[October 13th 2007]
The Heavy Batteries
The Indian Army establishment for 1890 provided for four Heavy Batteries, two Bombay, one Bengal and one Madras.
Each had 4 x 40 pounder rifled muzzle-loading (RML) guns, and two 6.5" howitzers, manned by 4 officers and 88 Other Ranks, all Royal Artillery from the Garrison Artillery.
Transport by both elephant and bullock was provided by:
The use of Elephants
Major General B.P. Hughes, in British Smooth Bore Artillery of the 18th & 19th Centuries, (Arms & Armour Press, London, 1969), comments that the most impressive means of draught that was ever used was undoubtedly the elephant:
...elephants were freely used in India during the 18th and 19th centuries. They are efficient and highly intelligent draught animals, and are surprisingly surefooted over difficult country. Their only disadvantage has been described as "a strong sense .of self-preservation", as a result of which they are not reliable under fire. After one or two unfortunate incidents when elephants galloped off with the limbers immediately after the guns they had drawn had been brought into action, the Indian Armies abandoned their use in the forefront of the battle.
©Roger Ayers 2007 All rights reserved
This picture is taken from Army Life in the Nineties by Philip Warner (Country Life Books, Hamlyn Publishing, London 1975) p. 119. It shows a 'division' (later a section) of two guns, each known as a sub-division, with the gun detachment of 8 men standing in front of the team. In the rear are the two corporals who command the guns. Note how everyone is focused on the camera.
In the centre is