Two rare photo albums depicting the life and work of a British army officer in India during the first half of the 20th century have emerged for sale.
The unnamed officer belonged to the Indian Army’s 28th Light Cavalry and there are more than 400 black and white photographs.
They show military operations, big game hunting, giant elephant traps, ‘pig sticking’ expeditions, equestrianism training and polo playing.
Hunting party picnic pictured above, with both British and high ranking Indian officials. The two rare photo albums depicting the life and work of a British army officer have recently emerged for sale
The black and white photographs from the turn of the 20th century until 1930s show soldiers of the Raj big game hunting
Soldiers of the 28th Light Cavalry, which prevented infiltration of German and Ottoman agents from Persia into Afghanistan
Indian troops pictured standing on horses during equestrianism training. Good horsemanship was vital for cavalry regiments
After World War One, the Indian Army’s 28th Light Infantry joined in operations in Russian Turkestan against the Bolsheviks
Pictures from the turn of the 20th century until the 1930s show life in India and on the north-west frontier.
The 28th Light Cavalry was involved in what is still a relatively unknown part of the First World War.
It served on military operations with the Seistan Field Force and the East Persian Cordon, preventing the infiltration of German and Ottoman agents from Persia into Afghanistan.
The agents’ aim was to persuade the Emir of Afghanistan to rise up in a jihad with the tribes in the North-West Frontier Province and invade India.
The Germans believed that if this could be achieved then British troops would have to be removed from the Western Front in France and sent to defend India.
After the First World War and up to 1920 the 28th Light Cavalry continued on active operational service in Russian Turkestan.
The two rare albums provide a snapshot of military life in India and on the North West frontier during the final days of the Raj
A man shaves while sat in a bath tub. The album belonged to an unnamed officer from the Indian Army’s 28th Light Cavalry
The 28th Light Cavalry out on patrol and carrying out military operations in the vast landscape of the North West frontier
Five members of the British polo team with their trophy. Alongside military operations, photos depict life of officers in India
An officer of the 28th Light Infantry holding a sword (left) and three members of a high ranking Indian family (right)
Roddy Lloyd from Rowley’s auction house in Ely, Cambridgeshire, said: ‘The albums are a wonderful record of life in India during the last few decades of the British Raj.
‘Interestingly, many of the shots show the British and Indians as equals – playing polo, hunting and relaxing together.
‘Before the First World War the 28th Light Cavalry were a typical Indian regiment, taking their turn to serve in the North-West Frontier Province.
‘During the First World War they served in Persia and after the war until 1920 they served in Russian Turkestan against the Bolsheviks.
‘The albums record active service on the north-west frontier and the time spent in Russian Turkestan although the First World War is not covered – perhaps these photos were in a separate album.
An outing in an early motor car. The albums will be auctioned at Rowley’s auction house for an estimate of £200-300
A hunting party. The British Raj was known for its love of hunting, especially of tigers, cheetahs and leopards
Four men from the British Polo team pose for a photograph while sat on top of their horses during training
A large hunting party, including two children and a pair of dogs. The photographs include a variety of shots
Photo depicts a ‘picket’ or ‘sangar’, which is a defensive structure set up along high ground. It was occupied by solders as a column went by, in order to to protect it from attack
A soldier with a boy seated on top of a camel. The animals were recruited for the desert regions of northern India
Elephant trapping, with a charging elephant about to be captured (left) and a tiger hunt (right) on elephants
‘We see the men enjoying themselves playing polo, ‘pig-sticking’ big game hunting and duck shooting.
‘Their wives are often prominent and there are a number of informal shots of people as well as wonderful landscapes whilst holidaying in Kashmir and trekking with ponies and porters in the high foothills of the Himalayas and Karakorams.
‘It is a remarkable record of a life that exists no more for the British and there are many collectors who, I am sure, would love to have these albums.
‘The photographs are of a good quality and include a variety of shots and include humorous ones as well.
‘The albums belonged to an unnamed officer of the 28th Light Cavalry and we have them with an auction estimate of £200-300.’
The sale is on Saturday 7 March.
What was the Indian Army’s 28th Light Cavalry?
The 28th Light Cavalry was formed in 1784 as the 2nd Regiment of Madras Native Infantry. The 2nd Madras Cavalry was later created by volunteers following regiments disbanding in a mutiny over pay
It carried out military operations during the British Raj, a period of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, which took place between 1858 and 1947, bringing a century of control by the East India Company to a close
The regiment was named the 28th Light Cavalry in 1903, and later became the 7th Light Cavalry in 1922
Stationed at Quetta, Pakistan, as part of the 4th Quetta Division in 1913, it served on military operations with Seistan Field Force and the East Persian Cordon
It was involved in what is still a relatively unknown part of the First World War. The cavalry worked to prevent the infiltration of German and Ottoman agents from Persia into Afghanistan
The agents’ aim was to persuade the Emir of Afghanistan to rise up in a jihad with the tribes in the North-West Frontier Province and invade India
After First World War, until 1920, regiment served in active operation service in Russian Turkestan against the Bolsheviks
During the Second World War, the regiment was stationed in Bolarum as part of the 4th Cavalry Parade
Following both wars the regiment, named the 7th Light Cavalry, gained independence from the British in 1947