Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Railways Wallah Capt L. V. Pont, IARO


Kimberley John Lindsay
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear GWFs,

Leon Victor Pont was born in 1883 and entered Indian Railway employ in 1909.

He joined the IARO on 20 Feb 1916 and was attached 36th Jacob's Horse on 10 June 1916 (France). Promoted Lieut., IARO, still attd 36 Horse, 20 Feb 1917. Interestingly, his Medal Index Card only notes Lieut - T/Capt - Capt IARO Sappers and Miners.

The July IA List showed him disappeared from 36 Horse, but clearly Indexed as Railway Battalion, Sappers and Miners (East Africa): unfortunately not shown in the list of officers on p. 464 - perhaps in a preceding IA List?

Happily, his GSM GVR clasp Iraq is confirmed on the Medal Index Card, but I have no further detail...

He was, additionally, awarded an Indian Volunteer Officers' Decoration GVR on 5 Oct 1929.

Perhaps a GWF enthusiast knows more?

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leon Victor Pont was born in 1883 and entered Indian Railway employ in 1909.

He joined the IARO on 20 Feb 1916 and was attached 36th Jacob's Horse on 10 June 1916 (France). Promoted Lieut., IARO, still attd 36 Horse, 20 Feb 1917. Interestingly, his Medal Index Card only notes Lieut - T/Capt - Capt IARO Sappers and Miners.

The July IA List showed him disappeared from 36 Horse, but clearly Indexed as Railway Battalion, Sappers and Miners (East Africa): unfortunately not shown in the list of officers on p. 464 - perhaps in a preceding IA List?

In his book 'Prince of Wales's Own, The Scinde Horse', Col E B Maunsell lists "Lieut. Pont, L. V." in his Appendix III, which is a nominal roll of officers who served in 2nd Sind Horse, 6th Bombay Cavalry & 36th Jacob's Horse "from the date of its being raised (1846)" - see page 328

However, as far as I can tell, Pont's name is not included in Maunsell's Appendix IV which is a nominal roll of British Officers who served with the regiment (36th Jacob's Horse) during the Great War, 1914-1918 [pos. an oversight on Maunsell's part?]

Good luck

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Michael,

Thanks for finding Leon Victor Pont (who lived to be 98)in the Scinde Horse book.

Hmmmm, tricky. The perhaps over-age for cavalry Lieut Pont is clearly with 36 Horse in the 1917 Indian Army lists, but he was equally obviously earmarked at some point for the Sappers and Miners, no doubt thanks to his pre-war Railways experience.

Perhaps the appropriate medal roll GSM/India/93/2/page 41 (when obtained) will add a piece to the puzzle?

Your searching is much appreciated!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forum member bushfighter is vey knowledgeable about East Africa. Perhaps you could send him a PM if he doesn't see this post.

Also there are now a number of Indian Army Lists available online, as pdfs to download, see http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Indian_Army_List_online. Perhaps there may be an edition listed there which will give you some more information.

Cheers

Maureen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Maureen,

Thanks for your helpful suggestions: much appreciated!

In the meantime, thanks to the indefatigable Dick Flory, I have largely solved the question in hand.

Lt (A/Capt), L. V. Pont, IARO, was attached the Railway Battalion, Sappers and Miners (after it had returned with distinction from East Africa, and indeed elements then sent on operations elsewhere, for example, Third Afghan), on 11 April 1918.

It was noted that he had been with the East Bengal Railways as District Signal Engineer, and was therefore no doubt needed in that capacity for active service with the Railway Battalion, S&M, in Mesopotamia. Capt Pont left the unit in March 1920.

His GSM GVR Iraq seems to have been awarded in 1925, shortly after his marriage to Myrtle Esther Hacker, on 18 Oct 1924, in Bombay...!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear GWFs,

What I don't understand is why the 1918-20 Railway Battalion service of L. V. Pont (late 36 Horse 1916-17) was not shown in the Railway Battalion, S & M list of Officers for Mesopotamia, in the IA List.

Similarly "forgotten" was W. J. Davis, IARO attd 2nd Madras S & M as 2Lt (this rank is impressed on his Pair) - who was in fact with RE Indian establishment (Works) in Mesopotamia as a T/Capt (A/Major) and MiD twice...

Can anyone enlighten me on this convoluted subject, please?

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay
Pont was with 36 Horse at the Depot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Dear All,

It took a lot of time and effort, plus invaluable help from a very special GWF stalwart (to whom I owe a Goodie - since sent), but I now have Pont's picture!

It shows a 1916 portrait of 2Lt L. V. Pont, IARO, attd 36 Jacobs Horse, beamed to me, thanks to the kindness of his son and grandson. 

He had been selected for Cavy and trained at the Depot - initially getting good reports. Latterly, however, Pont was found unsuitable for Cavy and probably did not go to France, as previously thought.

Nonetheless, after being shunted to Sappers and Miners, he was on Active Service in Mesopotamia and later Iraq for two years all told, with the Railway Battalion, on Signals work.

Any comments would be welcome: who says research is not fun!596f86e59c627_CaptainLVPont.jpeg.8440b46c6864c88954e6d9791e724038.jpeg596f86f5bdf8b_Pontsmall.jpg.81b161a8fd3418d0526615972e71d8a3.jpg596f874cc8124_PontGSMIraq.jpg.8ad7ec196b316643382d4c63c95e20df.jpg

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great photo Kim, and also the one in your other topic.

 

It's not often that you see a British  officer of the Indian Army in a  service dress kurta. Most of the photos I have seen have been the full dress kurta.

 

Cheers

Maureen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Maureen,

Yes, I am pleased to be able to put uniform and face to a medal group with a campaign clasp to 1) the IARO, 2) attached Cavy (but later shifted to S&M), and 3) a Volunteer officer, post Great War with the VD.

I also have details of his family in India (they were in Rope), his wedding photo and so on: the fruit of a year or so of research (aka pestering people!).

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 20/07/2017 at 09:34, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear Maureen,

Yes, I am pleased to be able to put uniform and face to a medal group with a campaign clasp to 1) the IARO, 2) attached Cavy (but later shifted to S&M), and 3) a Volunteer officer, post Great War with the VD.

I also have details of his family in India (they were in Rope), his wedding photo and so on: the fruit of a year or so of research (aka pestering people!).

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Congratulations Kim.  Great photo - and lots of hard graft on the research!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...