THE 61st FOOT IN INDIA 1845 - 1860

1845 - 1848

The 61st sailed for India in July 1845. The 1000 men and families of the Regiment sailed in 5 ships, taking 126 days to reach India. The Regiment was ashore by mid-November and marched the 6 miles to Dum Dum. The rest of the month was spent drawing "Indian kit" and training.

15th December the Regiment began the 600 mile march to Cawnpore, the families and baggage travelling by water when possible. The Regiment arrived on the 8th February 1846. Over the next 6 months the Regiment lost 250 men, women and children to disease.

October 21st 1846 the 61st began the 394 mile march to Ambala, which was reached in November.

December 13th 1846 Lieutenant John Fortescue Brickdale died at Ambala as a result of a fall from his horse.
His grave is in Ambala Cemetery:
"Sacred to the memory of Lt. & Adjt. J.F. Brickdale H.M.s 61st Regt. who departed this life on the 13th Decr. 1846 Aged 23 years & 2 months deeply regretted by his brother officers."

May 30th 1847 Major Charles Douglas died at Amballa. His grave is in Ambala Cemetery:
"Sacred to the memory of Major C. Douglas. H.M.s 61st Regtiment. Eldest son of Lieut. General Sir Howard Douglas, GCB, who departed this life at Umballa on the 30th May 1847, Aged 49 years. deeply and sincerely regretted by his friends who have erected this simple monument to his memory and worth."

August 25th 1847 Captain James S. Atkinson died at Ambala. His grave is in Ambala Cemetery:
"Sacred to the memory of Captain J.S. Atkinson H.M.s 61st Regt. who died at Umballah on the 25th August 1847. Aged 38 1/12 years."


By February 1848 the 61st were on the move again, this time for Jullundur. In April 1842 2 British Political Agents were murdered in Multan and the Punjab flared into war. The 61st were ordered to join the Army of the Punjab on 22nd September 1848.

On the morning of 14th October 1848 they arrived at the fortress city of Rungur Nunle. By the morning of the next day the fort was taken and destroyed. The 61st reached Marrarah 23rd October and again the fort was destroyed. On the 30th Novemeber they crossed the River Chenab at Worzerbad. By 3rd December they were at Mukeawall, where another Sikh force was defeated.

January 13th 1849 the army skirmishers were attacked by a strong Sikh force near the village of Chillianwalla. The army formed line of battle and advanced. The 61st were on the left, with a battalion of Bengal Native Infantry on each flank. Advancing through the jungle the 61st appeared before a long ridge occupied by a long line of enemy cannon. Under heavy fire they marched half way up the hill before breaking into a charge. the Sikh gunners were forced back and their guns spiked. Suddenly an ambush exposed the right flank of the 61st; Brigadier Campbell led the Grenadier and No.1 Company to attack the the Sikh guns, the rest of the Regiment faced right and swept along the line of the enemy. At this point a force of Sikh cavalry appeared behind the 61st and prepared to attack. Colonel McLeod gave the order "61st right about face." As the Sikhs charge was repulsed another force attacked from the front, the original front rank turned and drove off that attack.

The 61st lost 11 men killed, 3 officers and 79 men wounded. Casualty Roll

The Army of the Punjab remained at Chillianwalla until February 14th. At Goojerat on February 21st the Sikh army was swept from the field and soon the Punjab was annexed. A Field Force was sent to break up any remnants of the Sikh army and the 61st was included. They marched to the Rawalpindi and then to Peshawar (266 miles). From there they went to the Khyber Pass, fighting several small actions before returning to Peshawar.

Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander MacLeod died of dysentry, 8th August 1849 in Peshawar. He was born, on 7th August 1792, in Gordon Castle, Morayshire, and was appointed Ensign, on 7th August 1809, in the 61st Foot Regiment. He was promoted Captain on 31st December 1825, Brevet Major on 28th June 1838, Major on 7th January 1842, Lieut.-Colonel on 26th July 1844, and Brigadier on 14th January 1849. He and his father served with the 61st Regiment in the Peninsular War, and, when his father was severely wounded at Salamanca, he served to the end of the campaign, and went to Jamaica with the regiment in 1815. Thereafter he served in Ireland and Ceylon. In 1840, he returned with the regiment to the United Kingdom, and was stationed at Cork for some years. On 1st July 1845, Lieut.-Colonel MacLeod sailed for Calcutta on the Walmer Castle, and after a stormy voyage arrived safely, His grave is outside the Fort at Peshawar. He was created a Companion of the Bath (C.B.). He married, on 22nd February 1827, Agnes Duncan, daughter of Dr. Andrew Kelty of Tayhill and Greenbank, Perth, and of Devonside, Saline, Fife.


Ferozepore 1857 Garrison: 61st Foot. A European Light Field Battery. 45th Bengal Native Infantry. 57th Bengal Native Infantry. 10th Native Light Cavalry.

May 13th 1857: News arrived of the Mutiny at Meerut. A parade of the 61st and artillery was ordered for 4pm. The 45th and 57th N.I. were marched out of camp in different directions. All European families were ordered into barracks. Major John Redmond led a party of the 61st to secure the arsenal and was wounded (shot in thigh) in a clash with rebels. The 45th N.I. set fire to the Cantonment, destroying the Church and mess-house.

May 14th: Native Regiment magazines blown up. Half the 57th N.I. mutiny and march away, the rest return to barracks and lay down their arms. (None of their officers were harmed.)

May 15th: One company of the 61st on advance picket each night. A search for the Regimental silver finds it destroyed under the burnt-out mess-house. Trials were held of some captured mutineers of the 45th N.I. 2 were sentenced to hang and 12 blown from guns. Casualties: Private James Lynch killed. Pte. Patrick Walsh severe wound to left hand.

May 16th to June 12th: Guard mounted at Ferozepore. June 10th: Pte. John Blauch and James Gordon died. June 11th: Pte. Patrick Dooling died.

June 13th: Convicted mutineers executed. Orders arrive for a wing of the 61st to march for Delhi (The Grenadiers, Light Company and 2,3 and 7 companies = 450 men)

June 18th: Arrived at Loodianah. Cholera broke out. Death:Pte. John Blanch.

June 20th: Death:Pte. James Olden.

June 22nd: Death:Pte. William Cowland.

June 23rd: Arrived at Umballah. Death: Pte.John Clarke.

June 25th: Death:Pte. James Stewart.

June 26th: Death:Pte. Edward Bulger.

June 28th: Death:Pte. George Hurst.

June 29th: Death: Pte. Michael Normill.

July 1st: Arrived at Delhi. Died: Pte. Robert Dyer.

July 2nd: Death:Pte. George Poole.

July 3rd: Death:Pte. John Lally.

July 4th: Lieut. Griffiths and party from the 61st march with a force to Alipore to intercept a raid. Wounded: Pte. Michael Teehan - right leg, severe. Pte. James Harrison - "died" according to medal roll. Died: Q.M.S. William Mitchell. Ptes. John Reilly. Absolem Oxley. John Gardiner. Patrick Fitzgerald (2).

July 5th: Died:Ptes. William Sanderson. Thomas Gould. John Axion.

July 6th: Died:Colour Sergeant William Potter. Sergeant Edward Halliday. Ptes. James Owen. William Mucklow. John Hickey. Joseph Green.

July 7th: 150 men of the 61st mount a picket at the Metcalfe House. Died: Pte. James K. Kelly.

July 8th: Returned to camp. Died: Ptes. Henry Smith. Thomas Downey (2). James Blake.

July 9th: 8am. 200 men of the 61st help drive off an attack by Native Cavalry. Wounded: Captain Henry Burnside - slight sword cut right hand. Lieut. Charles Griffiths - slight shell wound to leg. Ensign Edwin Andros - slight to upper lip. Serg-Major Henry Baker - slight to leg. Ptes. Michael Buckley - severe sword cut to hand. Timothy Buckley - slight bullet graze to hip. George Dorrell - severe to abdomen. Michael Dunn - severe to shoulder. James McFarlane - severe to thigh. James O'Niel - severe to leg. Thomas Peacock - slight bullet graze to leg. Major Shepherd - severe to head. Died: Ptes. William G. Wilson. Philip McDivitt. Edward Joyce (2).

July 10th: Died: Ptes. John Slattery. Dominick Joyce. Patrick Culliton.

July 12th: Died: Ptes. George Prince. James Cuff.

July 13th: Died: Ptes. John Williams. Alexander Fraser.

July 14th: Large Native attack from Delhi, party of 61st led by Lts. Griffiths and Gabbett help repel attackers. Died: Colour Sergeant Richard H. Hart (at Ferozepore). Ptes. Hugh Campbell. Edward Burke.

July 15th: Died: Corporal William Ross. Pte. John Bayne.

July 16th: Died: Corporal Edward Stubbings. Ptes. Butterfield Robinson. George Carlton.

July 18th: Another attack repelled. Killed: Sergeant Henry Stephens. Pte. Hugh Brady. Wounded: Lieut. William Pattoun - severe to ankle. Sergeant Henry Walter - slight to head. Ptes. Cornelius Gleeson - slight to left arm. William Quinn - slight to right leg. Martin Lonergan - slight to left thigh. Died: Pte. John Delap.

July 19th (to 22nd): 61st on picket duty. Wounded: Pte John Dinneen - slight left arm. Died: Pte. Thomas Pattison.

July 20th: Died: Pte. Thomas Matthews.

July 22nd: Died: Ptes. Neil McDonald. Alexander Mitchell. Edward Hargraves. (Pte. A. Mitchell listed on casualty roll as "killed in action.")

July 23rd: Another rebel attack occupied the Ludlow castle. 61st helped drive rebels back into Delhi. Killed: Pte. Jeremiah Frawley. Wounded: Pte. William Moore - severe to leg.

July 24th: Died: Ptes. Joseph Cole. William Young. (Pte. Young listed on caualty roll as "killed in action.")

July 25th: Died: Pte. James Poole. Died of wounds: Pte. Thomas Cleary.

July 26th: Died: Pte. Patrick McCahily.

July 27th: Died: Pte. Lewis Leal.

July 28th: Died: Ptes. Dennis Sullivan. John Buckley. (Pte. Sullivan listed as "killed in action.")

August 1st: Rebels launch sunset attack. Killed: Pte. Hugh Storey. Wounded: Pte. Nicholas Power - slight to hand.

August 2nd: Rebels retire back to city after 17 hours fighting.

August 9th: Died: Pte. Patrick Collins.

August 10th: Died: Pte. Major Shepherd. Wounded: Lieut. Thomas B. Hutton - slight to chest (shell splinter).

August 12th: 20 men under Lieut. Yonge join attack on rebel guns. All 4 guns captured. Died: Pte. John Lafferty.

August 13th: Died: Pte. Henry Martin.

August 14th: Reinforcements arrive at Delhi, including the rest of the 61st.

August 16th: Died: Pte. James Besant.

August 17th: Died: Ptes. Richard Hunt. Andrew Gregory. John Dinneen.

August 18th: Died: Pte. Martin Grimes.

August 19th: Died: Pte. Pierce Nowlan.

August 20th: Died: Pte. Thomas Ryan(2). Michael Moran. Christopher Granger. Joseph Dodson.

August 21st: Died: Pte. John Hunt.

August 22nd: Died: Ptes. George Reany. David Brown.

August 23rd: Died: Sergeant Benjamin Marlow. Ptes. George Reed. James White. Thomas White. William Damer. Joseph Delahunty. Joseph Barlow.

August 24th: 9000 rebels with 13 guns left Delhi to attack the siege-train on the way from Ferozepore. Died: Ptes. Patrick Roche. Samuel Watchorn. Peter McMillan. Michael Grimes. William Dalton. Patrick Coffey. Benjamin Buxton.

August 25th: 2500 men and 18 guns march after the rebel force. Action at Najafgarh. Lieut. Gabbett wounded by a bayonet in the breast. Rebel force defeated and village attacked.

Killed: Lieutenant Thomas Gabbett (1830 - 1857). Eldest son of Jogn Gabbett of Co. Clare. Ensign 26-5-48. Arrived India December 1848. Battle of Goojerat. Promoted Lieut. 13-10-49.

From "Narrative of the Siege of Delhi" by Capt. Griffiths: "Lt. Gabbett was the first man of my regiment to reach the entrenchment, and , passing through an embrasure, received a bayonet thrust in the left breast .... poor Gabbett died of internal haemorrhage ... his death deprived the regiment of one of its best and bravest officers .. a cheery good hearted fellow and one who earned the respect of officers and the love of his men. The General was particularly struck with his bravery, and with feeling wrote to Gabbett's mother, saying he would have recommended her son for the Victoria Cross had he survived the action."

Wounded: Ensign Samuel Elkington (died of his wounds 7th September) (1836 - 1857) Samuel Bucknall Elkington. Ensign 30-11-55. To India Autumn 1856.

From "Narrative ..." : "Young Elkington also received his death-wound at the night attack on the village. He was quite a stripling, being only 18 years old, and he had joined the regiment but a few months before ... when the action began he behaved like a gallant soldier, giving up his young life in the service of his country."

From "Soldiers of the Raj" : "...his own wounds eventually proved mortal, for, after lingering for nearly a fortnight, he died in camp before Delhi."

Rajpura Cemetery, Delhi :

"Sacred to the memory of Captain W. A. DELY H.M. 61st regt. died of cholera Oct. 1st 1857 aged 47 years. Lt. T. GABBETT H.M. 61st regt. killed in action at Nujuffgurh August 26th 1857 aged 27 years Lt. G. S. TYLER H.M. 61st regt. died of cholera in camp before Delhi Sept. 5th 1857 aged 31 years Lt. S.B. ELKINGTON H.M. 61st regt mortally wounded in action at Nujuffgurh and died Sept. 1857 aged 21 years, sincerely regretted by their brother officers by whom this tablet is erected."

Killed: Sergeant Michael Brown. Ptes. Michael Bohan. Janes Day. Sidney Field. Matthew Johnson. Pater Taggart. Wounded: Sergeant James Matson - died of wounds 2nd Sept. Ptes. Thomas Bates - severe to leg. John Burke - severe to hand and thigh (died 23rd Sept)James Carroll - severe to right arm. Timothy Eigney - "dangerously wounded." Martin Farraher - severe to knee. John Fitzpatrick - severe to groin. Arthur Forbes - slight to right arm. James Gorman - slight to chin. James Harris - severe to thigh. Edward Limbert - severe to left cheek. Michael McDonald - slight to hand. Peter McGrath - dangerous to abdomen. Thomas Ragan - severe to right leg. Thomas Rigney - dangerous to hip. Patrick Sweeney - slight to hand. Michael Wright - severe to leg. Died: Ptes. William Scotter. William Maxwell. James Hester. John Hughes. Michael Fitzgerald(2). Drummer John Johnson.

August 26th: 61st returned to camp outside Delhi. Died: Pte. Michael Whelan.

August 27th: Died: Ptes. Thomas Preston. Edgar Marley. Edward Danniell.

August 28th: Died: Ptes. Richard Steed. Sidney Maude.

August 30th: Died: Drummer William McCarthy. Ptes. Thomas Wood. George Ingham. Patrick Fitzgerald. Thomas Young.

August 31st: Died: Captain Robert Hunt. Ptes. Thomas Tanner. John Lewsby. Michael Keeffe. Daniel Cook.

Captain Robert Hunt. (1824 - 1857) Ensign 57th Foot 4th Sept. 1840. To India late 1840. Lieut. 12th Feb. 1842. Captain 24th Jan. 1851. To 53rd Foot 1852. To the Ceylon Rifle Regiment 1853. Joined the 61st 25th Nov. 1853.

Soldiers of the Raj: "He continued serving at the siege for about 6 months, when severe illness necessitated his removal to the hills; and he died at Kassauli on the 31st August 1857."

Grave at No.4 Cemetery, Kassauli: "Erected by his brother officers to the memory of Captain ROBERT HUNT Hr Ms 61st Regt. who died on the 31st of August 1857 of disease contracted at the siege of Delhi aged 33 years 3 months."

September 1st: Men of the 61st on duty at the Metcalfe House stable. Shell burst near a group of men gathered to receive 'grog' ration. 2 men killed and 6 severely wounded. Died of wounds: Pte. Patrick Lyons. Wounded: Ptes. Thomas Brennan - severe to leg. Peter Burke - severe to shoulder. Thomas Fuller - severe to thigh. John Fuller - severe to arm. Died: Ptes. Robert Sheppard. James Pow. John Brennan. Edward Baucan.

September 2nd: Died: Ptes. Martin Tiernay. Patrick Dooley. Alexander Chittick.

September 3rd: Died: Ptes. John McGuire. John Kieley. Connell O'Hara. Lawrence Roche. John Sullivan.

September 4th: Siege-train arrived (24 heavy guns and mortars). Died: Ptes. Thomas Brougham. James Dunphy. John Power.

September 5th: Died: Lieutenant George Tyler. Corporal William Hill. Ptes. Thomas Keane. James Orr.

Lieutenant George Sotheby Tyler. (1826 - 1857). Ensign 3rd West India Regt. 28th April 1846. Served West Indies, Sierra Leone and West Africa. Lieut. 27th April 1849. Joined 14th Foot 1850. Joined 61st Foot 7th June 1850.  Arrived India November 1850. Died of cholera in camp at Delhi. (see earlier grave).

September 6th: Died: Pte. James Murn.

September 7th: Died: Ptes. George Watson. Patrick Leahy. John Gallagher. Nathan Cooper.

Forces at Delhi: 3766 European troops. 6222 Loyal Native troops. 2200 Kasmiri troops. Of these 12500 men nearly 3000 were sick in camp hospital. The strongest European Regiment had only 409 fit men. The mutineers numbered an estimated 40,000 regulars. All artillery batteries began shelling Delhi day and night. Infantry assisted at the guns, Lieut. Boileau of the 61st served at the guns until the end of the siege.

September 8th: Died: Pte. James Connolly. Killed: Pte. Patrick Claire.

September 9th: Died: Ptes. James Booth. William Anslow. Michael Kinvin.

September 10th: Died of wounds: Pte. Michael Cranny.

September 11th: Died of wounds: Sergeant James Mateer. Died : Pte. Dennis McInery.

September 13th: Orders given for assault on Delhi. The 61st are part of No.5 column under Brigadier Longfield (8th Foot). They were to follow No.3 column in through the Kashmir Gate. Died: Pte. David Keeffe.

September 14th: 3am signal given for full assault, Kasmir Gate blown up and attack began. The 61st fought through heavy street fighting to the College Gardens. Surgeon Herbert Taylor Reade (61st Regt.) awarded the Victoria Cross, whilst attending to wounded in street rebels began firing on them. Reade drew his sword and led an attack to dislodge rebels. On 16th he was first into the Magazine and spiked an enemy gun. Reade was born in Perth, Upper Canada 20 sept. 1828 and died in Bath, Somerset 23 June 1897.

Killed: Sergeants Patrick McKeon. Thomas Scanlon. Ptes. John Boderick. Thomas Davis. Timothy Frawley. Michael Gorman. Peter Haslan. David Keefe. Charles Leaden. James Lodge. Michael Lyons(2). James McBride. Archibald McFarlane. James Madden. Francis O'Brien. Patrick O'Donnell. John Owens. Henry Parr. Andrew Regan. James Reid. Samuel Rodgers. John Rowan. Bernard Ryan. George Symes. Thomas Turner(3). Michael Walsh(2). James Watson. Died of wounds: Pte. Richard Straw. Died: Ptes. Patrick Higgins. Edward Carter. Wounded: Captain Henry Burnside - severe to head. Capt. W.E.D. Deacon - severe to leg. Lieut. Thomas Moore - slight to shoulder. Lt. arthur C. Young - severe to arm. Sergeants James Brown - slight to both legs. William Burke - severe to head. James Higgins - severe to hand and arm. Thomas Joy - severe to foot (shell splinter). George Robertson - slight to back. Adam Young - severe to right leg. Corporals Frederick Jones - severe sword cut to arm. Donald McKenzie - slight to thigh. George Sheppard - dangerous wound (died 29 Sept). Drummer William Neylan - slight to arm. Ptes. William Anderson - severe shell wound to scrotum! Richard Box - severe to right leg. William Coffey - severe to hand and leg.James Collinson - dangerous wound (died 29/9/57).John Connor - severe sword cut to neck.William Eland - severe to arm.Michael Gilfoyle - severe by shell splinter. Michael Gilroy - dangerous wound, arm amputated (died 19/9/57).Patrick Higgins - wounded.Samuel Hughes - severe to right hand.George Jones - severe, head Thomas Keating - slight contusion to head.James Laden - severe to hand.William Leech - severe to arm.William Llewellyn - severe to both thighs.James McGinley - severe to hand.Timothy Mahoney - slight to shoulder. Dennis O'Conner - severe to shoulder.Isaac Poppy - slight to arm.Patrick Power - severe to head.Henry Rice - severe to arm.Simpson Smith - severe to leg (died 16/9/57). George Strecks - severe to arm.Robert Swain - sligh to arm.William Walsh - dangerous wound (died 21/9/57).

September 15th: Sikh and Punjabi troops ordered to destroy all stores of alcohol after European troops got drunk in city stores. Artillery breach Magazine compound wall for assault. Killed: Corporal Patrick Dooling. Pte. George Waite. Wounded: Sergeant William Shields - severe to neck.Corporal Edwin Carter - severe, shell splinter to arm.Drummer Robert Vanston - slight to arm.Ptes. James Harte - severe to leg.Charles Southern - severe to eye and wrist.

September 16th: 61st Foot, 4th Punjab Rifles and part of the Belooch Battalion storm the Magazine, led by Colonel Deacon of the 61st. Killed: Ptes. Edward Carter. Martin Cummins. Michael Finn. Charles Jones. Wounded:Ptes. James McDonald - severe to shoulder.Thomas Thompson - slight to leg. Died of wounds:Pte. Simpson Smith.

September 17th: Wounded: Pte. William Linton - slight to head.

September 18th: 61st quartered in the Protestant Church, near the Kashmir Gate. Wounded: Pte. James Crotty - severe to hand.

September 19th: Mutineers retired from Delhi. Killed: Ptes. Peter Cunnane. Michael Kirwin. Wounded: Ptes. Thomas Downey - slight to ear.John Fitzpatrick(2) - severe to thigh.Edward Foley - slight to head (shell splinter). Died of wounds: Pte. Michael Gilroy. Died: Pte. Peter Walsh.

September 20th: End of the Siege of Delhi.

September 22nd: The 180 fit men of the 61st Foot move to the Ajmir Gate.

September 23rd: Field Force assembled to pursue the rebels. 61st not included. Diary of Arthur Lang (Royal Engineers): "At the Ajmir Gate I found young Arthur Boileau with his regiment (61st) again... I found him fuming with wrath and vexation, as his regiment had been declared too weak to go.."

September 25th: Lieut. Griffith and 50 men on guard duty at the Lahore Gate.

October: 61st move into the Magazine.

The 61st remained at Delhi for another 18 months. In January 1859 the 61st provided 400 men for a column that went to try and find Tantia Topi. At least a part of the 61st wing was mounted on camels.

In April 1859 the 61st left Delhi, marching the 800 miles to Bombay, which they reached in 93 days. Then they marched to Poona, arriving after a 3 month march. "At the end of a long day the men were so parched with thirst that they would drink anything they could find, often plunging their heads into the dirtiest water, even if it were covered with a green scum. While in barracks at Poona an epidemic of cholera broke out in the Regiment. When the men felt the first intimations of cramp they would be walked briskly up and down by their comrades. Cholera also broke out on board during the voyage of the Regiment to Mauritius." (Recollections of the 61st, Percy McQueen)

Finally, the Regiment was ordered to return to Bombay and embark for Mauritius. They served there for another 11 months, leaving for England in July 1860, landing in Plymouth 14 years after leaving England.

Stephen McDonough (India)...........Medals.......Index Page. .... India 1930's ....... Mutiny Officers Killed