1846 Gun Lascar, Madras Foot Artillery
1846 Gun Lascar, Madras Foot Artillery: drawn from a contemporary colour print by William Hunsley (location unknown)
In India, the Honourable East India Company had developed along lines like those of the Royal Artillery – each presidency – Bengal, Bombay and Madras – maintaining its own Horse and Foot Artillery. British units of Indian artillery all had considerable assistance from Indian ranks. In the Bengal Horse Artillery, for instance, two limber gunners were always Indian, as were several syces (servants who attended to horses), farriers, and so on. In Madras British units often had companies of Lascars (from Urdu – an inferior class of artilleryman) to assist them, their duties being largely to clear a path for the guns through rough country. Later, as roads improved they became general assistants in the batteries. This plate shows a lascar attached to the Madras Foot Artillery, equipped to clear a way for the guns or to help dig the guns into position. In addition to his mattock he has a small chopper, or knife, in his belt. His uniform is like that worn by both British and Indian gunners of the foot artillery at this time. His head-dress is a chaco based on a turban. British gunners of the Foot Artillery would also have worn a chaco. Source: Contemporary colour print by William Hunsley.
|Dimensions||24 × 37 cm|