THOMSON, Harry Craufuird. The Chitral Campaign. A Narrative of Events in Chitral, Swat and Bajour.

London, Heinemann, 1895.


8vo. Original red pictorial cloth, top edge gilt; pp. xviii, 312, 4, (advertisements), plaets after photograph, 4 maps and palans; cloth a bit marked, internally, apart from light spotting here and there, a very good copy.

First edition of a book on the Chitral campaign, written from an unusual perspective. Thomson happened to be on a business trip in India, when he heard 'that a force was to be sent through Swat and Bajour to relieve the beleaguered garrison of Chitral' (p. vii). He had been close to the Norht West frontier earlier with an interest in Hellenistic Buddhist relics, the Pathans and ancient cities of the region. He joined the expeditionary force as a press correspondent and witnessed some action.

Provenance: From the library of the mountaineer and soldier Tony Streather (1926-2018), who had come 'to mountain climbing by chance. Staying on in the subcontinent after independence and partition between India and Pakistan, as aide-de-camp to the governor of North West Frontier Province, Streather was the last British officer serving under a Pakistani commanding officer when, in 1950, a Norwegian expedition led by the ecologist Arne Næss arrived in the region with the intention of climbing Tirich Mir (7,708m), the highest mountain in the Hindu Kush' (obiturary in The Guardian). Further high-altitude exploits included joining the 1953 American Karakoram Expedition to K-2 (reaching 7,800m), and participating in the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world in 1955. This made him the first man ever to climb two peaks of over 25,000 feet.