The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

Soldiers of the Raj

Richard Manuel Sewell 1835 - 1873

from Judy Wright

This article was originally published in the August 2004 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


Ed: Richard Manuel Sewell is Judy's Wright's Great Grandfather. He was born in Valparaiso, Chile, a son of John and Juana Sewell. John was born in Madras.


Richard Sewell entered the Bengal Army in 1851. He arrived in India on 1st February 1852 and on the 12th of the same month was ordered up to Benarcs to do the duty with the same 27th N.I. at the same station, but on his way up he was stopped at Dinapore in March, and directed to duty with the 14th N.I. at that place.


In November 1852 he was posted in the 71st N.I. and in January 1853, he joined the Regiment at Nurpur, in the Jullunder Doah. In December 1855 he marched with the Regiment enroute to Lucknow and having arrived at the station in February 1856, he was with the Corps there when the Mutiny broke out in June 1857.


On the outbreak taking place, he joined the Volunteer Calvary, and with it was present in the disastrous action of Chinkni? in which his horse was killed under him by a cannon shot.


He served throughout the subsequent defence of the Residency from the 30th June to the 22nd November, rendering excellent service in many ways and especially in establishing an Enfield Rifle Cartridge Manufactory for which he received the thanks of Sir Henry Havelock and Sir James Outram, and afterwards, of the Governor General, Lord Canning. On the relief of the Residency and the withdrawal of the Garrison by Sir Colin Campbell, he accompanied the army to Cawnpore and was there present in the action of the 6th December when the Gwalior Contingent was fronted and dispersed.



He was subsequently appointed Assistant Baggage Master of the First Brigade of Calvary, and in that capacity he was present at the action of Khudadinj, or Kali Naddi, at the re-occupation of Fategarh, and throughout the siege and capture of Lucknow (medal and two clasps).


In April 1858 he was permitted to resign from the appointment of Assistant Baggage Master and to join the regiment at Lucknow at Cawnpore, and in the following month he went home on furlough.


In July 1858 his absence from India having been overlooked, his services were placed at the disposal of the Foreign Department, and he nominated a District Adjutant of military police in Ough. This appointment was cancelled in the succeeding November. On his return to India in 1860, he was appointed to do duty with the European Recruit Depot at Barrckpore, and he remained in that situation until the following August, when he was appointed Adjutant of the 1st Gwalior Infantry, and having joined that Corps at Morar, he continued with it there until January 1861.


His services were then placed at the disposal of the Punjab Government for employment in the police of that province, and in the following month he was appointed District Superintendent of Police at Jhelum.


During the last months of 1863 he served in the Ambala Campaign as Second in Command of the Punjab Police Contingent (India Medal and Clasp).


In September 1864 he was admitted in the Bengal Staff Corps with effect from the 19th February 1861. As a district Superintendent of Police in the Punjab, transferred at various periods from one station to another, the whole of the rest of his service was passed.


He was finally posted to Rohtak in 1872, and in that place he died on 24th June 1873.  Richard's grave is at Rohtak, No. 13.


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