This Day in History: 1857-04-06

One Goorkha Officer, one NCO and 4 Goorkha soldiers returned to Dehra Dun from the Musketry School, Umballa where the much-discussed and much-disliked handling of the new greased cartridges ‘was much felt’. They asked to pitch their tents with those of the British soldiers because they did not want to be mixed up with the ‘kala log‘ (‘black people’) as the Goorkhas called disaffected Indian soldiery. They also asked to be issued with the greased cartridges ‘to show the Poorbeahs* that they had no fellow-feeling with them in this question’. The Regimental history reported ‘They were thought none the less of by their Goorkha comrades for having used the greased cartridge‘.

* = ‘Poorbeah’ is another name the Goorkhas had for Indian sepoys, from the word ‘purbiya’ meaning ‘easterner’, referring to Brahmans and Rajputs
from Oudh who made up the majority of the Bengal Native Infantry.