Passage from India

30 March, 2014
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passage from india

Staircase: Gateway of India (1924)

Apollo Bunder.

‘By way of an anniversary tribute,’ Dr. Prashant Kidambi presents us with this post-

We do not know much about the English sailors who first set foot in Bombay in October 1626, but we do know about the last British soldiers to leave its shores. On 28 February 1948, the men of the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, slow-marched through the Gateway of India into the pages of history. Thousands lined the streets to witness the ‘simple and solemn’ ceremony. Indian soldiers and sailors accorded the departing British troops a guard of honour, accompanied by a rendition of Auld Lang Syne; the British band reciprocated with Vande Mataram. And then they were gone, ‘farewells echoing across the water, till the launches were far out to sea’.

Dr. Prashant Kidambi is a Senior Lecturer in Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester.

Photo- Illustrated London News (London, England), Saturday, March 13, 1948; pg. [281]; Issue 5682.

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