This week’s photograph is a particularly nice shot of Indian troops practicing at a rifle range whilst wearing respirators:This image is particularly well taken, explained by the fact that this was a professionally taken photograph for press use. The label on the back indicates that it was taken for the Topical Press Agency and the description reads:
A picture taken at an Army training establishment “somewhere in India” where Indians are undergoing training in Army life. Village boys joining the Army are given the opportunity of enjoying life on a wider scale, with good pay and many opportunities for advancement.
Photo shows:- Accustoming the recruit to the rifle and gas-mask combined during rifle practice.
The men here wear Mk IV general service respirators like this one here:They also wear their traditional regimental headgear, with some wearing a simple turban:And others wearing it with a khulla, a cloth cone worn at the centre of the turban:There were numerous different ways of wearing the turban, as indicated by this diagram from between the wars:In the photograph above it is most likely that those with the khulla are muslim troops, and those without Sikhs. The trainees here each hold the Short Magazine Lee Enfield Rifle:Note the white bands painted around the forestocks:These indicate that these rifles are drill purpose examples for training and should not be used for firing. In the background can be seen the buildings of the training establishment:And a large frame with ropes hanging down to practice rope climbing:This is one of a series of three press photos I have picked up depicting training in the Indian Army, the quality and subject matter of these is far more interesting than many run of the mill personal snaps and we will be returning to the others over the coming weeks.