'The 1st Bengal Fusiliers marching down from Dugshai', 1857
Coloured lithograph from 'The Campaign in India 1857-58', a series of 26 lithographs by William Simpson, E Walker and others, after G F Atkinson, published by Day and Son, 1857-1858.
The 1st Bengal (European) Fusiliers was composed of European soldiers rather than Indian as in most East India Company regiments. Here they are depicted wearing their campaign dress of grey shirts and white covered forage caps. Dugshai, near Simla, was used by the British as a hill retreat for sick and injured men. Its climate was more favourable than that of the burning plains below. When news of the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) reached the hill stations the troops who were fit enough to march immediately departed for the siege of Delhi. Of the 159,000 men on the Bengal Army establishment in May 1857, 24,000 were European and 135,000 were Indian 'sepoys' (infantry) and 'sowars' (cavalry).
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National Army Museum, Study collection