Belgaum (September, 1887 – September, 1890)


  1. Some news articles contain language and characterizations which may have been in common use at the time the articles or stories were written, but which are no longer acceptable. These articles do not reflect the opinions of the transcriber or web site owner.
  2. These transcriptions may not be copied, transmitted, or reproduced for profit or for gain, in any medium, including web sites that ask for donations, feature advertisements, or link directly or indirectly to any commercial concern. You may reproduce a transcription only for private and not-for-profit purposes, citing the title of the newspaper, the date it was published, the name of the transcriber and this web site (A. Kilpatrick,, and the date this web page was accessed. Please use our contact page to forward questions, suggestions, or requests for permissions.
  3. Source: The British Newspaper Archive, online at (accessed 2014-12-16, by subscription). Transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick. Please cite your sources.

Taunton Courier, 7 September 1887:
  The Jumna troopship leaves Portsmouth to-day with drafts for India, including 103 men and officers of the S.L.I. [Somerset Light Infantry] for the 2nd Battalion at Belgaum. Lieut.-Colonel C.W. Cox also goes out to take over the command.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, 8 July 1889:
  A correspondent in Belgaum, South Bombay Presidency, says:—"I hear that a cricket match is now on the tapis, 'Ugly v. Handsome'—the competitors to be classed by a committee of three ladies, whose names are kept strictly private. The choice of sides will doubtless be productive of much merriment, and possibly some little heartburning; for, although many of us admit we are 'not what they'd call handsome, you know,' still, we do not like to be styled plain, much less 'ugly.'

Taunton Courier, 18 December 1889:
  The Prince Albert's Somersetshire Light Infantry.—Private Wapshire and Band-boy Shepherd, of the 2nd Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, have been awarded the honorary testimonial of the Royal Humane Society, inscribed on vellum, for having, on the 5th September, 1889, at great personal risk, gone to the rescue of Private Bishop, same regiment, who was unfortunately drowned in a well at Belgaum, East Indies.

Gloucester Citizen, 14 April 1890:
Religious Affray in India.
   Particulars of the religious riot between Mohammedans and Hindoos at Belgaum have just reached Calcutta. The affray occurred towards the end of March and was of a somewhat serious nature. Over 1,000 persons engaged in the affray. Three Mussulmans and one Hindoo were killed, and many others injured.

Manchester Courier, 12 April 1890:
Gallant Fight with a Panther.
   A Dharwar correspondent of the Times of India, writing to that paper, says:--I have just heard an account of great gallantry shown by two riots when a woman and child were attacked lately by a panther near Belgaum. It seems to me that such extraordinary heroism ought to be made public. A woman was working in a field when a panther attacked and killed her child. The mother tried to drive the beast off by throwing stones and clods at it; she was at once attacked herself and so torn that she died before reaching the hospital. While the panther was mauling the woman, a man who was working in an adjacent field rushed to her rescue, and, although he had only a small sickle in his hand, threw himself on the savage brute and tried to save the woman. This apparently hopeless struggle could have had but one ending had it not been for the devoted gallantry of another riot, who came running up when he saw the fight, and armed only with his sickle, used it with such effect that he actually killed the panther as it lay on the man.

Taunton Courier, 21 May 1890:The Somerset Light Infantry Abroad.
   The cantonment of Belgaum, India was en fêteélite on Easter Monday, 7th April, that day being the anniversary of the heroic defence of Jellalabad, in which the regiment took part, and for which the garrison earned the far-famed title of "The Illustrious Garrison." Jellalabad, therefore, takes a conspicuous place in the annals of the regiment, and is the day on which the regimental sports are held. All sorts and conditions of people were represented on this occasion, the maidan being crowded with Europeans, both military and civil, of the various branches of each of the services. The native element also showed up in considerable numbers, the roadways being blocked with carriages, dhumneys, &c. Marquees were erected on the course. At three p.m. the fun commenced, and was kept up with unremitting vigour until seven p.m., when the shades of night made a hurried conclusion necessary. The mule races, in costume, caused great merriment, the riders, who presented a grotesque and motley appearance, marching onto the course to the tune of "Killaloe." Many spills occurred before all could get mounts. The events were generally well contested, Privates Howe and Stoodley and Bugler Lake still keeping their places at the head of the battalion athletes. During the sports the excellent band of the battalion discoursed sweet music, under the efficient conductorship of Bandmaster Rowe.
   In the evening the warrant officers, staff-sergeants, and sergeants held their Jellalabad ball in the mess room, over 150 invitations having been accepted. The majority of the of Belgaum and surrounding places were present, as also nearly all the officers of the garrison, including Gen. Cox, commanding the district, and the gallant commanding officer, Colonel Cox, with their ladies. Dancing commenced at 9.30 p.m., but owing to the room proving too small for the large company assembled, the side verandahs had to be converted into dance-rooms. The ball room was very tastefully decorated by Sergeant Ferniough with diamond-shaped mottoes on red ground, bearing the names of some of the many engagements the regiment has taken part in, and above a doorway was a large painting of Jellalabad fort, surmounted by the words, "The Illustrious Garrison of Jellalabad, 7th April, 1842, Sir Robert Sale, K.C.B." This was a very artistic piece of work, and reflected great credit on Sergeant Ferniough. A committee consisting of Quarter-master Sergeant Leyster (president), Orderlyroom-Sergeant Baker, Colour-Sergeants Cook and Abbot, and Sergeant Thorne, by dint of much trouble and several days' hard work, converted the tennis court into a charming garden, erecting a long line of marquees with the ends closed in, in which supper was laid, the ground being very prettily decorated with fairy lamps, Chinese lanterns, and Mandalay glass balls. Couches, settees, lounges, and chairs were distributed about the grounds and promenades, which were decorated with numerous plants, the whole presenting quite a fairy-land appearance. At one a.m. a recherché supper was partaken of. Dancing was resumed, and kept up with much vigour till four a.m., when, the programme having ended, leave-taking commenced, all expressing pleasure at the way they had enjoyed themselves. Thus ended Jellalabad day.

Nottingham Evening Post, 2 June 1890:
A Train Blown Over by a Hurricane.
(Times Telegram.)
Calcutta, Sunday.
   A curious accident occurred to a train on the Southern Mahratta Railway. When near Belgaum Station it was completely blown over by a hurricane. Some of the passengers were slightly injured, but no great damage was done.

Wells Journal, 17 July 1890:
  Death of Lieutenant-Colonel William Cox.—Intelligence has been received at Taunton from the Cantonment of Belgaum, in India, of the somewhat sudden death of Lieutenant-Colonel William Cox, which occurred on the 13th of last month. The deceased was in command of the 2nd Battalion of Prince Albert's (Somersetshire Light Infantry). He was very popular with the regiment, and had seen very considerable service.

London Standard, 13 September 1890:
  Brigadier General E. Faunce has been selected for the command of the Belgaum District of the Indian Army.

Please cite your sources.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

Contact   |  Copyright notice  |   Privacy statement   |   Site map

© Alison Kilpatrick 2014–2019. All rights reserved.