Photograph of Rewat Camp India, 1916

It is back to India tonight, for a World War One photograph of an army camp:SKMBT_C36415112415140_0001The back of the photograph dates it to 1916 and says that it is Rewat Camp, in the Murree Hills in India:SKMBT_C36415112415150_0001The camp itself consists of a large number of white tents, well secured down with guy ropes:SKMBT_C36415112415140_0001 - Copy (2)These look to be headquarters and administration tents rather than accommodation tents which would normally be bell tents in this period. The tents are centred around a large open space, where a number of troops are stood wearing shorts, loose shirts and pith helmets:SKMBT_C36415112415140_0001 - CopyThe whole encampment is surrounded by trees and the high Murree Hills:SKMBT_C36415112415140_0001 - Copy (3)These hills meant this region was considerably cooler than the plains of India during the summer and so the region became a popular spot for those with money to retire to during the summer to escape the oppressive heat at lower heights. In winter the region becomes more alpine in climate, with heavy snows. Major General White in his book Regimental History of the 4th Battalion 13th Frontier Force Rifles described arriving at the camp a year after this photograph was taken:

However we were destined for Rewat, in the Murree Hills, the idea being to segregate us as we were all malaria carriers. After the wilds of East Africa, the wilds of the Murree Hills did not sound very attractive.

After spending a night in the rest camp at Rawal Pindi, we were taken up in lorries to Sunnybank, and marched from there to Rewat, which lies about 12 miles from Murree, on the old track to Kohal…The battalion remained in the Murree Hills until the end of December 1917, the latter month being spent in Kuldana Barracks, entirely surrounded by snow.

From this account we can see that the camp was at least a semi-permanent affair, occupied over a number of seasons, despite the temporary looking nature of the tents. This region of India is now part of Pakistan and a number of Pakistani military units are still barracked and trained in the region- its climate clearly being conducive to military life.

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