Good morning experts
One of my great grandfathers (RHA gunner) arrived in Bombay off the Crocodile on 31st January 1878 and reached Umballa/Amballa 11 days later.
The distance between Bombay and Umballa is roughly 1000 miles (or about 800 miles as the crow flies).
I have been wondering how he travelled between Bombay and Umballa and found the following information:
The Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire Into the Sanitary State of the Army in India, With Précis of Evidence (1863) states on page 13:
« The Mhow division, of 3,478 Europeanss and 4,527natives, occupies a central territory intersected by the Aravulli and Vindhya ranges of mountains, whose waters flow into the Nerbudda and the Chumbul. The territories of Holkar, Sindia, and the warlike Rajpoots lie around the stations, of which Mhow, near Indore, is held by 1,680 Europeans, Nusserabad by 1,060, Neemuch by 564, and Ajmeer by 61. The railway from Agra to Bombay goes through this country, south of the desert, but parallel with the distant Indus.
So I can imagine that he travelled by train from Bombay to Agra. I can’t find any evidence of a railway from Agra to Amballa, but as previously mentioned by Les Waring (Ships to India - Bombay or Calcutta?) the Grand Trunk Road ran from Delhi to Amballa, so it would be reasonable to imagine that the troops “marched” the last bit up this route.
Now, here’s the really silly question - are you ready?
What does the concept “march” really mean? Did the men actually slog it out on foot, or could they “march” in bullock carts or on horseback, after all he was in the Royal HORSE Artillery!
Susbsidiary silly question: where did the RHA source their horses (locally or imported)?