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India- 'Elephant' or 'Tiger'

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India- 'Elephant' or 'Tiger'

Postby jf42 » September 10th, 2017, 4:31 pm

Would anyone care to hazard a guess as to why some regiments were granted an Elephant emblem and others a Tiger, in recognition of their service in India at some point during the period 1780 and 1838- mostly after 1806, I think (awards not service).

There appears to be no correlation between specific time period, campaign or geographical zone and which animal was chosen.
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Re: India- 'Elephant' or 'Tiger'

Postby Owen » September 11th, 2017, 12:27 pm

Or, indeed both as per the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who were awarded the tiger symbol with the Buxar honour, in the 18th century Bengal Wars, and the elephant with the Mysore and Carnatic honours = 3rd Mysore War. Therein might be the answer...

The elephant being so closely associated with Mysore https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasara_elephants

And the tiger, with Bengal, which (I think) was related to the Tipu Sultan effectively making the Tiger emblem his own. https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/67212/tigers-head


Not really sure if this goes towards offering an explanation - I know you say it doesn't seem to be geographical, but for this to represent even part of the answer, I guess it depends when/where the unit honour was won.

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Re: India- 'Elephant' or 'Tiger'

Postby jf42 » September 11th, 2017, 4:14 pm

Thank you, Owen. Those are both very useful points. As I said, the correlations didn't appear to be geographical but in the light of your suggestions, that conclusion may have to be revised :geek:

Yes, the Dublin Fusiliers certainly had more than one bite of the cherry. While I have your attention, are you aware of a specific reason why the Royal Munster Fusiliers had a Tiger on their post- 1881 grenade badge. I could find any note of a specific award to either their component regiments the 101st and 104th, but given that their HEIC titles were 1st and 2nd Bengal Fusiliers, the adoption of the Bengal Tiger may have been a simple nod to those HEIC antecedents.
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Re: India- 'Elephant' or 'Tiger'

Postby Owen » September 13th, 2017, 8:18 am

You are right, the tiger was to recognise their HEIC roots. It is mentioned here on the National Army Museum website
https://www.nam.ac.uk/explore/royal-munster-fusiliers

"The unit's regimental cap badge bears a Bengal tiger in honour of its East India Company roots."

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