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25th Punjabis Depot


ddycher
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Long shot but I am trying to find out more details on the 25th Punjabis’ depot at Multan 1914 ~ 1915 before it rejoined the returned Regt at Jhelum in 1915. The 25th Punjabis had been in Hong Kong since 1912 and were ordered home in February 1915. I am particularly interested in Capt Steriker William Finnis who was OC of the depot and for a short time off’g SSO at Multan. I dont believe that Finnis served in Hong Kong as I have intermittant ref’s for him in India 1912 ~ 1915. 

 

Can anyone give any tips on how I can find more on either ? Have a partial biography on Finnis that I have built over the years but it is far from complete. I believe Finnis and his fiance Georgina “Dod” Anderson were active in Multan late 1914. Have been trying to determine when Dod Anderson came out from the UK (engaged in April 1914, they were married in Jhelum in November 1915) but details are hard to track down.

 

Any insights would be appreciated.

 

Regards

Dave 

Edited by ddycher
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You should be able to follow Finnis in the online Indian Army Lists on Archive.org linked from 

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Army_List_online

 

You may be able to track Dod Anderson on the passenger lists on Ancestry/Findmypast (both pay websites) for ships to and from India, but some people joined or left the ship at Marseilles and travelled the rest of the way by train, which was quicker but more expensive, and they do not appear on these shipping lists.

See https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Passenger_lists

 

Online newspapers are another source. Findmypast and the British Newspaper Archive (both pay websites) have the same databases. The most likely publication appears to be Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) which is currently available to 1912, with issues planned to 1929. The Times of India is also available on a database available at some Universities/Libraries, so you could check out whether there is anything available which you could access. For details see

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Newspapers_and_journals_online

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Subscription_websites-online_newspapers,_journals_and_directories

It would also be worthwhile checking UK newspapers, and possibly even Hong Kong newspapers, for the latter see https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Hong_Kong

 

Marriage transcription Findmypast

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=BL%2FBIND%2FM%2F194431%2F1 Image below (not very clear)

 

A possible relative is Major John Fortescue Finnis 53rd Sikhs FF https://fibis.ourarchives.online/bin/aps_detail.php?id=1158233

 

Maureen

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 10.11.47 am.png

Edited by Maureene
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Many thanks Maureen

 

Have tracked Finnis through the Army Lists. His military history I have been pretty much able to patch together. What I am really trying to detail what was happening in Multan in the period October 1914 ~ February 1915. Busy time at Multan. The departure of the Indian Expeditionary Forces meant rapid deployment and relieving of troops there which did not settle down until well into 1915.

 

Steriker Finnis was temporary SSO at Multan after Henry McRae (45th Sikhs) left to join the Imp. Ser. Inf. Bde as a Staff Capt at the beginning of October 1914. After McRae's departure the SSO role seems to have bounced around between Finnis, Bertie Penton (also of the 25th Punjabis') and Marmaduke Graham of the 2nd QORWK. The 2nd QORWK left Multan for Mesopotamia in January being relieved by 99th Deccan Infantry and Penton left Multan to take up a Bde Major position at Quetta at the end of March. I believe, but as yet can not prove, that the 25th Punjabi depot closed at Multan in March 1915 on the return of the Regt from Hong Kong. At this point Lieut. William Happell (99th Deccan Inf.) then took over as SSO until the 99th Deccan Inf. left Multan for Tank in the November.

 

Interestingly I show a number of wives arriving at Multan during the period. Always fascinated me that wives, and fiancé's, were able to follow their husbands / soon to be husbands out to India even during war-time. The social scene at the cantonment is proving an absorbing spin off from my primary research. As of yet I have been unable to find Dod Anderson's return to India on the shipping lists and as such do not as yet know when she re-appeared on the scene. I know she went out to India in February 1910 to join her parents. Her father, George Browning Anderson, is known to have spent time in India but I believe he and his wife returned to Berkshire in 1911/12. He died there on 23rd February 1913. I assume she returned home with them but again can not confirm. Dod's engagement to Steriker Finnis was not announced until April 1914.

 

Looking forward to the further digitalising of the Civil and Military Gazette (Lahore). Have high hopes that this will answer any number of open threads in my research. Rest of the newspapers on-line I think I have exhausted but it is easy to miss things so I keep going back against any new lead uncovered.

 

I did not have Finnis' marriage certificate though. Many thanks for that. Interesting to see Reginald Dyer was a witness at the wedding.

 

The Finnis family had a longer history in India. Steriker Finnis' father was a Col in the RE there.  Brother Frank and Henry both served there.

 

Regards

Dave

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Dave,

 

I think something that might help fill in the gaps in the details of his military service would be his Indian Army officers record of service, which luckily for you still exists and can be accessed at the British Libraries Asian and African Studies Reading Room on Floor 3 in London when they re-open.

 

Title: 

Finnis, Steriker William

Collection Area: India Office Records and Private Papers

Reference: IOR/L/MIL/14/13043

 

Regards,

 

Matthew

 

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