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in His Majesty's service in Bengal, and the comparative salubrity or otherwise of the different Stations for European Troops in this command.
As to the healthiness of the Stations occupied by H. Majesty's Troops in Bengal, the following abstract from their Sick Returns will serve so far, to afford the requisite information for a period of four years, as to their comparative degree of health from 1830 to 1833 inclusive.
Among the Officers there were ten more deaths, but none of which occurred in any of the above Stations, viz.
Giving the following proportions of deaths among the Officers His Majesty's service for four years, from 1830 to 1833 inclusive
Among the Men also there were other deaths, not within the scope of the foregoing Statement; in consequence of which an abstract is give to include the whole of the casualties regimentally among all His Majesty's Troops throughout the Bengal command, for the period 1830 to 1833.
Shewing the strength and deaths, and the ratio of deaths to strength, in His Majesty's Regiments, in the Bengal command.
It is to be observed that the strength of the troops in this statement is as given in the Regimental Returns on the 1st January of each year, and which differs from the mean annual strength; the latter being 32041, the ratio of total deaths to it is 4.99. In the different Stations of His Majesty's Regiments in the Presidency of Bengal, there is so little difference in the periods and duration of the seasons, as well as in their general temperature and climate, that it is upon the innate features of each Station itself, and from the data afforded by
its Returns, that its comparative salubrity would appear to be best deduced.
The steadiness or mutability of the climate, or considerable anomalies of weather, or physical properties, seem more to influence the health of the troops than either its heat or its cold, abstractedly considered.
The causes of sickness in many Stations must be traced to other sources than climate.
The soil of Bengal being composed of alluvial matter, formed by the detritus carried down by the great rivers, and accumulated for ages, there is a poison in the exhalations of such soils, the nature of which is unknown; but from it emanate all those species and varieties of fevers, (dependent on marsh miasma as their remote cause) so frequent in Bengal, and to which one general character appertainsperiodicity, or remissions, and exacerbations.
A large proportion however of the cases of sickness and deaths among the European soldiers, may be more or less attributed to excesses, especially in the use of spirituous liquors.
The relative healthiness of each Station is according to the Returns, as follows, from 1830 to 1833 inclusive
There are given Classification Tables, taken from the Regimental Returns, shewing the different classes, numbers, ages, and deaths, of the soldiers of His Majesty's service in Bengal for the years 1826 to 1833, viz.
Return of the different Classes of Men, Ages and Deaths of H. Majesty's Troops serving in the Bengal Command.
1826 being the first year these Returns were required, the term "unknown," was applied to those men whose ages the Surgeons could not then ascertain, but afterwards, when ascertained, they were taken into their proper and respective classes.