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Pellew - Major the Hon. Barrington Reynolds., Rifle Brigade
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Major the Hon. Barrington Reynolds Pellew, circa 1855.
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South Africa 1834-53 (Ensign Hon. R. P. Pellew, 43rd Regt); Crimea 1854-56, one clasp, Sebastopol, unnamed; China 1856-60, one clasp, Canton 1857, (Captn. the Hon. B.R. Pellew A.D.C,); Indian Mutiny 1857-58, no clasp (Capt. Hon. B. R. Pellew, 2nd Bn. Rifle Bde.) Turkey, Order of Medjidieh, 5th Class breast Badge, gold, silver and enamel.
The Headstone of Major the Hon. Barrington R. Pellew at Dilkusha, Lucknow, India.
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The Grave of Major the Hon. Barrington R. Pellew at Dilkusha, Lucknow, India.
Dilkusha hunting lodge at Dilkusha, Lucknow, India.
Major the Honourable Barrington Reynolds Pellew, 5th son of the Second Viscount Exmouth; born 1833; entered 43rd Foot, Ensign 1850; served in the Kaffir War 1851-52; Lieutenant Rifle Brigade, 1853; Captain 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, 1854; served in the Crimea and was wounded in the attack on the Redan 8.9.1855 (Order of Medjidieh London Gazette 3.3.1858); present at the storming of Canton (1857), Aide de Camp to General C. Van Straubenzee; Major 1858; Major the Honourable B.R. Pellew died at Lucknow 6.Dec.1858.
The British Relief Column for Lucknow siege in summer 1857 arrived to the south of the city in high summer after a lightening campaign by General Havelock.
The embattled defenders were in no position to help themselves, hard pressed as they were.
The relieving troops stopped at Alam Bagh, a walled garden, some 4 miles out of town. Faced with the native town to cross with loop-holes and narrow streets to get the Residency, it was planned to pass around the easily defended houses and go around in a wide detour to the East through richer, more open suburbs. This area consisted of a series of Baghs or gardens. To go straight up the Cawnpore Road through the centre of the City would have proved suicidal. They hoped, by leap-frogging from one to another, they could pick their way to the north side where the Residency stood.
On 25th of September they fought their way around and entered the Residency. One of these gardens or walled hunting areas was Dilkusha and was the scene of fierce fighting. Once inside the Residency defences, they bolstered the defenders and remained under siege until the hoped for fresh troops making their way up from Calcutta could arrive.
On 17th November using a similar route, Sir Colin Campbell broke in and took out all the surviving defenders. They were still not strong enough to clear the whole area and so a strong retreat back to firmly held areas was planned. Leaving the town towards the East, the sick, women and children were taken under escort to the walled hunting park at Dilkusha.
The Dilkusha or Heart's Delight, built in classical style in honey colour stone by Saadat Ali Khan as a hunting lodge, was in the middle of a large wooded park. This allowed for plenty of shade for tents to be set up.
It was here that Major General Sir Henry Havelock died of dysentery on 24th November, so shortly after his finest hour and before his full rewards were known. His body was moved to Alam Bagh to preserve it from the still strong rebels, while others were left in unmarked graves.
Thus it was that the area of Dilkusha became know for peace and quiet after the constant fighting and bombardment of the Residency. Finally the area was subdued on the return of the British troops, including 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade in 1858, and their young Major the Hon. Barrington Reynolds Pellew. Weakened by long sea travel, poor food and dreadful hygiene these newly arrived troops were swept by dysentery. Pellew succumbed and died, 6 December 1858 aged 25 years old.
He was buried with a headstone, with the insignia of the Rifle Brigade on it, paid for by his brother officers in the gardens of Dilkusha.
There it remains to this day, despite building encroachment on half of the gardens. The grave is in fine condition and stands beside a Muslim mausoleum in quite seclusion. The British Association for cemeteries of South Asia are aware of the grave.
Giles E Quinan