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A friend of mine has asked if I could recognise rank and/or regiment of the gentleman in the attached photo.  

Basically family members of this chap only have this one photo of him, I believe he is their great-great grandfather, and they are keen to learn more about him.  Indeed, they are commissioning a portrait of him to be painted, so clearly to their family he is important.  All they know is that he was in the Indian Army but they have no idea what his rank was or what regiment.  Unfortunately this photo doesn't show much at all, and I cannot recognise those collar badges.  Can anyone help please?

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Its difficult ,the photo appears to be retouched ,and the badge too , with a lot of imagination the badge looks like that of the Punjab Regiment. 

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49 minutes ago, Bayern said:

Its difficult ,the photo appears to be retouched ,and the badge too , with a lot of imagination the badge looks like that of the Punjab Regiment. 

I think typical of a photo of that time!  

Punjab Regt - hmm...I see why you said that, but yes, it does need a lot of imagination to make it fit!

 

The artist who has been commissioned to paint this chap's portrait also asked me if I could identify the regiment what colour the tunic should be.  I am guessing from the photo is a plain khaki, but if we can figure out the regiment it will be much clearer.

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Hello , plain khaki yes but lightweight cloth and not serge cloth . regarding the posible badge Lancers not . Sikh Infantry not. Jats also no. with certain imagination again ,Ghurka . Artillery ? not  well, remember that existed also the Princely Armies as the Army of Hyderabad or that of Kashmir .

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On 10/02/2020 at 09:19, Bayern said:

Hello , plain khaki yes but lightweight cloth and not serge cloth . regarding the posible badge Lancers not . Sikh Infantry not. Jats also no. with certain imagination again ,Ghurka . Artillery ? not  well, remember that existed also the Princely Armies as the Army of Hyderabad or that of Kashmir .

Gurkha - no.

 

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Sadly, it takes a fair bit of imagination to make the badges fit ANY common IA unit, IMHO.  The shape is very odd indeed and, as has been remarked, has clearly suffered from retouching. :(

 

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On 13/02/2020 at 21:56, peter monahan said:

Sadly, it takes a fair bit of imagination to make the badges fit ANY common IA unit, IMHO.  The shape is very odd indeed and, as has been remarked, has clearly suffered from retouching. :(

 

I totally agree with you Peter.  I am from the Brigade of Gurkhas (now retired) so am familiar with all the Gurkha badges and my imagination doesn't let it fit in there at all.  And in case, he doesn't look like a Gurkha.  I tried an old chum of mine who was originally commissioned in 1/1 Gurkha Rifles in India, but he can't make head nor tail of it either.  I also tried an old friend in Kolkata, but same thing.  Such a shame because it is clearly an important issue for the family - otherwise they wouldn't be going to the expense of having this gentleman's portrait painted.  Hey ho.

 

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Marku

As you say, a pity after the family clearly tried to commemorate the man's service. :(

 

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Like this one?  Could be.  Or not.  As I say, the retouching has messed it up so badly it could be almost anything you want if you squint.  Though I will admit that RR looks closer than some other guesses.

download.jpg

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Hello Peter, Yes . I want also to comment that the wear of collar badges by troopers or NCOs in the Indian Army wasnt and isnt current, the shoulder title is normal instead .the today Rajput Regiment has a page in Facebook , perhaps the descendants of the man in the photo are able to contact with the unit and with the name of the man search if he belonged and when

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" I want also to comment that the wear of collar badges by troopers or NCOs in the Indian Army wasnt and isnt current, the shoulder title is normal instead .the today "

That doesn't surprise me, though I didn't know it.  IA uniforms, pre-1947 teneded, if I can generalize, to have far fewer shoulder or collar badges than their British equivalents and even the wearing of badges on the paggris seems to have been largely a post Great War thing.  Many period photos and paintings show sepoys and sowars who are essentially 'unbadged' by modern standards. 

Shoulder titles were introduced in time for or during WWI and seem to have fallen out of favour again fairly quickly, so I'm not surprised that the Modern IA makes little use of them.  

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Hello Peter ,The use of badges on the pugaree was standard pre WW1 but i suspect that these use was discontinued when the pugaree changed to khaki colour for the field 

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On 06/03/2020 at 20:31, Bayern said:

Hello Peter ,The use of badges on the pugaree was standard pre WW1 but i suspect that these use was discontinued when the pugaree changed to khaki colour for the field 

Certainly the paintings and prints of the time suggest that was the case when not on active service.  I'm afraid my views have been coloured now by my fascination with the Great War.  The photos of Indian troops for that period, especially the relatively few taken in the trenches, suggest that wearing shiny metal on the head or shoulders was not encouraged.  Thank you for the correction. :)

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My pleasure, WW1 Indian Army is a special matter of interest for me and is hard to find data about it

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On 09/03/2020 at 22:42, Bayern said:

My pleasure, WW1 Indian Army is a special matter of interest for me and is hard to find data about it

Oh, absolutely.  Many many years ago a friend and I here in Canada formed the 'Indian Military Collector's Society'.  Our first newsletter included hand drawn pictures of badges with 'does anybody know...' queries.  We dropped out early on - careers and families, you know - but the Indian Military History Society is going strong and I think now has 500 or so members, with members drawn from serving and retired IA plus a few British Gurkha officers and lots of interested types like myself. 

In the old days we had a number of Honorary Members, a status awarded to anyone who had served with the British Indian Army in WWII.  A very knowledgeable group [not me, I'm a dabbler] including General Sir John Chapple, Cliff Parrett and others. It was always my privilege to get the benefit of their knowledge and their generosity with their time, especially in the days when it involved paper, envelopes and stamps!  I assume you know about the IMHS and the The South Asian Military Heritage Group on Facebook, of which Captain Ashok Nath is a mainstay, occasionally has some interesting stuff.

Peter

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peter ,Many thanks ! I dont know till now about The South Asian Military Heritage Group .i will take a look 

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Many thanks for the interesting posts on this.  Appreciated. I am a retired British Gurkha officer myself - last full tour was as Chief of Staff of British Gurkhas Nepal.  I do have quite a few volumes of books of the various Gurkha regimental histories and I am also good friends with the legendary and prolific writer John Cross (pic attached of the two of us in 2010).  So if ever I can be of any assistance to anyone regarding the Gurkha regiments please don't hesitate to get in touch.  

JPX.jpg

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Thank you for the generous offer, sir!  I hope some of the membership take you up on it. 

 

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Thank you Sir !

Thank you Sir !

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