Friday, 13 October 2017

British Magazine, Delhi and 1857 Sepoy Mutiny

Delh: British Magazine walkinhistory.blogspot.in/


This fort-like structure made of Lakhori brick is the surviving gate of the Delhi Magazine (for storing arms and ammunition) and it is now located in the small park in the middle of a traffic island on the main Lothian Road near Kashmere Gate. There is also a small canon placed over the gateway which  is a low vaulted building steeped in history. It is is attached to the gateway that has openings facing both   sides of the roads,  The  semi octagonal projections on the outer sides  lead to a vaulted gateway with two small rooms on either side.  In the  early days of the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the  Delhi Magazine became a major target for the rioting rebels whose aim was to scoop as many arms as possible to revolt against the corrupt, oppressive East India company rule. However, it was well   defended by Lieutenant George Willoughby of the Bengal Artillery, the Commissary of Ordnance, and his band of eight British soldiers and civilians. 

Delhi: British Magazine, Delhi. Inditales

On 11 May 1857,  hundreds of mutineers from Meerut, where the rebellion had first started, marched toward Delhi to control the city. As they moved  across the Yamuna River, expecting trouble, Lt. Willoughby, assisted by Lieutenants Forrest and Raynor, two sergeants (Edwards and Stewart) and four civilian clerks (Buckley, Shaw, Scully and Crow) barricaded the outer gates of the Magazine. By doing so, they thwarted the attempt by the rebels to get to the Magazine and its contents.
 
Presently, all that is left of the the British magazine is the gateway and the magazine was  destroyed during the siege of 1857. The magazine, ammunition and gunpowder stores that were close-by were also blown-up by the British soldiers / custodians of the magazine  to prevent them from falling into the hands of the rebel soldiers.

Marble Plague Delhi- British MaagazineGoBuzzinga

In the main gateway, there is a commemorative marble plaque describing the events that occurred here during the siege of 1857.  There is another plague fixed right below it mentioning that
 the ‘multineers’ were actually fighting for independence. Close to this historical gate is a small commemorative column in granite that was erected in 1901in memory of a Postal employee who  died during the rebellion.


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