“The Life of a Scarlet Lancer at war
“This is an essential book for all those interested in the wars in India as the British Empire finally brought the jewel of the sub-continent into the crown of its young Queen-Empress, Victoria. It is also an ideal view of life within the ranks of a British cavalry regiment-the 16th Queen's Lancers-by one of its ordinary soldiers, Sergeant Gould. He experienced a time of conflict from the passes of the Hindu Kush to the veldt of South Africa and he tells his story across time in an engagingly direct and simple style that reveals him to be a typical man, and 'Soldier of the Queen,' of his day; this, of course, makes his account all the more valuable. We join the 16th Lancers and Gould in the Campaign of the Indus and the fall of Guznee as the British sought to place the puppet Shah Shuja on the throne of Afghanistan. We join him in the short but bloody Gwalior War and the fall of the Mahrattas. The Sikhs of the Punjab were possibly the most formidable martial force India had seen and at Aliwal, first as an orderly to Sir Harry Smith and then in the famous charge of the 16th Lancers itself, Gould recounts in graphic personal detail why that was so. This book concludes with Gould's time in South Africa, under Smith and others, as the British consolidated their territory in the Cape against the Kaffir tribes.”-Print ed.