De La Roche, Henri Francois Stanislaus
Cavalry Officer in Sikh Army
A Frenchman born in Mauritius, served in the army of Begam Samru. As the force was disbanded by the British after the Begam’s death, he came to Lahore in 1838 and took up service under Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a cavalry officer on a salary of Rs 500 per month. Apart from army duties, he was occasionally deputed to settle boundary disputes on the Sikh frontier. After the death of Maharaja Kharak Singh he openly supported Sher Singh’s claim to the throne. At Christmas in Lahore in 1842, he fell off his horse in an intoxicated state and died. His widow, Fateh Bakhsh, built a tomb in his memory.