Christopher Trevelyan © King-
The Indian Army on campaign 1900-
by Christopher Trevelyan
In June 1915, serious tribal developments in Upper Swat required the demonstration
of a sizeable military force to calm the situation. As such, the Malakand Moveable
Column under Brigadier-
90th Battery R.F.A.
25th Mountain Battery (less one section).
No.6 Company, 1st Sappers & Miners.
1/2 battalion, 1st Durham Light Infantry.
94th Russell's Infantry
On 20th August, Beynon received information from the Political Agent for Malakand, that a large force of up to twenty thousand tribesmen under Mullah Sandaki were marching down the left bank of the Swat River with the intent of invading Lower Swat. To meet this threat, Beynon moved his column to Haibatgram, which was just west of a mountainous spur near Landakai. From this spur, which ran up perpendicular to the Swat River on its left bank, Beynon chose to meet the Mullah's forces.
In preparation for the expected conflict, a row of 11 piquets were constructed
just east of Landakai spur. The 2-
At 10:00 p.m. on 28th August, the telephone wire linking the piquets to
headquarters was cut. Only fifteen minutes later, the attack began, with the full
weight directed against the 2-
Next the Swat tribesmen switched their focus to the lower piquets held by
the 46th Punjabis. No.8 Piquet, commanded by Subadar-
There were no less than eight separate rushes, made on this sangar (piquet) during the night, some of the enemy reaching within ten paces of the wall. One standard bearer was shot down about this distance and, in spite of all attempts by the enemy to recover the lost standard, it was captured by the occupants of the sangar, when the enemy retired in the morning. This sangar was occupied by Punjabi Mahommedans, many of whom, as is necessarily the case in this regiment, were very young soldiers...
The piquet held by Subadar Budhi-
The British force suffered a total of three men of the 2-
At 7:15 a.m., Beynon sent a force made up of the following troops to intercept the retreating tribesmen:
90th Battery, R.F.A.
25th Mountain Battery.
2 companies, Durham L.I.
2 companies, 46th Punjabis.
2 companies, 94th Infantry.
Shortly after 8:00 a.m., upon sighting the enemy on the right bank of the Swat River, both batteries went into action. The target of the 25th Mountain Battery was the Fort of Kak. Some damage was done, and fires within the fort were set, but the Mountain Guns were not powerful enough to cause any serious damage to the fort's walls. The target of the 90th Battery R.F.A. was a tribal gathering that proved somewhat more rewarding however…
The tribesmen obviously considered themselves out of range as their standards were openly displayed and groups of men were seated among the trees and houses. These gatherings were quickly broken up, the enemy retreating up the Shamozai valley on the right bank of the river.
Given the limited results of the 25th Mountain Battery against the walls
of Kak, Beynon ordered the Battery to a higher position, where it could fire into
the Fort. This had the desired effect, and soon its defenders were seen fleeing its
walls, only to be harried by Maxim gun and rifle fire, as well as shrapnel rounds
from the 25th Mountain Battery. Shortly afterwards, Major Blois-
For their good work on the night of 28th-
Events remained quiet on the Swat border until the night of 21st October 1915, when a hostile party of tribesmen burnt the small post of Bandagai. On 23rd October, the posts of Sado and Serai were evacuated by Levies, only to be burnt by the enemy soon thereafter. The post of Katgala, two miles from Serai, was also burnt. These forces were then joined by those of two Mullahs, and soon around three thousand Bajauris had crossed into the Adinzai Valley with the intent of linking up with the Swat and Dir tribes to attack the Malkand Moveable Column at Chakdara.
3 Squadrons Guides Cavalry.
90ht Battery, R.F.A.
1 Section, 25th Mountain Battery.
No.6 Company, 1st Sappers and Miners.
1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (less 2 companies).
94th Russell's Infantry.
The Medals of Lt.Col.R.D.Beadle, who while still a Captain, served with the 46th Punjabis at both actions.
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