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The Mutiny of 1857

For an eye witness account by Elisa Greathed, wife of the then Commissioner of Meerut Mr. H. Greathed click here. Use the Browser back button to come back here.. One can imagine that the fear generated in the unarmed Europeans must have been great. She refers to the British Garrison as "our little army". The strength at that time is not known to me. Their residence fell or was burned down ( not clear from narration ). It is currently occupied by the St.John's Church Priest. It appears that the most wanton acts of violence were done not by rebels from the army but actual convicted murderers who escaped when the old jail was broken.


Meerut had a full fledged British Indian Army Garrison while Delhi only had a Field Force at that time.
Meerut is often associated with the start of the 1857 Mutiny - here are some details. Actually an incident in Barrackpore is supposed to be the real beginning. That seems more likely since Calcutta had been longer under British control.

The Following is the text of inscriptions on some of the marble slabs on the Mutiny Memorial on Delhi Ridge

LIST OF ACTIONS FOUGHT AT OR NEAR DELHI BY THE DELHI
FIELD FORCE FROM 30TH MAY TO 20TH SEPT 1857
Battle of the Hindun
- MAY 30th
" Ghazee Bodee Nucur
- MAY 31st
" Badlee Sepai
- JUNE 8th
Affairs at Hindu Rao's
- JUNE 9th
" "
- JUNE 10th
" "
- JUNE 11th
Attacks on the Flag staff Tower
and Subzee Mundee
- JUNE 12th
Attack on Metcalf Piquet
- JUNE 13th
Action of KissenGunge
- JUNE 17th
Attacks on British Camps
- JUNE 19th & 20th
Action of the Subzee Mundee
- JUNE 23rd
Attack on "
- JUNE 27th
Attack on "
- JUNE 30th
Action of Alipore
- JULY 4th
Attack on British Camp
- JULY 9th
Actions of the Subzee Mundi
- JULY 14th & 18th
Affair of the Trevelyn Gunge
- JULY 20th
Action of Metcalfe House
- JULY 23rd
Action of Kissengunge
- AUGUST 1st
Action of Koodsea Bagh
- AUGUST 12th
Battle of Nujufgurh
- AUGUST 25th
THE SIEGE
No. 1 Battery Made & Armed
SEPT 7th
No. 2 Breaching Battery Made & Armed
SEPT 8th, 9th&10th
No. 3 Breaching Battery Made & Armed
SEPT 10th & 11th
No. 4 Mortar Battery Made & Armed
"
No. 5 Mortar Battery Made & Armed
"
Breaching and Bombardment
SEPT 11th, 12th&13th
STORMING OF DELHI
SEPT 14th
Capture of the Magazine
SEPT 16th
Capture of the Palace
SEPT 19th
City finally evacuated by the Enemy
SEPT 20th

Last year after the militant attack in RedFort, some journalists were wondering why there were military Barracks in Red Fort . Here is the answer . They plundered and demolished the Mahal of the Women and children of Bahadur Shah Zafar. And as further humiliation made them into barracks 'for the troops' . Our Indian Bureaucrats and Military officers have always been partial to British sentiment long after their Departure. No one can really blame them over a hundred years after the incident.
As far as the Bureaucrats and Military officers are concerned Independence seems to have been kept a secret from them. They still celebrate victories over Indian forts and principalities at regimental dinners in the armed forces. For some reason the Indian Sarkari Karamchari of the 50s and 60s identified with the British, much more so than the colonists of the US, who were of European descent.
Do read the casualty list on the right. Less than 5000. Now sit and spare a moment for this figure . By the second world war the West had become so 'advanced' that they almost decimated their entire male population below 40. Reliable figures excluding the 2 or 3 million Jews gassed alive during the holocaust is around20 million. It was such fun killing people that the clowns threw the atomic bomb twice. War was great fun if someone else died, the far eastern powers were not to be left behind . There was a war going on between China and Japan from 1937 onwards . They were also quite industrially 'advanced' and made such beautiful weapons that it would be a shame to leave them on the shelves to rust. They killed an equal number of the population. Yes about 20 million. By the way the AK-47 is very often of Chinese manufacture , though of Russian Design.
Can you feel the battles in your bones ? In the 20th century war had become too mechanized and impersonal . There were no machine guns at this time. They used muzzle loaders* (also) where each shot needed quite a bit of time to load.The charge may even explode if you were not careful. Swords and daggers were still used. You would kill only if you had to. Do note the dates these are the worst months, in northern India. Read a few notes about actual weapons used. (Alexander did not feel so great after he crossed the Indus around this time . It wasn't warriors who chased him back but the mosquitoes and the heat.) Travel was not mechanized yet. No not even the bicycle.The Railways were making an appearance in Europe. But the telegraph had appeared , and a telegram was sent to Delhi from the Meerut GPO when the mutineers headed that side. And yes you could die with a minor wound. There were no antibiotics no chloroform.

* Meerut perhaps has the largest number of gun shops in India ( P.L. Sharma Road ). Until a few years back you could still purchase gunpowder and gunshot for use in muzzle loaders. Perhaps even now.

ABSTRACT
OFFICERS NC OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS
BRITISH NATIVE BRITISH NATIVE
KILLED 46 14 543 426
WOUNDED 140 49 1426 1180
MISSING 13 17
TOTAL 186 63 1982 1623
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