In the centenary year of the Great War-World War-I, while the valour of the Royal Garhwal Rifles is documented, there were also many other Garhwalis who died and served in the great war in various capacities and rank in many other battalions and regiments of the British Indian Army. One such is the Chowfin brothers. The Chowfins are from village Gadoli near Pauri in Garhwal Uttarakhand. Harry Ensign Chowfin was employed in the clerical branch of the Veterinary Corps for the duration of the war from 5th October 1917. He was transferred from the Veterinary Directorate to the General Headquarters advance base, Baghdad where he served from 20 March1920 to 9 May 1921. His account along with photographs is documented in his book The Chowfins of Garhwal. His brother Sydney Geanchow Chowfin too was appointed YMCA secretary and proceeded to the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces EEF sometime in 1918. The EEF was formed on the British protectorate of the Sultanate of Egypt to guard the Suez Canal and Egypt and provide reinforcements for the Western Front. GS Chowfin was posted to Jerusalem.
Harry Chowfin recall in his book, ” We sailed on the N.T. Palamcotta, which took about a thousand men strong to Basrah. I reached Basrah on 15 December 1917 evening without any seasickness or any other trouble, God be praised. For about a year or so till 11 April 1919, I worked for the Base Veterinary Hospital, Basrah the biggest office in the Mes Ex. Force to maintain the records of the whole Veterinary Corps. I served there from 12 April 1919 to 18 March 1920 and it was there that I learnt real office work. I was transferred from the Veterinary Directorate to the General Headquarters advance base, Baghdad where I served from 20 March1920 to 9 May 1921.”
Mr H E Chowfin was the recipient of the British War Medal, The General Service Medal with clasp ‘Iraq’ and the Indian General service Medal 1908 with clasp ‘Waziristan 1921-24