Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This snapshot is of a night time parade featuring four young men in uniform carrying some sort of flowered litter, flanked by four additional young men carrying torches, and further surrounded by men carrying weapons. The crowd on the street looks both Asian and Hispanic to me but the buildings have Russian writing on them. Very confusing. Could the boys in the middle (who look like Eagle Scouts to me) be carrying some sort of relic or ancient traditional treasure? What would be the occasion to warrant a flowered bier carried by four strapping young men at night? These types of situations are very rare in America so I’m afraid I can’t even speculate.

6 thoughts on “Military? parade of some kind

  1. Mike says:

    Is it Russian, or could it be some other language that uses Cyrillic script? It looks like a Religous Parade, and with the soldiers uniform looking WW2 British vintage – I’d doubt the Russian connection. More likely one of the Baltic states or Bulgaria that were not yet Communist


  2. Mrs Marvel says:

    Looking at it again, I can see that a number of people in the crowd are holding lighted candles. I really am curious what kind of a ceremony this was.


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    I think the writing is from “India” – I think “sboypakh” means “boy pack”. Sanskrit word napika means ‘one who cleans nails’. Given the “Tommies” (British Soldiers) in the foreground – I would guess this photo is some boy scout ceremony in either India (sometime before 1945 and probably earlier) or

    … well a complication – napika could also be Filipino (Tatalog).

    The writing is not Russian though. It looks like a mix of greek/arab to me. My final guess would be somewhere in India. The Scouts were in India from about 1909 on- the British scouts were separate from the Natives (who had their own scouting group). The first scouts were in a Anglican church boy’s school in Bangalore. I’m not familar with this church’s ceremonies. Nor am I sure what language they read/write in that part of India – I think India has 100’s of “national languages”. An Indian language pro might be able to pin down both the language and the location(and perhaps even recognize the “feast day” or the reason for the parade.)

    Sorry I’ve not commented lately. I was in the hospital for 6 days. Hopefully on the mend now.


  4. Mike says:

    I’ve tried to find the words, at least as far as I can make them out. I googled them and came up with;

    Toynapika appears to be a Russian Trade name of the 1950/60s and Boypakhk a Greek name. The others produced nothing.

    IntenseGuy suggested India and scouts. A closer look suggests that the spectators look southern Indian, maybe Tamil and therefore possibly Sri Lanka (or Ceylon) The soldiers with the white pouches look Indian Army, and those carrying the thing in the centre and the torches appear to be Scouts. But why would a Scout parade need a military guard. The tracks look like tram lines – do they have trams in India or Sri Lanka?

    It is quite intriguing


  5. IntenseGuy says:

    My brother had a theory – he thinks this is either a funeral or memorial parade for an English military man who was involved with scouting. I have a vague memory of Lord Baden-Powell and some of his contemporaries (English imperialism was not my strongpoint!) That alphabet continues to tease me. I think that E symbol is Sigma – and the upside down L is Gamma. The P in greek, is Rho (“R” not “P” which is the Pi symbol).

    Perhaps this is another British territory – I think Malta had a Brititsh Army presence and the Boy Scouts there were led by General Sir Walter Norris Congreve. Perhaps this is his funeral? Or someone like him?


  6. Very interesting photo..I thought funeral too..people in the crowd are really dressed up…it must have been quite an event:)


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