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Lakshmi Bai the Rhani of Jhansi. 1828 - 1858
At the start of the Mutiny she offered to raise an independent force to support the British which was duly agreed. On the 6th June 1854 the 12th Bengal Infantry mutinied in Jhansi and after killing their officers turned their anger on the Europeans in Jhansi Fort. Following a siege they agreed terms and surrendered and 30 men, 16 women and 20 children were promptly murdered. There is no evidence to suggest the Rhani had anything to do with this but the British believed she was.
Following attempts to persuade the British of her innocence she raised an army in defence of Jhansi the richest Hindoo city in India. Two neighbouring rulers saw this as an opportunity to take the state but she showed significant military skill in defeating them. Her army grew in size and the British saw her as a serious threat and a force under Sir Hugh Rose was sent to defeat her. Following a siege she escaped with some of her followers but was chased and nearly captured.
Joining the forces of Rao Sahib she attacked the British but was defeated. Next she turned on the loyal to the British Maharajah of Sindhia whose forces deserted him and Gwalior was captured and looted. The Rhani taking ownership of the fabled pearl necklace which our figure is wearing.
However the British forces under Rose tracked her forces down and attacked. Surprised when a detachment of the 8th Hussars attacked her camp she is reported to have mounted and armed with two swords and supported by her maid/ bodyguard fought back but was mortally wounded, the maid killed. Several days later the 8th Hussars interrupted the cremation ceremony.
Certainly one of the more unusual characters from the Mutiny the Rhani makes a splendid leader to your Indian Mutineers who fought not just the British but other Indian armies.