Shah Shuja's Contingent Composition

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Shah Shuja's Contingent Composition

Postby ArmyJ » 01 Jul 2015 18:15

Good morning all. I hope someone can help, or point me in the right direction to a source that would have information about the units composing Shah Shuja's contingent during the 1839 invasion.

It appears that he [Shuja] recruited from India before he left on the campaign with the combined armies, training with them while the armies assembled at Ferozepore, but were these ad hoc groups composed of mercenaries or did actual units get pulled from the HEIC armies and assigned to him? I lean towards the latter, since British officers were assigned as commanders, however I can't find a definitive source that explains the organization. Ideally there's a list somewhere that has both the units and commanders.

Speaking of, my research has listed both MG Simpson and MG Roberts as leading the Contingent during the invasion. In later sources BG Anquetil is referenced leading the troops all the way up to the massacre on the J-bad road in 1842. Any clarification would be great.

Thanks for the help!

Justin
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Re: Shah Shuja's Contingent Composition

Postby Frogsmile » 20 Jul 2015 13:15

ArmyJ wrote:Good morning all. I hope someone can help, or point me in the right direction to a source that would have information about the units composing Shah Shuja's contingent during the 1839 invasion.

It appears that he [Shuja] recruited from India before he left on the campaign with the combined armies, training with them while the armies assembled at Ferozepore, but were these ad hoc groups composed of mercenaries or did actual units get pulled from the HEIC armies and assigned to him? I lean towards the latter, since British officers were assigned as commanders, however I can't find a definitive source that explains the organization. Ideally there's a list somewhere that has both the units and commanders.

Speaking of, my research has listed both MG Simpson and MG Roberts as leading the Contingent during the invasion. In later sources BG Anquetil is referenced leading the troops all the way up to the massacre on the J-bad road in 1842. Any clarification would be great.

Thanks for the help!

Justin


Justin the regiment changed its name several times and ended up as a Bombay Pioneer regiment (initially 12th (Khelat-i-Ghilzie) Pioneers) before being eventually disbanded in the 1930s. By coincidence one of the finest Indian Army regimental histories ever written covers the Bombay Pioneers and thus, presumably, Shah Shuja's Contingent (later known as Khelat-i-Ghilzie regiment). This is what is said about the book:

One of the best-produced of all Indian Army unit histories from the 1790s to 1933; details the Pioneers' service in India in the Mutiny; Afghan Wars and Waziristan; and in Abyssinia; Somaliland; Mesopotamia; Palestine; Persia and the western front in the Great War.This is the full official history of the Bombay Pioneers of the Indian Army from its formation in 1777 to 1933, and is one of the most comprehensive of all Indian Army unit histories. The book's narrative goes from the 1790s through the Pioneers' service in first Afghan War, the Mutiny, Abyssinia (today's Ethiopia), the Second Afghan War and operations on the North-West Frontier' Somaliland in 1902/4 through to the Waziristan campaign of 1920/23. The second half of the book is devoted entirely to the Regiment's Great War service - on the western front and in Mesopotamia; Palestine and Persia ( today's Iran).

Author: Lieut. Colonel W B P Tugwell
ISBN: 9781845748142
Format: 2010 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1938). SB 439 pp +17 Maps & 53 Illustrations (8 in colour) Published Price £28


For an overview also see: http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/a ... oneers.htm
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Re: Shah Shuja's Contingent Composition

Postby ArmyJ » 21 Jul 2015 00:14

Frogsmile-

I'd heard of the regiment but didn't know it was the extension of the original contingent. Goes to show you learn something new every day (or at least you should!) Thanks for the great information. I've got a copy on the way and I can't wait to read it.

Justin
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Re: Shah Shuja's Contingent Composition

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Jul 2015 15:46

ArmyJ wrote:Frogsmile-

I'd heard of the regiment but didn't know it was the extension of the original contingent. Goes to show you learn something new every day (or at least you should!) Thanks for the great information. I've got a copy on the way and I can't wait to read it.

Justin


Glad to help Justin, I hope that you find the detail that you are looking for.
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