Waziristan August 1938 Operations against the forces of the Faqir of Ipi Frontier Constabulary Platoon Commander’s single Indian Distinguished Service Medal awarded to Jemedar Arman Shah, Oghi Frontier Constabulary, who commanded a platoon of Frontier Constabulary during an engagement with and subsequent chase of a 40 strong lashkar led by Mehr Dil, a lieutenant of the Faqir of Ipi, who had crossed over from tribal territory and appeared in the most inaccessible area of Thathi Nasrati in the Kohat District. After a long march over difficult country, the force of three platoons caught up with the enemy and attack in the morning of 22nd August 1938, killing two, capturing three, and wounding others after a stiff fight. The subsequent chase lasting between three and five days was made over difficult, barren and waterless country before the tribesmen made it to the safety of their territory and escaped. For this action, in addition of the awarded to the I.D.S.M to Arman Shah, the other two platoon commanders were awarded the Indian Order of Merit. A rare award for Waziristan 1938, and possibly unique to the Oghi Frontier Constabulary.
Indian Distinguished Service Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (JEMDR. ARMAN SHAH. OGHI F.C.)
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.
Awarded to Jemedar Arman Shah, Oghi Frontier Constabulary, who award of the Indian Distinguished Service Medal was published in the Gazette of India on 24th December 1938, it being awarded the then ongoing operations in Waziristan against the Faqir of Ipi on the North West Frontier in August 1938. Oghi is a town in the Mansehra district of the Khyber region of what is now Pakistan. During British rule it was the headquarters of the Agror valley, and a part of Hazara District, and served as the headquarters of the Hazara border military police.
On 21st August 1938 a Wazir Lashkar gang of 40 strong led by Mehr Dil, a lieutenant of the Faqir of Ipi, appeared in the most inaccessible area of Thathi Nasrati in the Kohat District. The Frontier Constabulary were sent out and after a long night’s march, met up with the enemy. The Lashkar gang was eventually dispersed after two of the gang had been killed and eight wounded.
For this incident, both, Subedar Bahawalpur, Hungu Frontier Constabulary and Subedar (Honorary Subedar Major) Akhmed Ali Khan, Bannu Frontier Constabulary were awarded the Indian Order of Merit, whilst Jemedar Arman Shah, Oghi Frontier Constabulary got the only award of the Indian Distinguished Service Medal.
It seems that in all three platoons of Frontier Constabulary were sent to deal with the 40 strong party led by Mehr Dil, and that whilst Subedar (Honorary Subedar Major) Akhmed Ali Khan, Bannu Frontier Constabulary was placed in overall command of the three platoons, Jemedar Arman Shah, Oghi Frontier Constabulary had command of his local constabulary platoon, the other being commanded by Subedar Bahawalpur, Hungu Frontier Constabulary.
Information taken from the citations for both awards of the Indian Order of Merit give an idea of how Arman Shah earned his award.
On 21st August 1938, Mehr Dil with a lashkar of 40 strong appeared in the neighbourhood of Trathi Nasrati in an almost inaccessible area of the Kohat District. To counter this, Subedar Bahawalpur was sent from That with a platoon, which linked up with the two other platoons from Bannu, and engaged the lashkar at 0800 hours on the 22nd August, after a long march through hilly and broken country. The lashkar was dispersed after two of the gang had been killed and three of them captured, whilst several were wounded. The lashkar had taken a strong position with picquets covering all approaches. In the action, Bahawalpur was the first to make contact with the lashkar, and he moved from position to position whilst under fire to encourage his men, holding the entire northern flank he prevented the escape of the enemy in that direction, and in the subsequent chase of the remainder of the gang, which continued for some five days over very difficult country, he maintained the spirits of the men.
At the same time, Subedar (Honorary Subedar Major) Akhmed Ali Khan, Bannu Frontier Constabulary was in overall command, and he, after a long lorry drive over atrocious roads, immediately followed by a night march of 8 miles through hilly and broken country and the engagement above mentioned, then commanded the force which followed in an unceasing chase for the next three days over difficult, barren and waterless country that caused the remainder of the gang to retreat back into tribal territory. He showed aggressive leadership in the initial engagement and great judgement and courage throughout.