The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 2: Colonial Responses to the Demand for Reinforcements
Colonial Responses to the Demand for Reinforcements
SOON after the outbreak of the uprising across northern India, British colonies in the vicinity were formally asked to send reinforcements from their own garrisons. A ship was dispatched to Mauritius from India to ensure that the word would be speedily received there and in South Africa. The British Governors of South Africa and Mauritius eagerly responded. Their letters to the British Government in India reveal both their immediate identification with the British cause and their keenness—as junior members of the imperial bureaucracy—to be of service to the prestigious rulers of India. Other rulers, such as the Pasha in Egypt, allowed British troops to cross their territories en route for India.