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(AVIATION.) TIBBS, William Arthur.

No. 27 Squadron in India and on the North-west Frontier – Miranshah, Karachi, Risalpur, &c.

Published: India: 1927-30

Stock code: 105521

Price: £1,500

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An unusual, and highly interesting album of high-quality photographs documenting the services of 27 Squadron RAF on North-west Frontier during the last years of the 1920s. The album contains numerous sharp and well-composed air-to-air images of the unit’s Airco DH-9As and Westland Wapitiis over the spectacular frontier scenery around their main base of Miranshah – “My machine flying at Karachi”, “Flying over the snow clad mountains over Rasmak”, “Wapiti dropping food to Lhadu Column November 1929”, “Bombing on the Frontier during operations in India during Summer 1930” – together with aerial views of the bases, camps, and forts of the region; formal and informal group portraits; a group of three aerial views of the four Supermarine Southampton II flying-boats, which constituted the RAF Far Eastern Flight, taken at Karachi on their way to Singapore from England; and a shot of Baron Koenig-Warthausen and his Klemm L.20B machine “Kamerad” at Karachi during his solo flight around the world. It is intriguing that the album covers the period when T.E. Lawrence had succeeded in getting himself posted to the frontier as a humble clerk, being stationed at Karachi and at Miranshah. Sadly, despite the closest possible scrutiny, it does not appear that Shaw/Lawrence features in any of the images. Bestowal document for the Imperial Service Medal, dated in 1965,l made out to William Arthur Tibbs loosely inserted, who is perhaps the “me” in two photographs taken in the Political Agent’s garden at Miranshah.

Landscape quarto (298 230 mm). Contemporary cord-backed brown leather-textured paper covered boards. 48 original photographs (152 208 mm) corner-mounted both sides of 24 card leaves, tissue guards between the leaves. Somewhat worn externally, boards through at the edges, cord tie replaced with string, but internally clean and sound, leaves sunned at the margins, a few corner-mounts missing, but the prints themselves in excellent condition, overall very good.

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