81st were raised in 1777, became the 10th Battalion, 1st Madras Pioneers in the 1922 re-organization of the Indian Army and were disbanded in 1933

Both the 1st/81st and a second, 1917 raised battalion, served on the North West Frontier during WWI, then went to Persia in 1918 to build a railroad and back to the NWF for the 3rd Afghan War, so they were awau from Madras for 6 years.  Interestingly, the unit composition included Tamils, some Madrassi Muslims, Chrisitians and 'Paraiyans', a low caste of labourers.  A fairly unusuakl mix, even for a southern Indian unit.

The card below, painted by A.C. Lovett in 1911, shows a man of the 81st.  He is the fourth from the left - second from the left wearing khaki - and is in service dress.

800px-Indian_pioneers.png

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thanks both....

i didn't realise the history went back so far - thanks for the write up Peter.

tony

 

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