Source: ebook on google

Source: ebook on google

Much has been written about Yi He Quan  movement, dubbed by western forces as Boxer Rebellion. The uprising was an anti-foreign, nationalist movement spawned by by the Righteous Harmony Society in China between 1898 and 1901 to combat disturbing foreign imperialism and Christian evangelism. Severe drought and economic disruption and weakening Qing dynasty in response to rapidly advancing foreign spheres of territorial and trade influence propelled the rebellion.

Allied international forces transported troops to China, including British Indian forces such as Sikh, Rajput and Gurkha regiments. They were led by British officers  and succeeded in rescuing foreigners who were inside the besieged Peking’s Foreign Legation quarter. In fact, in many written accounts it is stated that the first sight these foreigners saw were the impressive Rajputs riding in their fine soldierly attire. The rebellion though witnessed bloody executions and plenty of offences like looting, rapes, murders were committed.

The Indian troops with their impeccable turbans and accoutrement are found in several photographs, adding the picturesque element. However there is no commemorative roll listing the names of these soldiers.  Online auction sites occasionally surprise coming up with items that belonged to an Indian. Take for example, 1247 Havaldar Kishan Singh of 14th Sikhs, awarded a silver issue of Victoria crossing for his services in China, specifically Boxer rebellion. Here’s a picture that caught my eye as I was scouring the auction sites.