The First Sikh War 1845
Date: Printed 1950-60s
Provenance: Formerly belonging to a Military Art Collector (UK)
Length: 65cm x 45cm (with frame) - 50cm x 30cm (without frame)
An original print, from the 1950-60s of Ernest Crofts depiction of The Battle of Mudki, The First Sikh War, which took place on 18th December 1845. Ernest Crofts commanders. Essentially the British managed to capture many of the Sikh guns after many hours of fighting. The Sikhs retreated to Ferozeshah whilst the British retreated to within Mudki with Sikh snipers still firing at them. The battle was in no way a win for either side, according to Cook, ‘thus ended one of the most untidy actions the British Army in India had ever fought.’ Treachery and inaction on the part of Lal Singh and Tej Singh had saved the day for the British.was born on 15 September 1847, and died on 19 March 1911. He was a famous British painter of historical and military scenes and original drew this particular scene in 1893 with reprints taking form in the 1950s. The battle at Mudki pitted a number of Sikh generals and commanders against the main British and Bengal Army, under its commander-in-chief, Hugh Gough, which had began marching rapidly from its garrisons at Ambala and Meerut. Under the orders of Tej Singh, Commander in Chief of the Sikh army, Kanh Singh Mann, Shumsher Singh, Chutter Singh, Mewa Singh, Rattan Singh Mann, were to remain at Ferozepore. Primarily to neutralise the limited threat posed by the Major General Littler and his small force of the 27th Native Infantry. However Tej Singh did not order any attack which gave the British a huge advantage later at Ferozeshah. When Littler and his forces came to out the route the Sikhs. Lal Singh retreated much to the chagrin of the Sikh
This scene shows the British and Sikh Armies clashing. The Sikh forces are visible through the Nishans (battle standards), Dhals (shields), Dastaars (Turbans) with Khula khuds (helmets), and Tulwars (swords). The painting by Ernest Crofts shows a balanced battle with both Sikh and British casualties. The print is in good condition with a new period matching frame.