Monday, December 05, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Mouton, Francois Henri
Commandant of the Regular Cavalry of the Sikh Army (1888-1960)

Born at Montelimar (France) on 17 August 1804, joined the French army as a volunteer in 1823, becoming in 1827 a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Bodyguards. In 1835, he got promotion as captain. In 1838, he accompanied General Ventura, then on leave in France, to the Punjab where he was employed as commandant of Cuirassiers in the Khalsa army, on a monthly salary of Rs 800. In 1839 he along with Foulkes accompanied Ventura on an expedition to Mandi, in the hills. Foulkes was killed at Mandi in 1841 by his own troops, but Mouton's life was spared. Mouton went to France early in 1844 and married Louise Brigitte Jolly. Returning to the Punjab in 1845, he fought in the first Anglo-Sikh war (1845-46). He, in concert with Hurbon, had planned the defence of Sabhraon. After the war, the British deported Mouton to France. He was reinstated in the French army, with a colonel's rank and had the Legion of Honour bestowed upon him. He participated in the Crimean War. He retired from the army in 1865 and died in Algeria on 9 November 1876.

Mouton published a report in French, Rapport (Paris 1846) in which he described himself as commandant of the regular cavalry of the Sikh army.

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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