The Black Mountain Campaign of 1888. Commander of the Hazara Field Force with his Staff


Two old album leaves with one photograph, 11 x 9 ins to each side. These are variously titled in the negative: Genl. McQueen & Staff, Kaim Gulli 18; Sir F Roberts inspecting 5th Nd Fusiliers, Chir Mang 38; Genl McQueen & Staff at Tilla 7; Camp Kimal 12. The photographs are somewhat faded to sepia tones but still clear and very atmospheric evocations of one of the ‘small wars at the end of the 19th century”. The two of the General with his staff are particularly interesting, one showing the range of dress worn by the staff on active service and the other showing them on a prominent outcrop surveying the terrain with signallers and guards. The card is chipped at the edges and the two thin card mounts are coming away from each other which would make it a fairly easy task to split the photographs if required.

General Sir John Withers McQueen was born in 1836, educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Glenalmond and began his very active fighting career in the Mutiny where he was wounded and recommended for a V.C. at Lucknow. He later served against the Waziri in 1859, the Mahsud in 1860 & 1881, and in the Jowaki Expedition 1877-78 and the 2nd Afghan War commanding the 5th Punjab Infantry at Peiwar Kotal [brevet of Col & CB], the Mahsud Campaign 1881. His command of the Hazara Field Force in 1888 resulted in government commendation and his KCB.

In the 1880s he commanded the Hyderabad Contingent, From 1886-90 he was in command of the Punjab Frontier Force. He became Honorary Colonel of Wilde’s Rifles.

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