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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/43

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no poetry could describe, no pen could narrate, adequately, the terrible bloody, but glorious history of that place, that Aceldama, called the Bailie Guard. The histories of battles and sieges, such as Alma, Inkermann and Sebastopol are comparatively ephemeral, evanescent as flashes of lightning in a passing thunder-storm ; but the history of the defence made by the Lucknow Garrison, in the Bailie Guard, will live for ever.

To the scene of the ground upon which the Lucknow Garrison sustained a siege of unparalleled severity for seven months, hemmed in by a barbarous and relentless foe, thirsting, like wolves, for blood and, like mercenary fanatics, for treasure, the entrances are now ordinary carriage drives ; and, without explanation, the traveller can see but little that will convey an adequate idea of the sufferings and hardships, encountered and overcome at such a terrible sacrifice, by the glorious Garrison, truly described by the " Bayard of India" as " more than illustrious."

The term " Bailie Guard" owes its origin to a Resident of the Court of Oudh, Colonel Bailie, whose official escort of troops used to be located at the gate leading to the Residency. During the siege, this gate was blocked up with sandbags, and barricades were erected behind it : it was then called a " post," or point of defence, and was placed in charge of Lieutenant Aitkin of the 13th Native Infantry ; a few men of his corps remained loyal and cast in their lot, for good or for evil, along with him ; with their help, he defended the position most gallantly throughout, performing acts of incredible bravery : he was rewarded with the Victoria Cross, and is now Colonel and Inspector-General of Police, Oudh, a recognition which he well deserves.

Passing the building formerly used by the ex-King as stables for his Arabian horses, now the Lucknow Museum, the archway (View No. 33) comes in sight ; this was fortified, and for five months the shot and shell of the enemy