TAJ OF CHAMAN (UK)
Taj Of Chaman, bred by Mrs Molly Sharpe, is a very influential Afghan in respect of breed development in the UK, particularly so, because Molly Sharpe was breeder of Afghans pre war, during the war and post war and into the 1970's. We will expand this page to cover Taj's record and influence, but for now we are going to cover the story of his name and movements during the war period.
Taj of Chaman was born on 27th March 1939 and became a Champion in 1948. (We should note that's quite an age for an Afghan to gain his title in the UK - but then the war intervened and shows were curtailed for a period). Taj's registeration appears in the Kennel Gazette issue for July 1939 as "Hasin Of Chaman (littermates Juanita (UK) and Tuan (exported to USA) become quite famous too). Hasin was transferred to Mrs W Leest (UK Chitral Afghans, some of which were exported to the USA) in September 1939. Following the outbreak of war, Mrs Leest joined the WRNS (Womens Royal Navy Service) and had to give up dogs, Hasin was transferred back to Mrs Sharpe in June 1940 at which point he was renamed "Taj". Then, shortly after this, Mrs Sharpe moved to Northrern Ireland, with her dogs. Eventually Mrs Sharp moved back to the mainland at Collins, Dumfries in Scotland. Sounds simple doesnt't it? read on..
In 1942 Will Hally, breed correspondent in "Our Dogs" felt the situation had become so confusing he attempted to clarify it - "There seems to be considerable misunderstanding (quite excusable) over Mrs Molly Sharpe's Edinburgh (Scotland) best in show winner - Taj Of Chaman and her latest Irish Champion - Hasin Of Chaman. The reports of Dublin and Edinburgh shows read as if this Chaman production had two different names and that is exactly his position. Mrs Sharpe bred this dog and sold him to Mrs Leest, the Dalmation devotee in Plymouth: but after his sire Ch Taj Akbar Of Chaman, died, she bought back Hasin of Chaman as he then was. Later she changed his name to Taj of Chaman and that duly appeared in the records of our Kennel Club: but Mrs Sharpe delayed altering the dogs name in the Irish Kennel Club register, and when she wanted to make the change there too, she found she was too late - the dog had got too near his Irish title, which is much the same rule as holds good in Great Britain. As this dog is very outstanding in merit and may therefore with luck be a champion in Great Britain after the war, this two-name business looks like creating a good deal of muddle where he is concerned. I know Mrs Sharpe well enough to say that I think she made a mistake when she re christened Hasin as Taj: For one thing, and especially if he becomes a champion over here, the name of Taj is too near to that of his celebrated sire who was familiarly and affectionately known as Ch Taj - the "Akbar" was hardly ever mentioned, except officially. I well understand how sentiment changed Hasin to Taj, but it seems to me that the only way out of the difficulty now is for Mrs Sharpe to alter Taj's name back to Hasin on the UK KC register"
Steve Tillotson 1996
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