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WHISH, SIR WILLIAM SAMPSON (1787-1853), divisional commander of the British army under Lord Hugh Gough in the second Anglo-Sikh war, was born at North world, England, on 27 February 1787, the son of Richard Whish. He received a commission in the Bengal artillery in 1804. In 1826, he was appointed to command the Karnal and Sirhind division of the artillery. In January 1848, he took over from Sir John Littler the command of British troops stationed at Lahore. In August 1848, he was given the command of the Multan field force, 8,000 strong, to march against Diwan Mul Raj.

He took up position in front of Multan and besieged the fort on 7 September. As the Darbar troops under Sher Singh Atarivala withdrew a week later, Whish removed his forces to Tibbi, and a period of inaction followed which enabled Mul Raj to improve his defences. In the beginning of November Mul Raj threw up his batteries which threatened Whish`s camp, but on 21 December he was reinforced by a column from Bombay and, on 22 January 1849, he secured the Multan governor`s surrender.

After the fall of Multan, Whish`s division moved northwards to join Lord Gough`s army. He reached Ramnagar on 13 February and took part in the battle of Gujrat (21 February 1849). In November 1851, he was promoted lieutenant general. Whish died in London on 25 February 1853. His eldest son, G. Palmer Whish, general of the Bengal staff corps, had taken part in the battle of Gujrat. Another son, Henry Edward Whish, a major general in the Bengal staff corps had also served with his father in the siege of Multan.

References :

1. Hasrat, BikramaJit, Anglo-Sikh Relations 1799-1849. Hoshiarpur, 1968
2. Buckland, C.E., Dictionary of Indian Biography. London,1906


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