Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Beau Geste Digest

Back with more delights from the Americas, this time in the shape of some 'sons of India' who fought as part of the British Army during the First World War and a few more additions to their flagship Delhi Durbar range

First up is a group of soldiers from the Indian Cyclist Corp together with one of the photos which inspired the set

In the war a number of duties befell cyclists incuding:

Courier work - sometimes cycling down communications trenches. This was particularly important when the security of the trench telephone system was found to have been compromised by German Moritz receiving stations

Security patrols - for example the canal system in both Britain and France could have been very vulnerable to sabotage and was patrolled by cyclists

In the early days of the war cyclists (British, Belgium and German) were employed as scouts - for example contact with the Russians before Tannenberg was first made by German cycling units. In Belgium British and German cycling units actually engaged each other. One of the Anglo Belgian armoured trains actually carried Belgian cycling troops on board to scout away from the railway line

The Italians had cycling troops used as a mobile reserve to plug holes in the line in the case of an Austrian break through

There were four kinds of cyclist units in the British Army of World War I.
1.  The cyclist battalions of the Territorial Force, which were infantry units.
2.  Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Force that had exchanged their horses for bicycles.
3.  The divisional cyclist companies of infantry divisions
4.  The corps cyclist battalions of army corps

Next up is a group of splendid looking camel riders which I'm sure many collectors would simply love to add to their DDDs! [Delhi Durbar Displays]

Alwar camel riders

Alwar camel riders band

Alwar camel riders band, part 2!

The final pictures show two new elephants and attendant escort guards, musicians and standard bearers looking resplendent, as ever, in their multicoloured garb

The elephant of Faridkot

Faridkot State, with its capital at Faridkot, was a Princely state in Punjab region, it was one of the Cis-Sutlej states.
The state was established in 1763, ruled by a Jatt Sikh Brar dynasty and was an offspring of Kotkapura. Faridkot was occupied by Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire in 1803 but had to be returned to the former rulers in 1807 on the behest of the British. The Faridkot Elephant was part of the Main Procession. It went on the left column in 23rd place, beside the Limri Elephant, after the Maler Kotla Elephant, who went alone, and before the Manipur one

Escort Guards

Music Group

The Faridkot group in its entirety

Elephant and standard bearers from Kotah

These sets, together with everything else produced by Beau Geste, is available from Piers Christian, the sole distributor of BG merchandise in the United Kingdom. Happy hunting!

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