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  #1  
Old 23-07-20, 10:43 AM
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Default Indian Badges - Pre Mutiny

I thought I'd share these recent acquisitions with you. Bought as one lot - I knew that some of them were pre-mutiny Indian badges - now that I have them to hand I'm convinced they are all Indian from that period and all from units that mutinied. I'm working with Ashok Nath to identify them all but they are all heavy cast brass with lovely patina and a nice tactile feel to them. The issue is that they are so rare there's little to reference them by - I went through my back catalogue of Bosley's and could find almost no examples of O/R's badges for this period. A few officers shako plates and some WBC's - but almost nothing else.
Some of the units are easy to identify 18th Bengal Native Infantry and 7th Sindias Infantry Contingent (raised in 1844 as part of the Gwalior Contingent)
68th BNI, 41st BNI, and 15th BNI ( not sure what the K stands for? ) but I assume these are Grenadier companies because of the flaming grenade?
20th BNI, 28th BNI, 29th BNI ( all roman numerals ) - I think these were worn on the forage cap by Subadars whilst the sepoys wore numbers. I confess my "evidence" for this is a picture in the Ospreys Indian Mutiny book so I don't know if it's accurate or just artistic license. There were three badges that I thought might be British - HLI was I assumed Highland Light Infantry -Although it was like no HLI badge I could find. I now believe it to be the Hariannna Light Infantry ( another unit that mutinied ). I knew the 74th Foot were rushed to India to help quell the mutiny so again I assumed that might be the link. However I now believe its the 74thBNI because of the construction of the badge ( heavy cast brass with integral lugs) - and finally the 44th - Again I assumed from the photo that it might be the 44th foot although I don't think they were in India at any stage - however the badge differs from the 44th foot glengarry - No Sphinx, no battle honours on the leaves and again I think its Indian in construction - so 44th BNI. The one that remains a mystery is the Lakes&Victory badge - which is also the only one that I think is incomplete - I don't know if its a motto or a battle honour - but I suspect it belongs to one of the Contingents that mutinied - any help on this one would be appreciated. Tim
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  #2  
Old 23-07-20, 01:42 PM
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Tim, Very, very nice!!!

Terry
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  #3  
Old 23-07-20, 05:00 PM
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Good stuff there, Tim. Be wonderful to have positive identification..
I guess the Lake one might be part of a regimental plaque to commemorate the victory at Bharatpur..
Regards,
Sunil
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Old 23-07-20, 06:46 PM
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Thanks Sunil - that's a really good shout on Bhurtpore - so you think it might be State forces "Lake & Victory" referring to the defeat of Lord Lake in 1804?
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Old 24-07-20, 01:31 AM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkharifles View Post
Thanks Sunil - that's a really good shout on Bhurtpore - so you think it might be State forces "Lake & Victory" referring to the defeat of Lord Lake in 1804?
No Tim,
Not by Bharatpur state forces.. something probably unofficial probably made by one of the British regiments involved AFTER the final victory as a token of remeberance of past events..

If Bharatpur had bothered to commemorate their earlier victory it would have been in Hindi...

Could be anything really, but a nice thing to have nonetheless..
Sunil
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Old 24-07-20, 05:10 AM
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Tim,

Thank you for sharing these wonderful badges. "Lake and Victory" was borne on the honorary colours awarded to the Bengal regiments that served under Lord Lake at Allygurh and the Battle of Delhi 1803. I think there were only two that qualified: the old 23rd and 35th BNI of the pre-1824 reorganisation. The HLI almost certainly relates to the Hurrianah Light Infantry. Great stuff!
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Old 24-07-20, 05:59 AM
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I stand corrected re the number of regiments that qualified for the honorary standard. There were far more than two, including some Bengal cavalry units. Apologies for the inaccurate post.
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Old 24-07-20, 06:12 AM
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Tim,

I would also suggest that the three badges with the 'grenade' might actually be artillery units rather than infantry; signifying a Coy/Bn or Troop/Bde of arty. The "K" would support this contention. I am aware that Batteries in Field Brigades changed their designations at some point from numbers to alphabets. There were of course many different types of HEIC arty units: Foot, Horse and Field spread among the 3 presidency armies, with European HEIC units thrown in for good measure.
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Old 24-07-20, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Koi-Hai, I think the battles of Ally Ghur and Delhi make more sense of the "Lake & Victory" scroll than my interpretation of it being a states forces celebration of a victory over General Lake. The battle honour of Ally Ghur was awarded to three regiments of BNI that subsequently mutinied (7th,27th,and 35th) - and Delhi there were 8 Regiments of BNI that won the award and then subsequently rebelled. Only the 35th were at both battles - so they are my favoured suspect at the moment - in John Chappell's collection catalogue there is an officers shako helmet with the scroll Lake/1803/Victory on it to the 35th BNI - so I think you might have cracked it. Not so sure about the artillery theory but its definitely worthy of more research - in JC's catalogue all the Artillery insignia seem to have cannons rather than grenades? Tim
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Old 24-07-20, 01:22 PM
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Wonderful, wonderful stuff! Where have these been hiding all these years?
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Old 26-07-20, 12:11 AM
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Incredible is the word. If these are really genuine badges from the period, how can they be positively identified? Likely no records or illustrations exist.
I see that they were using the integrally cast lugs way back then!
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Old 26-07-20, 09:12 AM
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CB - There is J.L. Chapple's catalogue of his collection - which is online at the Indian Military Historical Society - and one of the badges (the 68th with scroll underneath SOBRAON - pouch badge - 4 copper lugs) - is described as being in the collection. However the vast majority of his items to the Bengal Army of this period are buttons , a few WBC and Shako Plates - and just three "cap badges" - all of them Large Brass Numbers ( 1st, 3rd and 28th ) - considering the comprehensive nature of the rest of his Indian collection I think it speaks volumes for the rarity of these pieces. As for how else to identify them, there are some contemporary watercolours of uniforms of the BNI - and there must be some items in museum's collections somewhere. I mentioned Osprey's Books - I assume they must have referenced their illustrations from somewhere? But I have a theory that the collection was not put together over a long period of time but probably gathered shortly after the mutiny itself and kept as a whole. There were no other badges or medals consigned in the auction - I've written to the auction house asking for more information but I very much doubt whether they'll be forthcoming. Ashok is I believe compiling a book on the Indian Army insignia to be the companion to his definitive work on the Indian Cavalry - Izzat . Tim
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Old 27-07-20, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkharifles View Post
CB - There is J.L. Chapple's catalogue of his collection - which is online at the Indian Military Historical Society - and one of the badges (the 68th with scroll underneath SOBRAON - pouch badge - 4 copper lugs) - is described as being in the collection. However the vast majority of his items to the Bengal Army of this period are buttons , a few WBC and Shako Plates - and just three "cap badges" - all of them Large Brass Numbers ( 1st, 3rd and 28th ) - considering the comprehensive nature of the rest of his Indian collection I think it speaks volumes for the rarity of these pieces. As for how else to identify them, there are some contemporary watercolours of uniforms of the BNI - and there must be some items in museum's collections somewhere. I mentioned Osprey's Books - I assume they must have referenced their illustrations from somewhere? But I have a theory that the collection was not put together over a long period of time but probably gathered shortly after the mutiny itself and kept as a whole. There were no other badges or medals consigned in the auction - I've written to the auction house asking for more information but I very much doubt whether they'll be forthcoming. Ashok is I believe compiling a book on the Indian Army insignia to be the companion to his definitive work on the Indian Cavalry - Izzat . Tim
Thanks for sharing these interesting images....I see u are already in touch with Capt Ashok Nath, if there is anybody with the requisite knowledge to assist .... it's him... I do believe he is also working on a volume on the pre mutiny Bengal Army, I've had the good fortunate of seeing his incredibly fine Indian Army collection ...Tom
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