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Remembered Today:

Capt A. F. Reilly of the Zhob Militia


Kimberley John Lindsay
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Dear GWFs,

Arthur Frederick Reilly (‘Adjutant, Cavalry, Zhob Militia’) had joined the IARO in 1916, and was qualified in Pushto and Hindustani. Reilly had previously been ‘Assistant Superintendent of Frontier Police’ and was attached Zhob Militia on 17 December 1916.

He played an important part on 30 May 1919, leading a rescue effort in the final stages of Major Russell’s much-quoted withdrawal with the still-loyal remnants of his South Waziristan Militia, when Russell ordered Reilly’s Zhob Militia to make a stand.

Most unfortunately, Capt Reilly lost his life in the final action, when pinned under his mortally wounded horse. Russell was subsequently awarded the DSO, but Reilly got nothing…

Does anyone have an Image of the gallant and capable Capt A. F. Reilly, IARO...?

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear GWFs,

I hold the medals (sans his KPM GVIR) of Lieut G. A. Swift, IARO (later IP), a colleague of the unfortunate Capt A. F. Reilly - both Zhob Militia. 

The fine CIE, DSO group of medals to Major Russell of the South Waziristan Militia are held by the National Army Museum. These were generously donated by his son...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

G. A. Swift, Zhob Militia, Indian Police.JPG

Maj Guy Russell, SW Militia.jpg

Swift 1919 Zhob.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Dear Kim

i came across your post on Captain A F Reilly via Google, so joined this website so I can reply. Arthur Frederick Reilly, affectionately known as "Tet" was the older brother of my husband's grandfather. I know a lot about his ancestry and his surviving siblings as genealogy is a hobby of mine. I knew about the engagement in which he was killed, but had not seen details of his service dates before. He was born in India as many of his siblings were. i see the Raj is an interest of yours so you might be interested to know that Arthur's grandfather was Professor Calcott Reilly, from 1871 head of the Royal Indian Engineering College at Coopers Hill, Surrey. All his 5 sons became engineers and trained at the college. At least 2 of them then deployed to India to work on building the railways. There is a type of gate called a Reilly gate in the Indian railway network. The highest award at one of the engineering colleges in modern India is still called the Calcott Reilly Medal. Arthur's father Frederick Reilly was one of the sons who went to India, where he and his wife raised several children. Once back in the UK, Frederick retired to pursue a second career as an artist. He worked in oils and painted several good portraits including one of General Taylor of the RIEC. Money became tight and Fred took one last hurrah job as an engineer in what is now Guyana, South America - he caught Malaria and died on the voyage home and was buried at sea 1905. Arthur returned to India and died in action in Waziristan. He left what he had in his will for the education of his youngest brother Noel, my husband's grandfather. Thanks to this legacy Noel's widowed mother was able to send him to Merchant Taylor's School and he eventually ended up at Cambridge and had an illustrious career in public Service (including the Ministry of Information '39-'45) and the World Bank. He was always grateful to Tet for this start in life.

I have several photos of Tet as a young man but they are currently in storage. When I get my hands on my files again I would be pleased to send you a good picture of him. Additionally, though I cannot find the reference online today I do remember that Tet's colleagues regretted his not being awarded a decoration for his part in the action in which he died and they clubbed together to put up a window in a chapel in his honour somewhere. If I remember where or can find the reference I will forward.

Thank you for including the picture of Colonel Russell's medals. Moving to see those. Tet was in all our thoughts this past weekend. I don't know the whereabouts of any medals he may have had. Possibly with descendants of his older brother who i know of but we are not properly in touch. I love your description of him as gallant and capable. That is just how I picture him too.

Kind regards,

Clarissa

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Dear Clarissa,

I was thrilled to bits to read all about the indeed gallant and capable Arthur Reilly. Oftentimes there were only a certain number of decorations to be distributed, and those who were Killed in Action were usually left out, anyway. However, one would have thought that he was due at least a Mentioned in Despatches.

Tantalizing to know that photos exist of "Tet" Reilly...

I attach a picture of "Tet's" fellow Zhob Militia officer, G. A. Swift (later KPM and Indian Police), whose medals I hold. A. F. Reilly was also Indian Police, pre-1914, I believe.

Kindest regards,

Kim.1407888135_2LtG.A.Swift1916ScannedbyDerekGWF.jpg.679f8ff83483567aa9ed728ea44a0272.jpg 

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