Page images


the numberless expenses resulting praise for their efficiency. The from this incessant frontier service, Maharajah has always taken great the charges for Imperial Service personal interest in his troops; and troops fall heavier on Kashmir this, coupled with the exertions of than on any other State. The his officers, has resulted in the loyalty of the Maharajah, who has formation of a valuable brigade, lately received a timely acknow- as keen and eager for active ledgment of the services of his service as it is smart on the paradetroops by being given the rank of ground. Major-General in the army, and The remaining Imperial Service the military zeal of his brother troops of the Punjab are supplied Rajah Sir Ram Singh, K.C.B., by the States of Kaputhala, BakaCommander-in-Chief of the Kash- walpur, Jind, Nabha, Faridkot, mir forces, have both been averse Sirmur, and Maler Kotla, and into any reductions of those forces clude four and a half squadrons of hitherto, but it is certain that cavalry, three battalions and four some diminution of military ex-companies of infantry, and two penditure in Kashmir is urgently double companies of Sappers, or needed. The fact remains, how- a total of 3200

Some ever, that the Imperial Service amongst these are particularly troops of this State have been tried useful troops, especially the squadin more or less prominent positions ron of cavalry and battalion of in three campaigns, and have infantry supplied by the Rajah of shown themselves to be of un- Jind, which are second to none in doubted value.

efficiency. Another corps which Next in point of numbers to calls for special notice on account Kashmir come the Imperial Ser- of its very great value is the vice troops of the Maharajah of double company of Sappers furPatiala, the leading Sikh ruler in nished by the little hill State of the Punjab, and the son of a Sirmur. Nothing can exceed the prince who was conspicuous for excellence of these troops, both the firmness of his support of the in efficiency on parade and in British Government during the the special details of their procritical period of the Indian fession. Maler Kotla has lately Mutiny. In Patiala there are started a similar corps, and the one regiment of lancers and two example so furnished is an of infantry, each six hundred cellent one. strong, and composed mostly of All the above-named corps are the best classes of Sikhs, whose composed of those stalwart races reputation as soldiers is world- of the Punjab which have done wide. This brigade formed part such yeoman service for the of the force assembled at Lahore British in the last half-century, in December 1894, on the occa- and which have made the regision of the durbar held therements of our Punjab army famous by the Governor-General, and it amongst the finest troops of the marched past before him at the empire. review of the troops. Both cav- We now come to the continalry and infantry

gents furnished by Rajputana, spicuous for their steadiness and the ancient home of all that was smartness. The lancers have also brave and chivalrous in war, but attended several camps of exercise, whose races we have never yet and have always earned very high succeeded in attracting in any




large numbers to our service,

material of these regiments is an Imperial Service corps are main ideal one for light cavalry; but in tained by Ulwar, Jodhpur, Jey- addition to this the corps have pur, and Bikanir, each of which been infected with the spirit of requires special description. a very exceptional man, Colonel The eagerness of the late Maha- Maharajah Sir

Maharajah Sir Partab Singh, rajah of Ulwar to prove the sin- K.C.S.I., brother of the late and cerity of his offers of assistance in uncle of the present ruling Maha1887 was so great that, before the rajab, a nobleman of more than scheme now under review was de- ordinary enlightenment, a keen finitely decided upon, he took the soldier and an accomplished geninitiative in forming a special tleman, whose greatest and most regiment of cavalry on these lines, genuine ambition is to bare his and secured at his own expense

sword in the service of the Queen. the services of a British officer to Under such circumstances, and superintend its instruction. The with such leadership and guidresult was that, when the other ance, the Jodhpur Lancers have Imperial Service regiments were earned a distinguished name for yet untrained, the Ulwar Lancers dashing horsemanship and miliwas already an efficient regiment; tary ardour; they only need the nor has it ever yielded this supre- steadying influence of occasional macy, but still remains acknow- brigade work with regiments of ledged to be the best drilled and our own service to become some smartest corps amongst the Im- of the best drilled as well as the perial Service cavalry, and one most brilliant cavalry in India. which is fit and ready for any

In the State of Jeypur a corps service. Nor is the regiment of has been formed to which must Ulwar infantry far behind this unhesitatingly be awarded the standard. The young Maharajah palm of being the most practically takes the same enthusiastic in- useful of all the Imperial Service terest as did his father in his

troops : this is a transport train Imperial Service troops, and the of 400 carts, 1000 ponies, and only disappointment which he and 650 men, perfectly equipped and they have felt is that no oppor- brought to a wonderful finish of tunity has yet arrived for their organisation and discipline by the employment on active service. liberality of the Maharajah, and

Were it not for this enthusiasm the energy of its superintendent, in Ulwar, one would be tempted Dhanpat Rai, coupled with the to think that the very extra- able supervision of brevet-Lieutenordinary ardour in the neigh- ant-Colonel Tate, the inspecting bouring State of Marwar was officer. Those who followed the altogether exceptional. At Jodh- history of the late Chitral expedipur, the capital, there have been tion are well aware of the great formed two regiments of lancers, difficulty experienced in collecting composed entirely of those Rhator sufficient transport for General Rajputs who for centuries con- Low's relief force within a reasontested the supremacy of Central able time. The maintenance of a India with their kinsmen of sufficient reserve of transport durMewar, and who seem to have ing peace-time to supply the delost nothing of their martial en- mands of a force in the field has thusiasm. Brilliant horsemen, the always been the most difficult finest swordsmen in India, the military and economical problem in India. It can therefore be sally excellent. The Maharajah of readily understood how invaluable Gwalior also maintains two regiare such corps as the Jeypur ments of lancers, in which he takes transport train and the similar great personal interest, and which corps at Gwalior, and how willing are both fine bodies of men. the Government of India would The troops of Mysore and Hyderever be to accept the services of abad alone remain to be noticed. such, when offered for active work It has already been related that as readily as were the Jeypur and a small force of regular soldiers Gwalior corps last year.

has been for many years mainFinally, the Bikanir Camel tained in Mysore, under the Corps of 500 men and camels is superintendence of British officers. an item of the Imperial Service From the cavalry of this force scheme no less valuable than the were formed the four squadrons transport trains just described. of lancers which represent the Our campaign in the Soudan proved Imperial Service movement in the the value of such a corps for ser- State. The excellent administration vice in the East, and this is the of the late Maharajah, which has first corps of the kind formed in been mentioned, was an element India since the days (fifty years of success in the scheme in Mysore. ago) when the present 6th Punjab Now, unfortunately, that assistInfantry was raised as the Sind ance has been removed; but it is Camel Corps. The experiment has probable that the able men who been amply justified by the result. are conducting the government The corps is a regiment of mounted during the minority of the young infantry, 500 strong, fully equipped Maharajah will be no less favourwith camel transport, and capable able to the work. The troops are of carrying with them, on the back commanded by Sardar Desaraj seats of the camel saddles, another Urs, a cousin of the Maharajah, body of men of equal strength. It and a keen soldier, whose military has reached a high state of effici- ambition was sufficient to induce ency, and is animated by the same him to serve for some years forward spirit which exists in all of our own native regiments, with the Rajput corps, and indeed in which he saw active service in the almost all the Imperial Service Burma campaign. The regiment is troops throughout India.

composed of good material, is well Other States of Central or West- horsed and equipped, and showed ern India which maintain uch to considerable advantage when it troops are Gwalior, Rampur, Bhurt- was reviewed by the Viceroy at pore, Indore, Bhopal, Bhavnagar, Bangalore in November last. Navnagar, and Junagad, of which It is noticeable that Hyderabad, the first alone need be specially whose prince was the first to offer described. The Gwalior transport assistance to the Government of corps has been already mentioned; India, was the last of the principal it remains only to relate that, like States from which such assistance the Jeypur transport corps,

it has been accepted. The reasons started with enthusiasm for the for this were

The Chitral expedition in April last, territories of the Nizam are situthe Maharajah himself attending ated in a part of India whose its entrainment; that it served inhabitants are not a fighting throughout the summer, and that race; almost the whole of his its work and conduct were univer- existing large force is composed of

in one



[ocr errors]

mercenaries: it was felt that such races supply the best soldiers, Imperial Service troops, if com- but their rulers are men of unposed of natives of the State, doubted loyalty : they are the sons would not be valuable, and mer- and the grandsons of those men cenaries could not be accepted. who supported the British cause The Nizam, however, renewed his when its peril was most deadly, offer on more than one occasion, and when the danger which threatand at length, in 1892, orders ened us came from a quarter with were issued for the formation which they might have been exof two regiments of Imperial pected to feel some sympathy. Service lancers, 800 in Much more may we count on the all. They were to be selected loyal support of these princes from the “reformed troops" and against any external foe. How the “Golconda Brigade," which far the troops which they might have been already mentioned, and then bring to our aid will be of the whole were placed under the value in the field depends on the orders of Major Afsur Dowlah, manner in which they may be the commander of the Golconda trained and instructed in peace. Brigade. All that depends on If they continue as they have Major Afsur Dowlah and his begun, they will in many cases be officers has been done to make fit to be placed alongside the best these troops efficient; but the of our own native soldiers ; nor is material is inferior, and the there any reason why their present regiments have not the same ad- efficiency should not be maintained vantages, in many respects, as are and increased, provided that they enjoyed by Imperial Service troops are treated judiciously. Any danger in other States.

which may exist of their deteriorThere can be no doubt that the ating is likely to come from exsource whence Imperial Service cess of zeal, rather than from troops can be drawn with most carelessness or want of ardour. advantage, or indeed with any We have already alluded to the real advantage, is from those fear that the enthusiasm of some manly races of northern India of the chiefs might be but evanwhose traditions and religion escent; there is also a fear lest make them soldiers, and whose the British officers who are apswords have already been drawn pointed to inspect these troops in our cause.

may exceed the limits set to what The total strength of the Im- is required of them. A considerperial Service troops, of which able increase of efficiency has been some details have been given obtained of late years in our above, amounts to rather over native army by a corresponding 19,000 men. This represents the increase of hard work. This has contributions of twenty-three dif- been particularly the case in the erent States, Kashmir supplying native cavalry, which, from being 4350, the rest of the Punjab 4950, a very irregular force, has been Rajputana 4000, other States of "dragooned” to a pitch of smartCentral or Western India 4500, ness often equalling that of any southern India 1400.

British cavalry corps.

However It will thus be seen at a glance much this system may be advanthat a very large majority of these tageous in our own regiments troops do belong to the best (and proofs are not wanting that races of India, and not only do it may be carried too far), it can


occasion nothing but harm if it be scope for its use: much less then applied to the troops of native can these Imperial Service squadStates, which after all belong to rons look to be employed, as they their own rulers and not to us. desire to be, in our frontier exIt may be safely predicted that peditions. To those who wish for the Imperial Service troops will active service easy answer maintain their efficiency so long would be that they should reduce as the interest of the rulers in their cavalry and form transport them is maintained; and that corps; there would then be no that interest will not disappear difficulty about finding employ(unless in exceptional circum- ment for them. But this solution stances) provided that the princes is not feasible: the men who will continue to feel that the troops are serve in a cavalry regiment will their own to do with as they like. not drive transport carts; more

Meanwhile it is well known than that, they will not even bethat almost all the States which come infantry soldiers. Nothing maintain these troops are eager would induce a Rhator Rajput to for their employment on service. serve on foot, and even in the Several of them were bitterly dis- Sikh corps of the Punjab it is appointed at not being employed difficult to get gentlemen of posiin the Chitral expedition, and even tion to officer the infantry regi. if Great Britain were engaged in ments. The dislike of the native a war outside the limits of India of India for any work or exercise there is little doubt but that many necessitating humdrum drudgery loyal offers of assistance would be is well known, and a coincident made from this source. Many prejudice is that which regards difficult questions are connected foot - soldiering as fit only for with the possible employment of servants. Imperial Service troops in con- It is evident, therefore, that the junction with a British force in large proportion of cavalry can only the field — questions connected be lessened by reduction; and this with their discipline, with the step does not seem advisable, at duties which might be assigned to any rate at present. It might, them, and above all, with the pro- however, be insisted that the portion of British officers which maintenance of a corps of cavalry should be attached to them. These should be accompanied with rather matters will no doubt be duly dealt more than the ordinary regimental with by the Government of India transport, and should invariably be when the necessity arises : for the followed by a reduction of cavalry present it is inadvisable to discuss from the old standing army, cointhem here.

ciding not in numbers but in exOne point may, however, with pense with the new corps. advantage be noticed — namely, The maintenance of these new the unduly large proportion of regiments, equipped with servicecavalry amongst these corps. able transport and mobilisation They include 8300 cavalry and stores, is a far more expensive only 8800 infantry, or nearly business than the up-keep of the equal numbers. We have already disorganised, ill - paid, and illin India a far larger number of equipped forces which preceded cavalry than we can ever employ them; and the reduction of the across our frontiers ; in all our latter should be consequently large. little wars there is seldom any This reduction of the useless

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »