Here is Our History Series 9 and as you can see we have suddenly landed in modern times. So, let’s get acquainted with it:
The first picture is the Memorial the Brits had erected in a remote corner of India in Uttarakhand at a place called Kalunga. The Left Obelisk is inscribed to the sacred memory of General Rollo Gillespie and the Right Obelisk is for Captain Balabhadra Thapa Magar of the Gurkhas, the two combatants who were engaged in mortal combat in life but found peace of grave in each other’s company. Some pseudo historians have tried to distort history by claiming Balbhadra ran away from battlefield and joined Sikh Army. What a level of depraved absurdity!
Second picture is the memorial to the victims of massacre, mostly European women and children, who were slaughtered by the mutineers of 1857 in Cawnpore, now spelt Kanpur. After the Brits left India in 1947, the memorial has been shifted to the grounds of nearby All Saints Anglican Church.
After the report of how Gurkhas had cleared the nation of the mutineers reached London, Sir Noel Paton R.A. decided to honour the Gurkhas by painting an emotive scene, called Relief of Lucknow. Since he had never seen a Gurkha but knew they were part of British Indian Army, this painting showed some Indian soldiers in the background which he was obliged to replace post-haste by Royal Scots. Gurkhas broke the mutineers back at Lucknow and left the Company’s soldiers to mop up later.
The fourth picture comes on its wake. Queen Victoria had taken personal interest in entertaining Jung Bahadur Rana Magar on several occasions between May and August 1850 during the latter’s visit to London. Jung had returned home convinced that friendship with Britain would be of advantage to Nepal and Queen Victoria was no less impressed by the energy and charisma of the visitor. So when the mutiny broke out Queen Victoria was pleased to receive direct help from the Gurkhas. This whimsical picture shows Lord Beaconsfield offering the crown of India to the Queen.
Once the dreaded mutiny was quelled Queen Victoria decided to honour the Gurkhas and an exquisitely designed trophy in silver and gold was crafted. The last picture circa 1860 shows a Gurkha Officer, presumably of Santabir Thapa with the Queen’s Truncheon whose replica in bronze is kept in the Gurkha Museum.