Viceroy’s Bodyguards British India, Old Photo 1934
This is an old 1934 photo of the Viceroy’s Bodyguards in the British India era. A commanding officer seems to be inspecting the guardsmen. First raised in 1773 by Warren Hastings the then governor-general of Bengal. They were also remarkable as one of the finest regiments that wore the king’s uniform.
Each of them stood 6 feet tall but not over 6.4 feet. The men were enlisted for 15 years of service and did 16 months of training at a bodyguard riding school. Before being passed out for ceremonial duties. Their duties include escorting the viceroy when he moves in state, and mounting and dismounting horses at the viceregal palace in Delhi or Calcutta.
This Viceroy’s Bodyguard Regiment emerged to be one of the finest in the world. The unit’s strength was said to be at least 1000 men strong. Made up of mostly Indian recruits. Although these bodyguards were into ceremonial duties, they did go into battle a number of times. Some of the actions the unit saw were the 3rd Anglo-Mysore War, First Sikh War, and had a smaller role in France during WW1. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- independence came with the partition of the nation & armed forces were also divided in 2:1 ratio between India & Pakistan. The Viceroy’s Bodyguards Unit was no exception a part of them went to Pakistan with the rest based at the Rashtrapati Bhavan who became the President’s Bodyguard.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s Balamani – Old Postcard 1902., Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Bombay or Mumbai – Old Print., View of Elephanta Caves Bombay – 2 Old Postcards 1910., Princess Leila Of Gondal On A Wolseley Car, Old 1911 Print