Man Singh, Risaldar Major
Cavalry under Major Hodson (D. 1892)
Son of Deva Singh of Rariala, in Gujranwala district, now in Pakistan, was a soldier in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. He was attached to Raja Suchet Singh’s force. He took part in the capture of Peshawar (1834) and then entered Raja Hira Singh’s brigade as a cavalry adjutant. He fought against the British in the first Anglo-Sikh war at Mudki, Ferozeshah and Sabhraon. After the hostilities ceased, he was stationed at Lahore in command of a troop of fifty horse. In 1848, he was sent to Amritsar. After the second Anglo-Sikh war his troop was disbanded and he retired on a pension. In 1852, he joined the police under Col. R. Lawrence, and remained in the force until 1857. At the outbreak of the uprising of 1857, he was despatched to Delhi to join Major Hodson with three troops of cavalry – one raised by Nawab Imam ud-Din Khan, the second by Raja Tej Singh and the third by himself. This force, first known as Montgomery Sahib ka Risala, became the nucleus of the famous Hodson’s Horse. Man Singh served throughout the siege of Delhi. Shortly afterwards he was sent with Colonel Showers’ column into the Riwari district and, returning to Delhi about the end of October, was despatched to Lahore by Major Hodson to raise five hundred recruits. In March 1858, Man Singh reached Lucknow to capture the city just a day after his commandant, Major Hodson, was killed. Man Singh fought throughout the hot weather campaign of 1858, and was honourably mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry in the battle of Nawabganj on 13 June when he was severely. wounded and his horse was covered with sword-cuts. He received for his bravery shown on this occasion the Order of Merit. He served throughout the Oudh campaign of 1858-59, and was present at most of the important actions. At Nandganj where he captured three guns, he was severely wounded. The government rewarded his services by granting him jagirs in Oudh and in the Punjab.
Retiring from service in 1877, Man Singh lived at Amritsar. He was made an honorary magistrate in 1879, and in the same year was appointed manager of the Golden Temple. He was a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, a Provincial Darbari and a member of the Municipal Committee of Amritsar. Man Singh died in 1892.