Karachi 1923 (forum archive)

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Information icon4.svg The following text has been archived here from our sister site, the Border Regiment Forum, which is set to close in January 2018.
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File alt font awesome.svg Posted by plbramham » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:44 pm

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1st Battalion band in British India September 1923, so photo must have been taken when 1st Bn were in Karachi (now Pakistan) between being first at Kohat on NW Frontier in 1922 then on to Aden in 1924. The Battalion were also based in Karachi in 1919 after WW1. Postmark is Peshawar, and addressed to Mrs Pullinger of 1st Btn. No. 6 bungalow, Cherat. (Cherat was a hill station used during the hot weather by the British who were quartered in the hot and malarious valley of Peshawar).

The British East India Company captured Karachi in February 1839 when HMS Wellesley anchored off Manora island The town was later annexed to British India after the Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843. In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from India to England via a direct telegraph connection between Karachi and London. In 1878, the city was connected to the rest of British India by rail. Construction of Karachi Cantonment Railway Station, earlier known as Frere Street Station, was started in 1896 and completed in 1898.

The British installed public sanitation and transportation - such as gravel paved streets, proper drains, street sweepers, and a network of trams and horse-drawn trolleys. They also established military camps, a European inhabited quarter, and organized marketplaces They also built social clubs, the Kothwari Parade (a large seaside promenade) and the Frere Hall, and gambling parlours. During World War II, about 30,000 Polish refugees migrated to Karachi, at that time under British colonial rule. Many of these Polish families settled permanently in the city. Today Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city, main seaport and the country’s financial centre.

From Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911:

KARACHI, or Kurrachee, a seaport and district of British India, in the Sind province of Bombay. The city is situated at the extreme western end of the Indus delta, 820 m. by rail from Lahore, being the maritime terminus of the North-Western railway, and the main gateway for the trade of the Punjab and part of central Asia. It is also the capital of the province of Sind. Pop. (1881), 73,500; (1891), 105,199; (1901), 115,407. The harbour entrance has a minimum depth of 25 ft., and a large number of improvements and extensions have been carried out by the harbour board, which was created in 1880, and transformed in 1886 into the port trust. Among the principal public buildings are government house, the Frere municipal hall, and the Napier barracks. The military cantonments, stretching north-east of the city, form the headquarters of a brigade in the 4th division of the southern army. An excellent water supply is provided by an underground aqueduct 18 m. in length.

Karachi barracks in 1920, at that time home to 1st Border Regiment.