I can’t be 100% sure, but I think the band in this photo is that of the 29th Punjab Native Infantry sometime between 1882-1889. The reason I suspect this is that the Bandmaster in this photograph is my Great Great Grandfather, Gustav Kuhlmey, and I have the following testimonials and press releases that say he was Bandmaster to that regiment during that time.
Agra, August 1884
Herr Gustav Kuhlmey came to India some 20 months ago at my suggestion, having been strongly recommended to me by an eminent London musical firm. The Officers of my old Regiment the 29th P. N. I., had asked me to send them a Band-Master, and results fully show how excellent was the selection I made.
I am personally aware that Herr Kuhlmey’s exertions have elicited the approval of every officer of his Regiment and from my own knowledge I can say that in 20 months he has worked wonders in the face of many obstacles as furloughs camps of exercise, &c. He has converted an untuneful rabble into a disciplined, harmonious, intelligible Orchestra and fortunate will be the band that next obtains his services.
F. W. CHATTERTON, MAJOR,
Herr Kuhlmey has now been over four years bandmaster of the 29th P. Infantry and the excellent state into which he has brought the Band proves his capabilities as an Instructor and conductor. He is a thorough musician and takes an immense interest in his work. His habits are perfectly sober and he is thoroughly trustworthy in every respect.
E. BEDDY, LT. COL.,
Commanding, 29th P Infantry.
8th January 1887.
I have much pleasure in certifying to the ability, zeal and attention shown by Herr Kuhlmey, as Band-Master of the 29th Punjab Infantry, when stationed under my command at Peshawar. It was to me always a treat in music to hear their Band under Herr Kuhlmey’s direction and the marvellious results with a Band of purely Natives shows the great attainments of the Instructor. Herr Kuhlmey also for a time directed the Band of the 60th Royal Rifles and was equally successful.
HUGH GOUGH, MAJOR GENL
24th January 1889
10th September 1890
I have known Herr Kuhlmey for the last seven years and have great pleasure in certifying to the excellent manners in which he instructed and conducted the Band of the 29th Punjab Infantry, my former regiment. Of his musical attainments it is needless for me to express an opinion, but I know him to be highly talented and a most painstaking, conscientious and upright man, and I feel sure that any work he may undertake, will, at all times, be both carefully and successfully carried out.
V. W. TREGEAR, COLONEL,
Commanding, 9th Bengal Infantry
Annual Report, Calcutta Vol. 87-88.
(Col. Chatterton) A complete set of instruments was obtained from the best English makers, but a far more important addition has lately been made in the engagement of a Director of the Band, whose qualifications are, I venture to assert, second to those of no Band-Master in the country.
For a close up of Gustav and the surrounding men click here.
If anyone has any further information on the photograph, band or Gustav I would love to hear from you.
Find me on Google Plus +Valmay Young