The Indian Mutiny 1857-1858
At the beginning of the eighteenth century English commerce with India was nearly a hundred years old. It was transacted by the East India Company, which had been given a monopoly of all English trade to Asia by royal grant at its foundation in 1600. Initially the British had started as merchant venturers but their presence on the sub-continent had been perilously small. In the coming years the merchants expanded, building larger trading stations as well as forts to protect themselves. Huge armies were created, largely composed of Indian sepoys (a native of India employed as a soldier in the service of a European power) but with some regular British regiments. These armies were used to defend the Company's territories, to coerce neighbouring Indian states and to crush any potential internal resistance. Sometimes by design, sometimes almost by accident the area controlled by the British increased, until by 1857 everything from the borders of Afghanistan in the west to the jungles of Burma in the east, from the Himalayas of Nepal to the beaches of Ceylon were, if not directly under the East India Company's rule, very definitely in its pocket.
Over time the British seemed to lose touch with their Indian subjects. The closeness of the British and the Indians which was so apparent in the early days of the British presence in India started to fade and by 1857 it was at a crisis. The arrival of missionaries had also caused great unease among the Indians. Evangelical Christians had little understanding of, or respect for, India's ancient faiths and the attitude of scrupulous non-interference in religious affairs that had characterised British rule in the 18th century was forgotten by a native populace that came to believe the British wished to convert them. On the political stage, the annexation of the state of Oudh by Lord Dalhousie and the doctrine of lapse, which decreed that the lands of any Indian ruler dying without a male heir would be forfeit to the East India Company, struck directly at the heart of India's traditional ways of life and were widely condemned and hated throughout the sub-continent.
Against this backdrop of unease, rumours were now circulating amongst the Indian subjects and it seemed everyone was awaiting a spark to trigger a conflict with the British rulers. When it came, it came in the shape of a new cartridge.
The projectile for the new Enfield rifle was part of a self-contained paper cartridge that contained both ball and powder charge. It required only the end to be bitten off and the cartridge then rammed down the muzzle of the weapon. To facilitate this process the cartridge was heavily greased - with animal fat. Sepoys heard and quickly passed on the rumour that the grease was a mixture of cow (sacred to Hindus) and pig (abhorrent to Moslems) fat. Biting such a cartridge would break the caste of the Hindu sepoys and defile the Moslems. The British realised their mistake and tried to have the sepoys make up their own grease from beeswax or vegetable oils, but in the atmosphere of distrust that prevailed in 1857 the damage had been done. The stage was set for a great tragedy to unfold.
On the 29th March 1857 at Barrackpore, a young sepoy of the 34th Native Infantry named Mangel Pande, shot at his sergeant-major on the parade ground. When the British adjutant rode over, Pande shot the horse out from under him and as the officer tried to extricate himself Pande severely wounded him with a sword. Drawn by the commotion the commanding officer of the station, General Hearshey, galloped to the scene accompanied by his two sons. The sepoy panicked and instead of shooting at the general, turned his rifle on himself and pulled the trigger. He survived this suicide attempt and was later court-martialled and hanged. As a collective punishment the 34th Native Infantry was disbanded; its shameful fate being publicly proclaimed at every military station in British India. Pande achieved a certain kind of immortality in that his name entered British military slang as the general nickname for a mutineer and eventually a derogatory term for any Indian. Unfortunately for the British, the 34th Native Infantry were considered by the majority of sepoys to have been unjustly treated and soon came to be regarded as quasi-martyrs.
A few weeks later the next act in the tragedy followed when 85 troopers of the 3rd Light Cavalry in Meerut refused orders to handle the new cartridges. They were arrested, court-martialled and were each sentenced to 10 years hard labour. At an appalling ceremony in front of the whole Meerut garrison, they were publicly humiliated: their uniforms were stripped from them, they were shackled with leg and arm irons and led off to imprisonment. The following day was a Sunday and as Britons prepared for church parade, Meerut exploded. Enraged sepoys broke open the town gaol and released their comrades. Then accompanied by a mob from the bazaar poured into the cantonment where the Europeans lived and murdered any Europeans or Indian Christians they could find. Whole families, men, women, children and servants, were slaughtered. Some sepoys tried to protect their officers but they were in the minority. The cantonment was put to the torch and after a few hours of mayhem the sepoys, fearing retaliation as the British recovered and organized the European forces, fled down the main road to Delhi and the Palace of Bahadur Shah, the last of the Moghuls.
And so began the Indian Mutiny of 1857-1858.
Actions and movements of the 29th (Worcestershire) Foot Regiment
On the 5th of September 1856, Nos. 4 and 5 having been relieved by Nos. 6 and 7 companies, rejoined head-quarters from Meeaday.
Orders having been received for the regiment to proceed to Calcutta and relieve H.M. 53rd Foot, a wing consisting of Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 companies, under command of Major Wheeler, left Thayetmyo on the morning of the 29th November 1856 for Rangoon, where it disembarked on the 3rd December 1856, but on account of the disturbed state of the country, the previous orders were cancelled, and the wing returned to Thayetrnyo on the 22nd, when Major Wheeler was ordered to take command of the garrison at Meeaday.
An important change was made this year by the abolition of the Board of General Officers, the duty of supplying the soldiers’ clothing being transferred from the Colonels of regiments to the State.
On the 16th January 1857, a guard of honour, under command of Captain Colvill, composed of 50 rank and file from cach of the Flank companies, received H.E. Lieut.-General Grant, C.B., commander-in-chief of the Madras army.
The following day the regiment, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Stewart, was reviewed by His Excellency, who expressed his entire satisfaction with the manner in which the different evolutions were performed, as also with everything that came under his observation, and paid it a high compliment in the following speech made on parade
"Twenty-ninth Regiment, I am glad to have met you again, we are old friends, for I have served with you through two campaigns, and I must say I consider you second to none. You upheld the honour of the British arms at Roleia, Vimiera, Talavera, and Albuera, and more recently under that renowned general; Lord Gough, at Ferozeshah, Sobraon, and Chillianwallah, when whatever may have befallen others, you at least carried all before you, and retained undiminished the lustre of your ancient name, and again at the crowning victory of Goojerat, when we finally defeated and overthrew the Sikh power."
"I believe you are about to go home, and wish you all, health and happiness, and am sure that wherever you are, you will always retain undiminished the lustre of your present name, you will carry with you the good wishes of all with whom you may have served; they will regret the departure of a corps so distinguished for its gallantry in the field, and uniform good conduct in quarters."
On the 11th and 12th of March 1857, Nos. 6 and 7 companies rejoined head-quarters from Meeaday, having been relieved by Nos. 2 and 3 under command of Captain Farrington, with Lieuts. Evans and Ledgard.
On the 9th of June 1857, Captain and Brevet Lieut.-Colonel S. Fisher, (exchanged from the 3rd Light Dragoons with Capt. Honble. H. M. Monckton, 2nd August, 1850) 29th Foot, commanding the 15th Irregular Cavalry, was killed at Súltánpúr by the mutineers.
Colonel Malleson, in the “ History of the Indian Mutiny,” gives the following account of this officer’s death:-
"Súltánpúr was the head-quarters of the 15th Regiment of Irregular Cavalry, commanded by Colonel S. Fisher, one of the most gallant and daring officers in the service. Early on the morning of the 8th June, 1857, the 1st Regiment of Military Police, commanded by Captain Bunbury, rose in revolt. Colonel Fisher rode down to their lines, followed by his men, to endeavour to recall them to order. Whilst he was addressing them, a policeman came round and shot him in the back. He fell mortally wounded from his horse. His own men had been passive spectators of the deed. They would not approach him, although they allowed the adjutant, Lieut. Tucker, to tend him in his last agony. Whilst they permitted this, however, they turned upon the second in command, Captain Gubbins, shot him, and then shouted to Lieut. Tucker to be off. By this time Colonel Fisher’s last agony was over, and Tucker, having nothing more to do, mounted and rode for his life."
On the 24th and 28th of June 1857, a wing of the regiment, consisting of Nos. 1, 6, 7, and 8 companies, embarked in two detachments, the first under command of Captain Duncan, the second under that of Major Wheeler, for Rangoon, en route to Calcutta. The officers with this wing were Major Wheeler, Captains Duncan, Westropp, Fred Middleton; Lieutenants Levinge (from the 31st of October), Evans (disembarking officer), Gordon (acting quarter-master), Smith (acting adjutant to the wing), J. Dane; Ensign G. F. Hart, and Assistant-Surgeon MacQueen, M.D. Having disembarked at Calcutta about the 27th July 1857, the wing occupied the Town Hall, which had been fitted up as a barrack.
In October 1857, Nos. 1 and 8 companies, under command of Captain Kneebone (this officer was on leave in the Mauritius, when news of the outbreak of the mutiny arrived; sacrificing his leave, he took passage on board the first steamer bound for Calcutta, and on going ashore was surprised to see some of his own company on sentry), marched to reinforce the garrison at Bárrákpúr, where some native regiments had already been disarmed by H.M. 35th Foot. Later on they were joined by Major Wheeler with the remainder of the wing. On the 9th and 12th of December 1857, three mutineers of the 32nd Bengal N.J. having been convicted by General Court Martial, were on a garrison parade, blown away from guns. On the 21st the wing marched to Calcutta, where it embarked on board the “Belgravia” for Rangoon, which was reached on the 29th December 1857.
Back on the 17th July 1857, Captain Farrington, with No. 2, rejoined head-quarters, from Meeaday. On the 19th July, the Flank companies and No. 4, under command of Captain Colvill, with Captain F. Sorell, Ensigns W. Winn and K. V. Bacon, embarked for Rangoon, where they were joined on the 7th of August by the head-quarters, consisting of the staff, band, and attached men of companies previously embarked for Calcutta. Captain Farrington, with Lieut. F. S. Eckersall, 3 sergeants, 3 drummers, 73 rank and file, remained at Thayetmyo, and were on the 21st November 1857, joined by the Grenadier company, under command of Lieut. H. E. Quinn.
On the 24th July 1857 the establishment of the regiment was fixed at 1 Colonel, 2 Lieut.-Colonels, 2 Majors. 10 Captains, 12 Lieutenants, 8 Ensigns, 7 Staff, 51 Sergeants, 50 Corporals, 20 Drummers, and 900 Privates.
On the 14th of January, 1858, No. 4 and the Light company, under command of Captain Colvill, with Lieut. E. Gorton and Assistant-Surgeon Farmer, embarked at Rangoon for Thayetmyo, where they arrived on the 24th.
On the 10th February 1858, No. 3, under command of Captain Walker, joined the right wing at Thayetmyo, from detachment at Meeaday.
Embarking on the 27th March 1858 at Rangoon on board the Hon. Company’s steamer "Damoodah" and the flat "Bhagaretty", the head-quarters, consisting of the staff, band, with Nos. 7 and 8, under command of Major Wheeler, arrived at Thayetmyo on the 5th of April, and the following day, the two companies, with Captain Kneebone, Lieut. Hart, Ensign A. G. Black, L. A. Shadwell, and Assistant-Surgeon Farmer, proceeded to Meeaday to relieve Captain Beauchamp Seymour, R.N., and his ship’s company, who had lately been doing duty there.
In the Regimental Orders of the 14th April 1858 was published the H.G. Order doing away with Flank companies. The companies were therefore re-numbered, and the Grenadiers, "Captain Walker’s company", became No. 1 ; the Light company, "Captain Colvill’s", No. 10.
On the 21st April 1858, Captain Stehelin in command of Nos. 2, 6, and 7 companies, with Captain Levinge, Lieuts. G. W. F. D. Smith, Dane, and Hart, Ensign J. R. Bomford, and Assistant-Surgeon MacQueen, joined head-quarters from Rangoon.
In the meanwhile Captain Middleton (later became Lt.-General Sir F. D. Middleton, K.C.M.G., C.B.) who in March 1858, had been appointed extra A.D.C. to Lieut.-General Sir E. Lugard, G.C.B., was distinguishing himself in India, and was recommended by Sir Edward to Lord Clyde for the Victoria Cross for two acts, but no notice was taken of this recommendation.
Colonel Malleson, writing of the forcing of the passage of the Tons on the 15th April, 1858, says: "Hamilton, of the 3rd Sikhs, a very gallant officer, was wounded and unhorsed when charging the squares. As he lay on the ground, the rebels cutting at him, Middleton, of the 29th Foot, and Farrier Murphy rushed to his assistance, and succeeded in rescuing his body from being cut to pieces. The wounds Hamilton received were, however, mortal. A little later, when a body of rebels, who had re-formed, left their ranks with drawn tulwárs in their hands, to cut down a dismounted wounded trooper of the Military Train, Middleton dashed out at them, drove them back, dismounted, and placed the wounded trooper on his horse."
These two acts of bravery were at the time vouched for by the following eye witnesses, viz., Captain J. H. Wyatt, commanding 2nd Battalion Military Train ; Lieut. and Adjutant Wm. Thompson, 2nd Battalion Military Train Lieut. and Adjutant John Briggs, Military Train; Pte. Jas. Penman, B Troop, Military Train; and Lieut. Frederic L. H. Lyon, R.H.A.
Previous to this, Captain Middleton, who had served at the siege and capture of Lakhnao, had been mentioned in dispatches.
On the 19th July 1858, No. 10 received the Enfield rifle. This completed the re-arming of the regiment with the new weapon.
On the 8th September 1858, two companies under command of Captain Levinge, with Lieuts. Eckersall and Winn, proceeded to relieve Captain Kneebone’s detachment at Meeaday, which rejoined head-quarters the same day.
Orders having been received for the regiment to proceed to Bengal, on the 16th October 1858 the head-quarters, consisting of staff, band, Nos. 1, 8, 9, and 10 companies, under command of Major Wheeler, embarked at Thayetmyo for Rangoon, where they landed on the 21st October 1858. This division, with the exception of No. 9, re-embarked on the 27th, on board the s.s. "Sidney", and landing at Calcutta on the 1st November 1858, marched up to the Conductor’s Barracks, where orders were received for it to parade in full dress, at 2.30 p.m. that afternoon, and march to Government House, where the proclamation of Her Majesty taking over charge of the H.E.I.C’s possessions was read. The Royal standard, which had been escorted by some blue-jackets from H.M. ships of war, was then run up ; a general salute was given, and 21 guns fired as the Imperial flag floated from the masthead.
On the 4th November 1858, the head-quarters marched from the barracks to the Armenian Ghât, where, being joined by some 40 recruits from Dum Dum, under Ensign H. Davis, they crossed the river by steam ferry to Howrah, and there took train to Ránigang, which was reached about 4 p.m.
The regiment being ordered to place itself under command of Lieut. -Colonel W. W. Turner, at Sásserám, with a view of being detached in of some parties of rebels, and also to guard the Grand Trunk Road, on the 9th inst. No. 8, with Lieuts. E. W. Kent and Hart, started by bullock train for Shergháti. Captain Stehelin’s detachment from Rangoon, consisting of Nos. 2, 4, and 5, reached Ránigang that day, and the remaining companies, on arrival, proceeded to be detached on the Grand Trunk Road.
During this duty the men were supplied with Kharkee cap covers, and the officers wore a white shoulder-belt with a small pouch. Kharkee tunics were not issued till the 21st February 1859.
On the 11th November 1858, No. 9 Company, under command of Captain Kneebone, marched for Shergháti; and No. 10, with Captain Colvill and Ensign Bacon, for Dehri. Here fresh orders were received from Lieut.-Col. Turner, for No. 10 to proceed at once to Thiloulta, where Lieut.-Colonel J. McN. Walter’s field force was then encamped.
As this officer had commenced his military career in the 29th, Captain Colvill’s company met with a hearty reception.
Instructions having arrived for the company to push on at once, in pursuit of some rebels, to Tepa, situated at the foot of the Rehul Pass, the men bivouacked for the night, and early next morning continued their march. When, on the 22nd November 1858, the pass was reached, it was discovered that the enemy, after having constructed an abattis (a means of defence formed by felled trees, the ends of whose branches are sharpened and directed outwards, or against the enemy) and some stone breastworks, had retired. Having made preparations to occupy this post, and stationed there a picquet under command of Ensign Bacon, Captain Colvill, with the remainder of the company, took up a position a little lower down, and as the nights were very cold, the men set to work to hut themselves.
This detachment was visited by Lieut.-Colonel Turner on the 28th November, when orders were given for the company to march the following morning for Sásserám, where it arrived on the 1st December 1858 and joined the head-quarters of the regiment, which with No. 5, had arrived there a few days previously.
In the meanwhile, No. 1, with Captain Walker and Assistant-Surgeon John, had marched from Ránigang in pursuit of a party of rebels, reported as being in the Behter neighbourhood; No. 2, with Captain Stehelin, Lieut. Dickinson, and Assistant-Surgeon Farmer, had been detached to Hazáribagh, whilst Nos. 3, 6, 7, and 8 had marched independently up the Grand Trunk Road to Allahabad, where, under command of Captain Farrington, they were stationed till about the end of the following February.
The head-quarters of the regiment being ordered to join a Field force, assembling under command of Lieut.-Colonel Turner, with a view of operating against a large body of rebels who, under the leadership of Ummur Singh, were plundering in the Palamau district, on the afternoon of the 6th December 1858, Major Wheeler, Captains Colvill and Walker, Lieutenants Kent, Smith (acting adjutant), Black, and Bacon, Qr.-Master W. Smith, Surgeon Moorhead, with about 200 non-commissioned officers, rank and file, (the Indian Mutiny Medal was presented to the detachments serving under Colonel Turner of the 97th Foot), marched from Sásserám for Barun, where they were joined by a company of H. M. 37th Foot, and some irregular cavalry. These marched early the following day, and during the afternoon of the 9th December, when near Mahometgáng, on the right bank of the Koel, were joined by Captain Kneebone’s company from Shergháti.
On reaching Chynepúr, information was obtained that the rebel’s main position was at Sunnya, a village about 35 miles distant, situated in a valley behind the passes of the mountains ; that their strength was about 1400, and that they had fortified the passes with the intention of defending them. These passes were three in number. First, and the strongest by nature, was the Panch Nudia, said to be held by 1200 men the second, the Buglu Mara, on the direct road from Chynepúr, defended by 8oo ; the third, the Bunjunna Pass, a mile and a half west of that road, was ascertained to be held by a small picquet only.
It having been decided to attack the centre pass, the march was continued without delay, and on the afternoon of the 14th the rebels, who were seen crowning its summit, were summoned to lay down their arms. Having in reply, opened what proved fortunately to be a harmless fire, it was determined to force their position the next day. Shortly after midnight the enemy made an attack on the outposts, but were compelled to retire.
As the Buglu Mara Pass was found to be a strong position, flanked on either side by steep wooded spurs, and defended near the top by an abattis, which in its turn was flanked by three circular loop-holed stone breastworks, a detachment was sent early the following morning with orders to engage the picquet stationed in the Bunjunna, to turn the enemy’s flank and to descend into the plain beyond, which was directly in rear of the centre pass.
As soon as it was ascertained that the flank attack had commenced, 40 men of H.M. 37th, supported by Captain Colvill’s company, the whole under command of that officer, were ordered to the front to seize the spur commanding the left of the centre pass, whilst a similar detachment under Captain Kneebone, advanced to secure the spur on the opposite side. Having given these flanking parties half-an-hour’s start, Lieut.-Colonel Turner, supported by the reserve of the detachment of the 29th, under command of Major Wheeler, advanced into the Buglu Mara. The enemy, however, after firing a few shots at the flanking parties, retired, and skirting the edge of the Koel which flows round the base of the pass, dispersed in all directions through the jungle which lined its banks.
The main body having got safely through the pass, crossed the river, and the flanking parties being reinforced, skirmished through the jungle to Sunnya, which was found deserted. There not being any signs of the enemy in the neighbourhood, the force bivouacked for the night.
When, the following morning, the Ramgarh battalion and 100 of the 29th, under Captain Colvill, attacked the Panch Nudia Pass in rear, the enemy at once dispersed, leaving their cooking vessels hanging on sticks. Here also were found traces of about 40 or 50 horses, and a bivouac for at least 400 men.
Further on, was an abattis of large timber, which had been thrown across the stream for about a hundred yards. The pass was also defended by four different lines of loop-holed breastworks, flanked by small rifle pits.
Having destroyed these obstructions, and handed over the passes and plateau beyond them to the deputy commissioner, the force commenced its return march, and Sásserám was reached on the 26th December 1858.
Two days after this, Captain Kneebone’s company was ordered to march to Jehanabad to relieve No. 5, which, under command of Ensigns Shadwell and W. M. Cochrane, had been stationed there during the last three weeks.
Orders having been received on the 11th January 1859 for the 29th to join another field force under Colonel Turner, C. B., for the pursuit of rebels, the Jehanabad detachment was recalled, and on the 14th, the head-quarters of the regiment, under command of Major Wheeler, with Nos. 1, 5, 9, and to companies, left Sásserám.
From this day till the 28th February 1859, these companies were employed in clearing the Ramghar and Behar districts of the rebels, who, now completely beggared and starving, were reported to be retiring towards Mongarh and the Ganges.
On the 1st February 1859 head-quarters, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Wheeler, with Captains Colvill and Kneebone, Lieuts. Kent, Smith (acting adjutant), Black, Bacon, Ensign Shadwell, Pay-Master Longden, Quarter- Master Smith, Surgeon Moorhead, and Assistant-Surgeon Farmer, were encamped near the village of Hutkona, about eleven miles from Hazáribágh, where a Depot company, under command of Captain Stehelin and Ensign Cochrane was stationed; No. 1 with Captain Walker was at Shergháti, and five companies under command of Captain Farrington were on command at Alláhábád.
On the afternoon of the 5th February 1859, when head-quarters were encamped near Juree on the right bank of the river Lilajun, No. 5, under Lieut. Kent, was ordered out after rebels; some shots were exchanged and one private was wounded, but none of the enemy were captured.
Considering the nature of the service on which the head-quarters were now employed, not only was the band a useless encumbrance, but the instruments, which had but a short time previously been received from Hanover, were very liable to get damaged. For the last three weeks the companies had been continually on the march through a jungly country, and the big drum had been generally carried on the head of a native. Being now within 14 miles of Shergháti, it was thought to be a good opportunity of getting rid of the band, which was therefore sent to join the detachment stationed there.
On the 28th February 1859, orders were received for the companies to concentrate at Shergháti, preparatory to their march down country and embarkation for England.
The regiment was at this time stationed as follows:-
Head-quarters and 3 companies at Dungain, Captain Walker’s company at Huntergang, Captain Stehelin’s at Hazáribágh, 5 companies under Captain Farrington at Sásserám. Colonel Stewart, Ensign Prittie, 5 Sergeants, 2 Drummers, 3 Corporals, and 71 Privates were at Shergháti, where they were joined on the 1st March 1859 by the headquarters, and on the 4th March by the left wing from Sásserám. On the following morning the right wing paraded to discharge rifles.
A few days later, Major Kent and Surgeon Franklyn of the 77th Foot arrived to superintend the volunteering of the regiment, and on the 20th March, the companies commenced to march independently for Ránigang. Proceeding thence by rail to Calcutta, on the 3rd May 1859 the left wing, under command of Captain Colvill, with Captains Chester, S. M. Clarke, Ledgard; Lieutenants Gorton, Black, Fursden, Shadwell; Ensigns Prittie, A. Fawcett, and Assistant-Surgeon John, embarked on board the "Clasmerden". On arriving at Portsmouth on the 18th September 1859, this wing proceeded by rail to Weedon, there to be stationed.
On the 16th May 1859 the head-quarter division, under command of Major Westropp, with Captains Walker, Kneebone, H. Wilkie; Lieutenants Gordon, Smith, Hart, Winn, Bomford, Bacon, Cochrane; Ensign Davis, Quarter-Master Aylett. Surgeon Moorhead, and Assistant-Surgeon Farmer, embarked at Calcutta on board the "Gipsy Bride".
One night in July 1859, when off the Cape of Good Hope, the "Mary Sheppard" with a wing of the 78th on board, came in collision with the "Gipsy Bride". It being dark and stormy, some time elapsed before the ships got clear of each other, and in consequence of damages received, it was found necessary for the latter ship to put into Simon’s Bay, where she was detained two weeks whilst undergoing repairs.
When on the 29th September 1859 the head-quarters disembarked at Portsmouth, they proceeded by rail to Preston, and took up quarters in the Fulwood Barracks, where on the 11th October 1859 H.R.H. the Commander-in-Chief inspected them.
On the 19th December 1859 the wing stationed at Weedon, with the following officers, Captains Dick, Middleton (M), and Chester, Ensigns Fawcett, E. P. H. Everard, R. Berkeley, J. H. H. Croft, and Assistant-Surgeon John, joined head-quarters.
By Horse Guards’ Circular, dated the 31st October 1859, officers were ordered to provide themselves with leather leggings.
During this tour of foreign service, the regiment received by; Drafts from England 10 Sergeants, 9 Corporals, 1506 Privates. Volunteers from Regiments in India 1 Sergeants and 380 Privates.
Between the 1st of August, 1842, and the 1st of November 1859, the deaths in the regiment were 32 officers, 79 Sergeants, 11 Drummers, 57 Corporals, and 1255 Privates.
Between the 9th and 20th of March, 1859, 7 Sergeants, 6 Drummers, 3 Corporals, and 215 Privates volunteered to regiments in the Bengal Presidency.
Whilst in India, the 29th was nicknamed the "Europe Regiment", on account of its being the only British corps from which native servants were rigidly excluded, cooks and washermen excepted.