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SMITH, SIR HARRY GEORGE WAKELYN

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SMITH, SIR HARRY GEORGE WAKELYN (1787-1860), divisional commander of the British army of the Sutlej, under Lord Hugh Gough, in the First Anglo Sikh war (1845-46). Pie was a veteran of the Peninsular war and had also taken part in the battle of Waterloo. He saw action at Ferozeshah (21 December 1845), Baddoval (21 January 1846), and at `Alival (28 January 1846). His troops were stationed at Dharamkot when a division of the Sikh army under Ranjodh Singh Majithia crossed the Sutlej at Phillaur, seriously threatening Ludhiana and intersecting the Britisli line of communication.

Harry Smith advanced towards Jagraon to save Ludhiana where Brigadier Godby held a meagre force of 3 battalions of infantry. At Baddoval, Ranjodh Singh intercepted him, but by a dexterous manoeuvre, he extricated himself and advanced towards Ludhiana. Ludhiana was saved though the Sikhs claimed a victory at Baddoval. On 28 January, the British force under Harry Smith moving out of Baddoval surprised the Sikh army under Ranjodh Singh and Ajit Singh of Ladva at `Alival. Soon afterwards, Harry Smith`s division joined Lord Gough`s army and on 10 February took part in the battle of Sabhraon.

Sir Harry Smith was created Baronet of `Alival and, in 1847, was made governor of the Cape of Good Hope. He is the author of an autobiography, which was edited by G.C. Moore and published in London in 1903 under the title The Autobiography of Lt. General Sir Harry Smith, Baronet of Alival on the Sutlej. He died in London on 12 October 1860.

References :

1. Gough, Sir C., and A.D. Innes, The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars. London, 1897
2. Hasi-at BikramaJit, Anglo-Sikh Relations, 1799-1849. Hoshiarpur, 1968
3. Ganda Singh, ed., Private Correspondence relating to the Anglo-Sikh Wars. Amritsar, 1955

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