Yes, it is normal in an Infantarian's life. Once our general walked with his whole division on foot from Kasur to Lahore(35 miles) in a single night. He once ordered a shabbily dressed lieutenant to walk the whole length of Lahore border.
The Bara Bridge Across The Bara River, Kajuri Plains, Photograph Taken By Royal Air Force, Constructed By Royal Engineers, Khyber Pass, 1930-31 (c).
Another Inglis bridge, of somewhat similar size and design, was erected by the 5th Company at Mazarai later in the operations; but in this case there were further complications as one bank of the Bara River was high and precipitous and the other rose to a lower level in two steps.
A concrete and rubble pier was built on the lower step, and the girders launched across it to the far bank in which a very deep and long approach cutting was required. As in the case of the Bara Bridge, the last three bays of the Mazarai Bridge were counter-weighted and left permanently in cantilever—but at one end of the bridge only, instead of at both as at Bara.
The pier was made 30 feet in height in order to limit the depth of the opposite approach cutting to 16 feet; but even so the Sikh Pioneers and infantry working parties who did the excavation were obliged to remove 250,000 cubic feet of very hard soil. It is creditable to all concerned that the whole undertaking was completed in 50 days.
The construction of the Bara and Mazarai bridges was the most important engineering work executed during the occupation of the Kajuri and Aka Khel Plains, and it has been described in some detail to show what Sappers and Miners are now called upon to do in field operations.
The third and final period, from December 9th to March 31st, began with the selection of the sites for the permanent camps and posts, and the Engineer units were soon sinking tube wells and raising defences at these places. Samghakai Post, Jhansi Post, Nowshera Post and an enlarged Fort Salop came into being, while road work continued in various directions.
But in spite of a heavy program of engineering, several small punitive expeditions were sent against Afridi villages on the outskirts of the plains. One of these, in which the Rawalpindi Brigade operated against Tauda China on February i8th, will serve as an example of the usual employment of the Engineer units.
On this occasion the 3rd Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners, working with the 2nd Bombay Pioneers, demolished several towers and houses and blocked more than 100 caves with thorn trees, stones and barbed wire to which they sometimes attached mines. In a mined cave, any movement of the wire caused the charge to explode and to discourage attempts to remove the wire with a hook and a rope from a safe distance, a mine was placed occasionally at just that distance outside the cave.
The results were most satisfactory—except to the Afridis. Hostilities ceased gradually, and with the approach of the hot weather all the troops except the permanent garrison left the Kajuri and Aka Khel Plains. Peshawar was safe against further Afridi raids.”
Journey of Armoured Corps centre from Ahmednagar to Nowshera commenced with the announcement of independence of Pakistan as made by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. On the same day, the Pakistan Armoured Corps was born. At that time, there was no Armoured Corps training institution in any area. All such training institutions were located at four different places in India. These were:-
Armoured Corps Officers Training School at Ahmednagar
Armoured Corps Training Centre No. 1 at Lucknow
Armoured Corps Training Centre No. 2 at Ferozepur
Armoured Corps Training Centre No. 3 at Babina
Under the Independence Act, it was decided that the Indian Army, including the Armoured Corps, will be divided at the ratio of 2:1 between India and Pakistan. The Armoured Corps School at Ahmednagar had to stay with India, and the Muslim instructors were allowed to opt for the newly born state of Pakistan. In addition, the training equipment at the school was also to be distributed as per the decided ratio. To carry out this colossal task of distribution, a board composed of British, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu officers was constituted under the chairmanship of Brigadier Gimson, who was the Commandant of the Armour School at that time. On similar lines, other boards were constituted, for all other training centres.
After the arrival of Mountbatten, as Viceroy of India, the partition date was announced. Time was precariously short. The C-in-C, Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck and his staff produced the plan for the division of the Army. The division of the Indian Armoured Corps was based upon the principle that regiments with ethnic majorities would be allotted to their respective ethnicities. Pakistan's share was 6 regiments, (5 H, 6 L, 11 C, 13 L, 19 Land Scinde Horse). Since Guides had one Dogra and one Sikh squadron, it was allotted to India. Scinde Horse with one KK (Khaim Khani) and one Pathan squadron was earmarked for Pakistan. Because of the Guide's association of over 90 years with Mardan, the CO requested for it to be allocated to Pakistan. The C- in- C refused, however, a miraculous freak changed our fate. The KK squadron of Scinde Horse decided to remain in India as their homes in Rajputana were now part of India. This happy decision of the KK squadron brought the Guides to Pakistan. It received the Pathan squadron from Scinde Horse and the PM squadron from Hodson's Horse, giving its Sikh squadron to Hodson's Horse and its Dogra squadron to Scinde Horse.
"On Partition, the Indian Army retained what was the Centre and School of the Indian Armoured Corps along with a majority of the officer cadre, most of whom were non-Muslims, in accordance with the British policy. Consequently, with very few officers in Armoured Corps, all below the rank of lieutenant colonel, and with the GHQ placing emphasis mostly on the Corps of Infantry, the organization of the Armoured Corps was adversely affected in the initial period preceding Partition. The overall situation was so pathetic that there was no existence of even a Directorate for the Armoured Corps, which is so vital for regulating the affairs and solving the evolutionary problems of the Corps, there being just a Grade-2 staff officer who was a British officer named Major Ritter.
The Armoured Corps Directorate was established at a much later stage when Brigadier Idrees, Commander 3rd Armoured Brigade was appointed Director Armoured Corps and was later replaced with the rank of a Major General. The Armourtd Corps Centre and School were established at Nowshera. Matters at these institutions progressed slowly till Colonel Ihsanullah Babar took over as Commandant, after which things began to improve considerably at a quicker pace as procedures, drills and training policies were streamlined.
Lower Kurram Valley "Convoy halted at Alizai on return fron Thal - Malitia Post in the distance" - This picture came from a small collection of cards belonging to an British India Army officer with No 12 Pack Battery Kalabagh 1921.
After 1920 All the Mountain Batteries were titled 'Pack' rather than 'Mountain" - Alizai was in the Kurram region of North West Frontier with Thal being 21 miles away - Alizai is now in Pakistan.