Lieutenant-General William Henry Whitlock

[This is a transcript of the contents of 66-page notebook, now deposited in the India Office Library and Records, British Library. The small black notebook, with lined paper, and hard covers was written after General Whitlock had retired to live in London.]

My military career, if I may apply such a term to those early days, commenced when I was between 6 and 7 years of age. My father, the late General Sir G.C. Whitlock, K.C.B., was Asst. Adjt. General of the Mysore Division in India, and he took it into his head to have me dressed in uniform of his own devising. I remember wearing a scarlet hussar cap stuck jauntily on my head, a rifle jacket and military trousers with a stripe down the seam, terminating in boots and spurs. I had also on a small sword with brass scabbard and a sabretache. My charger was a small very handsome Burmah pony with flowing mane and tail. A military saddle with holsters and a military bridle completed my equipment.

I used to ride by my father’s side attending various parades. I remember on one occasion when a Cavalry Regiment was manoeuvring, they received the order to charge. I endeavoured to join in this charge from my position in rear and was much disgusted at my small pony being left so far behind notwithstanding my ramming my spurs well into him.

Sometimes we went to Artillery Gun practice, this I found very trying to my nerves for when a huge gun exploded, I wasn’t sure for an instant or two whether I had not been knocked clean out of my saddle. I was ashamed tho’ to confess my state of funk, but do what I would, I could never extract enjoyment from attending these latter parades.

At last the time arrived for my mother to take us all to England for our education. We embarked in a sailing vessel to go round the Cape. One of the passengers was a boy about 5 years older than myself, he was a tyrannical little chap and constantly bullied me. I used to appeal to my mother complaining of him but finding that she could do nothing, I became desperate, and one day in the Saloon I went for him and made such a vigorous charge home that there was quite a commotion. The passengers sitting there reading quietly looked up from their books and noticing the disparity in the size of the two combatants exclaimed: “Go it littl’un.” I did “go it” but of course with damaging results to myself! However I put a stop to his bullying me.

The voyage was long and monotonous until one morning a very suspicious-looking craft hove into sight, the passengers were somewhat alarmed by the Captain stating that he believed she was a Pirate! There was tremendous excitement amongst us at this announcement: hurried search was made by the Captain and crew for muskets and ammunition. I remember when these were at length produced, and the hostile vessel was at least 3 to 4 miles off, some of the gentlemen opened fire although the muskets didn’t carry 200 yards! This was a decided waste of good ammunition, but I suppose it was imagined that the enemy observing that we were in possession of firearms would hesitate to attack us. Whether our foe was influenced by this display of valour on our part I know not, at any rate to the great relief of the ladies, and I am afraid that I must include the gentlemen likewise, the pursuing vessel changed her course and we went on unmolested!

At length we arrived in England. My Uncle, a stout heavy man, came on board to meet us. It was rather dark in the cabin, and after he had been standing some time talking to my mother and noticing us children he saw what he thought was a low seat, and at once sat himself upon it. Unfortunately this turned out to be our native Ayah, who poor creature feeling rather squeamish from the rolling of the vessel had coiled herself up in a dark corner of the cabin covering herself over entirely with her cloth. My Uncle made such a deep impression upon her that she screamed violently and struggled vigorously to relieve herself of this dead weight. Whereupon my venerable Uncle hastily jumped up again exclaiming to my mother: Good gracious Harriet, what on earth have you got here!” And it was some time before he could be assured that it wasn’t some Indian pet animal that my Mother was bringing home with her!

My education commenced by my going to a Dame’s School. When learning to write I was so perverse and stupid in forming the letters that I repeatedly turned the loop of a y as if it had been a q. The old lady could stand it no longer so she told me to hold out my hand. In my simplicity I did so as if to receive a half-crown. “Whack” came her cane down on the palm of my hand! Judge of my surprise when she told me to hold it out again! I felt that having been made a fool of once was quite sufficient so I resolutely refused. She seized my arm, which I had squeezed between my legs and endeavoured to pull it out and as I continued to resist I was lifted off my feet. She then applied the cane to my back and shoulders. This however I found less objectionable than my first experience of corporal punishment!

I next went to a boys’ school with my eldest brother. He had peculiar notions on the subject of snoring, objecting to it most strongly. I suppose he must have been a light sleeper, he informed me that I snored and requested me to desist. I was desirous of obliging him but felt myself unable to control this faculty, whereupon he for some time endeavoured to cure me by shying boots and slippers at my head, but at the best it was a very sorry remedy, and I am afraid gave him very temporary relief from this annoyance.

My career at school was of the ordinary type. The Master, an Irish clergyman, was very kind to me and so was his good wife. He enjoyed a joke and sometimes invented amusing rhymes to the delight of us schoolboys. I remember his furnishing us with some verses for Valentine’s Day which we copied and sent to various schoolgirls of our acquaintance. They ran thus:

Sweet as the swine when cruel swain
Drives ring into his nose
But sweeter far the vocal strain
That from thy fine mouth flows.

Not turnips bathed in rippling streams
My dear, are fair as thou,
Nor carrots, brilliant as they seem,
Can boast thy cheek’s fair hue.

Dearer than buns or lollipop
Are thou my love to me
There’s not a sweet in any shop
But’s sour compared with thee.

When I was about sixteen my father wrote home inquiring what profession I should like to enter. I chose the Army. Just then the order came out that prior to getting their commissions Candidates would have to pass an entrance examination; I set out to qualify myself. This order however had not then been made applicable to the East India Company’s Service. I remember my surprise one morning when immersed in my studies receiving a letter from my father’s uncle in which he wrote, “I am glad to tell you that through the kindness of Lord Hill you have got a Cadetship (in the Indian Army).” As this meant no examination to pass I was delighted! As soon as an arrangement could be made I started off for India, landing at Madras and being gazetted as an Ensign before I was 17 years of age. I joined the Regt. which my father commanded, they were under orders for Aden. This was a desolate spot in which to commence soldiering but the Arabs from the neighbouring villages occasionally enlivened us. We were dependent on them for supplies, but as they were a bloodthirsty lot given to murdering and always went about armed within their own country, they were compelled to deposit their swords, daggers and matchlocks at the Outpost at the Turkish Wall before coming into Cantonments with their camels! On one occasion, however, a man contrived to enter with his dagger concealed in his ‘Kummerbund’, his object being to assassinate any Englishman he could, it being considered highly meritorious to slay an Infidel, for it assured the murderer entrance into Paradise as he thought even if he forfeited at once his life for it.

About 5 miles from the Cantonment was the harbour where the steamers anchored. We often rode down there for a little change and to meet friends who might be passengers on board. The would-be murderer was aware of this, so he took up a position on this road hoping that his victim would sooner or later appear. In due course a very powerful young officer of the 78th Highlanders (the Regt. brigaded with us) came riding along. The Arab beckoned to him to stop, pointing to his saddle girth. Young Weekes, thinking some strap had given way, pulled up. The Arab held the horse by the bridle and, while Weekes was stooping down trying to find out where the girth or strap had broken, he felt a twitch in the reins and, on looking up, saw that the Arab had drawn his double-edged crease and had cut the reins in two close up by the horse’s mouth. He next aimed a blow at Weekes’s stomach; the latter shrank back in the saddle and so escaped a mortal wound, his clothes only being cut. To avoid the Arab who was standing on the near side, Weeks dismounted on the off side, and being awkward at it went rolling down on the ground. He had barely risen to his knees in getting up when the Arab ran round the horse and attacked him, plunging the point of his dagger into his head, but as there was a thick towel wrapped round his helmet to protect him from the sun he escaped injury. At last getting on his feet he found himself half-dazed confronting the assassin, who aimed another blow at him, which Weekes received on his left arm as he raised it in defence. However he managed to seize the Arab by the two wrists and, bringing them together, he worked the forefinger and thumb of his right hand round the handle of the crease and in another moment wrenched it out of the man’s grasp. The Arab, finding that the tables were now turned, endeavoured to escape, but Weekes held him fast tho’ his left arm was bleeding profusely. At last, drawing the would-be murderer close up to him, he plunged the dagger behind the ruffian’s ear, severing the jugular vein. The man dropped dead on the spot.

Weekes remounted his horse and galloped into camp. A party was sent out and brought in the corpse. I was in command of a Detachment and the Outpost that week, the Arab’s body was strung up on gallows at the entrance gate and chains were wound round it to frustrate the avowed intention of his friends to remove it at night and we were ordered to place loaded sentries over it. The sentries had a shot or two on dark nights at men creeping stealthily up to the gallows hoping for an opportunity of pulling down the body, for the Arabs considered that as long as the body remained suspended by the neck there were insuperable obstacles to the deceased’s entrance into Paradise. It was a most unpleasant duty for me, having to go “Round” at night and to pass this fetid body which exposed to a tropical sun during the day had swollen enormously but much worse was it for the unfortunate sentry pacing up and down for two mortal hours in this loathsome spot.

Another tragic occurrence took place at Aden while I was there. A party of officers went into the interior on a shooting expedition. Whilst sleeping in a tent at night an Arab crept in, stabbing Captain Milne as he lay asleep on his cot. Lieut. MacPherson, hearing poor Milne’s scream, jumped up and encountered the Arab, who however got away after inflicting severe wounds on MacPherson. Poor Milne died shortly afterwards but MacPherson recovered and, with his glorious Regiment the 78th Highlanders, distinguished himself much in the Indian Mutiny, gaining the Victoria Cross. He and I were subalterns together at Aden, but the next time we met he had become Sir Herbert MacPherson, K.C.B., and, as Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, inspected my Regt. at Rangoon when I was in command of it. He held a levée at Rangoon, and when I was presented to him greeted me in the most friendly way, saying, “How are you Whitlock?” He evidently had not forgotten the Aden days.

On leaving Aden to join the Regt. to which I had been lately appointed, I went to Madras on my way, arriving just as the expedition was about to start for the capture of Rangoon. My Regt. was under orders to take part in the campaign, so I obtained permission to embark with the Force sent from Madras and meet my Corps on its arrival in Burmah, but as owing to the want of transport they were detained some weeks in India, I found myself in the anomalous position of being with a Force about to go into action and yet belonging to no Regt. within it! This difficulty was got over by my temporarily doing duty with the 51st K.O.L.I., a wing of which Regt. was on board the steamer, the Steam Frigate Sesostris, where I was. I well remember my first experience of real warfare. Our Steamer being armed with two 68 pounders and four 24 pounders was one of the leading vessels to commence the attack on the double stockade which lined both banks of the river near Rangoon. It was an exciting time as we slowly steamed up the river at half speed, gradually finding ourselves between two batteries of heavy guns. Our sailors stood to their guns ready to open fire directly the first shots came from the enemy. Our men were all sent below to be out of harm’s way, but the officers remained on the upper deck watching with much interest the course of the fray. There was an ominous silence at first but presently I noticed that one of the enemy’s guns was run out, we saw a flash and a puff of smoke, and then observed a round shot strike the water on one side of the steamer whirring over our heads. Our guns replied and soon we were pounding away at each other. Presently up came the 50-gun frigate The Fox and it was a sight to see her deliver a broadside at such a very close range.

During the fight a round shot struck a young officer of the 51st who was standing close to me. I looked round and saw him in the act of falling, his collarbone having been smashed in. The wound proved a mortal one from which he shortly afterwards died and was buried that evening. At last we silenced their batteries and afterwards during the whole night fired red hot shot at the Citadel and Town of Rangoon, setting fire to the houses.

The next morning we landed. Our first piece of work was to capture an outlying fort on the outskirts of the Town. I was with No. 6 Company of the 51st. and our Regt. led the attack. The enemy so strongly opposed our advance that one company after another was sent out in skirmishing order until at last only half a Company remained between us of No. 6 and the head of the Column. As we got nearer to this stockade we came to an avenue of large trees. About 50 yards from it the fire from the enemy here became very heavy. Leaves of the trees overhead were dropping in front of my eyes, cut off by bullet and again and again I heard the thud of bullets striking the trunks of these trees close at my side. Going on I saw Captain Blundell lying on the broad of his back shot thro’ the stomach (a mortal wound). I couldn’t help saying as I passed on, “Hullo! Blundell, I am sorry you’re hit.” He replied, “Never mind me, Whitlock, cheer on the men.”

The fire was so heavy that there was a temporary check, the men getting under cover and returning the fire instead of dashing at the place. I remember well bracing myself for a dash rush across the open space of 20 yards or so which separated us from the enemy; it was rather like a rush at football (barring the bullets). Away I went as hard as I could spin along and soon reached the foot of the stockade untouched by the shower of bullets whirring past me. The gallant little sappers of the Madras Army, always well to the front in any scrimmage were planting their scaling ladders against the stockade. I went up amongst the first three or four and as I ascended rung after rung of the ladder I remember anticipating seeing a crowd of savage faces belonging to men fully armed and ready to chop me to pieces on my getting to the top. I recollect during those few moments deciding to jump in amongst them and lay about me with my sword, tho’ I shouldn’t have lasted long in such an unequal fight for the place was crowded with the enemy. But when I reached the top of the parapet the enemy were just turning to bolt out at the opposite side to that by which we were entering so that we all at last got comfortably into the place. Some few of the enemy, however, who were the last to leave were killed by us inside the stockade. One man I saw rush past an officer of the 51st in his endeavour to get out of the place. This officer was a tall young fellow and as the man went by he gave him a backhander with a heavy cavalry sword, which he had taken into action with him. The blow struck the man on the back of the head and sent him reeling to the ground.

We next had to storm Rangoon itself but as it took some time to land our heavy guns and afterwards to drag them up to a suitable position from which to bombard the Citadel we were two days over it. The enemy during this interval frequently attacked our picquets, especially at night; the whole Force bivouacked in the vicinity of the picquets and frequently we were roused from our slumbers when the enemy advanced in any strength. It was a novel experience for me being awoke out of a sound sleep by the loud command: “Fall in, stand to your arms.” It was during the very height of the hot season when these operations were carried out; we were exposed to a blazing hot sun all day for no tents were pitched and O! what we suffered from thirst and O! what we drank to assuage our thirst. I shudder to think of the dirty muddy water that went down my throat during this time but I was thankful to get even such an unpalatable beverage as that, for the inside of my throat felt as if it was very dry leather! Whilst the heavy guns were being slowly dragged up we were exposed to a cannonade from the enemy batteries: every now and then a round shot would come crashing into the trees overhead. We could do nothing to keep down the fire for in those days the rifles of the present time were not invented so we had to grin and bear it. At last the preparations for the assault having been completed, the gallant 18th Royal Irish led the attack and we stormed the place.

The next fight I was in was at the taking of Pegu. My Regt. had a Rifle Company to which I belonged. Being better armed than the other troops, who had only the old Brown Bess, we were ordered to cover the advance and were therefore sent on the front. The town of Pegu was surrounded by a stockade and in front of this stockade was a deep ditch full of water. We had no pontoons on which to cross so we had to march along the edge of this ditch till we came to a ford some two miles inland where we could cross. My company was leading the attack and the enemy concealed behind the stockade on the other side of the ditch peppered our left flank. As we moved along, we returning their fire as best we could, suddenly I felt a tremendous whack in my right elbow and, on looking to see what it was, felt blood trickling down my arm and found that a bullet fired from my left had first struck me just below the heart and, passing through my shirt without touching my body, had knocked a button off my coat (sending it spinning against my right forearm) and had then entered the right elbow joint at the funny bone. In an instant my right arm was powerless and the pistol I was holding in my right hand dropped on the ground. I still went on remarking to my brother subaltern who was near, “I say Maud I’ve been hit” but soon I had to give in and lay with my back against a bank waiting for the hospital litter to take me to where I could find a surgeon to extract the bullet. No hospital litter appeared so there I lay and, as the troops passed on, I soon found myself left with one or two soldiers who I am afraid were skulkers.

Altho’ this wasn’t a time for hilarity I couldn’t help feeling amused at a remark made to me in all earnestness and with the kindest of motives by a soldier who was passing. He saw my prostrate form and felt bound to say something comforting so, gazing intently at my wounded arm and with an air as if to indicate familiarity with surgical cases like this, remarked: “I don’t think, Sir, it’s mortal!” Of course I at once shared that hope with him, but I’m afraid I smiled, for I had never regarded the elbow as a vital spot, not did I feel like dying!

A man of my own company had been severely wounded, shot thro’ the thigh, he was lying helpless not far from me. Some of the enemy caught sight of him, and three or four of them waded across the ditch and attacked him as he lay on the ground and sliced his head off, carrying his head across the ditch to their comrades who were on the other side and who heartily cheered the act. Providentially I escaped their notice. Hearing their cheers I thought it was time to clear out of such a dangerous locality, so I got up to make a move. The enemy caught sight of me, and poured a volley into me, altho’ the bullets came down on me like a shower striking the ground all around me happily none touched me. By this time our column had reached the ford and had stormed the stockade so I suppose the men bent on shooting me found it was high time to make a bolt of it.

Soon after I saw our own men on the stockade lately in the possession of the enemy. I endeavoured to get to them by wading across the ditch but this was not so easy, disabled as I was, the ditch was full of long weeds which became entangled round my legs and tripped me up at almost every step. I was so exhausted that when I went down, sinking almost up to my chest, I had to remain like that some minutes to recover breath before making another effort. What stimulated me, however, to fresh exertions was the unpleasant reflection that our men had not observed me in my difficulties and were all leaving to go on to the attack of an inner fort some distance from the outer stockade and I thought I should be in an awkward predicament if I were left all alone with the possibility of encountering, in my disabled condition, any straggling parties of the enemy who might be prowling about for I didn’t then feel up to making much of a fight having lost my pistol and my sword arm having a bullet in it. Just then the last two or three men were going off so I shouted lustily for help at the very top of my voice and happily attracted their attention. They inquired: “Who are you?” I replied: “An officer wounded.” They then came down and helped me up.

I was put in a dooly (a sort of litter) to be carried where my wound could be attended to by the doctors. My journey in this dooly was not an unmixed pleasure for we had not proceeded far when the pole from which it was suspended, and which rested on the bearers’ shoulders, broke in two and down I came, the jolting I underwent when the bearers tried to save me from falling added considerably to the suffering I was enduring from the bit of lead I was still carrying in my elbow joint.

At last I got to a doctor, poor man he was in a very excited nervous state of mind at having had to perform so many operations and fervently expressed a hope that I was the last requiring his services that day at least. I was feeling very famished having had very little to eat all day and it was now 5 o’clock in the evening so I suggested a meal of some kind before my troubles began, but this he wouldn’t hear of. To my inquiry if he had any chloroform he somewhat impatiently replied: “No, it’s all done.” I then lay down with my face to the ground and, as he sat on my legs to keep me from kicking, the doctor knelt on one knee putting his other knee into the pit of my back and then commenced to extract the bullet which was jammed in tight between the joint bones of the elbow. I have no ocular proof as to how this operation was performed, but from my recollection of my sensations I am inclined to think that the lever principle was adopted, just as you extract a tight nail out of a box, at any rate the bullet leapt out of the joint and rolled on the ground. The remembrance of that little operation has never been effaced from my mind, perhaps it made a deeper impression on me because I was but a youngster not having reached the age of 20 at the time.

I was beginning to make a good recovery, as I thought, during the first few days, and was even inclined to think that after all such a wound as mine was not so very bad for I was able to walk about, with my arm in a sling of course, but before long such severe inflammation set in that one morning three doctors appeared at my bedside to amputate the arm (as I was afterwards told), but my suffering had so reduced my strength that, on looking at me, they came to the conclusion that I should sink under the operation. This decision saved my arm and I was afterward sent to England on sick leave for the recovery of my health but my right arm has ever since remained disabled, the elbow joint being “anchylosed”.

I returned to India just before the Mutiny broke out and before long was ordered to take part in the operations. My father had been appointed to the command of a moveable column and I joined him as his Aide-de-Camp. During the Campaign I got a very severe and dangerous attack of jungle fever, which very nearly proved fatal. I was then sent on a year’s sick leave to a sanatorium in the Nilgiri Hills, and when my leave expired the Mutiny had been well nigh stamped out, so my remaining service was spent in peaceful cantonments. But even in these times of peace I had one or two exciting adventures, for instance when marching with my Regt. to Secunderabad on one occasion we arrived at a stage in the march which was close to the large native City of Hyderabad. In the evening I was sitting in our large mess tent, waiting for our men to fall in on parade when, as acting Adjutant, I was going to inspect them.

Whilst chatting and talking with the other officers we suddenly heard a loud bang and “ping” went a bullet over the tent! We all jumped up and ran outside to see who had fired the shot, but there was no-one in view, so we disappeared in different directions searching for the culprit. I happened to go alone toward the City for I thought it was extremely probable that some miscreant from the Native Town had fired into our Camp. On reaching the summit of a bit of rising ground, I saw two ruffians fully armed walking away so of course I came to the conclusion that one of them had fired the shot. I shouted to them to halt. They turned round and, seeing that I was alone, treated my order with contempt and continued going along. This got my blood up, so I rushed after them and when I came up to them I said: “What do you mean by firing into our Camp?” They made some excuse so I added: “All right, I’ll put you both in the Guard, come along.” But they wouldn’t move. I then assumed a threatening attitude laying my hand on the hilt of my sword as if about to draw it, and spoke in a loud angry determined voice. This had such an effect that they gave in and I marched them along as prisoners toward our Camp. But after a time they began to feel ashamed at one man capturing two like that so they stopped again and refused to go further. In vain I threatened them. Hearing a noise I looked round and saw some ten or fifteen men (their comrades evidently all of them armed) rushing down upon me. I felt I was rather in for it so there was nothing left but to be perfectly cool and to put a bold face on the matter!

When they came up I said simply: “Well, what do you want?” They replied: “You are not going to take these men off.” “Yes,” I said, “I am going to put them in the Guard.” They answered: “You shan’t.” I replied: “I will.” But this was easier said than done with the odds against me! In a moment I was completely mobbed by them and certainly my life wasn’t worth a snap of the fingers for I might have been stabbed or cut down at any moment. Just at that critical time the other officers and some of our men caught sight of me and came charging down to the rescue, driving back my assailants! I stuck to my two prisoners and had the satisfaction of lodging them in our Guard; they were subsequently handed over to Sir Salar Jung, the Prime Minister at the Court of the Nizam, and by him severely punished.

Arriving at Secunderabad I was soon after transferred to another Regt. to officiate in a higher appointment; the officer for whom I was acting, Colonel Jones, had gone on Furlough to England. When his leave expired his Regt. was under orders to march to another Station, he wanted to save himself the expense and trouble of travelling to Secunderabad knowing that, on arrival, he would have to start again on the march with his Corps so he made interest at Madras and obtained permission to join on the arrival of his Regt. at its new Station! This was rather hard on me for it obliged me to go on this march tho’ I would have to vacate my appointment at the end of it.

I had a very old tent, which I got patched up for the journey – I was much chaffed by my brother officers at the motley appearance it presented after undergoing these repairs! The Colonel especially enjoyed a joke over it and used to say to me on coming in sight of Camp of a morning: “Whitlock, what is that excrescence I see there?” pointing to my tent! “Excrescence, Colonel,” I used to reply, “why that’s the pride of the Camp!” At last I was obliged to write a little poem in defence of my poor tent. The chaffing to which I was subjected goaded me into the perpetration of the following lines:

My tent I see its proud head rearing
Alike indifferent to praise or jeering
What prompts that praise? An eye that loves
On beauty’s form to gaze and never roves
To look on objects of a lesser worth
Tho’ many such there be upon this earth.

What causes jeering? E’en bitter jealousy
Which envies Whitlock such a Tent as he
Has brought with him upon this very tramp
And very rightly named “The Pride of Camp”
For such it is tho’ age has browned the cloth
And filled with scars a Tent of so much worth.

This Tent I hope will soon enjoy repose
Unmolested by white ants or any such like foes
I want to find a home for it to rest its weary bones
I therefore do present it to Lieutenant-Colonel Jones
There it will rest secure beneath some arch
For if he can you may be sure he’ll always shirk a march!

I returned to Secunderabad after the march was over taking advantage of the Railway, which was then being constructed to meet the line coming down from the North. The junction of the two lines had been nearly completed but there was an interval of some 10 or 15 miles remaining to be finished. Over this interval I had to travel in a coach drawn by bullocks, it may be imaged how marked was the contrast in the speed of the two modes of travelling, to say nothing of the cruelties practised by the drivers on their unfortunate animals when trying to urge them into a trot, for they goaded them with an iron-pointed stick, and with remarkable accuracy and precision contrived to touch up the same spot on the bullock’s back time after time with noticeable results to the animal’s hide just there. Another supposed incentive to speed was twisting the bullock’s tail as you would twist a stick you wanted to break off a tree. All these cruelties went on continually.

I pictured to myself on this occasion an unhappy bullock of a poetic turn of mind, expressing his thoughts in the following lines, hailing with delight the advent of the Railway Train:

’cross dreary plains, down valleys deep
O’er ‘Nullahs’ and up ‘Ghats’ so steep
For years and years we’ve dragged our Carts
With aching limbs and heavy hearts.

But now the Train with Engine strong
A mile two minutes whirls along
No jolting of the traveller’s bones
Eliciting deep and mournful groans

And think again of our poor backs
On which have fallen countless whacks
O! blessings! blessings! on these rails
How much they’ve saved our poor old tails.

Completing my term of service in India, I have settled down in Old England, and have come to the conclusion after my experience of foreign countries both in Europe and the East, that there’s no place like England, and in England no place like London! Whether others will share my regard for the Metropolis is a moot point. I know I can truly say: “London! with all thy ‘Fogs’ I love thee still!”