Carnatic European Veteran Battalion

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The Carnatic European Veteran Battalion was established in May 1811. The Battalion was used in the Madras Presidency for soldiers no longer fit for ordinary service but who were retained on the strength for less rigorous garrison duties, or who had finished their tour of duty with regular battalions.

Purpose and history

"These were soldiers who had finished their term of duty with the regular battalions and who were retained in 'Veteran's Battalion' in case they were called upon to defend the Presidency for any reason. In this case, it was the Madras Presidency. At different times, they were called the 'Invalids Battalion' and did, indeed, include men who had been injured sufficiently to exclude them from normal regimental duties but not too severely"[1]

"The battalion was mainly involved in garrison work, that is, guarding the garrison of East India Company units to free up the young and fit men for active duty".[2]

The headquarters were at Masulipatam. Two companies, each of 50 men , were at Vizagapatam and Ganjam. More details are in History of the Madras Army Volume 3, page 343 by W J Wilson 1883 Archive.org

In 1837 there were 211 men at Vizagapatum,[3] 185 in 1838[4] and in 1839 average strength was 198[5].

The Battalion was disbanded in 1842[6].

Orphan schools were established at Vizagapatum about the year 1830, as an asylum for the children and descendants of the men of the European veterans at the station[7].This appears to indicate that by this time, the headquarters were at Vizagapatum.

Other European Veteran Battalions

The Madras Army List corrected to the 1st January 1857 shows a European Invalid Artillery Company stationed at Pallaveram and an Infantry company at Vizagapatam[8]

It appears that there were European Veteran Battalions in existence in February 1860 when the Native Veteran Battalions were disbanded, as the European officers from the Native Veteran Battalions "will be posted to the European veterans"[9]

Also see

  • Madras Native Veteran Battalions which advises that "Europeans were in commissioned and non-commissioned officer roles, the latter including lance corporal, corporal, sergeant, sergeant major". These Battalions continued until February 1860.

British Library records

  • IOR/F/4/389/9902 Apr 1811-Feb 1812 Content:On the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief, Madras [Lieut General Sir Samuel Auchmuty], the European Garrison Companies of Invalids are formed into a Battalion designated the Carnatic European Veteran Battalion.
  • IOR/F/4/635/17309 Mar 1806-Jun 1819 Content:Alterations in the pay and constitution of the Carnatic European Veteran Battalion - division of the Battalion into Artillery and Infantry Wings etc.

External links

References

  1. Bailey, Peter. Captain George Atwell SMITH Rootsweb India Mailing List 23 April 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. Bull Family History in India from Cathy Day’s archived website "Family History in India"
  3. "Extracts from the Annual Report by the Medical Board on the Health of the Honorable Company's European Troops serving under the Presidency o Fort St. George for years 1837-8-9", The Madras Quarterly Medical Journal, Volume 3 1841, page 50 Google Books
  4. idem page 54
  5. idem page 63
  6. East India (education): return to an address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 10 February 1859, page 369 Google Books
  7. idem page 368
  8. Google Books snippet search result partially shown in The Bulletin The Military Historical Society - Volume 47, Issue 185 - Volume 48, Issue 192 - Page 128
  9. "Reduction of the 1st and 2nd Native Veteran Battalions" government order dated 10 February 1860, page 195 Allen’s Indian Mail January-June 1860