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VICKERS, T[homas]. H., Sergeant-Major.

55th Regiment in India; or a Record of Events during Six Years’ Service in India; 1863 to 1869.

Published: Chakrata: 55th Regimental Printing Press, 1871

Stock code: 101195

Price: £1,250

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Second edition, the first being published the year before: “Many applications for copies having been made, after the First Edition was exhausted, the work was again put into type, as, as far as could be, corrections made up to the end of 1870. An Essay on Dress has also been added at the end of the book” (author’s preface). “An excellent example of its type, this history was produced entirely by other ranks – Printers: Privates J Hanrahan and B Flaherty; Book-Binder, Sergeant G Bremner – and published on a moveable press” (AMOT on-line regimental bibliography). Extremely uncommon, Copac lists a first edition in BL, and a single copy of this second in NLS, OCLC has only the BL copy. The 55th were deployed in India in 1863, and spent the following thirteen years there, the present volume is a rather eccentric account of their services including the Bhutan War of 1864-5, and accompanied by detailed lists of the men who embarked at Portsmouth in 1863; men who have joined the regiment in India by exchange, transfer, volunteering or reengagement; and men, women and children who have died since embarkation; together with details of marches, social activities, durbar duties and so forth. Vickers served with the 55th Regiment throughout the Crimean campaign of 1854-5 as a drummer boy, “including the battles of Alma and Inkerman, siege and fall of Sebastopol, repulse of the sortie of 26th Oct. 1854, and assault of the Redan on the 8th Sept. – wounded (medal with three clasps). Served also on the Bhootan Expedition in 1865, including the recapture of Dewangiri (medal with clasp)”. This information is drawn from Hart’s Army List, 1886, where we find that at that date Vickers was Quarter Master of the Border Regiment, formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 34th and 55th, holding the rank of Honorary Captain as of 1883. Ownership inscription of Capt. J. H. Sharpe, dated in the year of publication to the title page, John H. Sharpe also saw service with the regiment in the Crimea including the siege and fall of Sebastopol (medal with clasp, and Turkish Medal), and rose to colonel of the Border Regiment. A later inscription records the presentation of the volume to the 55th Foot in 1931, no accession markings.

Octavo (204 131 mm). Contemporary burgundy half morocco-grained skiver, brown linen-grained cloth boards, neatly rebacked to style in matching morocco, title gilt to spine, pale green endpapers, edges sprinkled red. Carefully restored at the corners, boards slightly rubbed and soiled, light browning throughout, overall very good.

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