Showing posts from September, 2015

The First War of Indian Independence & Britain’s National Day of Humiliation, October 7th 1857

On October 7th 1857 Queen Victoria proclaimed a day of national humiliation in recognition of the barbarous acts by rebellious Sepoys and the brutal reprisals made by British troops.   Throughout the spring of 1857 several incidents successively raised tensions and in May the long simmering resentments and tensions of Indians living under British rule boiled over.  When native troops refused to train with a new rifle cartridge, used by the 1853 Enfield rifle-musket, which was said to be coated in beef (offensive to Hindus) and pork (offensive to Muslims) fat.  While this was indeed the case the cartridges were not in wide circulation and the British eventually took steps to issue ungreased ammunition and also altering the loading drill so cartridges were ripped not bitten.  Regardless of these changes many Sepoys still believe this to be an attempt by the British to further humiliate and undermine their religious beliefs.   Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket The refusal to use the cart…