Thursday, March 24, 2016

Subadar the Kurram Militia, 1908

Subadar the Kurram Militia, 1908

Watercolour by Major Alfred Crowdy Lovett

The Kurram Militia were formed in 1902 in order to maintain order in the Kurram district of the North West Frontier. They replaced the regular British and Indian units that had performed this role since the 1880s. Based at Parachinar, the militia mainly recruited from the Shia Turi tribe. In 1907 they became part of the Frontier Corps which was created by the Viceroy Lord Curzon. They provided a useful link between the British and the local tribes and helped keep the peace. During the 3rd Afghan War (1919) and the outbreak of revolt on the North West Frontier, the Kurram Militia remained loyal. This was in stark contrast to the desertions seen in the Khyber Rifles and Waziristan militias which soon collapsed under the strain of war.

This is the original artwork for an illustration in Major G F MacMunn's 'Armies of India', published in 1911.

Source: National army museum