Some family war history

This is a small digression, but it does have a connection to Christianity. A while back I was researching family history and it turns out one of my great grandfathers fought in the Sepoy Rebellion (aka Indian Mutiny), on the British side of course. His name was William Thompson. He was in Colonel Havelock’s Brigade.

Among other actions, William was apparently at the retaking of Cawnpore, a town in northern India that had been the scene of a massacre of European civilians. Because of this massacre, William and his comrades felt that merely killing the captured combatants wouldn’t suffice. Hence they first forced them to clean the scene of where the Europeans had been killed with their tongues. Then they rammed large quantities of beef and pork down the throats of the Hindu and Moslem captives respectively. Then they sewed them up in pig skins and hanged them. Then they buried the Hindus and cremated the Muslims – i.e. the opposite of what their religions required.

What can we take from this? Clearly the Sepoy Rebellion was, like many wars, a Holy War. This explains some of the not terribly nice behaviour on both sides and I would argue also explains why we (“we” as in Christians and in my case Anglo-Celtic people) won so quickly. We used to win wars because we had God on our side. If we want to win again we are going to have to get him back.

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