<h2>On 30 May 1857, most of the Oudh and Bengal troops at Lucknow broke into open rebellion against the British East Indian Company.</h2>
Tensions had been rising since the year before when the company had annexed the state of Oudh. Feeling their religion and custom were undermined and threatened the sepoys of the East India Company’s Bengal Presidency Army rebelled.
Katherine Mary Bartrum was there to witness it all.
Her diary records a day by day account of life as one of the besieged, and along with the letters that are included, give an intense image of this time.
As those around are struck down by bullets and disease, Bartrum does her best to survive and help those in need including her very sick infant child.
Bartrum’s story is particularly tragic as she spends hour upon hour waiting for her husband and the British forces to break the siege and free those trapped, only to find out that he had been struck down with a bullet to the temple.
This heart-rending account provides an insight into the Indian Mutiny, demonstrating the horrors of war from the perspective of a female civilian.
Katherine Mary Bartrum’s <em>A Widow’s Reminiscences of the Siege of Lucknow</em> was published shortly after she had returned to England in 1858.