Sep 01 2009
2nd battalion – Gibraltar
The battalion officers have been in Gibraltar long enough to share the opinion of a previous visitor that duty in the Gibraltar garrison is little better than prison. Their only entertainment is what they themselves can devise although, for the more bookish, there is an excellent library. At least the weather is becoming more temperate, relieving them from the dazzling reflection of the sun off the Rock which is blinding in its intensity. Also, with the Spanish now our allies, the officers have the possibility of undertaking some short expeditions beyond the confines of Gibraltar itself. For the men, the main temptation is a crude wine called black-strap which is cheap and widely on sale, leading to a permanent problem of drunkenness. Despite this, and despite the continuing sickness, the battalion is becoming acclimatised to the conditions of the Peninsula.
Lieutenant White and Ensigns Heaviside, Kettlewell and Garvey are now officially effective in the first battalion, but remain with the second.
The process of bringing the number of NCOs up to strength has been completed. The promotion of John Connor, John Masterson, Alex Murdagh, John Morisey and William Lovell means that there are now 43 sergeants with the battalion and another five on detached duties. John Gannon and Thomas Thorne, both promoted from private, have brought the complement of corporals to 47, seven of whom are on detached duties, mainly recruiting.
There have been no demotions.
1st Battalion – Trichinopoly
Fort at Hyderabad. Photograph by Sukanto Debnash.
Lieutenant Richardson has been given a month’s leave until the 20th September.
Captain Bircham and Ensign Napper remain with the 19th Native Infantry. This unit was involved in the beginning of the disturbances involving the Company officers, and is felt to need the presence of regular army officers to maintain order.
News has arrived in Madras that the Governor General, Lord Minto (a civilian), is on his way to deal with the unrest among the Company’s European officers, much of which has now taken the form of outright mutiny.
Lord Minto, Governor General of India, 1807-13
This news has had the beneficial effect of persuading most of the officers, particularly those at Hyderabad, to offer their surrender in return for a general pardon. Sir George Barlow, however, intends to pursue the mutineers and ensure that they are punished. He seems unable to grasp that his own provocative and uncompromising behaviour has made the situation much worse than it might have been. Senior army officers are still trying to persuade him to moderate his attitude, without success. At least Colonel Wilkinson has the satisfaction of knowing that his firm action meant the trouble in the Southern Division was effectively nipped in the bud.
Depot – Wakefield and recruiting
The depot has completed its first return.
Captain Spawforth and Quartermaster Kingsley are at Wakefield, where four recruits have been received from Ireland. One of these has already been sent to join the second battalion in Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, recruiting detachments are continuing their activities in Sleaford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Dublin and Galway.
Barracks in Dublin, photgraph by sftrajan
Corporal Jonathan Johnson has been promoted to sergeant.