Great numbers of soldiers on horseback tracked miles through the hills of Afghanistan an Pakistan during WW1 to WW2. It would have been known as India back then. I have a collection of photos showing just that. However, in that collection, one photo stands out. It is not of military personnel, It is a candid shot of some villagers and their livestock and a signpost.

India WW1 somewhere in the hills

India somewhere in the hills

Nothing very interesting here then? The intriguing thing is that the livestock is carrying the livestock, the goats are riding on the backs of the mules! the photo is also a very sharp photo and the signpost is the main focus.

Goats on mules WW1 India

Goats on mules India

It is not often you get to know exactly where an old photo was taken. To try to pinpoint where this photo is, I thought that I could use all the place names on the sign to find the place on the map. Only it wasn’t all that simple. I discovered a “radius” option in some developer forum for drawing circles in Google maps.

Sign to key locations in India / Afghansitan

Sign to key locations in India


This helped me pin down the rough area. By adding more circles and more names I got a fairly good placement of where this photo was taken. In the last hundred years, I have no doubt the topography has changed but I just wanted to make an attempt at finding where. The names may have fallen out of favour too. I added what I could to the map.

Map of India with zoned

Map of India with zoned


The above shows the approximate location of the photo. Is this the best way to go about it?

There are many images in the collection but it is hard to tell where any of them are taken. The only clues are rubble hills and rough ground… Sad in a way as spectacular images of troops riding on mass through the hills, wearing Bombay Bowler Pith Helmets and even stopping for tea Does anyone know of the key movement of troops in WW1 through India and Afghanistan? Maybe this knowledge help identify where some of my images were taken? Can you help? Please add a comment if you can add something to help me out. Thank you.