The appended note by the late Lt Col Mike Cowan on a memorial window in Salisbury Cathedral purports to be one of the earliest pre crimea memorials in a church in the UK.
Wiltshire Regt Memorial Window
Salisbury Cathedral SE Transept
"Window to those officers and men of the 62nd Regiment who fell in the Crimean War (north light of the window) and the Sutlej Campaign (south light of the window). The inscriptions on the windows are not easily read from the ground and are as follows:
"Sacred to the memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the 62nd or Wiltshire Regiment who fell in the service of their country in the Crimean War in 1854 and 1855. This window is erected by their surviving comrades."
"Sacred to the memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the 62nd or Wiltshire Regiment who fell in the Sutlej Campaign of whom 7 officers, 107 NCOs and rank and file were slain in the gallant affair /of the/ Sikh Batteries at Ferezoshah 21 December 1845 and one officer and 12 NCOs and rank and file at Aliwal 28 January and Sobraon 10 Febuary 1846. This window was erected by their surviving comrades."
Commemoration of military actions in collective memorials of this nature tended to begin after the Crimean War and the "localisation" of infantry regiments brought about the Cardwell reforms. It is unusual to find one for an action as early as the Sutlej Campaign. This, otherwise known as The First Sikh War, was notable amongst colonial campaigns at the time in that the enemy, the Sikhs of the Punjab, were organised and fought on European lines. The actions were particularly significant to the 62nd Regiment as it was at the time the only British Regiment, as opposed to units of the East India Company Bengal Army, deployed in the Campaign. Its performance at Ferezoshah was initially criticised but thereafter seen as a triumph against considerable odds and constitutes one of the more significant battle honours carried by the Regiment. In the Crimea the Regiment's losses almost equalled their strength on arrival, but two thirds of their casualties were from disease, cold, hunger and inadequate clothing and medical supplies.
There are eight sets of different initials in each light. In the case of the Sikh War this corresponds to the number of officer casualties and the same is probably true for the Crimea indicating that these are the initials of the officers killed in each case.¬
Can anyone throw a light on the the casualties to whom the initials correspond or have knowledge of similar ealy memorials?