PUNJAB 1848-49, 1 CLASP, MOOLTAN ‘2ND LIEUTENANT A. W. GARNETT. SAPPERS AND MINERS’
ARTHUR WILLIAM GARNETT (1829-61), SERVICE IN BRIEF FROM ‘BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF OFFICERS OF THE (ROYAL) BENGAL ENGINEERS’:
‘Younger son of William Garnett, of Westmoreland, Inspector General of Inland Revenue, was born on June 1, 1829, and educated at Addiscombe College, where he obtained his first commission in 1846, and proceeded to India in 1848 as a Lieutenant of the Bengal Engineers. He was appointed Assistant Field-Engineer with the army before Mooltan, and wounded while in attendance on Sir John Cheape reconnoitring the breaches; he was able, however, to take charge of the scaling ladders in the subsequent assault. He joined the army under Lord Gough, held the fords of the Chenab during the victory of Gujerat, and went forward with Sir Walter Ealeigh Gilbert's flying column in pursuit of the Afghans. Having taken part in the first survey of the Peshawur Valley with Lieutenant James T. Walker (afterwards Surveyor-General of India), he was next engaged on public works at Kohat, where in 1850 the Sappers employed under his command in making a road to the Kotul were surprised in their camp by the Afridis. Garnett and Lieutenant (afterwards Major-General Sir F. E.) Pollock, who was also stationed at Kohat, were surrounded ; he held their position until the arrival of a relieving force from Peshawur under Sir Colin Campbell (afterwards Lord Clyde), accompanied by General Charles J. Napier, by whom the Kohat Pass was forced.
Garnett reconstructed and strengthened the Fort of Kohat, designed and built the fort at Bahadoor Kheyl for guarding the salt mines, as well as barracks, forts, and defensive works at other points on the frontier, including 'Fort Garnett,' named after him. He planted forest trees wherever practicable, constructed bridges, roads, and other works under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty, and in spite of serious obstacles mentioned in the Public report of the Administration, where the entire credit of the works is assigned to Lieutenant Garnett, he ' has made very good roads, which he could not possibly have done without the possession of hardihood, temper, and good judgment.' He was constantly interrupted by being called upon to take the field with the several expeditions in the Derajat, Meeranzaie Valley, Eusofzaie country, Koorum Valley, and Peiwar Kotul, &c., where there was frequently hard fighting. During the Mutiny Garnett was kept at his post on the frontier, where his experience and influence with the hillmen were of the greatest value. He came to England on leave in 1860, and was occupied in the examination of dockyard works, with a view to his future employment in the construction of such works if required at Bombay.
On his return to India in 1861, shortly after his marriage to Mary Charlotte Burnard of Crewkerne, by whom he had a posthumous daughter, and while temporarily acting as assistant to Colonel Yule, C.B., then Secretary to Government in the Department of Pubic Works, he was attacked with pleurisy, and died in his thirty-second year after a few days' illness. He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta, where his memory is recorded by a monument erected by his brother officers, other monuments being also placed in the church at Kohat, which he had built, and in the church of Holy Trinity at Brompton. He was promoted to the rank of Second Captain from August 27, 1858.’
A photograph of Garnett is held in the British Library, a copy of which can be ordered from them:
Garnett’s Wikipedia entry:
Condition NEF, with silver top buckle, naming officially engraved in running script, an official 'Indian Mutiny' replacement. A very fine medal to a well known and respected Engineer Officer. Sold with a good file of research.