TOCHI Scouts who or what were they?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Cabg, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. My father served with the TOCHI Scouts 1936 to 1938. Can anyone tell me who they were. I know they were on the NW Frontier and, public enemy number one at that time were the Pathans. Thats all I know about them.
    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Have you tried "google"?
  3. They still exist today as part of Pakistan's Frontier Corps:

    Frontier Corps - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Like the other frontier levies a lightly-armed, locally-recruited unit with a few officers seconded from the Indian Army (now of course from the Pakistan Army). Here is a bit more on the history of the Frontier Corps:


    It was meant to be the first line of defence on the North-West Frontier and came under the command of the Political Agent there. If the Frontier Corps couldn'y handle the situation regular Indian Army units would be brought in.
  4. There were irregular auxiliaries - a component of the Frontier Corps.
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  5. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    They had Gucci kit.
  6. Your father was fortunate to have served at an interesting time as the hunt for the Faqir of Ipi could be seen as the hunt for the OBL of his time.

    Try and get The Frontier Scouts by Charles Chenevix Trench published by Jonathan Cape in 1985.
    Also, though a little more difficult to acquire is Major Md. Nawaz's The Guardians of the Frontier published by the Frontier Corps in 1994. This is a more a partisan view and has an interesting take on the Tochi Scouts performance against the Faqir of Ipi in 1936 that is definitely askew with those of your father.
    The Waziristan campaign and especially the hunt for the Faqir of Ipi has some real valuable lessons for hunting those in the FATA today.
    Two more books: Alan Warren's Waziristan: the Faqir of Ipi and the Indian Army (The North West Frontier Revolt of 1936-37) published by Oxford Iniversity Press (Karachi) in 2000 is particularly good though rather difficult to find.
    Brian Robson's Crisis on the Frontier - The Third Afghan War and the Campaign in Waziristan 1919-1920 published by Spellmount in 2004 is good background.
    Finally, General Skeen's Passing it On Short Talks on Tribal Fighting on the North West Frontier of India is the platoon commander's essential primer for gashting on the Frontier which your father would have had in his knapsack. Republished since As Lessons in Imperial Rule by Pen & Sword's frontline books, it is as valuable now as it was when it was first published in 1932.

    I see that Saeed Book Bank in Peshawar now have an on-line presence,
    Welcome to SAEED BOOK BANK :: One of the largest online book store ::
    They publish a lot of out of print Afghan & Frontier books and may well be worthwhile approaching.
    Certainly easier than going to the NWFP at present.

    Do try the Army Museum in Chelsea as they may have some records on the Scouts - though if the Chitral Scouts are anything to go by, they are still held at the individual Scout HQs.
    I will try and photograph a print copy of a cartoon drawn by an IMS Captain of the Scouts AOR.
    Sadly the print is slightly blurred but amusing for those who have an interest in the period and the region nonetheless.
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  7. Thanks for all that information my father never mentioned any of it. We just found a photo with a few words on the back. You have all helped greatly and I can carry on from here (including Google!)
  8. If you can do post up a scan and the words on the back.
    Do you know where he served during WWII?
    I know of a number who went into the bag when Singapore fell.

    Kurram Valley LR.jpg
    Kurram Valley by Maj. WH Crichton IMS 1933
  9. Sorry that's all I've got the photo is with my brother. He was posted back to UK in October 1939 and I am still digging for the rest - I do know North Africa was one place as kept talking about Rommel and how he was chased all over the desert!
  10. I served in the 9th Azad Kashmir Battalion in the Battle of Leepa Valley in 1972. B Coy of No 2 Wing Tochi Scouts was attached to our Battalion. Although a para-military force, they were armed with rifles, machine-guns and mortars just like us. They were tenacious soldiers and fought well along side us, and gave a good account of themselves. I have nothing but the very highest respect and regard for the Tochi Scouts as a strong and disciplined Infantry force.
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  11. Weren't they notoriously Beef?