the Delhi Magazine 16th September 1857
(Late Sergt-Major H.G. Baker, 61st Regiment)
"The Regiment was formed up before daybreak on the 16th September 1857 in quarter column; the Grenadier Company in front. We formed up outside the church and marched in silence along the college wall in the shade. Then the breach was soon mounted and we cleared the Magazine of all Sepoys and thieves, and after a short time closed the gates. But they gave us little peace for in about 2 hours time they returned in force outside the walls and gave us a good peppering; but we warmed the rascals outside with hand-grenades, so when they found they could not dislodge us they retired and left us quiet.
The breach was defended by 6 heavy guns - 32 pounders - loaded with grape-shot and facing the entrance to the breach; but the rush of our men was too sudden to permit them to be fired - we captured 186 guns, a very large number of cases of bottled beer, and plenty of rum in bheestie-bags. We remained a few days in the Magazine and found the beer very acceptable, we afterwards moved to the Ajmere Gate and then to the College. The Magazine was defended by the 41st Native Infantry and other vagabonds. I had the regimental colour of the 41st for a number of years.
Surgeon Reade received the Victoria Cross for attending the wounded in the streets of Delhi, under a very heavy fire. Colonel Deacon would not recommend any man for the Victoria Cross . He said that every man had done his duty and if one man received the Victoria Cross his comrades would be jealous. So no one got it.
The 61st wore all kinds of clothing at the capture of the Magazine, on the 16th September; principally the twill cotton shell jackets and trousers dyed a very ugly khaki - dyed in the Camp before Delhi: some were in old blue cotton trousers, in fact we were a rough looking lot dressed anyhow, just as men fell into the ranks. I myself looked very nice if I had had my photograph taken then. The men wore old round forage caps with white covers, which were very dirty, the leather peak covered with a curtain behind to protect the neck. The officers and men wore beards. No water-bottles were in use; water when it could obtained was carried by bheesties in skins (mussucks).
The Colours were not carried into the Magazine. On our arrival in Camp before Delhi I took the Colours off the poles and placed them in the Paymaster's chest, where they remained some time after the capture of the city. When we got a little quiet I sent an escort to the camp for them and replaced them on the poles. The Colour poles and Cases were fastened to the centre poles of the Quarter Guard tent.
The last time the Colours were in action, was at Goojerat. I carried the Regimental Colour to the field of Goojerat, and handed them to an Ensign, a short time before the action commenced. I am the only survivor of the Colour Party in that field day."