Part two, as it were, of my 'Mutineer Miniatures' Punjab or Sikh Cavalry, this time the command group. Those of you who have a copy of the 'Indian Mutiny' from the Osprey Men-at-Arms series will hopefully recognise the officer in the middle from its cover illustration, resplendent in his cold weather poshteen, which in turn rather dictated how the rest of the unit would evolve. The choice of red for the alkaluk might be contentious as different colours were certainly worn by other ranks, but the red certainly gives them some presence so happy to ride the derision of the 'button counters' on this one.
Fighting with distinction at Delhi and Lucknow, the 2nd Punjab Cavalry were made up of Sikh cavalrymen that remained loyal to the crown during the mutiny. The Sikh religion forbade the cutting of hair, including facial hair and many would sport wonderfully fierce beards so I was delighted to see that this detail was carried through into the sculpting of these miniatures. Having failed to source the appropriate guidon, the standard bearer has been given a bamboo lance for the interim period.
2nd Cavalry, Punjab Irregular Force, 1859
Nineteen officers and other ranks of the 2nd Punjab Cavalry received a total of twenty-three Order of Merit awards, including four advancements, for gallantry during the Indian Mutiny. The photograph, shown below, was published in the 'History of the Second Punjab Cavalry from 1849 to 1886' (London, 1888), and shows some of the recipients of that award.
Back Row: ￼Dafadar Bishan Sing (3rd Class) & Jemadar Jeewun Sing (3rd Class)
Middle Row (seated): Ressaidar Hukdad Khan (3rd Class, advanced to 2nd Class) & Risaldar Bishun Sing (3rd Class, advanced to 2nd Class)
Front Row (seated): Jemadar Shere Sing (3rd Class, advanced to 2nd Class), Dafadar Punjaub Sing
(3rd Class) & Dafadar Sirmook Sing (3rd Class).