> First EIC Soldiers
In 1747 Admiral Boscawen was sent to India with the largest fleet to serve in the Indian Ocean. His objective was to attack the French in Pondicherry and to recover Fort St. George, taken by the French in 1746.
He took with him:
1 Company of the Royal Regiment of Artillery
12 Independent Companies of Foot
8 Companies of Marines - to be supplemented by 3 further companies from Admiral Griffin's Squadron already serving in the Indian Ocean.
Note that very many of the soldiers of the Independent Companies" were former "Jacobite Rebels". After capture by the Hanoverian Army, they were tried, condemned and then offered either to go to the gallows, or to serve King George II - in India. Unsurprisingly, most opted for the second course and joined Boscawen's expedition.
After an inglorious campaign in August-October 1748, peace was agreed and the war was ended. The British, then having no further need for soldiers, offered to as many who wished to accept, service in the fledgeling East India Company Army in Madras. Although a makeshift Defence Force had existed well before this, under the control of Major Stringer Lawrence, this influx, probably amounting to over 1000 men, permitted him to establish the first regular EIC Army.
We attempt to identify here these 'original' soldiers.
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