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Actions against Dacoits in Tamil Nadu 1878

PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017 17:15
by researchingreg
A distant family relative was in the Indian Army - he was Lt Col Charles James Godfrey born 3 July 1828 Bellary, Karnatka, India and died 15 June 1878 Perambular, Tamil Nadu, India, When he died he was on operations against Dacoits (basically armed robbers). Roughly his army career is as follows:
Ensign 26 Sep 1850, Lieut 31 Jan 1856, Captain 1 Oct 1861, Major 20 Dec 1869, Lt Col 20 Dec 1875 10th Madras Native Infantry, then Madras Staff Corps. Died 1878 while on operations against dacoits.

Does anybody know about the British Indian Army campaigns against Dacoits in this period? I cannot find any information so far.
Lt Col Charles James Godfrey.jpg
Lt Col Charles James Godfrey.jpg (19.58 KiB) Viewed 104 times

Re: Actions against Dacoits in Tamil Nadu 1878

PostPosted: 07 Sep 2017 00:02
by ED, in Los Angeles
I can only say that I have found this book reprint that sounds very interesting and cheap. It is printed on demand and there are English sellers for this product. It is a publication a couple of decades before your relative died, but it is so inexpensive that I may get one.

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDe ... 8563339826

I am speculating now, but your relative may have died of causes other than battle. And his death may be provinces away from the Dacoit actions. And my guess is that the actions against the dacoits were really more like a police action in force. This was probably small unit action and not really a campaign. After all, many actions were meant to secure rite of passage and trade in India. This was probably more of a security issue to satisfy the locals. Just speculating.

Re: Actions against Dacoits in Tamil Nadu 1878

PostPosted: 07 Sep 2017 14:55
by Maureene
A publication such as Allen's Indian Mail may have some sort of general reference. The edition for 1878 has not been digitised, but the following are from the 1876 edition.

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0a ... &pg=PA1117 page 1117

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=0a ... &pg=PA1092 page 1092

There is also a short story which you may be interested to read, in
Bears and dacoits : and other stories by G A Henty c 1901 Archive.org
https://archive.org/details/bearsdacoitsothe00hentiala

The book mentioned by Ed is available online
https://archive.org/details/popularaccountof00huttiala
A popular account of the thugs and dacoits : the hereditary garotters and gang-robbers of India by James Hutton 1857 Archive.org

Findmypast has a burial entry for Lt Colonel Charles John Godfrey, Madras Staff Corps, who died 15 June 1878 of diarrhoea and was buried the following day at St Mary's Burial Ground Madras. These details perhaps are not consistent with dying on operations against Dacoits. Perhaps these operations were earlier in his career?

Cheers
Maureen