Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Anglo-Maratha War and The Lost War Memorial At Noida

BATTLE OF DELHL Did you know that 207 years ago, in September 3,477 Indians, British and the French were killed or perished in the famous Anglo Maratha war? From the Sector – 44 bus stop, Noida, the upper quarter of this historic monument was passed off as a secret tunnel, sic, by an elderly gentleman who was waiting for his UP roadways bus heading Greater Noida. “Surang hai iske neeche.” Kamla Prasad from Dadri confidently pronounce. 10 out of 10 people when asked about the War Memorial perched within the Noida Golf Course, safely. The rock, an arched monument behind, with specific Victorian architecture is largely unknown to many people.
The memoir of the second Anglo Maratha war is by large off to public and it woudn’t be surprising if many of us would be unaware of the historic battle was being fought dated 11 September also called the 9/11 of 1803 -1805. The win (by the British) formally established the East India Company's presence in India. Battle of Patparganj (1803) – The Base The second Anglo-Maratha war or the Battle of Delhi or the Battle of Patparganj. The Rock, we would call it for convenience ahead, is nestled amidst scenic greens of an 18 hole Golf Course in Noida. Although a well maintained historic structure is of immense significance, it seems that every brick wants to say a little more. I had to ask for direction to reach the monument located near the 17th Tee or Hole by some workers. The Rock emerge out of nowhere, at least for a first timer like me, it seemed. Some members of the ASI and national archives has little concrete idea about this monument and had contrasting views on the same. Which I will write in my next post. The Noida War Memorial It’s an acting tee box for the 16th hole today, sic. Wide steps of the monument are instant reminders of the Raj Era. It’s grand and follows an Edwardian architecture. As I was going for a walk around the course and the sun was melting in the west, its rays shone brightly on this monument which leapt at you out of nowhere. As you stand in front of it, you realize the beauty of the grand structure which has wide steps (in all likelihood built when the monument was built) leading up to it giving it a rather royal look.
Brief History of Patparganj and Present Gharonda neemka bangar, the old name of Patparganj as Shahdara can find it original name in some of the record archives in the MCD - Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Chandrawali was another name of the present Shahdara region. The battle of Patparganj (1803) was also known as the Battle of Delhi. It was a defining victory for the East India Company then, but how did it matter to the locals? The second Anglo- Maratha was fought ‘near this area’. It is a dense cluster of small and medium residential and commercial spaces today, falls under 'high real estate value' category. Residents naturally unaware of a historic battle being fought 200 years ago here, “Forget monument, we do not even know that there is a battle of Patparganj, ever being fought.” Yogesh from Khichdipur says.
The National Archives of India, New Delhi had little or no idea of the story I was chasing and set to uncover. Check this - Inscription : — To the memory of the undermentioned gallant officers : — Major Middleton, 3rd Regt., Native Cavalry ; Capt. Mc- Gregor, Persian interpreter ; Lieut. Hill, 2nd battalion, 12th Native Infauiry; Lieut. Preston, 2nd battalion, 13th Native Infantry; Cornet Sanguine, 27th Dragoons ; Quarter master Richardson, 27th Dragoons. The following extract from the order of the Govt, of India refers to the action in which they fell : " The Governor General in Council sincerely laments the loss of Major Middle- ton, Captain McGreggor, Lieut. Hill, Lieut. Preston, Cornet San-guine, Quarter master Richardson and of the brave soldiers who fell in the exemplary exertions of deliberated valour and discipline spirit at the battle of Delhi. The names of these brave men will be communicated with the glorious events of the day on which they fell, and will be honoured and revered while the fame of that signal victory shall endure." This monument was repaired and the tablet which had disappeared was replaced by order of the Lieut.- Govr. of N.-W. P., 1898. The battle was fought on the 11th September 1800. To be Continued - Reference -,_1803 National Archives
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