The 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment in India, 1844-60, by Peter Duckers

The 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment in India, 1844-60, by Peter Duckers
Subtitled '1st and 2nd Sikh Wars 1846-49, N.W. Frontier 1851-52, Indian Mutiny 1857-59'

Published by the Shropshire Regimental Museum in 2008, 74 pages. Spiral bound A4 size booklet (N8081X1)

From the introduction: The 53rd Regiment was raised by William Whitmore of Apley, Bridgnorth, in 1755 and was granted its county title (The Shropshire Regiment) in 1782. For the first fifty years of its existence it had no connection with India but after 1805 spent lengthy periods of service on the sub-continent and took part in some of the most arduous military campaigns waged by the British in the first half of the nineteenth century.

In 1805, at a time when many British regiments were being posted overseas to fight the French, the 53rd was ordered to India and landed at Fort St. George, Madras. In a tour of duty which lasted until 1823, the regiment took part in operations around Allahabad in 1812 and then played a leading role in the difficult campaign against the Gurkhas of Nepal, 1814-17. It served with distinction in the storming of Kalunga and in the capture of Nahn. In 1816, the 53rd was in action against the Pindarees and in 1819 took part in the attack on Kopal Droog. The regiment returned to Chatham in 1823.

After peaceful tours of duty in Ireland, Gibraltar and the Ionian Islands, the 53rd found itself in India once more in 1844 and over the next sixteen years was to see a great deal of arduous campaign service. The regiment fought in the Sutlej Campaign (First Sikh War) of 1845-46, being present in the major battles of Aliwal ("a young regiment, but veterans in daring gallantry and regularity") and at Sobraon, where they led the attack. Then followed service in the Punjab Campaign (Second Sikh War) in 1848-49 and at the last great battle of the Sikh Wars at Gujerat.

Based at Rawalpindi and Peshawar, and following a stint of duty on the North West Frontier (when it served on the Mohmand frontier in 1852), the 53rd was sent to Calcutta where it was stationed when the "Great Rebellion" broke out in 1857. The regiment served continuously through the entire campaign and played a distinguished part in the second Relief of Lucknow in November 1857, in the re-capture of Lucknow in March 1858 and in subsequent operations in Oudh and Rohilkund. Five VC's were awarded to officers and men of the 53rd, four for operations at Lucknow in November 1857. The 53rd returned home in 1860, leaving the graves of many of its men scattered over the sub­ continent.

The booklet is illustrated throughout with severeal colour and black and white photographs, drawings and maps.

The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.