Life in Karachi c. 1897
British India is no more but there are many statues, plaques and exhibits concerning it throughout the UK. These are explored here and general background information on the subject is also provided. The page in not Nationalist nor Imperialist.
Life in Karachi c. 1897
The Ruling Princes of India. D. A. Ahuja, Rangoon, c. 1908. Halftone, Divided back.
A collage which would have been assembled from a variety of photographs, not a single sitting. In the bottom center with the black jacket is the Nawab of Hyderabad, the richest of them all. To his right, three figures down in the blue cape is Maharajah Rao Scindia of Gwalior.
[Verso, handwritten] "Dear May This will make a nice collection for you how many P.Cs. [postcards] have you got now what I have sent you. Leel"
Under Every Leaf
Queen Reviews Men Of Valour (1956)
About 300 Victoria Cross holders are gathered in central London for the VC centenary parade.
VC winners include, Subedar Khuda Dad Kan and Sepoy Ali Haidar, Sir Adrian Carton De Wart Lieutenant-General Lord Freyberg though Charles Upham is to be a touch shy for the camera!
and at 0.51 you can see Ishar Singh VC in the line up, he was the first Sikh to receive the Victoria Cross.
Great British Tea Party
Lipton's Teas Newspaper Advertisement in The Illustrated London News from 1892.
c. 1925: The earliest documentary Film about Village Life in #Punjab - #Pakistan
Jim Corbett Books
Jim Corbett illustration by Bill Gregg for a magazine article by Zack Taylor. Published in Sports Afield - July 1965
[Afghan Territory Border with British India]. Unknown Publisher, c. 1930. Real Photo, Divided back.
The western edge of the Raj was the border with Afghanistan on the Khyber Pass. The man standing next to the sign is probably an Afghan border guard. Getting this close to the border usually required a special permit from the authorities during this time; the Third Afghan War had been fought in 1919.
Prince of Wales Wild Boar Bagged in Patiala State. Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, 1924. Halftone, Divided back.
This card was part of a series published in connection with the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley in 1924, copyright and likely sponsored by the Patiala Government. It is one of those postcards that makes one reflect on the multiple levels of simulation offered to the user. The wild boar is dead, but looks alive on a platform arranged to look as if it is in the brush, with the stick that might have killed him thrust in its body.
c. 1877: Arrival Of Viceroy of India at Quetta
Henry Martyn (1781–1812) lived a short and in many ways lonely (but nonetheless incredibly fruitful) life as a Christian missionary and scholar. Having studied Mathematics, he was ordained and served his curacy at Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, under the celebrated Evangelical theologian, Charles Simeon.
Although he felt the call to become a missionary, he struggled to obtain funding. His father’s business of coal mining failed and Henry needed to find another way to support himself. He thus accepted an invitation to become chaplain to the East India Company in Bengal. Unlike others, he soon got to know the local Indian population and learned the local languages. Martyn visited Hindu temples and engaged in discussions about matters of faith with Brahmin priests. He led services for local people, and even went out to preach to beggars in the street. This aroused suspicion among members of the East India Company, who feared that the revolutionary message of the gospel might lead to insurrection among the locals.
As a gifted linguist, Martyn translated the New Testament and the Book of Common Prayer into Hindustani and Farsi, and prepared a translation into Arabic. He even travelled to Persia, where he met Muslim scholars and debated the central tenets of the Christian and Muslim faiths with them.
Henry Martyn died aged 31 in Armenia, alone among strangers, but his legacy lives on.
Coin-card with Viceroy-Flag of India. B. Rigold & Bergmann, Mumbai Bombay, c. 1905. Lithograph, Divided back.
An early postcard summarizing the value of British Indian coinage, one rupee and below, in silver and copper. One British pound at the time was worth 240 pence, with 1 Rupee worth 16 pence (the 'd' on the card). Another postcard summarized the value of larger coinage in a variety of currencies. Note that it took 1 anna (the center silver coin at the very bottom) to mail this card to Europe, and a half-anna (the large copper coin with Queen Victoria on it center right) to send it within India and Burma.
Restoration of a Scottish cemetery in India could spark closer links between Tayside and India - The Courier
A near-forgotten Scottish cemetery in the heart of Kolkata has become the centre of a restoration, regeneration and education project that is transforming lives.
Shipping Tea, Colombo. The Colombo Apothecaries, c. 1905. Halftone, Divided back.
In the 1860's the coffee rust fungus disease destroyed much of the the coffee industry of Sri Lanka. In the late 1860s, a Scotsman named James Taylor established the first multi-acre tea plantation in the country. Within a few years the first tea consignments were being sent to England. In 1897 tea replaced coffee as the island's biggest export and Ceylon tea became the brand name around the world it still is today.
Carts like these were used to bring dried tea from plantations to harbors, and the loaded tea cart became a symbol of Lipton and other prominent tea companies; postcards like this charted the movement of the crop from plantation to what can barely be glimpsed in the background is Colombo harbour.
The Army Children Archive (TACA)
Forgotten faces: a Raj-era army family in India (TACA latest).
The Aftermath of an Earthquake in India Postcard (Part 2)
Last week we looked at a postcard from India showing the aftermath of an earthquake. Tonight we look at another image that I believe was taken at the same time as the last. this image shows a much …
A Dandy. J. Burlington Smith, Darjeeling, c. 1910. Collotype, Divided back.
"I was carried to and from the hall in a primitive conveyance, called a “dandy”; it consists of a bit of canvas, fastened stoutly to an oblong frame of wood, terminating in a short pole at either end," writes Margaretta Catherine Reynolds, author of the fine memoir At home in India ; or Tâza-be-Tâza (1903). "The canvas forms a kind of hammock, in which one sits, being carried by the poles on the shoulders of two bearers, four of whom accompany each dandy; this mode of locomotion being by no means unpleasant."
Another point of view, as Clare Danes notes in the book Transcultural Encounters in the Himalayan Borderlands (2017) writing about precisely this Paar postcard, refers to Saloni Mathur as seeing in "the white woman carried aloft in a dandy by local men, the 'natives' are literally the bearers of European civilisation embodied, in this instance, in female form" (p. 100).
The word dandy itself, according to Hobson-Jobson, has multiple meanings, from a boatman in Gangetic rivers, with an origin in the Bengali dand, 'a staff or oar,' to a type of ascetic who carries a small wand or Dand. For a third meaning, the dandy pictured here, they write: "Same spelling, and same etymology. A kind of vehicle used in the Himālaya, consisting of a strong cloth slung like a hammock to a bamboo staff, and carried by two (or more) men. The traveller can either sit sideways, or lie on his back. It is much the same as the Malabar muncheel (q.v.), [and P. della Valle describes a similar vehicle which he says the Portuguese call Rete (Hak. Soc. i. 183)]. [1875. -- "The nearest approach to travelling in a dandi I can think of, is sitting in a half-reefed top-sail in a storm, with the head and shoulders above the yard."- Wilson, Abode of Snow, 103." (p. 296). One stick, many worlds.
The Black Watch Castle & Museum
This McVities oatcake tin commemorates Private James Davis carrying the body of Lieutenant Bramley under fire during the attack at Fort Ruhya for which he won the Victoria Cross. It can be seen in Gallery 4 of the Museum.
Families In British India Society
Sophie Spielman, who was born in India, led the residents’ campaign to save Treves & Lister Houses in Whitechapel. http://spitalfieldslife.com/2019/08/16/sophie-spielman-victorious-campaigner/
Bombay, From Harbour. Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, c. 1906. Halftone, Divided back, Bombay Series II.
[Original caption] Bombay from Harbour. Bombay is without doubt a prosperous city. The houses are large, hand some and well built–the gardens well laid out and cared for, while the streets are clean and orderly. This locality is the favorite spot of European inhabitants, of whom there are about 15,000 British born. [end]
Note the Taj Hotel in the distance on the left, so this postcard would likely have been made from a photograph taken after 1903 when it opened.
Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust
Tollygunj Club, Kolkata: Scottish Connect
Officer’s Hill, Dagshai Postcard
For this week’s postcard we go back to the Indian hill station of Dagshai and this image of the officers’ bungalows as seen from the hospital: The bungalows themselves can be seen array…
Curry from the colonies: The incredible advice for young brides from Raj-era cookbooks
Written for those still living in India, or missing it, these books help understand daily life in colonial times.
Deccan British War Hospital Postcard
In the First World War it became clear that for troops injured seriously in the fighting against the Ottomans in places such as Mesopotamia, the journey back to England was too great. The authoriti…
Punjab Mail completes 107 years
Punjab Mail is over 16 years older than the more glamorous Frontier Mail. Ballard Pier Mole station was actually a hub for GIPR services. The Punjab Mail, or Punjab Limited as she was then called, finally steamed out on 1 June 1912
Families In British India Society
PICTURE: MARRIED QUARTERS IN INDIA, 1930S http://www.archhistory.co.uk/taca/latest.html
Murree from Pindi Point (snow). Baljee, Murree/Rawalpindi, ca. 1905. Collotype, Divided back.
A view of one of the Murree hills, showing a number of the British-built homes along the road that winds from the main bazaar to Kashmir point, looking north. Murree sanitarium was founded in 1851, with many of the homes shown here constructed in the next two or three decades. At a height of between 7,000 and 8,000 feet, its cool summer climate made the cantonment a recovery spot for British troops in the Frontier, although it was not much inhabited by colonists when the original photograph for this postcard was taken in the winter.
Families In British India Society
Ongoing restoration work of the cemetery of the Hyderabad British Residency, conducted by the Department of Heritage Telangana, Deccan Heritage Foundation and the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia - BACSA, to be completed by the end of this year. https://heritage.telangana.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019-04-16.png
The Ayah. M.V. Dhurandhar [signed], Unknown Publisher, ca. 1903. Halftone, Undivided back.
This postcard shows a nanny with a pram on the “Queen’s necklace” of Malabar beach in Bombay. The artist Dhurandhar and other fellow J.J. School of Art students spent much time here sketching the many urban types who were drawn to this new social space. It also shows Dhurandhar's careful eye for detail. Towards the right in the background a Parsee couple is seated (one can tell from his hat); they may well have been her employers. In the background are what appears to be a fishing or leisure boat, the covered babies head rises from the pram, the ayah looks like she may well be from Madras as many ayahs were in those days, and to the left, a hawker is busy.
Indian Soldier, World War I. Actualite Mondiale, Lausanne [Switzerland], ca. 1914. Lithograph, Divided back.
A beautiful lithographic postcard celebrating an Indian soldier in World War I. Published in Lausanne, Switzerland, its design is exquisite: the flag just breaks the white border in a field of red, and features a faux postmark from the campaign. The sleek soldier's white uniform and black boots offer tempered contrast to the red and yellow, while the soldier's brown face fits perfectly under the flag pattern and is topped with a white turban. On the right, below, is the Star of India emblem. French-speaking Europeans in particular used postcards to celebrate and thank the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops who fought in the Allied side in World War I, many of whom came from Punjab.
[Original French] Soldat Hindou, La Guerre 1914 [end]. Note that in French, Hindu was often used as a synonym for Indian.
Tea in Transit to Wharf Ceylon. The Photochrom Co., London/Detroit, ca. 1910. Halftone, Divided back, Lipton Series.
The Sri Lankan tea industry grew from 250 acres under cultivation in 1876 to almost 400,000 acres in 1900.8 Some 150 million tonnes of tea were produced in 1900 worth 50 million rupees, half of Ceylon’s total exports. Growth was stimulated by marketing postcards like this published on behalf of Lipton’s Tea, helping to make it one of the most recognized brand around the world and certainly in the subcontinent.
Lucknow, Indian Mutiny, 1857. Price's Patent Candle Company Limited, ca. 1905. Lithograph, Divided back.
The back of this advertising card for "Price's 'Lighting Tapers,' for lighting candles, gas, &c, White or coloured, in various thicknesses, and 12 or 22 inches long," provides this caption about what is also known as the First War of Independence or Uprising today:
Lucknow, Indian Mutiny, 1857.
[Original] Lucknow was besieged by rebel tropps on July 1, 1857, and Sir Henry Lawrence, with the European inhabitants of the station and a single battalion of troops, withdrew to the Residency, which he had fortified and provisioned. Lawrence was killed on July 2, but the little garrison held out gallantly till, on Sept. 25, they were relieved by Havelock and Outram, but were again besieged, the rebel forces attacking more closely and with greater numbers. It was impossible to send away the sick and wounded and the position was maintained with great heroism. On Nov. 9, Sir Colim Campbell fought his way to Lucknw and the garrison was once again relieved, but on the 24th the heroic Havelock died, worn out with the anxieties and exertions of the siege. [end]
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