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24

On receipt of this memorandum, the then Secretary of State, Mr. Stanhope, requested General Brackenbury to go further into the matter, and associated with him Sir Ralph Thompson, Permanent Under-Secretary at the War Office.

The examination made by these two officers brought to light many serious defects in our system. There was too much of one arm and too little of another.' The Army had, in fact, been added to piecemeal as the occasion required without any endeavour being made to introduce proportion between its various branches.? The successful carrying out of a campaign under such conditions was impossible, and Mr. Stanhope wisely placed the matter in the hands of The Mobilisation Sub-Committee,' with orders to arrange and direct the practical working of our organisation for war.

From that time the mobilisation scheme and the organisation of the Army for defence both at home and abroad have been steadily progressing. The main lines followed were the decentralisation of stores, the collection of transport, the selection of sites for storehouses and forts, plans of defence for districts, and the regulations for procedure on war breaking out; and last, but by no means least, the arrangements for registering and rendering available a large reserve of horses in time of war.

India has not been idle either during the last half-century. The pressing necessity for creating a new Army after the Mutiny soon forced itself on the attention of the Government, and even while military operations were still in progress, the Governor-General, Lord Canding, directed Colonel Durand,25 of the Bengal Engineers, to inquire from a number of experienced officers their views on the reorganisation of the Army in India. Eventually Colonel Durand proceeded to England to lay the result of his inquiry before the Secretary of State.

In July of the following year a Royal Commission was assembled, presided over by General Peel, 'to inquire into the “Organisation of the Indian Army."

Several questions were brought forward on which the opinion of the Commission was required, such as

The terms on which the transfer of the Army of the East India Company to the Crown should be carried out.

The permanent force to be maintained in India.
The proportion of European to Native troops, &c.

But perhaps the most important question of all was to what extent the European portion of the Army should be composed of troops of the Line, or of troops raised for service in India only.

The majority of the Commission were in favour of the troops belonging to her Majesty's Regular regiments being the sole European element in the Indian Army, while & somewhat large minority recommended the employment (in addition to those Regular regiments) of a considerable local European Army, enlisted solely for service in India.

24 Memorandum by the Secretary of State relating to Army Estimates, 1887–8. * Afterwards General Sir Henry Durand, G.C.S.I.

The Commission sent in their report in March 1859, but apparently no action was taken on it at the time. Meanwhile, in August 1858, the government of India had been transferred from the East India Company to the Crown,26 and a guarantee was given to ensure to all ranks of the Company's Army 'the like pay, pensions, allowances, and the like advantages as regards promotion and otherwise, as if they had continued in the service of the said Company.'

As soon as this Act was published in India, the soldiers of the Company's service expressed their dissatisfaction at being absorbed into the Queen's Army without their consent, and representations to that effect were sent in through their respective commanding officers.

The Commander-in-Chief (Lord Clyde) had just taken the field for the final pacification of Oudh, and, as it happened, none of the Company's troops were actually with him at the time. The 1st Madras Fusiliers, however, were at no great distance, and Lord Clyde rode to their camp and told them that, as their representations were respectfully worded, and as he considered they had a right to bring their views forward, he would submit them for the consideration of her Majesty's Government. The Commander-in-Chief then reminded the men that, as soldiers, they were bound to obey their officers, and he expressed a hope that, whatever the decision of the authorities might be, discipline would be preserved.

This speech speedily became known to the Army, and, the men being satisfied that their representation would be fairly considered, their excitement was allayed for the time being.

In his letter to the Government of India, Lord Clyde gave it as his opinion that it would be desirable to re-enlist the men of the late Company's service as soldiers of the Queen. He pointed out that the men, when attested, were asked whether they would serve the East India Company, and that, although they were sworn to be faithful' and bear 'true allegiance' to her Majesty, there was no further mention of the Crown in the attestation document. Lord Clyde laid special stress on the fact that, in the Queen's Army, no man could be transferred from one regiment to another without his free consent; and in conclusion he wrote:

Whatever may be the exigencies of the State, the rule has always been followed in the Army that the free consent of the individual must be obtained before he can be transferred from one part of the service to another. Perhaps there is no rule which the soldiers more clearly understand, or to the principles of which they cling with greater tenacity.

26 21 & 22 Vict. cap. 106, August 2, 1858.

On receipt of this communication, the Governor-General consulted the Advocate-General in Calcutta, who unfortunately gave it as his opinion that it was quite legal to transfer the men from one service to the other, upon which Lord Canning informed the Commander-in-Chief that his views were not concurred in, and that the matter had been referred for the decision of her Majesty's Government.

The law officers of the Crown, as was to be expected, agreed with the Advocate-General in India in his views as to the legality of the transaction, and the Secretary of State for India, without apparently considering the evils which might result from such a policy, communicated his concurrence in these views to the GovernorGeneral. It was accordingly announced by the Government of India that the claim made to discharge, or to re-enlistment with bounty, was inadmissible.

Up to the moment that this decision was made known the demeanour of the men had been most respectful and soldier-like, but on its being communicated to them they became greatly excited, and in a few corps something very like open mutiny occurred.

Courts of inquiry were held at the several stations, and as the men persisted 27 in their determination not to continue to serve unless they were re-enlisted, a General Order 28 was issued permitting all men who desired it to have their discharge.'

23 The following is a good exemplification of some of the reasons given by the men for their believing that they were being unjustly treated :

Private John Jackson, of the 3rd Madras European Regiment, stated that he considered himself aggrieved at being transferred from the service of the Company to that of the Crown, and gave the following reason for claiming his discharge. On the 27th of October 1852 I was discharged from service (74th Highlanders) on payment by me of 201. ; and on the 23rd of November of the same year I enlisted in the service of the Honourable East India Company, with the view of bettering my condition, in the full belief that the service of the said Company and the service of the Crown were quite distinct, thus voluntarily forfeiting half the purchase money, viz. 101., of my discharge, and my service of eight months, to both of which I would be entitled by re-enlisting in her Majesty's service. I now find myself in the service of the Crown, to get out of which I paid, as already stated, 201.'

* After explaining the reasons why the Government considered that the transfer of the men from the service of the Company to that of the Crown was legal, the Order (G.G.O. No. 883, dated the 20th of June 1859) ran as follows: The bulk of the English soldiers of her Majesty's Indian forces is composed of men who well represent those who, during the administration of the Company, shed their blood side by side with the Royal troops serving in India to establish the supremacy of the British power, and to sustain the glory of England; and many amongst them have, by their valour and discipline, during the last two eventful years, rendered invaluable service in the repression of mutiny and rebellion. The Viceroy and Governor-General in Council has placed reliance on the loyalty and good sense of the great body of these men; and he has looked confidently to their setting a good example to their younger comrades. He has not been disappointed. But a strong feeling prevails among some, chiefly the younger soldiers, that they have not been dealt with justly, and some have been guilty of acts of disobedience and misconduct.

“These were quickly put down. Afterwards, by order of the Right Honourable the VOL. LVII-No. 335

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Over 10,000 men availed themselves of this permission and were sent to England. Most of them speedily re-enlisted, received the bounty and free kit then given on enlistment, and returned to India triumphant, having got all that they had asked for, and a holiday besides, not to speak of the additional expense to the Government of the men's passages to England and back.29

The great question of the reorganisation of the Indian Army meanwhile hung fire, and it was not taken up again until the beginning of 1860, when Lieutenant-Colonel Norman, 30 the Deputy Adjutant-General of the Army in India, came to England with certain proposals.

Lieutenant-Colonel Norman's proposals were generally concurred in by Sir Charles Wood and Sidney Herbert (at that time Secretaries of State for India and War respectively), and H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief, and in July 1860 a committee was assembled under the presidentship of Lieutenant-General Lord Hotham, M.P., to inquire into them.

The recommendations of this committee were generally adopted. They were that the Indian Artillery and Engineers should be amalgamated with the old Royal Regiments, a certain number of the newly raised Cavalry and Infantry regiments should be reduced, and the remainder, as well as all the older Infantry regiments, should be transferred to the Queen's Army. Orders to carry out these changes were sent to India early in 1861.

The Native Army, which, as regards Bengal, had fallen into a state of chaos, was reformed on what was known as the Irregular

Commander-in-Chief, courts of inquiry were opened, before which the men were called upon to make their representations, and to state unreservedly the grounds of their claims. The proceedings of these Courts are now before the Government.

• The Government is satisfied that the objections of the men are founded, in the case of many of them, on an honest conviction that their rights have been overlooked. This conviction has been strengthened by the expression of opinions from high authority in England, which naturally have had a powerful effect on the minds of the men. It has been put forward by the men for the most part in a soldier-like and respectful manner, after the first excitement has passed away consequently upon the orders and warnings of the Commander-in-Chief.

*Such being the case, and it being the desire of the Government of India that there should not be even an appearance of injustice done to any soldier, his Excellency the Viceroy and the Governor-General of India in Council has determined, with the full concurrence of the Right Honourable the Commander-in-Chief, that every non-commissioned officer and soldier in the three Presidencies who enlisted for the East India Company's Forces should, if he desire it, be allowed to take his discharge.'

29 I have dwelt upon this episode at greater length than I should have thought necessary, did I not feel that it conveys a lesson which it would be well for those in authority to remember when legislating for the Army, and that is, that it is not always wise to deal with soldiers from a purely legal standpoint. Had Lord Clyde's advice been listened to, an unfortunate situation would have been avoided and Government would have been saved a large sum of money.

30 The late Field-Marshal Sir Henry Norman, G.C.B.

system, but with an increased proportion of British officers. Provision was made for the utilisation of the officers of the Indian Army by the formation of the Staff Corps, for which all officers then belonging to that Army would be eligible, and to which all officers subsequently appointed would be posted, while promotion in the Staff Corps was to be governed by length of service.

Various changes have since been made in the Indian Army, but the principles laid down in 1861 have, as a whole, been maintained.

Since then the three presidential armies have been abolished, and five commands substituted for them-viz., Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Punjab, and Burma- all under the direct control of the Commander-in-Chief in India.

Additions have been made from time to time to the number of British officers with Native regiments. In 1863, Cavalry and Infantry regiments had each but six British officers, now all regiments have twelve, and the Punjab regiments have thirteen.

In many other respects great advances have been made in India during the last fifty years, more especially in regard to arrangements for preserving the health of the troops and their training and general status. British soldiers in particular are more carefully looked after than they used to be. They are better lodged and fed, and a very large proportion of them are now stationed in the Hills during the hot months. An ample supply of pure water has been provided at all stations, and sanitation is carefully attended to, with the gratifying result that whereas at the time of, and for many years previous to, the Mutiny, the annual death-rate amongst European troops in India was sixty-nine in 1,000 (or, in other words, one man in ten died every eighteen months), for many years past it has not exceeded fifteen in 1,000. Regimental institutes have done a great deal for the comfort and rational amusement of the men in their leisure hours, consequently they are infinitely better behaved than formerly. Serious crime is practically unknown, and nearly one-third of the men are members of the Royal Army Temperance Association, though not necessarily total abstainers. Camps of exercise have been liberally encouraged, and every facility has been afforded for carrying on musketry in a practical manner.

The several changes which have, from time to time, been introduced into the Home Army in the matter of training, &c., have been closely followed both by British and Native regiments in Indiasuch, for instance, as the squadron responsibility system. The Native Army has indeed gone a step further, inasmuch as it has adopted the double-company organisation in the Infantry; an example which might, I think, be followed with advantage in this country, provided it is done without any decrease in the number of company officers.

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