Martyr's Well Memorial Applique Cawnpore

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Martyr's Well Memorial Applique Cawnpore

From 1940 to 1945 I lived in a colonial bungalow in Cawnpore, now Kanpur. Our compound bordered the Martyr's Well into which were dumped the victims of the Cawnpore Massacre of British women and children in what is now called the Indian First War of Independence.

My parents had a watercolour of a "tapestry" of the Memorial, which was dismantled in 1948. I found this, actually an applique, on ebay. Possibly only photographs and this applique now exist as a record.

After the "Mutiny", British reprisals were severe. The British East India Company transferred power to the new British Raj in 1858, the British becoming conquerors rather than trading partners.

The perceived suppression of Muslims by the Christian Raj led to the radicalisation of Islam in the Subcontinent and the setting up of hundreds of Wahhabi madrasas, Muslim religious schools, which were located mainly in present day Pakistan and there followed a radicalisation of Sunni Islam with strong Wahhabi links.

When Russia, the old enemy of the British Raj, controlled Afghanistan in the 1980's, we backed the Mujahedin opposition which we now refer to as the Taliban, a connection from the Memorial to the present day.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 11:11 on 15 July 2012, John wrote:

    I have an identical embroidery of this scene. It is rather faded and in places is breaking up. It was found many years ago behind a picture in a frame. I am not sure what to do with it or if it has any value.

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Cawnpore now Kanpur, India


most likely before 1944


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