“Primus in Armis”, a new book on a British Regiment, makes a rare reference to Prince Aly Khan’s military services in the British and US Armies and his contribution to the Allied Forces

Primus in Armis

“The Prince had an incredible record during WW2 serving both with the British and US armies but always seen wearing his Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry cap badge; the three feathers of HRH Prince of Wales….Prior to my research, nobody in my regiment, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, was aware of the distinguished service of its most famous officer, His Serene Highness Prince Aly Khan” – Stephen Keoghane, author of Primus in Armis in a letter to Taj Kothari

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/editor Barakah Simerg and Simergphotos

When Dr. Stephen Keoghane was researching material for his recently published book Primus in Armis – An Illustrated History of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry he came across Simerg’s special piece Imam Sultan Mahomed’s photos in the Kothari Collection. A photo of Prince Aly Khan pictured with Aitmadi Kassam Kothari in a military uniform drew the author’s attention with the result that, after contacting Simerg, we got him directly connected with the Kothari family to provide him with a better resolution of the photo. When Dr. Keoghane first wrote to me he said, “Very little is known of his time with the Yeomanry and it has been fascinating following this trail.” In a recent letter to Taj Kothari, following the publication of the book, he thanked her for the photograph and said, “Prior to my research, nobody in my regiment, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, was aware of the distinguished service of its most famous officer, His Serene Highness Prince Aly Khan.”

Dr. Keoghane continues, “The Prince had an incredible record during WW2 serving both with the British and US armies but always seen wearing his Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry cap badge; the three feathers of HRH Prince of Wales.”

And with a special personal note to Ms. Kothari, Dr. Keoghane concluded his letter as follows: “You are clearly incredibly proud of your wonderful family connection to the Prince and the image you supplied of your father and the Prince has really added to the publication. Once again, thank you so much for your help with bringing to the attention of the public work of this remarkable officer who served in my Regiment.”

The photo appears on page 173 of Primus in Armis under the chapter Yeomanry Tales. With Dr. Keoghane’s kind permission we are reproducing an image of the page below that mentions Prince Aly Khan’s contribution as a member of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (RWY). Readers would be interested to know that Lt-Col. Stephen Keoghane joined the Royal Wessex Yeomanry in 1994 and served as the Regimental Medical Officer for 22 years in both Gloucestershire Hussar and Wiltshire Yeomanry Squadrons. He has soldiered in the UK, Germany and the USA and served in Afghanistan as a trauma surgeon. He is also a consultant urological surgeon in Bury St Edmunds and has published extensively in the scientific literature.

Prince Aly Khan, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Cavalry, Allied Forces
Page 173 of Primus in Armis.

The title of the book, Primus in Armis (‘First in Arms’) is the motto of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Britain’s senior Regiment of volunteer cavalry raised in 1794 against the threat of French invasion. The Wiltshire Yeomanry has served for over 200 years and fought in South Africa, the First and Second World Wars and more recently as individuals in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. We have provided a link below for those who may wish to obtain a copy of the book either as a Kindle or a hardcover edition.

Date posted: July 19, 2020.

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Primus in Armis Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry

Primus in Armis may be purchased at Amazon by clicking HERE.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 225 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com if you don’t see the comment box. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

5 comments

  1. Dear Malik Merchant:

    With gratitude I thank you for the publication of the photo of my late father with Prince Aly Khan in Stephen Keoghane’s recent publication Primus in Armis. Without your central support and initiative, it would not have been possible for me to connect with the author, and pass the photo to him in the first place.

    I will keep this remembrance in my memory forever, and I appreciate your write up!!

    Thank you very much and may Mawlana Hazar Imam bless you and help you in your website initiatives.

    Regards,
    Taj Kothari
    Miami, Florida

    Like

    • Dear Taj:

      I am deeply gratified by your thoughtful remarks and your prayers, and I humbly say Ameen. While I may have been a conduit during the process of getting the picture published, I have to express my admiration for you and the initiative you have taken over the years to support Simerg. In the matter of the photo you acted promptly in meeting Dr. Keoghane’s request and this is clearly reflected in his message to you.

      I congratulate you for adding so much value to the book Primus in Armis! Just as it is the motto of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry to be “First in Arms” our motto as spiritual children of Mawlana Hazar Imam should be “First in Responding to the Imam’s Call.” This applies with regard to every aspiration that he has of us, of everyone in the Jamat – young and old alike.

      I look forward to more contributions from you for my website initiatives.

      With Best Wishes

      Malik Merchant

      Like

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