106th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Light Infantry)

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The 106th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Light Infantry) was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1862 to 1881, when it was amalgamated into The Durham Light Infantry, which was itself later amalgamated into the Rifles. Known as the 'Faithfuls', the 106th were 'the best known regiment in India' during the 19th century.[1]

History[edit]

The regiment was originally raised by the Honourable East India Company in 1839 as the 2nd Bombay (European) Regiment,[2] redesignated the 2nd Bombay (European) Light Infantry in 1844,.[2]

In 1846, the 106th was moved from India to Aden (now in Yemen), where the East India Company had established a new colony.[2] Between 1848 and 1857, the regiment moved around India and was variously based in Poona, Belgaum and Karachi.

In 1857, the 106th first served in the Anglo-Persian War in Iran, then in the Indian Mutiny.[2] Following this, as with all other "European" units of the Company, the regiment was placed under the command of the Crown in 1858, and formally moved into the British Army in 1862, ranked as the 106th Foot.[2]

As part of the Childers Reforms in 1881, the regiment was amalgamated with the 68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry) to form The Durham Light Infantry.[1][2]

1866 Jervis court-martial[edit]

On 25 June 1866, the regiment's Captain Ernest Scott Jervis, began a court-martial which was to last for over forty days.[3] He was found guilty of insubordination, but acquitted on charges of misappropriating goods, which included the Commander-in-Chief of the forces in India's mutton and pickles.[4][5] The Court found that he be should dismissed from service but also recommended mercy.[4] The Commander-in-Chief, Sir William Mansfield, instead had Jervis dismissed and his name 'struck off the returns' of the 106th.[3] The case was widely reported and the process,[4] and Mansfield himself,[5] were subject to criticism over the way the matter was handled.[6] Mansfield, it was said:

"...has hunted his victim, to ruin with a ruthless and persevering energy which could not have been exceeded if it had been directed against the enemies of his country...It is impossible to believe that a man who could so stultify himself and disgrace his high office and his English blood can be allowed to retain the all but most responsible post in India."[7]

In September, 1867, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces (military head of the British Army), sent a dispatch to Mansfield in which he severely rebuked him, but also censured 'in the strongest terms, the reprehensible insubordination' of Jervis.[8] The following month, the matter was raised in the British parliament, with further criticism of Mansfield, but a vote to restore Jervis to his position was defeated 60 to 48.[9]

In 1871, Mansfield was raised to the peerage as William Mansfield, 1st Baron Sandhurst.[10] Jervis was declared bankrupt in 1875,[11] and sentenced to time in jail in 1882.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Famous British Regiments—VIII. "OLD FAITHFULS".". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 21 April 1945. p. 23 Supplement: The Argus Week-end Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "106th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Light Infantry)". National Army Museum. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  3. ^ a b "The Jervis Court-Martial." Times [London, England] 22 Oct. 1866: 10. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "The revised finding of the Court-Martial upon Captain Jervis". The Spectator. 1866-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  5. ^ a b "CAPTAIN JERVIS'S CASE.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 11 December 1866. p. 2. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Proceedings of the Court Martial Held at Simla for the Trial of Captain Scott Jervis, 106th Light Infantry: On Charges Framed at the Instance of Sir William Rose Mansfield, Commander-in-chief in India, Containing the Case for the Prosecution. Advertiser Press. 1866. 
  7. ^ "CAPTAIN JERVIS' CASE.". The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 15 December 1866. p. 11. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "ARRIVAL OF THE MAIL.". The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA: National Library of Australia). 11 September 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "ADDITIONAL NEWS BY THE MAIL.". The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 15 October 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  10. ^ T. R. Moreman, ‘Mansfield, William Rose, first Baron Sandhurst (1819–1876)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 25 Oct 2013
  11. ^ ALLEGED FRAUDS BY A CAPTAIN. Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), Saturday, November 11, 1876; Issue 2353. (Gale 19th Century British Newspaper Database)
  12. ^ "IS A WIFE BOUND TO PAY HER HUSBAND'S DEBTS?.". Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889) (Grafton, NSW: National Library of Australia). 15 April 1882. p. 7. Retrieved 25 October 2013.