British forces en route to China diverted to India

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British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby Mark » 05 Sep 2007 18:26

Does anyone know which regiments, that were enroute to take part in the Second China War, were diverted to India during the Mutiny?

Regards

Mark
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Re: Regiments diverted to India 1857

Postby uzbashi » 17 Sep 2007 17:09

The two Regiments diverted whilst en route to China were the 5th Fusiliers and the 90th Light Infantry
having beem turned around in the Malacca Straits. They were not available to support the relief of Lucknow until September 1857.

"The Indian Mutiny 1857" Saul David, Viking (penguin) 2002. p269
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Re: Regiments diverted to India 1857

Postby uzbashi » 23 Sep 2007 08:42

By the time Lucknow was relieved the remainder of the units from the China Expedition had arrived in India, the 93 Highlanders, the 82nd Foot two companys of Royal Artilleryand one Company of Sappers . In addition to these there were 500 men of the 13th Light Infantry from the Cape.
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Re: Regiments diverted to India 1857

Postby Mark » 23 Sep 2007 15:44

uzbashi

Do you know if either the 38th or 80th Regiments were enroute to China only to be diverted or were they already in India when the Mutiny broke out?

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Re: Regiments diverted to India 1857

Postby villaphan » 24 Oct 2007 16:37

Hi Mark

The 38th were in Ireland and the 80th South Africa at the start of the Mutiny and it was from these stations that both regiments sailed to India.

Mark :D
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Re: British forces diverted to India in response to the Mutiny

Postby Waggoner » 12 Mar 2009 19:25

Mark,

Don't forget the 2nd Battalion of the Military Train that re-rolled as light cavalry. They received the India Mutiny medals with clasps "Relief of Lucknow" and "Lucknow".

All the best,

Gary
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Re: Regiments diverted to India 1857

Postby Tim B » 28 Mar 2009 02:47

uzbashi wrote:The two Regiments diverted whilst en route to China were the 5th Fusiliers and the 90th Light Infantry
having beem turned around in the Malacca Straits. They were not available to support the relief of Lucknow until September 1857.

"The Indian Mutiny 1857" Saul David, Viking (penguin) 2002. p269




I have to admit to never having read Saul David's book. However, my understanding is that the 5th Fusiliers were at Mauritius when ordered to India and the other regiments from the China Expeditionary Force that were diverted while in route were the 23rd RWF, the 82nd, the 90th Perthshire LI (three companies of which were shipwrecked while in route to India) and the 93rd Highlanders.

Cheers.

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Re: British forces diverted to India in response to the Mutiny

Postby heliwest » 03 Apr 2010 17:57

The 67th Foot were diverted to India whilst on the way to China. After the mutiny they carried on the China and fought at Taku and Peking, and also during the Taiping revolt, and then stayed as part of the Garrison until 1865.
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby Lachlan » 01 Sep 2012 15:09

I believe the 93rd's arrived in India wearing suitable subdued jackets for the campaign. It was presumably a slight fluke, as the regiment had adopted brown canvas boating jackets to wear over their doublets as protection on-board ship en-route to China. No doubt the regimental tailors spruced them up with red collars and cuffs and regimental buttons. Then they were diverted to the Mutiny.
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby balaklava » 07 Sep 2012 17:45

Aye, the brownish "Dust" or "khaki" jacket became the primary jacket garment for the soldiers serving in the 93rd Highlanders versus the 1856 pattern highland infantry doublet (which was adopted too late for issue in the Crimea) due to the extremes of temperatures in India. One just could not soldier wearing both jackets or heat stroke would overtake a healthy man. Having only text and a few artist illustrations to reference about the specifications of a Dust jacket, I had one reproduced with red collar, cuffs & cuff slashes for my 93rd Highlanders Mutiny impression.

Cheers, Johnnie, 93rd Highlanders 1812-1858.
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby GrantRCanada » 08 Sep 2012 05:18

For what it may be worth, and since I have them in my Photobucket album from some time ago, anyway, here are a few artist's renderings of the 93rd in their 'boat coats' during the Relief of Lucknow -

Image

Image

Image
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby MikeS » 08 Sep 2012 05:31

The 77th (in Sydney since 1857) were ordered to Hong Kong on April 1858, but the destination was changed and the headquarters sailed for Calcutta aboard the Megaera on the 20th April.
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby L. Braden » 09 Sep 2012 17:31

Re the two Orlando Norie paintings, featured above: In his first depiction of the storming of the Secunder Bagh, he showed the 93rd in red coats; but criticized for this, his subsequent two depictions showed them in brown. Ditto his inaccurate depiction of the storming of the Begum Kothee. (The defenses did not necessitate scaling-ladders, and they were penetrated at ground level with the help of explosives.) HOWEVER, although Lt. Col. Gordon-Alexander wrote (1898) that the 93rd wore "very ugly loose brown coats of some stout cotton material, with red collars and cuffs," and although Pvt. William Martin also wrote (1893) that the 93rd wore "twilled cotton coats, of a dark straw colour, with red facings," Sgt. Forbes-Mitchell insisted (1893) that his regiment wore red coats. (Re the storming of the Secunder Bagh: "With our feather bonnets, red coats, and heavy kilts, we felt the heat intensely.") Ironically, Gordon-Alexander was an editor of FM's book; and yet he did not dispute or correct his observation! So you can't trust paintings any more than you can first-hand accounts!
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby Lachlan » 23 Sep 2012 06:17

Funny you should mention that, I was always puzzled by the painting of the 93rd scaling the walls showing the Light Coy wearing green feather hackles on their feather bonnets. I may well be wrong but I had thought that in 1822 all kilted Highland regiments and the 72nd (on adopting trews) were awarded the distinction of wearing white feather hackle and shoulder wings of Grenadier companies for all companies. The 42nd adopted the all-red hackle for all companies.

As I say, I'm probably wrong !
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Re: British forces en route to China diverted to India

Postby jf42 » 23 Sep 2012 22:12

The green feathers in that painting of the 93rd have been the subject of previous discussion. Perhaps it was a printing error. Certainly, flank coy distinctions in Highland regiments had been abolished some 25 years previously, in 1831.

The Dress Regulations issued in 1822 contained an ambiguous section which suggested that all Highland corps were henceforth to wear a scarlet vulture feather in their feathered bonnets. This was clarified by the oft-quoted General Order of August 1822 that stipulated "The red vulture feather prescribed by the recent regulations for Highland regiments is intended to be used exclusively by the Forty-Second Regiment. Other Highland corps will be allowed to continue to wear the same description of feather that may have been hitherto in use."

Having initially been adopted as a plain "red feather" in the late 18th century under circumstances that remain unclear, by 1822 the 42nd's emblem had become subdivided into a motley array of bi-coloured plumes denoting flank companies, pipers and bandsmen. It is claimed that in 1825 the Colonel of the Regiment, Sir George Murray, when visiting the 42nd in Dublin expressed his belief that only the plain red feather should be worn since this was "a special mark of distinction" and, it is said, from the next day forward only plain red hackles were seen in the bonnets of the Black Watch.

Meanwhile, barring a few notable exceptions, all other infantry regiments including Highland corps wore the range of cap distinctions established in 1802: white with red base for battalion companies, white for grenadiers and fusiliers, green for light infantry and rifles.

It wasn't until 1829, when plain white feathers were ordered for all infantry other than light infantry or rifles- and the Grenadier Guards- that the remaining Highland regiments adopted white hackles for their feathered bonnets. The 42nd retained their red feather (A privilege allegedly granted by George III in 1802 although no authority had ever been recorded). Then in 1831, kilted Highland regiments adopted 'wings' for all companies, following the 92nd who had been granted the privilege in 1822, and did away with all flank company distinctions. Since {EDIT:1822} 1829, however, a white feather no longer denoted a grenadier (or fusilier). It seems however that in the ensuing twenty years, the light company was reinstated in the 79th. At any rate, in the 1853 painting by Cunliffe the sergeant in the centre of the picture appears to be wearing a green hackle in his feathered bonnet.
Last edited by jf42 on 24 Sep 2012 08:27, edited 1 time in total.
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