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Lahore Cantonment Through History(1846-1947)

FOOLS_NIGHTMARE

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After the defeat of sikhs and annexation of Lahore the British troops were stationed initially at Anarkali but later moved to Mian Mir. It was this that became to be known as Lahore Cantonment and was established in 1850 by Lt. Gen Sir Charles Napier. It was a beautifully planned cantonment with wide roads, parks and well laid-out living and unit areas.
(General Charles Napier in Trafalgar Square London)
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When Lahore was occupied by the troops of the East India Company in 1846, the British and Native regiments encamped outside the walled city in the area known as Anarkali. It was a very unhealthy environment. During the six years that the troops lived here, there was a high rate of mortality from gastrointestinal diseases.
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This forced a decision to construct a cantonment away from the city. A new cantonment which could handle a large body of troops made sense from a military perspective. Lahore was an important communication centre with road and railway links east to Delhi, southwest to Multan, Sukkur and Quetta, and northwards to Rawalpindi and the northwest frontier of British India.
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(General Napier third right from the middle, 1864 discussing Lahore Cantonment)
Three miles beyond is the Lahore cantonment, where the garrison was stationed, a company of British infantry, still occupied the fort.
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The decision to construct the Mian Mir Cantonment coincided with the Cis-Jhelum division being re-designated as the Lahore Division. Till the Kitchener Army Reforms of 1905, divisions were not tactical field formations but administrative organizations controlling the brigades and stations in their area. The Lahore Division absorbed the Lahore Field Force under Brigadier Sir James Tennant, which had formed part of the Army of the Punjab since 1847. A large force of one British and five Native battalions, two irregular cavalry units including Skinner’s Horse and a large compliment of artillery were to be stationed at the new cantonment. Another heavy brigade of the division was located at Wazirabad and a lighter one at Sialkot.
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There are a few stories associated with the selection of the site for the new cantonment by the C-in-C, Sir Charles Napier. The most improbable was that he fell off his horse near the shrine of the Mian Mir and selected the site.

The author William J. Glover provides a very descriptive account of the planning and layout of the cantonment at Mian Mir:

“Military engineers […] designed its roads and fences, parade ground, rifle range, polo and cricket grounds, the British and Native infantry barracks, officers’ quarters, slaughter house, cavalry lines, Royal Artillery Lines and Native bazars; they laid out the sites for a Roman Catholic Chapel, post office, the British and Native hospitals and – in a neo-classical flourish– the oval shaped park at Mian Mir’s center.”
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The British troops in India lived in barracks which provided much better living conditions than the Lines in which the Native sepoys were accommodated. Right till Independence, the lines for Native sepoys had no electricity. The barracks at Mian Mir were planned by Sir Charles Napier, and in point of general arrangement, accommodation, lighting, etc. were a long way in advance of any barracks at the time. The major north-south roads were named after stalwarts of the empire i.e. Elgin Street, Wellington Mall, etc. and the minor east-west streets were named after the towns and cities in the new province e.g. Amritsar Street, Gujrat Street, etc.
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(The spacious planning of the Mian Mir Cantonment is visible in this aerial photograph showing the aerodrome and the GOC’s residence on the left)
The Native Cavalry Lines were at the southern end of the cantonment and the open space where the cavalry trained came to be called Cavalry Ground. This large expanse of the Cavalry Ground was also used for growing fodder for the horses.
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It took three years to construct the church – which was considered to be probably the most beautiful garrison church in India. The entire interior walls appear to be covered with marble and this effect has been created with mortar made from marble obtained from old buildings in Lahore. To the victors go the spoils…
(St Mary Magdalene Church Lahore Cantt)
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Some of the Units that were stationed in Lahore Cantonment Pre Independence
Instructional Staff of the 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force), Lahore Cantonment, 1903


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"First Battalion The Prince of Wales' Volunteers, South Lancashire Regiment" Lahore Cantonment, India 1910.
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The Royal Sussex Regiment 2/6th Battalion, The Regimental Theatre, Napier Barracks and Armoury, Lahore 1918-19
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7th Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment Lahore,1943.
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There is much to add to the history of the Lahore Cantt, but i will suffice for now. Currently the Pakistan's Army has deployed two of its Divisions in Lahore Cantt, namely the 10th and 11th Divisions,part of the 4 Corps which has its Headquarters located here. Pakistan Zindabad :pakistan: :pakistan:
 
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FOOLS_NIGHTMARE

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The Lahore Railway Station has always played a vital role in troop movements to Lahore Cantonment and beyond Since the early days .

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blueazure

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lahore cantonment is indeed beautiful and well planned

the roads are wide and the greenery is unmatched
 

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