Punjab, 2 bars, Goojerat, Mooltan, Indian Mutiny, no bar.
Captain Francis Andrews, 1st Battalion 60th Regiment, K.R.R.C.
A Gallant Officer, who was blown to pieces whilst leading a bayonet charge in a battle against the mutineers at Ghazee-od-deen Nuggar, 31st May 1857. one of three fatal Officer casualties of the mutiny for the 60th Rifles.
Having been a Gentleman Cadet, he was first made Ensign without purchase with the 48th Foot, on 27th May 1842.
Promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant on 19th December 1845.
Transferred from the 48th to the 60th Rifles as Lieutenant, announced War-Office March 23rd 1847.
Brigadier Wilson’s Force left Meerut on the 27th May 1857, consisting of Six Companies of the 1st 60th Rifles, two squadrons of the 6th Dragoon Guards, a troop of Horse Artillery, a battery of foot artillery and a small number of sappers and miners; A total of one thousand men and fourteen guns, two of them 18 Pounders.
The sun was fierce and they had to march by night and rest by day.
At the camp at Ghazi-ud-din-Nagar, Wilson wrote;
“I hope Barnard’s force will move down soon. For I am quite sure no European can long withstand the exposure we are now undergoing. The heat and dust are dreadful and we are all, particularly the Officers, marching in the greatest discomfort, from the Commissariat not being able t supply us with carriage. I sit or lie all day with a wet towel around my head.”
At four in the afternoon of 30th may, Wilson’s Came on the Hindan was fired upon by a mixed force of mutineers that had marched out of Delhi under the nominal command of Bahadur Shah’s Grandson, Mirza Abu Bakr. The main rebel position was in a village on rising ground across the river.
They had, in addition, placed two guns and a strong force of infantry to cover the 600-yard causeway across the Hindna.
“Under the counter fire from the enemy guns, the British Riflemen advanced, and moving along the causeway, came to close quarters with the enemy.
For some time a stubborn conflict was maintained, but our Hors eArtillery, Under Henry Tombs, supported by the Carabineers, dashed to the right, crossed the Hindan, making light of its rugged bank and dangerous bed, and succesffully turned the lef tflank of the enemy.
Under the galling fire then poured in upon them the mutineers reeeled and staggered, and presently broke.
Some took refuge in a village, whence they were driven by our Riflemen, and soon the whole body of the enemy were in ignominious flight towards the walls of Delhi.
Five of their guns fell into our hands, and they left many of their fighting men behind them.
Our Own loss would have been small, but for the explosion of an ammunition-waggon; not by an accident of warfare but by an act of resolute and sacrifical courage on the part of one of the mutineers.
A Sipahi of the 11th Regiment deliberately discharged his musket into themidst of the Rifles, Under Captain Andrews, were gallantly seizing the gun to wich the cart belonged.
The explosion cost the man his life; but Andrews and some of his followers were killed by it, and others were carried wounded from the scene. It taught us that among the mutineers were some brave and depserate men, who were ready to court instant death for the sake of the national cause.”
“The Officers that night drank in solemn silence to the memory of the brave departed, and from the manner in which the toast was proposed by Dr Innes, the surgeon of the regiment, and received by every officer and member of the mess, I am sure, from his gallantry and other estimable qualities, that the memory of poor Andrews will be long and fondly cherished by them” – The Chaplains Mr Rotton’s Narrative
Ensign Everard Phillipps of the 11th Native Infantry was with two companies of riflemen ordered to take the bridge, led by Captain Andrews.
Ensign Phillips recounts;
“On reaching the bridge the two companies extended, two more came in support and the long range of the rifles forced the enemy to abandon the guns.
The colonel sent me down to order the two leading companies to reform on the causeway and take the guns at the point of the bayonets. One of the 11th’s colours was with the guns – the sepoys carried it off on our taking the guns.
One Sepoy, Dars Singh of the 11th, fired his musket into a cart full of ammunition. Captain Andrews, Wilton and myself and about nine men were around a tumbril when it blew up.
Andrews was blown to pieces and four men killed.
Wilton’s head was bruised, God only knows how I escaped. I’m merely bruised, just a little blood drawn from about five places… When the smoke cleared up the enemy had retired to a village strongly walled, on rising ground about 200 Years Off. We fired a few shots and cleared it a the point of the bayonet. The sepoys fought like fiends, in one place we left about 35 dead all in a heap, killed altogether 50 and lost five men of rifles.”