Above: Risaldar Major (Major) Isri Singh of the 19th Bengal Cavalry. He wears the Indian Order of Merit awarded for valour in action, the Indian Mutiny Medal, the Second China War Medal with two clasps: "Taku Forts" and "Pekin 1860" and the Second Anglo-Afghan War Medal with one clasp. The photograph was taken in London in 1887 where Isri Singh had taken part in Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee as a member of her Indian cavalry escort.
While little biographical information has been found regarding Isri Singh, he finds a mention in Life of Hodson of Hodson's Horse by Captain Lionel J. Trotter (William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1901). During the Great Mutiny a certain Risaldar of the 1st Irregular Cavalry and holder of the Order of Merit, Bisharat Ali was among the mutineers captured at Kharkudar. Bisharat Ali was one of the ring leaders in the mutiny in the area and Brevet Major William Stephen Raikes Hodson in command of the 4th Irregular Cavalry (Hodson's Horse) had Bisharat Ali summarily tried and shot. Apparently his actions troubled Hodson's reputation for the rest of his life and Isri Singh came to his defense many years
later when he related his memory of the affair. The story was related to Captain Trotter by the Reverend G. H. Hodson:
"That he [Isri Singh] lived when young in or nears Bisharat Ali's village, and remembered him well, and how he used to boast that he could make the Sahib-log believe what he chose; that Bis was notorious that he was a very dangerous character, disseminating rebel doctrines, and preparing to take a leading part in the event of the rebellion succeeding, while keeping ostensibly on good terms with the authorities and hoodwinking them. Isri Singh never heard Major Hodson's conduct in shooting him called into question."
A & G Taylor - Photographer