Bengal Horse Artillery Officer 1830
1/10 scale resin bust
Sculpted by: Aaron Brown
Box Art Painted by: Mike Cramer
The Bengal Army was the army of the Presidency of Bengal, one of the three presidencies of British Empire in South Asia. Although based in Bengal in eastern India, the presidency stretched across northern India and the Himalayas all the way to the North West Frontier Province (now the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). The presidency armies, like the presidencies themselves, belonged to the East India Company until the Indian Rebellion of 1857, when the British Crown took over all three presidencies. The Bengali presence in the Bengal Army was reduced in the late nineteenth century because of their perceived primary role as mutineers in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
The Bengal Artillery was ancient and the first troop was formed in 1800 and in 1801 served in Egypt and gained the battle honor of the Sphinx which appears on the officers helmet. The regiment also was awarded battle honors at AVA in the first Burma War 1824-1826, and at BHURTPORE 1826. The Bengal Horse Artillery was the first experimental troop of the Horse Artillery formed in 1806. By 1809 there were three troops with Head Quarters in DUM DUM, the 1st brigade at Kumaul, the 2nd at Meerut, and the 3rd at Cowpore. By 1818 there were seven troops including a rocket troop. For a short while, the first troop included native drivers, but they were replaced by Europeans and the regiment remained all European until 1818.
The Bengal Horse Artillery uniform of 1830 was based on the British Royal Horse Artillery uniform but with a Roman style helmet , with leopard skin turban and fine long scarlet horse hair plume, which brought them the nickname of “Red Men”. The tassel on the red plume is gold. The tunic was dark blue with red facings heavily laced in gold. The pouch belt was cavalry pattern, gold with red train, no chains and pickers were worn on the belt in this period. Worn around the waist was a red and gold barrel sash.
The bust is based on the 1830’s Bengal Horse Artillery helmet in the Cramer Museum