North West Frontier Campaigns

From FIBIwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
North West Frontier Campaigns
Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns
[[Image:|250px| ]]
East India Company and British Army North West Frontier tribes
Result: Suppression of border incursions
India General Service medal 1854
India Medal 1895-1902
Category: Category:North West Frontier Campaigns

From 1849 when the East India Company annexed the Punjab it became necessary to prevent incursion by the frontier Pakhtun tribes. Successive punitive expeditions subdued particular areas until further outrages occurred. Control of the region depended to a large extent on the Punjab Frontier Force recruited from local tribesmen commanded by British officers.

North West Frontier Expeditions

For a list of campaigns in order see


British Library holdings

India Office Records, which may be located by using the British Library Search include:

  • Collection 391 North West Frontier Operations 1897 IOR/L/MIL/7/15855-15939 1897-1923
  • Collection 403 Frontier and Overseas Expeditions IOR/L/MIL/7/16820-16978 1901-1944
  • War Diary [Collection], Army Headquarters India, Frontier Operations. GSI, 1914-20. 56 vols. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4066-4121. Printed volumes from the Military Library.
  • Political and Secret Department Library IOR/L/PS/20 1757-1952. A very large and varied collection of confidential prints, official publications and commercially published works, analogous to the Military Library (see under L/MIL/17), it largely consists of military reports, gazetteers, summaries of correspondence, handbooks etc. dealing with the Indian States, the frontier regions and neighbouring countries. There is a separate index. Includes

Imperial War Museums holdings

The Imperial War Museums are a source of information about operations in Waziristan. Search the catalogue.

Catalogue entry for the publication Bibliography of sources in the Departments of Documents, Photographs, Printed Books and Sound Records at the Imperial War Museum on military operations in Waziristan on the North West Frontier of India 1917-1937, published c 1979.

Also see

Recommended Reading

  • John Archibald Hislop was an officer in the Indian Army, 2nd Battalion 9th Jat Regiment from 1933. He had a series of postings on the North West Frontier. Subsequently he was GS02 Waziristan District until c.August 1943. His memoirs A Soldier’s Story-From the Khyber Pass to the Jungles of Burma: The Memoir of a British Officer in the Indian Army 1933-1947 were published by his daughter in 2010 and reviewed in FIBIS Journal 26.

External Links




Historical books online

Update: The Digital Library of India website currently contains no 20th century books. Use mirror version links where available.

1910 edition
'The Defence of India' by F. A. McKenzie, from The Great War edited by H.W. Wilson, volume 7, chapter 128., now an archived website. Scroll down to the section about the North West Frontier including Shabkadar.
  • "War Operations In India" page 268, War in the Air: being the story of the part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force, Volume VI by H A Jones 1937 Part of the series History of the Great War based on Official Documents.
  • "The Frontier and the War" page 154 The Indian Year Book 1918, (which appears to have been published at the beginning of the year). The report covers the period 1914-1917.
  • "Despatches on the operations against the Mahsuds, March-August, 1917" London Gazette Supplement 12 April 1918
  • Despatches on military operations in the Indian Empire since the outbreak of the First World War. Includes the North West Frontier London Gazette Supplements.
  • See 3rd Afghan War 6 May – 8 August 1919.
  • Unofficial History by Field Marshal Sir William Slim 1962, first published 1959. Lending Library.
"Aid to the Civil" page 75. “This narrative…is a composite one, made up from the events on three occasions on which the military aided the civil power” (footnote, page 75). Probably c 1919. He was based at Gurampur Fort which is probably a fictional name.
"Student’s Interlude" page 101 . On operations Autumn 1920. "A Brigade Column, operating from Thal in the Kurram … took punative action against the village of Panch Pir in Waziristan". (Not known whether this is the actual, or a fictional name).
Available in a reprint edition[2] which in turn is available as part of an online book on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3.[3]
Turmoil and Tragedy in India, 1914 and After by Lieut.-General Sir George MacMunn 1935. It is catalogued as Turmoil The Tragedy In India 1914. It is available version, mirror from Digital Library of India.
  • "The North West Frontier", page 9 India in 1930-1931 A statement prepared for presentation to Parliament. Government of India Central Publication Branch 1932.
  • Passing It On: Short Talks on Tribal fighting on the North-West Frontier of India by General Sir Andrew Skeen , 3rd edition 1934 (originally published 1932) is available version, mirror from Digital Library of India. A 2010 reprint edition with annotations published by the Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworh Kansas. pdf. Note: some of the text may not have been included, at least one probable whole page has been noted.
  • Hired to Kill: Some Chapters of Autobiography by Charles John Morris 1960. Link to a pdf download, PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset, (if the catalogue entry does not have a download, look under 'Books'). John Morris was an officer with the 3rd Gurkha Rifles from 1918 until 1934 in Palestine, Afghanistan (the Third Afghan War in 1919), Waziristan and the North West Frontier of India.
  • "Roads And Motor Transport In India" by Brigadier-General Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Adviser on Mechanical Transport Services in India, 1915-19. Journal of the Royal Society of Arts Vol. 68, No. 3529 (July 9, 1920), pp. 541-552 Available to read for free on JSTOR, but first you must register, see Miscellaneous tips. Includes roads in the frontier region, and their military importance.
  • Official History of Operations on the N.W. Frontier of India, 1936-37 by General Staff Army Headquarters, India 1943. Previously available Digital Library of India (handle/2015/449185), and perhaps may return in the future.
Available in a reprint edition[4] which in turn is available as part of an online book on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3.[3]
Pathan social customs pages 212-213, including the wearing, by men, of roses in their hair.
  • Routes on the North-West Frontier compiled (for political and military reference) under the orders of the Quarter Master General in India, in the Intelligence Branch, in 1887 ; brought up to date in October 1892 by W.R. Robertson. Confidential.Volume I, Volume 2 Pdf downloads, Pahar- Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. (If the catalogue entry does not have a download, look under 'Books').
  • 1890 Military Routes to the Indo-Afghan Frontier by Lessar (secret)] Notes: At head of title: Secret. "From Russian official "records" of geographical, topographical and statistical materials on Asia. Collected by the Military Scientific Committee of the Headquarters Staff, 1890. Translated for the Intelligence Division of the War Office". HMSO. Author: P. M. Lessar, (Pavel Mikhailovich) Pdf download, Pahar- Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. (If the catalogue entry does not have a download, look under 'Books').
  • 1893 Routes from Russian Territory toward Afghanistan and India - the Pamir line of Advance by Robertson (confidential). Full title: Routes from Russian Territory in Central Asia towards Afghanistan and India. Section 1, The Pamir line of advance compiled in the Intelligence Branch of the Quarter Master General's Department in India by W.R. Robertson. 1893. Contents: pt. 1. Short military report on the Ferghana province, Kashgar, the Pamirs and Upper Oxus Afghan provinces ... - pt. 2. Includes all routes leading from the Chimkend Kuldja postal road to the Hindu Kush between the Dorah and the Karakorum Passes. Pdf download, Pahar- Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. (If the catalogue entry does not have a download, look under 'Books').
  • Strategical Epitome of Routes on and beyond the North-West Frontier of India by General Staff India (confidential) 1912 Pdf download, Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. (If the catalogue entry does not have a download, look under 'Books').
  • The Air Patrol: A Story of the North-West Frontier by Herbert Strang 1913. An adventure story for younger readers.
  • The Border of Blades : an Anglo-Indian Romance by Captain Bedford Foran 1916 Author is cataloged as William Robert Foran. Set in Peshawar and the North West Frontier. W. Robert Foran Wikipedia. W R Foran ( indicates he was in India with the British Army for a short time in the early 1900s.
  • "The Wolf of Kabul" Rover and Wizard January 25th 1964. This appears to be a reprint, first published in the 1930s in Wizard,[5] a weekly magazine for boys published by DC Thomson of Dundee . Story involving Bill Samson (“His real job is surveying the frontier and making maps of the mountains and passes”) and his offsider Private Chung whose weapon was the Clicky-Ba. Wolf of Kabul Wikipedia.
  • "Ants" by W J Blackledge, page 471 Fifty Amazing Hairbreadth Escapes c 1937. Stated to be an extract from Hell’s Broth Militia [1936]
"Company of the Damned" by Captain W J Blackledge. An Inside Picture of the Hunted Men’s Militia [Kurram Militia] in India. The story of Digger Craven, second in command. Appeared in issues of the weekly magazine Liberty from v13n14 1936-4-4. Part 1, part 2, part 3 Further episodes are not available online.
An examination of Part 1 shows it is an abridged version of "Ants" which in turn is an extract from Hell’s Broth Militia. Note some classify the latter as biography.[6] For more about this author, see Mesopotamia Campaign - Historical books online - Fiction.


  1. "GTG [Capt. George Theodore Gill, 2/6th Gurkha Rifles] on the North West Frontier 1915" (scroll down) gillww1, from National Archives WO 160/732, one of a number of reports WO160/732-742.
  2. Official History Of Operations On The North-West Frontier Of India 1920-1935 Naval & Military Press
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official History of Operations on the NW Frontier of India fold3 (located in World War2/Military books/India). Consists of 2 books.
  4. Official History Of Operations On The North-West Frontier Of India 1936-1937 Naval & Military Press
  5. "Boy's Own adventures" 27 April 2006
  6. Page 27, entry 319 British Autobiographies: An Annotated Bibliography of British Autobiographies Published Or Written Before 1951 by William Matthews. Reprint edition 1964 Google Books