British East Africa

Ref: A4289
  • £495.00

1899 cover to England with the embossed insignia of the 1st Baluch Battalion L. I. on the back with six ½ Annas tied by squared circle MOMBASA AP 21 99 cancels as well as pen cancels. A Winchester MY 13 99 arrival datestamp is on the back. Written by Lt. Col. W A Broome to his wife, he was the commanding officer of this regiment, which after action in Uganda was relieved and were withdrawn to the coastal area before embarking on the “Clive” back to India on 11th May. This cover was probably written when the regiment was still in the interior as the stamps have pen cancels. It would have then gone to Mombasa to enter the postal system. The regiment only arrived in Mombasa in May.
In the late 19th century, the British took over control of area now forming Kenya and Uganda and declared it as the British East Africa Protectorate. However, despite harsh measures, they faced stiff resistance from the local princes and chiefs. In 1897, the situation took a serious turn in areas now forming Uganda, when the Sudanese troops of the local militia mutinied and killed their British officers. In December 1897, the 27th Regiment (1st Baluch Battalion) of Bombay (Light) Infantry under Lieutenant Colonel WA Broome was despatched to East Africa to quell the rebellion. The Battalion consisted of 14 Officers and 743 Indian ranks. After a tough anti-insurgency operation lasting for a year, the situation was brought under control by January 1899. A fine cover from the commanding officer of this expedition.