In the 1890s the Government of India and some of the provincial governments began to take an interest in various individual initiatives to record the inscriptions on graves and monuments in the British cemeteries and churches of the sub-continent. Volume 1 of the Indian Monumental Inscription Series, devoted to Bengal, appeared in 1896. Volume 3 (Madras) followed in 1905, and Volume 2 (Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan) was published in two parts in 1910 and 1912.There were also un-numbered volumes for the Central Provinces and Berar, Hyderabad, Rajputana and Central India, and the North-West Provinces and Oudh. Volume 2 is extremely impressive and useful because of the mass of biographical notes which forms its second part and which no other volume has. Its geographical coverage also means that it deals with some of the major military actions of British India, from the two Sikh Wars to the Mutiny, the Second Afghan War and the recurrent campaigns on the frontier.The list of 1100 inscriptions was compiled by Miles Irving, Balliol Scholar and Indian Civil Service officer serving in the Punjab. The biographical notes are the work of George William de Rhe-Philipe, a member of the humbler Uncovenanted Civil Service.Little is known of this indefatigable researcher.The family was of Huguenot origin, from the Ile de Re opposite La Rochelle, but long domiciled in India. His father William was Head Assistant in the Judge General’s Department at Simla, where George William was born on 27 May 1844.After a long career in the public service George William ended up as Senior Clerk in the Government of India Military department, an official position which gave him unrivalled access to the sources for his notes. He died at Simla on 31 July 1919. Because most of the biographies are of army officers, many of them battle casualties, the work has a special interest for today’s medal collector.It has long been classified as ‘rare’, held only by a handful of major libraries.The value and importance of this work cannot be underestimated.
SOLDIERS OF THE RAJ
Soldiers of the Raj is a unique record detailing the lives of some 1100 British subjects who died in the service of the Indian Empire, and who are immortalised on graves and monuments in that far off land.Originally published in two parts (1910 and 1912) in the Indian Monumental Inscription Series, this work is now very rare indeed and makes a welcome return, in this new printing to the shelves of historians, researchers and devotees of Empire history and biography. The geographical coverage – Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan – encompasses most of the major military actions of British India from the two Sikh Wars to the Mutiny, the Second Afghan War and the recurrent skirmishing and raiding that characterised the North-West Frontier. The value and importance of this work cannot be underestimated.