Escape's "The Drums of the Fore and Aft" was adapted from the 1888 short story by Rudyard Kipling. Some minor changes were made, but overall their adaptation and radio presentation of this tale is one of their best. Kipling's story is available online at The Internet Archive.
The episode begins with a narration by an English newspaper correspondent (Kipling) assigned to the north of India, and explains how he first came to know of Regiment 329A, the "Fore and Fit." He goes on to say that, behind their backs, the regiment was known by the more shameful term of the "Fore and Aft."
How did they tarnish their reputation? The story begins with two beastly fourteen year old boys, Piggy Lew and Jaken. Both were cherubic-faced orphans taken in by the regimental band at an early age but known by all for getting into perpetual trouble.
When their regiment is called to duty, Piggy Lew and Jaken are dismayed to learn that, because of their age, they will be left behind at camp. They ask the colonel to let them go to the front, and because of their brave attitude, the colonel agrees to let them go.
As the ill-prepared and inexperienced regiment makes its way to the front to face the Afghan soldiers, nothing goes well. After a disastrous battle, Piggy Lew and Jaken are trapped on the front line but bravely pick up their drum and fife to help the regiment...
"The Drums of Fore and Aft" was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell. Gil Stratton played Piggy Lew and Jimmy Ogg played Jaken. Eric Rolf played Rudyard Kipling. Also appearing were Jeff Corey as the Colonel, Alec Harford as the seargent, Eric Snowden as the general, Peggy Webber as Cris, and Paul McVeigh as the highlander.
Escape presented this story a second time on July 14, 1949. Norman MacDonnell produced and directed. Ben Wright played Rudyard Kipling. Hugh Thomas played Piggy Lew and Terry Kilburn played Jaken. Also appearing were Colleen Collins, Ramsay Hill, Alec Harford, Wilms Herbert, and Tudor Owen.
(This is a large audio file, so it may take longer to download.)
(Image of Rudyard Kipling from Wikipedia)