1800-1859 | Battlefield butchery | Civilians slaughtered | India | Looting and plunder | Massacres | Prisoners murdered

8,000 killed and hundreds burned alive as Redcoats sack the Indian city of Jhansi

3 April 1858 On 3 April 1858, redcoats, under the command of General Sir Hugh Rose, stormed the Indian city of Jhansi, where the 22 year old Rani Lakshmibai, the legendary warrior-queen, was leading a rebellion against British rule.  Rose later proudly acknowledged that he had avenged an earlier massacre of British officers and their families…

1930-1939 | India

Hundreds injured – two killed – as Gandhi’s followers are beaten with lathis

[ 21 May 1930 ] Since the British had begun to extend their rule over India in the eighteenth century, they had relied on various forms of local taxation to pay for the soldiers and administrative apparatus, which ensured that India remained part of the Empire and that wealth continued to flow westwards to London,…

1500-1799 | Famine | India


1 September 1771 On 1 September 1771, the Scots Magazine published an account from a ‘gentleman’ in Bengal describing an unprecedented famine. It has been provoked by a combination of a prolonged drought and the rapacity of Britain’s East India Company which, despite the wretched condition of the population, continued to ruthlessly extract high levels of taxation….

1500-1799 | India


[ 23 June 1757 ] On 23 June 1757, Colonel Robert Clive, commanding 3,000 troops of Britain’s East India Company, defeated Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal, at the Battle of Plassey. The ‘glorious victory’ was achieved partly by persuading Mir Jafar, the Nawab’s senior military commander, to defect. Jafar was immediately installed as the new…

1940-1949 | Civilians slaughtered | India | Massacres

‘Calcutta is quieter’ after 32 protesters are shot dead

23 November 1945 Today in 1945, Richard Casey, the governor of Bengal, called on British troops to take to the streets of Calcutta to support the police, who had shot dead five student protesters earlier in the day. Another seven died the same day in hospital, and, as British newspapers informed their readers under such…

1800-1859 | Civilians slaughtered | India | Looting and plunder | Massacres | Prisoners murdered | Wounded killed

At least one thousand slaughtered as British troops sack Delhi

20 September 1857 Today in 1857, after a week of fierce street fighting, British troops under General Sir Archdale Wilson finally obtained the surrender of the remaining pockets of Indian Mutineers still holding out in the city.  Much of the city had already been sacked and many murdered in their homes [see 13 September 1857]….

1800-1859 | India | Media propaganda

Indian mutiny incites press demands for ‘bloody vengeance’

10 May 1857 On 10 May 1857, the Indian Mutiny broke out in the garrison town of Meerut, 40 miles north east of Delhi.  A day earlier, on 9 May, 85 Sepoys, serving as soldiers for the East India Company,  had been severely punished for refusing to handle cartridges covered with paper greased with cattle…

1800-1859 | Burning towns and cities | Burning villages | Civilians slaughtered | India | Massacres

British army slaughters ‘every native that appeared in sight.’

11 June 1857 On 11 June 1857, Colonel James Neill, who had been ordered to crush the slightest sign of support for the Indian mutiny, seized the city of Allahabad. In the days which followed he implemented a reign of terror, unprecedented in Indian history. Thousands were slaughtered, including many innocent women and children. One…

1800-1859 | India

Indian soldiers refuse orders to use cartridges greased with pig and cow fat

24 April 1857 On 24 April 1857, eighty five Indian soldiers of the Third Bengal Light Cavalry stationed at Meerut, a town 40 miles north east of Delhi, refused orders to use cartridges covered by paper greased with pig and cow fat.  They had been ordered to bite off the greased paper before loading the…

1900-1919 | Bombing towns & cities | Bombing villages | India | RAF crimes

The R.A.F. strafe and bomb a school and crowds at Gujranwala

14 April 1919 On 14 April 1919, Michael O’Dwyer, Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, gave orders that RAF aircraft should be sent to terminate anti-British protests in the town of Gujranwala. That morning large crowds, angered by the reports of the massacre by British troops of over 300 protesters at Amritsar the day before, set fire…