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Major Kendal Coghill: 19th Hussars

Given by Mrs. H. Barkeley Smith

Burma, Punjab, U.P. ? 1855-1882

Xerox copies of bound volume of TS copies of letters of Mrs. Barkeley-Smith’s great uncle, Major Kendal Coghill, 19th Hussars, prior to and including the relief of Delhi, to his brother and sisters in England.

Photograph of Major Kendal Coghill and his grandson in 1916.

Curriculum vitae and services

On board The Essex, 2 March 1851. Describes voyage, daily life and passengers.

Letter dated 1855 n.p. Burma – has a captured tiger cub being sent home. Longing for furlough.

Moulmain 31 August 1855. Instructions about the tiger cub. Going to put down revolt of ‘Southals’ in Bengal (Rajmahal Hills – Midnapore). Describes rowing as only sport.

Subathoo 19 April 1856. Urges Jos to come to India. London-Calcutta costs £120 – and bring daguerreotype machine. Possibility of bringing wife. Comment on soldiers’ wives as servants. Pleads with him to come – leave so infrequent, describes possibilities of pleasurable visit.

Simla, 2 August 1856 Describes taking language exam. Has been very ill – heart attack. Quandary about appointment etc. and future. Will send home seeds of ‘Hill pine trees’ to plant in England.

Subathoo 6 April 1857 Complains of amount of work – no private life. Love of Regiment. Inveighs against caste, and says country in a bad way with the Mutiny. Origins and incidents. Complains of slackness in dealing with first mutinies. Wants consumptive relation to come to India for the good climate.

Delhi, 22 September 1857 Has been in the taking of Delhi. Describes fighting in detail. Attitude of Gurkhas and Sikhs to fighting – storming the gate and fighting once inside. Ordered to hold the Kabul Gate. Describes following days’ fighting. Attitude towards mutineers. Guards ‘King of Hindoostan’ as a prisoner. Other prisoners taken include English Sergeant Major of 28th N.I.

4 October Part of flying column sacking disloyal villages. Some villages remained loyal and are allowed to loot. Plunder.

To attack a Rajah Fooleram (sic) at Kewarry (sic) and hopes for more loot.

Asks about English attitude to atrocities. Admiration of General Archdale Wilson and Sir John Lawrence.

18 January 1858 In case of accidents to the envelope, this is from K. Coghill, Adjt. 2nd Bengal Fusiliers, Delhi to Mrs. Tom Greene, Dublin? (His sister Sylvia).

Has been chasing sepoys. Very brutal attitude to Indians shown. Mentions possibility of fighting Sikhs to subdue them too.

Attitude towards Canning’s order that prize money to be returned to Indians.

Attitude towards General Wilson’s order to desist from killing, and merciless attitude towards the Indians returning to Delhi, and towards mutineers.

Mentions Sir Thomas Metcalfe’s attitude towards the population of Delhi.

Opinion of General Wilson’s orders on prize money – and the Medal.

Is sending home portrait by the King’s artist, Azeem. Attitude towards foreigners in general.

P.S. about accuracy of reports of storming Delhi.

14 March 1858 Palace, Delhi Complains that Wilson did not advertise the exploits at Delhi – rewards, only £500 out of Delhi. Mentions number of friends who have been killed.

14 June 1859, Palace, Delhi Longs for excitement. Feels his regiment is ignored by regiments newly arrived from England.Wants new appointment in Adjutant General’s Department. Could get immediate civil appointment, but wants to stick to military. Plans for furlough.

27 July 1859, Palace, Delhi Attitude to extinction of Company’s Army by Governor General – 10,000 men have left; describes the effects on Army and regiments.

Brigadier Showers has applied for him as Brigade Major.

19 February 1861 Roorkee Regiment has just had rigorous inspection by Commander-in-Chief. Disappointed over getting Brigade Majorship.

Note by Coghill on the European Mutiny.

6 May 1859, Rupontie Hotel. Private. Letter from Lt. Colonel H. Hope Crealock to K.C. To be read to the Commanding Officers.

Suggests he hears men’s grievances as at Meerut and broadcasts possibility of redressing them.

15 May 1859, Simla from H.H. Crealock. Praise of Coghill’s Regiment, the 2nd Bengal (European) Fusiliers, which was loyal during Mutiny. Inveighs against mutineers.

16 short stories, partly autobiographical and partly the Mutiny, presumably written by Kendall Coghill. n.d. (66pp).

List of Actions fought at or near Delhi by the Delhi Field Force from 30 May to 20 September 1857, including analysis of The Siege of Delhi.

Two letters written during the fighting during the British occupation of Egypt:

10 September 1882, Camp Kassassin from K. Coghill. Describes the action in detail, and also the poor quartermastering.

14 September 1882, Camp Tel el Kebir from K. Coghill. Describes in detail the action in taking Tel el Kebir.

See also: Barkeley-Smith Papers