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February 1919

pjwmacro

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In February 1919 the men of 22 Motor Machine Gun Battery were taking part in a Machine Gun Concentration and Demonstration Camp in Gondal, to the North of Bombay. On the evidence of A/Sjt Macro's photo album this also seems to have also involved air-ground cooperation and familiarisation training with aircraft of the RAF. These were almost certainly from 31 Squadron, and despite the caption, they were BE2E's, not BE2Cs. Given the soldiers had been in India for nearly three years, and the war in Europe had been over for more than three months, the thoughts of most of the men must have been focussed on getting back to their families in the UK. They were probably completely unaware that Habibullah, the Amir of Afghanistan, had been assassinated while on a hunting trip at Laghman Province on February 20, 1919, setting in train the events which would lead to the Third Afghan War. The majority of the men present at the concentration would be fighting in that war just three months later.

gondal-mgc-conc-demo-1919.jpg

BE2Cs-gondal.jpg



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