November 16, 2006

Gratuitous Historickal Posting


On November 16, 1857, 24 Victoria Crosses were earned by members of the British Army during the Relief of Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny, the highest number of such medals ever earned in a single day.

For once, that rogue Harry Flashman was not in the thick of things. Having survived the Siege of Cawnpore, he was occupied on HM service elsewhere by the time of Lucknow. Nonetheless, this episode is included in Flashy's memoirs of the Mutiny. See Flashman in the Great Game. (And lest you think Flashy's tales are nothing but drinkin' and wenchin', let me stress that George MacDonald Fraser here gives an excellent history of that rebellion, one that is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Fraser also has a talent for being extremely fair in his depiction without falling into the trap of holding that just because the Brits don't necessarily deserve saints' halos, the Indians automatically do.)

Posted by Robert at November 16, 2006 06:20 PM | TrackBack