Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Light is more Important than a Lantern



in sorrow
we burn
a moment
we held
in the palm
that does
not want
to return
tear like
ashes
a weeping
urn ...
words
unfinished
unwoven
unspun


rootless
broken stem
now it is
your turn


i try
i plead
to god
i yearn
not to
become
like them
i unlearn
terse
taciturn
light
shade
contrasting
patterns

Dargah of Qasim Syed Shah Baba British Residency Lucknow

“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

We Are Victims Of Our Own Design


our minds
compartmentalized
starkness over
magnified ,, before
we can grasp it
the moment dies
corpse like creature
petrified ..twixt time
mental space a
great divide
vortex of elusive
delusional dilemma
now online ,,surreal
spectral supine
seeking through
a mist of ignorance
her soul divine
lyrical lassitude
missing lines
tear drops of
water taste
like wine

We Are Not Worthy Of Our Heritage



we pee on the walls
scribble our wrath
we destroy our past
weeping sorrow
dark shadows
on heritage we cast
memories ruined
by a moment fast
eyes were willing
tears aghast
ancestral wealth
wisdom ..we blast
in a world of
the sleeping dead
the living outcast
through ignorance
intolerance ..bigotry
racism..we are
typecast ,,,
we are still
where we were
what have we
surpassed ..
badmouth
badassed

article from net

The Residency is actually a group of buildings that were built in 1800 A.D by the then Nawab of Oudh, Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. It was constructed in order to serve as the residence for the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of Nawab. The palace was rather a sleepy residence for decades but then came an incident, which put it on the world map.

The year 1857 will always be mentioned in the chronicles of history because of its dramatic sequence of events. The year saw the Sepoy Mutiny, which is also sometimes referred as 'The First War of Indian Independence'. Lucknow also became one of the seats of that uprising. The Residency became one of the most talked about battlement during the siege of Lucknow. The mutineers laid the siege on The Residency in early June that year. Nearly all the Europeans who resided in the city of Awadh took shelter in Residency. It is said that as many as 3500 people sought shelter during the siege. The siege continued for more than 140 days.

The saga of the siege of 'The Residency' will go down in the history of India as a brave effort done by handful of Men, women and children to thaw the efforts of mutineers. The residence of the palace held together during the continuous shelling that lasted for a month. The canon balls withered the walls of residency but the palace held miraculously. Sir Henry Lawrence who bore the responsibility 3500 human lives undertook the defense and counter initiative. The brave-heart fall on the last days of siege. The reinforcement force rescued the palace after 5 months.

Even since Independence, little has changed. A brooding silence engulfs the ruins and one almost expects the ghosts of the dead to suddenly materialize and flit across the rooms. The cemetery at the nearby ruined church has the graves of 2000 men, women and children, including that of Sir Henry Lawrence who died defending the empire. There is a weathered epitaph near the grave of Sir Lawrence that reads " Here lays the son of Empire who tried to do his duty".

The British Residency of Lucknow is a famous historical landmark of this place. It is now in ruins and has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The people of Lucknow tell intriguing stories of British who fled from their homes to seek shelter in these red buildings. Only a 1000 inhabitant survived this tough ordeal. On November 17th, the British troops led by Sir Colin Campbell defeated the Indian forces.

Today, the British Residency of Lucknow serves as a government office. The Residency also has a museum that is well-maintained by the authorities.

The redbrick ruins are now surrounded by lawns and flowerbeds, the Residency has been maintained as it was at the time of the final relief and the shattered walls are still scarred by cannon shot. Besides the main Residency building, there was the Sheep house, Slaughter house, Sikh square, Dr. Fayrers house, Banqueting hall, the Treasury house, Begum Kothi, the church, mosque, Imambara and the native hospital etc. are still present and pull masses of visitors each year.

The Model Room, a part of the main Residency Building, which housed a model of Residency as it was before the 1857 War, has now been converted into a full-fledged Museum displaying the original model of Residency, old lithographs, photographs, paintings, documents and period-objects, besides a diorama of Residency siege, giving an accurate visual account of the freedom struggle of 1857 in a chronological and systematic way. Besides, a gallery showing the excavated objects has also been added. A building steeped in and a symbol of the tumultuous past of our country is a heritage sight and should feature on the top of your 'must-visit' travel list!


courtesy

www.buzzintown.com/article-review--the-residency-lucknow-...

On The Wings Of Angels

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another

Lucretius quotes


we are birds of pain.. seeking windowsill for a fill of grains
remembering moments that are lost dont come back again
to our karma our destined plurality we are chained..
thoughtless words .. may sound inane ...in a world insane
pilgrims seeking peace .. through profit and gain

An Ode To Mr PC Little


a giant
of a short
man was he
cherubic
smiling face
larger than
life was he
i asked him
mr pc little
i want to
learn
photography
he looked
at me
astonishingly
brick by brick
go shoot
british residency
hear the silence
copy paste
it on your soul
love and imagery
every frame
will set you free

horizon beyond
the horizon of
labored eternity
it is you not
the camera
that is a
photographers
destiny

late pc little
little me

The Defence of Lucknow By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)


The Defence of Lucknow
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

The Siege of Lucknow was one of the most terrible incidents of the Indian Mutiny. It was prolonged for 87 days and was finally relieved by General Campbell on Nov. 16, 1857.

I.
BANNER of England, not for a season, O banner of Britain, hast thou
Floated in conquering battle or flapt to the battle-cry!
Never with mightier glory than when we had reared thee on high
Flying at top of the roofs in the ghastly siege of Lucknow—
Shot through the staff or the halyard, but ever we raised thee anew, 5
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.

II.
Frail were the works that defended the hold that we held with our lives—
Women and children among us, God help them, our children and wives!
Hold it we might—and for fifteen days or for twenty at most.
‘Never surrender, I charge you, but every man die at his post!’ 10
Voice of the dead whom we loved, our Lawrence the best of the brave:
Cold were his brows when we kissed him—we laid him that night in his grave.
‘Every man die at his post!’ and there hailed on our houses and halls
Death from their rifle-bullets, and death from their cannon-balls,
Death in our innermost chamber, and death at our slight barricade, 15
Death while we stood with the musket, and death while we stoop to the spade,
Death to the dying, and wounds to the wounded, for often there fell,
Striking the hospital wall, crashing thro’ it, their shot and their shell,
Death—for their spies were among us, their marksmen were told of our best,
So that the brute bullet broke thro’ the brain that could think for the rest; 20
Bullets would sing by our foreheads, and bullets would rain at our feet—
Fire from ten thousand at once of the rebels that girdled us round—
Death at the glimpse of a finger from over the breadth of a street,
Death from the heights of the mosque and the palace, and death in the ground!
Mine? yes, a mine! Countermine! down, down! and creep thro’ the hole! 25
Keep the revolver in hand! you can hear him—the murderous mole!
Quiet, ah! quiet—wait till the point of the pickaxe be through!
Click with the pick, coming nearer and nearer again than before—
Now let it speak, and you fire, and the dark pioneer is no more;
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew! 30

III.
Ay, but the foe sprung his mine many times, and it chanced on a day
Soon as the blast of that underground thunderclap echoed away,
Dark through the smoke and the sulphur like so many fiends in their hell—
Cannon-shot, musket-shot, volley on volley, and yell upon yell—
Fiercely on all the defences our myriad enemy fell. 35
What have they done? where is it? Out yonder. Guard the Redan!
Storm at the Water-gate! storm at the Bailey-gate! storm, and it ran
Surging and swaying all round us, as ocean on every side
Plunges and heaves at a bank that is daily devoured by the tide—
So many thousands that if they be bold enough, who shall escape? 40
Kill or be killed, live or die, they shall know we are soldiers and men!
Ready! take aim at their leaders—their masses are gapp’d with our grape—
Backward they reel like the wave, like the wave flinging forward again,
Flying and foiled at the last by the handful they could not subdue;
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. 45

IV.
Handful of men as we were, we were English in heart and in limb,
Strong with the strength of the race to command, to obey, to endure,
Each of us fought as if hope for the garrison hung but on him;
Still—could we watch at all points? we were every day fewer and fewer.
There was a whisper among us, but only a whisper that past: 50
‘Children and wives—if the tigers leap into the fold unawares—
Every man die at his post—and the foe may outlive us at last—
Better to fall by the hands that they love, than to fall into theirs!’
Roar upon roar in a moment two mines by the enemy sprung
Clove into perilous chasms our walls and our poor palisades. 55
Rifleman, true is your heart, but be sure that your hand is as true!
Sharp is the fire of assault, better aimed are your flank fusillades—
Twice do we hurl them to earth from the ladders to which they had clung,
Twice from the ditch where they shelter we drive them with hand-grenades;
And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. 60

V.
Then on another wild morning another wild earthquake out-tore
Clean from our lines of defence ten or twelve good paces or more.
Riflemen, high on the roof, hidden there from the light of the sun—
One has leapt up on the breach, crying out: ‘Follow me, follow me!’—
Mark him—he falls! then another, and him too, and down goes he. 65
Had they been bold enough then, who can tell but the traitors had won?
Boardings and rafters and doors—an embrasure! make way for the gun!
Now double-charge it with grape! It is charged and we fire, and they run.
Praise to our Indian brothers, and let the dark face have his due!
Thanks to the kindly dark faces who fought with us, faithful and few, 70
Fought with the bravest among us, and drove them, and smote them, and slew,
That ever upon the topmost roof our banner in India blew.

VI.
Men will forget what we suffer and not what we do. We can fight!
But to be soldier all day and be sentinel all through the night—
Ever the mine and assault, our sallies, their lying alarms, 75
Bugles and drums in the darkness, and shoutings and soundings to arms,
Ever the labour of fifty that had to be done by five,
Ever the marvel among us that one should be left alive,
Ever the day with its traitorous death from the loopholes around,
Ever the night with its coffinless corpse to be laid in the ground, 80
Heat like the mouth of a hell, or a deluge of cataract skies,
Stench of old offal decaying, and infinite torment of flies,
Thoughts of the breezes of May blowing over an English field,
Cholera, scurvy, and fever, the wound that would not be healed,
Lopping away of the limb by the pitiful—pitiless knife,— 85
Torture and trouble in vain,—for it never could save us a life.
Valour of delicate women who tended the hospital bed,
Horror of women in travail among the dying and dead,
Grief for our perishing children, and never a moment for grief,
Toil and ineffable weariness, faltering hopes of relief, 90
Havelock baffled, or beaten, or butchered for all that we knew—
Then day and night, day and night, coming down on the still-shattered walls
Millions of musket-bullets, and thousands of cannon-balls—
But ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.

VII.
Hark cannonade, fusillade! is it true what was told by the scout, 95
Outram and Havelock breaking their way through the fell mutineers?
Surely the pibroch of Europe is ringing again in our ears!
All on a sudden the garrison utter a jubilant shout,
Havelock’s glorious Highlanders answer with conquering cheers,
Sick from the hospital echo them, women and children come out, 100
Blessing the wholesome white faces of Havelock’s good fusileers,
Kissing the war-hardened hand of the Highlander wet with their tears!
Dance to the pibroch!—saved!—we are saved!—is it you? is it you?
Saved by the valour of Havelock, saved by the blessing of Heaven!
‘Hold it for fifteen days!’ we have held it for eighty-seven! 105
And ever aloft on the palace roof the old banner of England blew.

"Do not weep my children, for I am not dead, but am sleeping here."

The Siege of Lucknow (Hindi: लखनऊ की घेराबंदी; Urdu: لکھنؤ کا محاصرہ‎) was the prolonged defence of the Residency within the city of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After two successive relief attempts had reached the city, the defenders and civilians were evacuated from the Residency, which was then abandoned.
Lucknow was the capital of the former state of Awadh. The prolonged defense there by the British proved to be one of the key episodes in the unsuccessful rebellion. Mainly there were issues of prestige and morale involved, but Lucknow also became the point at which the main forces of both the British and rebels were concentrated.

Background to the siege[edit]

The state of Oudh/Awadh had been annexed by the British East India Company and the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to Calcutta the year before the rebellion broke out. This high-handed action by the East India Company was greatly resented within the state, and elsewhere in India. The first British Commissioner (in effect, Governor) appointed to the newly acquired territory was Coverley Jackson. He behaved tactlessly, and Sir Henry Lawrence, a very experienced administrator, took up the appointment only six weeks before the rebellion broke out.
The sepoys (Indian soldiers) of the East India Company's Bengal Presidency Army had become increasingly troubled over the preceding years, feeling that their religion and customs were under threat from the rationalising and evangelising activities of the Company. Lawrence was well aware of the rebellious state of the Indian troops under his command (which included several units of Oudh Irregulars, recruited from among the former army of the state of Oudh). On 18 April, he warned the Governor General, Lord Canning, of some of the manifestations of discontent, and asked permission to transfer certain rebellious corps to another province.
The flashpoint of the rebellion was the introduction of the Enfield rifle; the cartridges for this weapon were believed to be greased with a mixture of beef and pork fat, which was felt would defile both Hindu and Muslim Indian soldiers. On 1 May, the 7th Oudh Irregular Infantry refused to bite the cartridge and on 3 May they were disarmed by other regiments.
On 10 May, the Indian soldiers at Meerut broke into open rebellion, and marched on Delhi. When news of this reached Lucknow, Lawrence recognised the gravity of the crisis and summoned from their homes two sets of pensioners, one of sepoys and one of artillerymen, to whose loyalty, and to that of the Sikh and some Hindu sepoys, the successful defence of the Residency was largely due.
Rebellion begins[edit]


Contemporary plan of the movements during the siege and relief of Lucknow
On 23 May, Lawrence began fortifying the Residency and laying in supplies for a siege; large numbers of British civilians made their way there from outlying districts. On 30 May (the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr), most of the Oudh and Bengal troops at Lucknow broke into open rebellion. In addition to his locally recruited pensioners, Lawrence also had the bulk of the British 32nd Regiment of Foot available, and they were able to drive the rebels away from the city.
On 4 June there was a rebellion at Sitapur, a large and important station 51 miles (82 km) from Lucknow. This was followed by another at Faizabad, one of the most important cities in the province, and outbreaks at Daryabad, Sultanpur and Salon. Thus in the course of ten days British authority in Oudh practically vanished.
On 30 June, Lawrence learned that the rebels were gathering north of Lucknow and ordered a reconnaissance in force, despite the available intelligence being of poor quality. Although he had comparatively little military experience, Lawrence led the expedition himself. The expedition was not very well organised. The troops were forced to march without food or adequate water during the hottest part of the day at the height of summer, and at Chinhat they met a well-organised rebel force, with cavalry and dug-in artillery. Some of Lawrence's sepoys and Indian artillerymen defected to the rebels, and his exhausted British soldiers retreated in disorder. Some of the fugitives died of heatstroke within sight of the Residency.
Lieutenant William George Cubitt, 13th Native Infantry, was awarded the Victoria Cross several years later, for his act of saving the lives of three men of the 32nd Regiment of Foot during the retreat. His was not a unique action; sepoys loyal to the British, especially those of the 13th Native Infantry, saved many British soldiers, even at the cost of abandoning their own wounded men who had been hacked to pieces by Indian sepoys.
Initial attacks[edit]


Sir John Eardley Inglis by William Gush
Lawrence retreated into the Residency, where the siege now began, with the Residency as the centre of the defences. The actual defended line was based on six detached smaller buildings and four entrenched batteries. The position covered some 60 acres (240,000 m2) of ground, and the garrison (855 British officers and soldiers, 712 Indians, 153 civilian volunteers, with 1,280 non-combatants, including hundreds of women and children) was too small to defend it effectively against a properly prepared and supported attack. Also, the Residency lay in the middle of several palaces, mosques and administrative buildings, as Lucknow had been the royal capital of Oudh for many years. Lawrence initially refused permission for these to be demolished, urging his engineers to "spare the holy places", and during the siege they provided good vantage points and cover for rebel sharpshooters and artillery.
One of the first bombardments following the beginning of the siege, on 30 June, caused a civilian to be trapped by a falling roof. The successful attempt to save him, under intense musket and cannon fire, resulted in the award of the Victoria Cross to Corporal William Oxenham of the 32nd Foot. The first attack was repulsed on 1 July, when the separate position of the Machchhi Bhawan palace to the east of the Residency was evacuated, and blown up. (Large amounts of powder and ammunition had been stored in it). The next day, Sir Henry Lawrence was fatally wounded by a shell, and he died on 4 July. Colonel John Inglis of the 32nd Regiment took military command of the garrison. Major John Banks was appointed the acting Civil Commissioner by the dying Lawrence. When Banks was killed by a sniper a short time later, Inglis assumed overall command.
About 8,000 sepoys who had joined the rebellion and several hundred retainers of local landowners surrounded the Residency. They had some modern guns with them, and also some older pieces which fired all sorts of improvised missiles. There were several determined attempts to storm the defences during the first weeks of the siege, but the rebels lacked a unified command able to coordinate all the besieging forces.
The defenders, their number constantly reduced by military action as well as disease, were able to resist all attempts made by the rebels to overwhelm them. In addition they mounted several sorties, attempting to reduce the effectiveness of the most dangerous positions held by the besiegers, and to silence some of their guns. The Victoria Cross was awarded to several participants in these sorties: Captain Samuel Hill Lawrence and Private William Dowling of the 32nd Foot and Capt Robert Hope Moncrieff Aitken of the 13th Native Infantry.
First relief attempt[edit]


Crossing the Ganges into Oudh


"Attack of the Mutineers on the Redan Battery at Lucknow", 30 July 1857
On 16 July, a force under Major General Henry Havelock had recaptured Cawnpore, 48 miles (77 km) from Lucknow. On 20 July, he decided to attempt to relieve Lucknow, but it took six days to ferry his force of 1500 men across the Ganges River. On 29 July, Havelock won a battle at Unao, but casualties, disease and heatstroke reduced his force to 850 effectives, and he fell back.
There followed a sharp exchange of letters between Havelock and the insolent Brigadier James Neill who was left in charge at Cawnpore. Havelock eventually received 257 reinforcements and some more guns, and tried again to advance. He won another victory near Unao on 4 August, but was once again too weak to continue the advance, and retired.
Havelock intended to remain on the north bank of the Ganges, inside Oudh, and thereby prevent the large force of rebels which had been facing him from joining the siege of the Residency, but on 11 August, Neill reported that Cawnpore was threatened. To allow himself to retreat without being attacked from behind, Havelock marched again to Unao and won a third victory there. He then fell back across the Ganges, and destroyed the newly completed bridge. On 16 August, he defeated a rebel force at Bithur, disposing of the threat to Cawnpore.
Havelock's retreat was tactically necessary, but caused the rebellion in Oudh to become a national revolt, as previously uncommitted landowners joined the rebels.
First relief of Lucknow[edit]

Havelock had been superseded in command by Major General Sir James Outram. Before Outram arrived at Cawnpore, Havelock made preparations for another relief attempt. He had earlier sent a letter to Inglis in the Residency, suggesting he cut his way out and make for Cawnpore. Inglis replied that he had too few effective troops and too many sick, wounded and non-combatants to make such an attempt. He also pleaded for urgent assistance. The rebels meanwhile continued to shell the garrison in the Residency, and also dug mines beneath the defences, which destroyed several posts. Although the garrison kept the rebels at a distance with sorties and counter-attacks, they were becoming weaker and food was running short.
Outram arrived at Cawnpore with reinforcements on 15 September. He allowed Havelock to command the relief force, accompanying it nominally as a volunteer until Lucknow was reached. The force numbered 3,179 and was composed of six British and one Sikh infantry battalions, with three artillery batteries, but only 168 volunteer cavalry. They were divided into two brigades, under Neill and Colonel Hamilton of the 78th Highlanders.
The advance resumed on 18 September. This time, the rebels did not make any serious stand in the open country, even failing to destroy some vital bridges. On 23 September, Havelock's force drove the rebels from the Alambagh, a walled park four miles south of the Residency. Leaving the baggage with a small force in the Alambagh, he began the final advance on 25 September. Because of the monsoon rains, much of the open ground around the city was flooded or waterlogged, preventing the British making any outflanking moves and forcing them to make a direct advance through part of the city.


"The Relief of Lucknow by General Havelock", 25 Sep 1857. Engraving, 1858
The force met heavy resistance trying to cross the Charbagh canal, but succeeded after nine out of ten men of a forlorn hope were killed storming a bridge. They then turned to their right, following the west bank of the canal. The 78th Highlanders took a wrong turning, but were able to capture a rebel battery near the Qaisarbagh palace, before finding their way back to the main force. After further heavy fighting, by nightfall the force had reached the Machchhi Bhawan. Outram proposed to halt, and gain touch with the defenders of the Residency by tunnelling and mining through the intervening buildings, but Havelock insisted on an immediate advance. (He feared that the defenders of the Residency were so weakened that they might still be overwhelmed by a last-minute rebel attack). The advance was made through heavily defended narrow lanes. Neill was one of those killed by the rebels' musket fire. In all, the relief force lost 535 men out of 2000, incurred mainly in this last rush.
By the time of the relief, the defenders of the Residency had endured a siege of 87 days, and were reduced to 982 fighting personnel.
Second siege[edit]

Originally, Outram had intended to evacuate the Residency, but the heavy casualties incurred during the final advance made it impossible to remove all the sick and wounded and non-combatants. Another factor which influenced Outram's decision to remain in Lucknow was the discovery of a large stock of supplies beneath the Residency, sufficient to maintain the garrison for two months. Lawrence had laid in the stores but died before he had informed any of his subordinates. (Inglis had feared that starvation was imminent.)
Instead, the defended area was enlarged. Under Outram's overall command, Inglis took charge of the original Residency area, and Havelock occupied and defended the palaces (the Farhat Baksh and Chuttur Munzil) and other buildings east of it. Outram had hoped that the relief would also demoralise the rebels, but was disappointed. For the next six weeks, the rebels continued to bombard the defenders with musket and artillery fire, and dig a series of mines beneath them. The defenders replied with sorties, as before, and dug counter-mines.


Kavanagh being disguised as a sepoy during the Siege of Lucknow, painted by Louis William Desanges
The defenders were able to send messengers to and from the Alambagh, from where in turn messengers could reach Cawnpore. (Later, a semaphore system made the risky business of sending messengers between the Residency and the Alambagh unnecessary.) A volunteer civil servant, Thomas Henry Kavanagh, the son of a British soldier, disguised himself as a sepoy and ventured from the Residency aided by a local man named Kananji Lal. He and his scout crossed the entrenchments east of the city and reached the Alambagh to act as a guide to the next relief attempt. For this action, Kavanagh was awarded the Victoria Cross and was the first civilian in British history to be honoured with such an award for action during a military conflict.
Preparations for second relief[edit]


Grand Trunk Roads of northern India 1857.
The rebellion had involved a very wide stretch of territory in Northern India. Large numbers of rebels had flocked to Delhi, where they proclaimed the restoration of the Mughal Empire under Bahadur Shah II. A British army besieged the city from the first week in June. On 10 September, they launched a storming attempt, and by 21 September they had captured the city. On 24 September, a column of 2,790 British, Sikh and Punjabi troops under Colonel Greathed of the 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot marched through the Lahore Gate to restore British rule from Delhi to Cawnpore. On 9 October, Greathed received urgent calls for help from a British garrison in the Red Fort at Agra. He diverted his force to Agra, to find the rebels had apparently retreated. While his force rested, they were surprised and attacked by the rebel force which had been close by. Nevertheless they rallied, defeated and dispersed the rebel force. This Battle of Agra cleared all organised rebel forces from the area between Delhi and Cawnpore, although guerrilla bands remained.
Shortly afterwards, Greathed received reinforcements from Delhi, and was superseded in command by Major General James Hope Grant. Grant reached Cawnpore late in October, where he received orders from the new commander-in-chief in India, Sir Colin Campbell, to proceed to the Alambagh, and transport the sick and wounded to Cawnpore. He was also strictly enjoined not to commit himself to any relief of Lucknow until Campbell himself arrived.
Campbell was 65 years old when he left England in July 1857 to assume command of the Bengal Army. By mid-August, he was in Calcutta preparing his departure upcountry. It was late October before all preparations were completed. Fighting his way up the Grand Trunk Road, Campbell arrived in Cawnpore on 3 November. The rebels held effective control of large parts of the countryside. Campbell considered, but rejected, securing the countryside before launching his relief of Lucknow. The massacre of British women and children following the capitulation of Cawnpore was still in recent memory. In British eyes Lucknow had become a symbol of its resolve. Accordingly, Campbell left 1,100 troops in Cawnpore for its defence, leading 600 cavalry, 3,500 infantry and 42 guns to the Alambagh in what Samuel Smiles described as an example of the "women and children first" protocol being applied.[1]
British warships were dispatched from Hong Kong to Calcutta. The marines and sailors of the Shannon, Pearl and Sanspareil formed a Naval Brigade with the ships guns (8-inch guns and 24-pounder howitzers) and fought their way from Calcutta until they met up with Campbell's force.
The strength of the rebels investing Lucknow has been widely estimated from 30,000 to 60,000. They were amply equipped,the sepoy regiments among them were well trained, and they had improved their defences in response to Havelock's and Outram's first Relief of the Residency. The Charbagh Bridge used by Havelock and Outram just north of the Alambagh had been fortified. The Charbagh Canal from the Dilkusha Bridge to the Charbagh Bridge was dammed and flooded to prevent troops or heavy guns fording it. Cannon emplaced in entrenchments north of the Gumti River not only daily bombarded the besieged Residency but also enfiladed the only viable relief path. However, the lack of a unified command structure among the sepoys diminished the value of their superior numbers and strategic positions.
Second relief[edit]


Route taken by Colin Campbell in November 1857 in his relief of Lucknow.
At daybreak on the morning of 14 November, Campbell commenced his relief of Lucknow. Campbell made his plans on the basis of Kavanagh's information, and the heavy loss of life experienced by the first Lucknow relief column. Rather than crossing the Charbagh Bridge and fighting through the tortuous, narrow streets of Lucknow, Campbell opted to make a flank march to the east and proceed to Dilkusha Park. He would then advance to La Martiniere (a school for British and Anglo-Indian boys) and cross the canal as close to the River Gumti as possible. As he advanced, he would secure each position to protect his communications and supply train back to the Alambagh. He would then secure a walled enclosure known as the Secundrabagh and link up with the Residency whose outer perimeter had been extended by Havelock and Outram to the Chuttur Munzil.
For three miles as the column moved to the east of the Alambagh, no opposition was encountered. When the relief column reached the Dilkusha park wall, the quiet ended with an outburst of musket fire. British cavalry and artillery quickly pushed through the park wall and the sepoys were driven from the Dilkusha park. The column then advanced to La Martiniere. By noon, the Dilkusha and La Martiniere were in British hands. The defending sepoys vigorously attacked the British left flank from the Bank's House but the British counter-attacked and drove them back into Lucknow.
The rapid advance of Campbell's column placed it far ahead of its supply caravan. The advance paused until the required stores of food, ammunition and medical equipment were brought forward. The request for additional ammunition from the Alambagh further delayed the relief column's march. On the evening of 15 November, the Residency was signalled by semaphore, "Advance tomorrow."
The next day the relief column advanced from La Martiniere to the northern point where the canal meets the Gumti River. By the fate of war, the damming of the canal to flood the area beneath the Dilkuska Bridge left the canal dry at the crossing point. The column and guns advanced forward and then turned sharp left to Secundra Bagh.
Storming of Secundra Bagh[edit]
Main article: Secundra Bagh
The Secundra Bagh is a high walled garden approximately 120 yards square with parapets at each corner and a main entry gate arch on the southern wall. Campbell's column approached along a road that ran parallel to the eastern wall of the garden. The advancing column of infantry, cavalry and artillery had difficulty manoeuvering in the cramped village streets. They were afforded some protection from the intense fire raining down on them by a high road embankment that faced the garden. Musket fire came from loopholes in the Secundra Bagh and nearby fortified cottages, and cannon shot from the distant Kaisarbagh (the former King of Oudh's palace). Campbell positioned artillery to suppress this incoming fire. Heavy 18-pounder artillery was also hauled by rope and hand over the steep road embankment and placed within sixty yards of the enclosure. Although significant British casualties were sustained in these manoeuvres, the cannon fire breached the southeastern wall.


The interior of the Secundra Bagh, several months after its storming during the second relief. Albumen silver print by Felice Beato.
Elements of the Scottish 93rd Highlanders and 4th Punjab Infantry Regiment rushed forward. Finding the breach too small to accommodate the mass of troops, the Punjab Infantry moved to the left and overran the defences at the main garden gateway. Once inside, the Punjabis, many of whom were Sikhs, emptied their muskets and resorted to the bayonet. Sepoys responded with counter-attacks. Highlanders pouring in by the breach shouted, "Remember Cawnpore!" Gradually the din of battle waned. The dwindling force of defenders moved northward until retreat was no longer possible. The earth was wet with dark red blood. The British numbered the sepoy dead at nearly 2000.
Storming of the Shah Najaf[edit]
By late noon a detachment of the relief column led by Adrian Hope disengaged from the Secundra Bagh and moved towards the Shah Najaf. The Shah Najaf, a walled mosque, is the mausoleum of Ghazi-ud-Din Haider, the first King of Oudh in 1814. The defenders had heavily fortified this multi-story position. When the full force of the British column was brought to bear on the Shah Najaf, the sepoys responded with unrelenting musketry, cannon grape shot and supporting cannon fire from the Kaisarbagh as well as oblique cannon fire from secured batteries north of the Gumti River. From heavily exposed positions, for three hours the British poured a strong cannon fire, on the stout walls of the Shah Najaf. The walls remained unscathed, the sepoy fire was unrelenting and British losses mounted. Additional British assaults failed with heavy losses.
Retiring from their exposed positions was deemed equally dangerous by the British command. Gathering up 50 Highlanders, the party was dispatched to seek an alternate access route to the Shah Najaf. Discovering a breach in the wall on the opposite side of the fighting, sappers were brought forward to widen the breach. The small advance party pushed through the opening, crossed the courtyard and opened the main gates. Seeing the long sought opening, their comrades rushed forth into the Shah Najaf. Campbell made his headquarters in the Shah Najaf by nightfall.


Ruins of Residency, Lucknow- Circa 1880
Residency reached[edit]
Within the besieged Residency, Havelock and Outram completed their preparations to link up with Campbell's column. Positioned in the Chuttur Munzil they executed their plan to blow open the outer walls of the garden once they could see that the Secundra Bagh was in Campbell's hands.
The Moti Mahal, the last major position that separated the two British forces, was cleared by charges from Campbell's column. Only an open space of 450 yards (410 m) now separated the two forces. Outram, Havelock and some other officers ran across the space to confer with Campbell, before returning. Stubborn resistance continued as the sepoys defended their remaining positions, but repeated efforts by the British cleared these last pockets of resistance. The second relief column had reached the Residency.
The evacuation[edit]

Although Outram and Havelock both recommended storming the Kaisarbagh palace to secure the British position, Campbell knew that other rebel forces were threatening Cawnpore and other cities held by the British, and he ordered Lucknow to be abandoned. The evacuation began on 19 November. While Campbell's artillery bombarded the Kaisarbagh to deceive the rebels that an assault on it was imminent, canvas screens were erected to shield the open space from the rebels' view. The women, children and sick and wounded made their way to the Dilkusha Park under cover of these screens, some in a variety of carriages or on litters, others on foot. Over the next two days, Outram spiked his guns and withdrew after them.
At the Dilkusha Park, Havelock died (of a sudden attack of dysentery) on 24 November. The entire army and convoy now moved to the Alambagh. Campbell left Outram with 4,000 men to defend the Alambagh while he himself moved with 3,000 men and most of the civilians to Cawnpore on 27 November.
The first siege had lasted 87 days, the second siege a further 61. The largest number of Victoria Crosses awarded in a single day was the 24 earned on 16 November during the second relief,[2] the bulk of these being for the assault on the Secundrabagh.
The rebels were left in control of Lucknow over the following winter, but were prevented from undertaking any other operations by their own disunity and by Outram's hold on the easily defended Alambagh. Lucknow was retaken by Campbell on 21 March 1858.

The British Residency Lucknow

The Residency, also called as the British Residency and Residency Complex, is a group of several building in a common precinct. The Residency now exists in ruins and is located in the heart of the city, in vicinity of other monuments like Shaheed Smarak, Tehri Kothi and High Court Building. It was constructed during the rule of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan II,who was the fifth Nawab of the province of Awadh (British Spelling Oudh). The construction took place between 1780 to 1800 AD and served as the residence for the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of the Nawab. In 1857 the place witnessed a prolonged battle which is also known as Siege of Lucknow; this began on 1 July and continued until 17 November.

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