Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73

After Landing

      After nearly four months aboard the Clarence, the 18th Hussars finally disembarked at Madras. One can speculate that they were touched with anxiety and nervousness upon their arrival in this foreign country that had been such trouble for their fellow servicemen just seven years prior. They had likely read or heard some of the thousands of accounts that were published after the Mutiny, decrying the savagery of the Indians or the hostile climate of the subcontinent. This sinister tone would be in the back of their minds as they stepped ashore.

Follow the map to see what the Hussars did after disembarking the Clarence

      The barracks occupied by the Hussars in Secunderabad were a notorious breeding ground for disease. Years before, they had been condemned back in 1852 after a particularly nasty outbreak of dysentery. However, they were reopened after the Mutiny for the use of British units. After six years Secunderabad, the 18th Hussars had run up some troubling health statistics.
      The above table shows how hard the 18th Hussars and the units that preceded them at the Secunderabad barracks were hit by disease and virus. If the table contained a row for the year 1871, it would show a significant increase in the number of admissions and deaths from cholera. For more on cholera in the 19th century, take a look here. These numbers would confirm the worries about India's reputation for death and disease that the Hussars might have had from hearing rumors during the Mutiny. While the living conditions were unarguably bad, the poor health numbers of the 18th Hussars may also be attributed to their drinking habits. Alcohol consumption was a good starting point for many health-related issues in 19th-century military camps, and as you will see later, the 18th Hussars had a particular talent for consuming booze.

      Some of the Hussars didn't stay long enough to see the tragedies brought by cholera. Others lived through it, and a few even remained in India for years to come.
      You might notice that an incredibly high number left between their fifth and sixth years in India. That year was 1871, the year of their cholera epidemic. Some of the Hussars were fortunate enough to consciously leave India, while the unfortunate ones were not lucky enough to remain in this world.

1. Malet, Harold Esdaile. Historical  Records of the Eighteenth Hussars. London: W. Clowes, 1869. Print.
2."An Editor in Trouble: Grounds of Commitment." The Times of India [New Delhi] 10 Oct. 1865: n. pag. Print.
Cornish, W. R. An Inquiry into the Circumstances Attending an Outbreak of Cholera in H.M.'s 18th Hussars at Secunderabad in the Month of May 1871. Madras: Printed by H. Morgan, at the Government, 1871. Print.

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