RARE RAF India Pakistan 1946 Sikh Jain Amritsar 200+ photographs
This is a Very rare photograph album containing over 200 black and white photographs of life in India just prior to the partition.
All the photographs were taken by an English Royal Air Force officer based in Mauripur Airfield which was just outside Karachi in Pakistan.
The photographs capture life in India as it was in 1945/1946 with amazing images.
We have attempted to show a selection of the 200+ photographs in these images and I have listed most of them below.
*Apologies in advance: the folder containing these images on my computer is so large that my computer keeps “freezing” when I try to rotate the images.
If you want to see a specific photo/page from the list below – just ask!
All the photographs are the same size and in very good, clean condition.
Each photograph measures 85mm x 58mm.
They are mounted onto the pages with some delightful designs in background done in white paint on many pages.
On the last page is an interesting presentation and a photograph of Winston Churchill is attached to the inside of the back cover.
The presentation on the last page is a typed sheet containing three poems that appear to be original poems by the RAF officer.
There is an inscription that reads:
“To my friend Frank
A xxxxx pal
January 10, 1946”
The x’s are for words/letters that we are unable to decipher.
With one of the poems being dated “Christmas Day 1945” and the inscription dating January 10th 1946, it is clear that the photographs contained in this album were taken during 1945 and then the whole album given as a gift in January 1946.
Please note that a similar album of photographs by an RAF officer sold for over £5,000 in 2017 at Christie’s (full details available on request).
“Air Trooping Base
Bunder Road Victoria Museum Town Hall
Race Course Clifton Beach Clifton Beach
Cantonment Graff-Zeppelin Hangar Sacred Crocodiles
Ghandi Gardens Ghandi Gardens Airways Milestones
Transport Camels Mayfair Dance Hall
Bunder Road Bazaar Bunder Road Muslim Temple
Mohamed Temple Saddar Bazaar
Native Fishing Boats Saddar Bazaar Saddar Bazaar
Paradise Cinema Karachi Harbour
Electra House Victoria Mansion Karachi Zoo Gardens
Mahatma Ghandi Rd Ghandi Gardens
Municipal Offices Hindu Gymkhana Rawalpindi Express
Elphinstone Street Garry-wala Elephant god
Church of England Elphinstone Street American Red Cross Canteen
Lahore University Jahangir’s Tomb Badshahi Mosque
High Court Shalimar Gardens Mohamed [Islamic] Tomb
Lahore Station VJ Day Montgomery Hall Gate of the Fort
Entrance to Tomb Sunset on River Ravi
Lahore Station Willingdon Crescent Anarkall Bazaar
Shalimar Gardens Kashmir Keamari Harbour
Taj Mahal Golden Temple Amritsar
Temple of Love Jain Temple Jain Temple
Howrah Bridge Victoria Museum Temple of Love
Bazaars Victoria Terminus Taj Mahal Hotel
Ghandi Road Gateway to India Abdul Reman Road
Winter in Kashmir Dal Lake Planting Rice
Old Srinagar On the River Jhelum
Chamba Valley Himalayan Mountains Water Carrier
Dal Lake Near the NW Frontier Near Khyber Pass
Narrow Gauge Railway
Cotton Exchange British Embassy Beggars
Two postcards: “Cant Railway Station Karachi”
HMT Dunera – Karachi Port”
The Secretariat Juma Mosque Red Fort
Government House Delhi Junction Red Fort
Pearl Mosque Native Bazaars Qutab Minar
Indian Rope Trick “Chandi Chowk” Family on camel
Camel Bath New Delhi Bunder Fishing Boat
TAJ MAHAL AGRA
[7 photographs including aerial view]
Hindu Temples – 5 images
Six images untitled
6 images with only one titled: “Indian Wedding Ceremony”
THE GOLDEN TEMPLE
(Sacred Shrine of Sikhs)
5 photographs with title:
“Copies of photographs originally smuggled from Tibbet
Showing the way of disposing of the dead”
Tibet at this time was closed off to the rest of the world until the Chinese invasion 1947, not long after this album was created.
A postcard of the bridge over Indus River at Sukkur and three photographs untitled of a railway station.
Holy Women Dhobi (cleaner) Freedom of the street [cow]
Girls from Kulu Valley Kashmir
Camel train at the airport Coolies at Karachi Air base Snake Charmer
Bearers [fruit] Indian Rope Trick
A barber, a dentist, a doctor [hakeem] and a basket maker
Boat on a canal King Cobra Crocodile sunbathing Potter
Somewhere in Malaya Snake charmers
Donkey cart Karachi Interior of Taj Mahal Darjeeling tea gathering
“Scroungers” in Karachi Hindu Film Star Sitara Beggar woman
Giraffe necked women Burma
Balancing Yogi Fruit cart Mohamed [Muslim] film star
This type of album rarely is available on the market.
The contents are an amazing document of life in India/Pakistan on the eve of partition.
These are an insight into a world now lost in history.
The leather album is in overall very good condition, the back cover has some minor issues.
The contents are in very good condition with the vast majority of pages in excellent condition. The RAF officer who assembled these photographs seems to have rearranged some of the images so evidence of this can be seen on a few pages.
Please feel free to contact us for further details/images/information.
Price includes insured and tracked shipping within the UK.
Non UK – please contact us for shipping quote.