9 October 2018
2nd Devonshire Regiment officers, Razmak, India 1924
There are a number of lucky breaks which aid identification in this photograph. Having said that, at the time of writing I have not even attempted to put names to the faces of these Devonshire Regiment men.
Helpfully, the photographer is recorded as Arora of Razmak and the date is the 24th April 1924. Razmak is in Pakistan these days but it was still India in 1924, of course. The regimental identification comes from the officers' helmets, the old reference to the 11th (or XI) Foot still in use thirty-three years after these designations had been abandoned. The 2nd Battalion had been in India since 1919 and it would proceed to Aden in 1926, returning to the UK the following year.
There is a good array of medals on view here. With one exception, all of the officers in the front row wear at least two campaign medals from the First World War, and the man third from right wears a QSA (and an OBE). Four of the men wear clasps on their 1914 Star ribbon and there are two men who wear the Military Cross. The most decorated man of this group is the man seated fourth from right who wears a DSO, MC and an oak leaf emblem on his Victory Medal ribbon, signifying that he was mentioned in despatches. At least two other men also wear this oak leaf emblem.
The man second from right appears to be suffering from some form of paralysis which affects his left side. Of the other officers in this group, two men wear a campaign pair from 1914-1918. It's a superb photo and now I need to find an Army List for 1924 to try and identify these men.