Sunday, December 31, 2017

The 30th Lancers (Gordon’s Horse) a Regiment of the British Indian Army, The Almost Forgotten Gordons

Being of Scottish heritage I became aware of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders at an early age. One of the first sets of W. Britains Ltd. toy soldiers I acquired was set No. 77, The Gordon Highlanders, Marching at the Slope, With Piper, in 1948.

But it wasn’t until literally 7 decades later, even though the information was there all the time, that I learned of another regiment of Gordons, the 30th Lancers (Gordon’s Horse) of the British Indian Army. The Regiment’s history was originally chronicled in a book entitled; HISTORY OF THE THIRTIETH LANCERS GORDON’S HORSE by Major E.A.W. Stotherd (a serving officer of the regiment) in 1911, and reprinted by the Navy & Military Press Ltd. , 2006, ISBN 1-845743-20-2.
It is available to read online on the Digital Library of India as a pdf to download. version.

 The regiment was raised 1826 by Capt Sir John Gordon as the 4th Regiment, Nizar’s Cavalry, stayed as the 4th Cavalry (Lancers) until 1903 when it became the 30th Lancers (Gordon’s Horse). In 1921 it was amalgamated with the 26th King George's Own Light Cavalry, to form 8th King George's Own Light Cavalry . Reference sources on the Internet cite that during WW1 "30th Lancers saw action in France where, though being a cavalry regiment, it received a good taste of trench warfare. It then went on to extinguish the embers of an Arab rebellion in Iraq, before going into action in Persia (Iran)".

It has been previously discussed on this blog that the uniforms of the lancer regiments of the British Indian Army had always rivaled the resplendent and colorful nature of the highland regiments of the British Army. The 30th Lancers were no exception. The regiment was composed of 1 squadron of Jats, 2 squadrons of Sikhs and 1 squadron of Hindustani Mussulmans, this composition would account for the variances in turban size and style as each squadron would tie then according to their religious practice. The second image below was painted by Colonel Edwards, an ex Indian Army officer and a noted authority.

 It was a pair of sets produced by Imperial Toy Soldiers of New Zealand in1989 that for some reason finally triggered my awareness. I didn’t acquire the sets until 2005! The sets are No. 50d and 51d. In addition to other individual figures, am aware that Greenwood & Ball also produced the figure of an officer of the regiment. In all cases the silvered chain epaulets are replicated on all the figures.

Friday, October 13, 2017

An Addendum to British Militaria - WWII British Airborne Forces Formation Badge

Recently a member of the British and Commonwealth Military Badge Forum provided excellent information regarding the printed version of the WWII British Airborne Forces Formation Badge. It pertains to the range of both shade and chroma occurring in genuine issued versions of the badge, and includes the maroon surrounding background, as well as the silhouette of Pegasus and Bellerophon. As seen, some of the badges have been in use, and would appear to have been removed from battledress.

The author is indebted, and expresses both gratitude and acknowledgement to Tcrown (Pierre) who has provided a range of examples of the badge from his personal collection.
• He states that all of badges are printed on Drill #2 cotton coarse weave material.
• The silhouette is consistently placed within the surrounding maroon background with the weave being seen running diagonally downward from left to right.
• The difference in the shade of the maroon can be attributed to either original dye/print lots and/or fading due to useage.
• Fold lines for sewing are indicated by a series of dots, not dashes.
• By observation the same precise outline and proportions are present in the silhouette in each badge in both left and right orientation.
• The color chroma as seen in the silhouette can range from a light blue to turquoise.
• Looking at the reverse in these examples it can be observed that the cloth is initially a solid blue shade, and the maroon is then overprinted, whether by silkscreening or some other technique, and a limited bleed-through can be seen.

For further detailed guidance in identifying genuine originals of this badge, both printed and embroidered variants, readers are invited to visit; .

A fine example of a early WWII genuine uncut, unissued pair of the embroidered British Airborne Forces Formation Badge in obverse and reverse views. Recommended for use in comparison with, and authentication of, other specimens. (Double click to enlarge).    

Viewers may also want to revisit the previous article on the regimental cap badge of the Parachute Regiment for additional examples of genuine badges. See:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Final Addendum (Last Post) to the Photographic Catalog - Operation Market Garden Series by King and Country Military Miniatures

At a point in the resurrected series (March 2014), it seems to the author that King and Country's founder and owner Andy Neilson was approaching a dry well with regard to new figures and ideas. There was a seeming last hurrah in a group of sets that can be divided in two themes, which this author has chosen to call "Defiance at Arnhem" and "Defeat at Arnhem". Usually on the anniversary of the battle (17 - 25 September) he had introduced new figures. It would appear, however popular, that because of the introduction of new themes, and the absence of any new Market Garden figures as of the immediate passing of that date (September 2017), that the series has ended in defeat, just as the real battle did 73 years ago this month.

It was this author's personal choice to only collect those additional sets that depicted defiance rather than defeat. This decision was not only aversion to the tenor of a valiant force defeated, but based upon several other factors, including a substantial price increase on already very expensive figures, a noticeable decline in the accuracy of painting (particularly the Denison smocks), and the glaring inaccuracy (due to extremely sloppy and erroneous research and/or cost cutting) of the alleged "Airborne 6 pounder Anti-Tank Gun" which accompanied the figure of LSgt John D. Baskeyfield VC, in what could have been a magnificent set. A truly pathetic shame, and even more unfortunate, the second major debacle occurring with the very same gun that had been issued earlier in the series.

For the sake of a complete historical record, all of the remaining sets will be depicted herein using the sequence of ascending catalog numbers, with the exception of two sets, namely LSgt John D. Baskeyfield VC, and the dead and wounded British paratroops.

The following sets are considered by the author to depict "Arnhem Defiant".


The following image is of a correct Ordnance, Q.F. 6 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III (Airborne), albeit in 1:35 scale. Compare the significantly narrowed width of wheel base to provide physical accessibility into a Horsa glider (the guns would not have been at Arnhem, or in much lesser numbers, without this modification), the removal of all vestiges of the lower front splinter shield, the hinged trail legs on the carriage, inclusion of front towing eye, and the correct absence of the non-existent dolly wheel on the right trail (This came from a completely erroneous misinterpretation of a positioning hawser (rope) in an iconic contemporary photograph).

For those readers who may be interested in more details please see; .


The remaining sets, with the exception of the little road sign, are personally considered by the author to depict "Arnhem Defeated". The "toy soldiers" reflecting the reality of history.