Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chapter 5: The Relief Column

Read chapters sequentially. #1 first, #2 second, #3 third, #4 fourth and #5 afterwards, if you please. Click on photographs to enlarge them.

At the end of Chapter 3, you witnessed the 10th Hussars returning to Tranjapour from reconnoitering The Khyber Pass. The last image showed Major Trevelyan about to hand deliver new orders just arrived by telegraph from Fort Grant to Lt. Col. Preece. Later that evening we observe three officers conversing about those orders.

#57 The Relief Column
15 September 1898/2008. That night in Tranjapour there is heated talk. Khambatta, "No Sahib Bartlett! It is madness to stay here to await the Tugs." Bartlett, "My dear fellow, we thwarted them on the 8th and 9th and now with your infantry, we are stronger than a week ago." Dr. Watson, "I think Gen. Pettygree's orders, 'Hold until relieved. We are coming," are reasonable." Khambatta, “The 1st Sikhs will do our duty, but staying here is madness. The Tugs are a nemesis back from the dead!”

#58 The Relief Column
15 September 1898/2008. In the next room Captain Sachs, 2/10th Hussars, overheard the conversation and rises saying, "I say, Subedar-Major Khambatta, with respect, it can't be as bad as all that. An' ol' Pettygree, the General I mean, will be 'ere with The Column before you know it."

#59 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. General William Augustus Pettygree on parade within Fort Grant. 2nd Sikhs are drilling behind him. The General rides his trusty stallion, Express, "E" for short. Do you see the old bullet wound in his left flank? He received that battle honour long ago whilst taking his rider to safety in the Soudan.

#60 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The General turns to observe the departure of The Tranjapour Relief Column. The 9th Bengal Lancers lead. Two of the four squadrons will remain at Fort Grant for eventualities.

#61 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The 9th Bengal Lancers pass in review.

#62 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The 9th's most senior squadron commander, Captain Paget, salutes General Pettygree. In a moment the regiment will sortie out the Main Gate.

#63 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. Within Fort Grant 1/9th Bengal Lancers trot toward the Main Gate.

#64 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The procession continues as 2/9th Bengal Lancers appear. Squadrons 3 and 4 (unseen) remain behind for local duties. General Pettygree (center) appears content with what he sees.

#65 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The procession of lancers continues under the watchful gaze of the General.

#66 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. On the left Lt. Col. Sir Reginald Savory appears. He is the commanding officer of 1/Sikhs who are right behind him. In the background you can see a portion of the 2/Sikhs remaining behind. The Petrus Victory Column was raised by Brigadier Young some years before.

#67 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. 1/Sikh infantry march into view. They are in earnest to reinforce a detachment of their comrades commanded by senior Captain Khambatta at Tranjapour. Sir Reginald salutes General Pettygree.

#68 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. A second company of 1/Sikhs marches into view.

#69 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. Now appears a detachment of the 1st Mountain Battery, a 7 Pdr. gun disassembled on mules.

#70 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. More of the battery comes into view obscured from sunlight by thick scudding clouds above.

#71 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. A third company of 1/Sikhs guards the rear of the battery.

#72 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. Supply animals are essential to keep The Relief Column fed and supplied with extra ammunition. Wheeled transport is being left behind allowing for faster march speed.

#73 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. More of the supply contingent appears including water carriers. The last one is Gunga Din. I say, whose face is just appearing leftmost in the photograph?

#74 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. It's Annie! She is the Indian elephant so beloved by the garrison. Sometimes allowed to wander about, she has decided to go with The Column!

#75 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. "Ohhhh' Annie!"

#76 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. Annie is turned aside by her handler as the last of The Column exits The Main Gate. Notice two 2.5" screw guns and one 7 pdr. adjacent to the flag pole. These are remaining behind. Rightmost you see Gunga Din and General Pettygree are the last to leave Fort Grant. In a moment the General will gallop to the center of The Column in service to Queen and Country.

#77 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008.

#78 The Relief Column
16 September 1898/2008. The Relief Column stretches out into the distance. Their destination is Tranjapour. Will they arrive in time to relieve the 10th Hussars and the detachment of 1/Sikhs before, during or after the Tugs arrival there? Indeed will the Tugs even attack?

We shall see. Come back for Chapter 6 in three weeks time to find out. Fortunately the telegraph seen to the left can be tapped into to keep General Pettygree informed of the situation there. However, you must wait until next time.


Bluebear Jeff said...


Your 'photo stories' get better each time. I am especially delighted with that first 'interior' shot (with the chairs, table and lamp). It is a very nice photo.

I hope that you are enjoying this as much as we are.

-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

I echo Jeff's comments and say you have excelled yourself this time. where did the chairs and table come from?
best wishes

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


The story is getting better and better with each new episode!

I look forward to reading the next thrilling installment ...

Bob Cordery

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Lord - not only do I now have Rose to worry about but also "E" and Annie (though at least the latter should be safe).... how far does the relief column have to travel??

PS. I echo Jeff's comments re. the first photo, it really is very good; purely in the spirit of fun (i'm no button counter!!) see the following... I knew something was wrong with in the picture.. :o)))

Mike said...

Hey Bill,

Great blog! You've outdone yourself this time.

--- Mike H

ColCampbell50 said...


Great reports. I especially like how you have used the casting flaw in Express' flank as part of the backstory.


Gallia said...

Thank you Everyone!,
Yes, I am enjoying this. Chapter 5was inspired by a photograph on the cover of Wargamer's Newsletter (I think?!) many years ago showing Imperial forces exiting a fortress. Models theron belonged to Don Featherstone. That one photo was inspirational for me throughout all these years.
Furniture comes from model railroading, O Scale. See Walther's Catalog, product 653 1452 Living Room set. There is also a bedroom and kitchen set. The lamp is product code 164 539. Each item is in the $4.00-$5.00 range.
I appreciate your remarks!
The named animals are growing in importance for me too. Thank you for the flag item. I ignored an unfathomable something that told me something was ??? about the flag hung in the room. Now I know and am glad of it.
Merci mon ami!
As we say in baseball, "Good eye!"
Correct too. Photos bring out things like that.
Kind regards,

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Bill - by way of a compliment - your game and pictures remind me very much of this - from one of perhaps my fvourite old books:

J Womack, Esq. said...


Good stuff, old chap. Even if the Tommies are in that God-awful khaki. It's fine for the native troops, but Her Majesty's Army never should have changed, what?

Redcoats forever, don't you know?

Seriously, very entertaining. I may steal the idea for the storyline going on over on my blog, that my buddy is writing.

-- J

Frankfurter said...

A new take on graphic novels ...
hoping that this really catches on as this is fun to follow!

Gallia said...

Yes, those Don Featherstone photos - I remember 'em! I looked at them many times years ago. No longer in my collection for some silly reason.
Yes, quite. Red coats forever. If I had not gone to the year 1898, red coats there would be a plenty.

I've got a naval contingent on order in naval blue and sailor hats which will help some. No red but....

Please DO steal the idea. My thinking is we need a new way to do campaign and battle reports - another option is what I mean - not replacement of the traditional means. People seem to have less and less time/patience or devote less and less time to slowly enjoyable and careful reading. This new genre might help. A picture is worth one thousand words as the saying goes. Twenty-two photos = 22,000 words which takes only a few minutes to digest.
Many thanks Arthur!

Der Alte Fritz said...

The scene with the Bengal Lancers marching out of the fort reminded me a bit of the John Ford/John Wayne western, "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". Now all you need is a band.

Brent said...


I agree with the many comments -- your use of pictures for story-telling is great, and getting better as you go.

This chapter has some true cinemagraphic moments for me -- the flag against the stormy sky with the top of the ramparts is as simple and strong as they come!

I also like the frequent use of the out-of-focus background. It strongly draws the eye to the subject. (Although I couldn't help but look at the Petrus monument.)

Finally, I got a kick out of the elephant heading towards the gateway it clearly couldn't fit through. And I went through in sequence -- I was wondering what was going to happen.

Bravo! I shall return.


Gallia said...

For Der Alte:

Yellow Ribbon! Yes indeed. Right on.

There are 30mm Stadden late 19th. Century British bandsmen. I might just buy some and paint them in presumably red coats. Good idea.

For Brent:
Thank you for your commentary and kind remarks. I had three things going on in Chapter 5 along with the cinamagrahic dynamics you apprehended. First there was the conflict between three officers at Tranjapour, followed by the departure of the Relief Column and lastly though a part of the latter, a little comic relief in the form of Annie the elepant who as you correctly observed is unable to squeeze through the Main Gate.

Cordially yours,