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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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Policing in the Punjab (3) and the start of the Third Afghan War.




On 5th May 1919, Capt Ewing's mobile column marched in two parties to Harpoki on the Chenab Canal. The cavalry party moved across country. The other party, 22nd Battery Motor Machine Guns, "went along banks of canal, visiting village of Chiohoki Mallian. Camped at Harpoki the night." Although those involved in policing operations in the Punjab were almost certainly unaware,  the Afghans had already invaded India - on 3rd May they had crossed the frontier on the Khyber and captured the village of Bagh. The British declared war oAfghanistan on 6th May 1919 and ordered a general mobilisation of the British and Indian forces. 

On 7th May Ewing's column returned to Wazirabad. It is assumed that the elements of 22nd Battery then returned to Rawalpindi. Ewing's evidence records that the 19th Lancers horses had covered about 300 miles in the preceding 3 weeks of policing operations; the motorcycles of 22nd Battery must have covered considerably more.




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