Warriors and administrators
in Servants of the empire
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The north-western marches of the Indian subcontinent are among the world's most fateful and turbulent borderlands. Irishmen helped to shape the history of the region. British preoccupation with the area was due to a fear, albeit sometimes politically nurtured, of a Russian invasion through Afghanistan. The tribes living in the frontier area for which Punjab was responsible were called, by the British, Pathans, more properly Pukhtuns or Pushtuns depending on the vagaries of dialect. They were made up of a number of groups, Waziris, Mahsuds, Yusufzai and others whose names were to become well known to generations of British, Irish and Indian soldiers. Richard Isaac Bruce became closely identified with the policy and he himself claimed that he had more to do with the practical execution of the Forward Policy among the tribes than any man in India.

Servants of the empire

The Irish in Punjab, 1881–1921


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