History of the 2nd Punjab Infantry, 1849-1888.

Calcutta: Thacker, Spink and Co, 1889 Stock Code: 140989

"Not seen"

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First edition of this rare unit history, "not seen" by the assiduous bibliographer of regimental histories, Roger Perkins. A second edition, of c.1903, is traceable institutionally by the copies at India Office Library/National Army Museum and National Museums Scotland (lacking the title page) only. This copy with an excellent provenance, a note at p. 66 identifying "the owner of this copy" as Lieutenant C. Davidson, who joined the 2nd Punjabis on 17 September 1883 from the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, serving as wing officer in 1886-7 before transferring to the 2nd Sikhs. Davidson was later promoted to lieutenant-colonel. The annotator identifies himself at p. 52 as Davidson's grandson and his several pertinent pencil annotations, clearly made under the eye of his grandfather, identify individuals and give dates of death, largely during the Mutiny, for a number of native officers. There is an amusing anecdote concerning the 1886 "Great Review" in front of the viceroy, Lord Dufferin: the text blandly states that "owing to the heavy rain only one march past of the Infantry took place", to which our annotator adds, "This must have been the occasion when... most of the soldiers lost their shoes in the mud. In one Indian regiment (not PFF Punjab Frontier Force) a jamadar put down the colour in the mud while he replaced his shoes. That regiment was disbanded!" There is a good deal here on the Mutiny and campaigning on the North West Frontier, including the Mahsud Expedition of 1881.

The 2nd Punjabis was raised in 1849, becoming the 2nd Regiment of Infantry, Punjab Frontier Force in 1865; they were again renamed in 1903 and 1906, serving until 1922 as the 56th Punjab Rifles, when they were designated the 2nd Battalion, Frontier Force Rifles. After Partition the regiment was allocated to Pakistan and became ultimately the Frontier Force Regiment.

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Octavo (244 x 156 mm). Contemporary reddish-brown half skiver, gilt-lettered spine, gunmetal grey cloth sides, Nonpareil pattern marbled endpapers.


Binding rubbed, a few old marks to sides, old splash stains to pp. 66-9, paper flaw at fore edge of p. 17. A very good copy.


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