Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Saga of sad Irish connection - British India military - a brief note


Indian Revolt of 1857. .en.wikipedia.org

Above image: Suppression of the Indian Revolt (1857) by the English, a painting by Vasily Vereshchagin c. 1884Here captured Indian rebels were killed by blowing up from the firing canons..There would be cheers among the merciless British soldiers if the blown-up head fell at a long distance.........


India freedom fighters blowing up with cannons www.quora.com

Above imageHere's a copy of an engraving depicting the British blowing up some India freedom fighters with cannons so that you don' fall into the Liberal trap ........

The British had  the reputation of being great administrators,  hence they once governed  a huge British empire on which the Sun had never set. Of course, in the bygone days their administrative skills lay centered more on manipulation, lies, half lies, betrayals, engaging whistle-blowers, etc., than on fairness, justice and honesty during their expansion. To expand  their control over  lands across the globe  and take a firm hold on them,  they were dependent on the services of Welsh, Scottish, Irish and some local rulers As the old adage about the British Empire goes, '' the Irish fought for it, Scottish and Welsh  ran it, but the English  kept  the profits.'' The driving force behind this innate  skill  among the British is their 'Britishness', a racial superiority unique to their culture  that they were  the ones created by the lord to rule the land and the people and not to be ruled or otherwise.

John Nicholson statuel, Dungannon, Northern Ireland.en.wikipedia.or

As far as Irish connection with respect to British rule in India was  concerned,  it had been a  sad story of  perpetuating  violence and viciousness all along to help the British fill up their coffers,  and in the aftermath,  they earned a bad name among the native Indians more than the British under whose instigation they acted. It all began in  1680 with East India company who recruited  a small number of troops. Between 1756 and 1763 hiring of Irish took a new turn. By 1693, almost 1500 Irish soldiers  were on the company pay role. At the time of the famous Indian Mutiny of 1857, more than half of East India company's  white  soldiers were Irish.  As the British company conquered  many areas in the Indian subcontinent and  established several trade posts, security and safety of company operations became more than a necessity and had to be maintained to stay in mercantile business. That time the situation in Ireland  was quite discouraging and many of them thought that a military career in British India would brighten up their future and there were prospects for upward mobility. They never minded taking risk and  were aware that serving in the Indian subcontinent,  in particular NW frontier areas,  was suicidal. By 1750 Irish men heavily  represented among the company's ensigns. On the other hand haunted by their superiority, the British  did not consider them on par with British counter parts. Most British officers did not cherish the idea of commanding the Indian soldiers, so, consequently more and more Irish officers found it easier to get commission in Indian regiments. Between 1885 and 1914, the Irish had a monopoly  up to the post of commander in chief in India.

Brigadier-Genera  John Nicholson 1822 – 1857)en.wikipedia.org/
The Irish officers contribution to the British empire was praiseworthy and  they were responsible for several victories and suppression of revolutions, rebellions, etc. Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts,  (September 1832 –November 1914) , Brigadier-General John Nicholson (December 1822–September 1857),  and  Field Marshal Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck  OBE ( June 1884 – March 1981), a Victorian era military officer known for his role in British India nicknamed "The 
Auk", were noted officers in the 1800s and 1900s.  

Among them some attained notoriety and worst name.  John Nicholson and later one Brig. Gen. Reginald O' Dwyer of Jallianwalla Bagh fame go down in the British India history as the worst murderers. The former became a sickening commander and put numerous Indian mutineers before the cannons  and  blew them away.  As a result of more Irish presence, the perception of Irish soldiers among the Indian population was negative to the point of being harsher. The Irish soldiers had a bad, vicious reputation  of  being more  brutal and despotic when dealing with Indian natives. Among the regiments, the Connaught Rangers, mostly made of Irish were known to use fist and heavy boots to punish the victims and it was  the most dreaded British regiment. The use of ''Rishti'' to differentiate the Irish from the English ''Anhrese'' was quite prevalent among the native Indians, in particular, in the north. The natives hated them very much. Brigadier-General John Nicholson earned a notorious name as the mass murderer in the province of Punjab.  He made to stand  numerous Indian mutineers before the  mouth of  powerful cannons  and  blew their heads away as  far as 40 to 50 feet and got a thrill out of it. He also had the reputation of hanging men without any formal inquiry or representationsomething similar to American wild-west style of frontier justice He told the British soldiers at Jullender, Punjab that upon suspicion of mixing poison in the food, he had the Indian cooks hanged to death without a trial.  Nicholson   proposed an Act endorsing a 'new kind of death for the murderers and dishonorers of our women', suggesting, 'flaying alive, impalement or burning,' and commenting further, 'I would inflict the most excruciating tortures I could think of on them with a perfectly easy conscience.'


Butcher Brig. General R. E. H. Dyer,Jallianwala Bagh massacre.www.traderji.co

Above image: Brig. General R. E. H. Dyer and his 50 men troop. massacred more than 1000 innocent people, including children.
This day is observed as Jallianwala Bagh Day13 April 1919 in Amritsar. For this despicable act Dyer got a  special  award and a purse - a large sum for having saved the modesty of British women.........


Governor, Sir Michael O'Dwyer approved firing. Sikh heritage com.

Sir Michael Francis O'Dwyer, KCSI (April 1864 – March 1940) was Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab province  in India from 1912 until 1919. Sir Michael 'Dwyer, in his capacity  as the highest ranking civil officer of that region, gave official endorsement to  General Reginald Dyer's action regarding the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and called it a "correct action. Gen. Reginald O' Dwyer,  was the architect of the famous Jallianwala Bagh massacre in  Amritsar, worst tragedy in Indian history. It shook the conscience of the entire globe and many international leaders condemned such a disgusting military action.  Dyer was removed from duty, but he was, paradoxically, given hero's welcome in Britain with reward in the form of money,   particularly  by  people with connections to the British Raj.
Dyer, notorious for the shooting  orders  that he gave on 13 April 1919 in Amritsar,  was  perfectly carried out by his  50 soldiers, all armed with .303 Lee–Enfield rifles under his very nose. They  opened fire on a  peaceful gathering  of unarmed  civilians, men, women and children, at the Jallianwalla  Bagh in what later came to be known as  the Amritsar massacre.  Shooting continued unabated until his troops' supply of 1,650 rounds of ammunition was almost exhausted. The shooting lasted for about 10 minutes.  Though the official figure was   379 dead and over 1,000 injured. unofficial figure   pointed  out more than 1,000, with more than 1,200. Dr. Smith, a British civil surgeon at Amritsar, indicated over 1,800 casualties. As a matter of fact Gen. Dyer expected better results and more casualties so that the Indian won't forget what kind of devoted soldier he was and they won't ever indulge in such activities against the British masters in the future.

Ironically  the same dreaded  Connaught Rangers gave a different color to their participation in the British military during their last phase in India. At Solon,  the Irish soldiers were against harsh military training,  poor treatment of officers and their long duty under the hot summer Sun. Their uncontrolled frustration ran up to the brim. Their anger was further aggravated  by  news leaked out of Ireland that some kind of unrest was going on in Ireland against the British and   it had set the stage for their mutiny.  Irish  boldly soldiers unfurled the Irish flag, wore Sinn Fein ribbons and demanded immediate withdrawal of British troops  from Ireland. Somehow,  the brief rebellion was subdued and later became dissipated. However,  the British military took the internal turmoil seriously and had 61 Connaught  Rangers  court-marshelled  and

Regimental Colours88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers),n.wikipedia.org/

Irish soldier in the british army.www.irish-society.org
fourteen were sentenced to death. 


In the second half of 19th century, the number of Irish soldiers declined down below 7000. Because of large scale participation of Irish soldiers in the oppressive British rule  and their tendency to resort to brutal means to achieve results,  the Irish did not leave a legacy worth noting  in India except some Irish missionaries. In the later years Irish had made their foray in the area  of British civil administration  such as ICS (Indian Civil Administration)  through written  test  and  interview.

Ref:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_military_diaspora

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nicholson_28East_India_Company_officer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Edward_Harry_Dyer