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Dragoons. Dragoons Buffs. Infantry.
11th Light 16th Light 3d Foot or 13th Light 16th Foot. 26th Foot 31st Foot. 38th Foot. 44th-Foot. 49th Foot
Proportion of Deaths to strength per Cent.
Dr. Burke's Reports.
13th Light 16th Foot. 26th Foot. 31st Foot. 38th Foot. 44th Foot. 49th Foot.
Proportion of Deaths! to strength per Cent.
General Abstract of the foregoing Returns, giving the Ratio of Deaths of each class for 8 years.
tion from 1830
Average proportion from 1826 to 1829.
Mean average] proportion for 8
From 18 to 20 years.
The General Abstract of the foregoing shews that for the four first years, viz. 1826-27-28 and 29 the ratio of deaths is,
From the age of 18 to 20 years 1612 per cent.
For the four last years, viz. 1830-31-32 and 33, the ratio of deaths is, From the age of 18 to 20 years 0.58 per cent.
There will be observed a striking difference between the ratio of deaths in each class of the two periods of four years; viz. first, from 1826 to 1829, and, second, from 1830 inclusive. But there is to be taken into consideration, that in the first period there are included the casualties (in 1826) of the Troops His Majesty's service who had been in active service at Bhurtpore, Ava, and Arrakan. During the campaigns, in the latter places especially, the deaths from disease among the young soldiers recently arrived in India, was very great.
Thus in the 13th Regiment Light Infantry, that had arrived in India in May 1823, and was composed chiefly of young soldiers, the mortality was,
In the 38th Regiment, which arrived in Bengal in May 1823, the
In 1822 in Bengal ..
In the 44th Regiment, which arrived from England in November 1822, the mortality was,
There is a difference however in the mortality of young recruits of Regiments when on active service, and the contrary; as, for example, in the 13th Light Infantry, which in 1826 in Bengal was joined by 600 recruits, of whom there died in that year 79, being a proportion of 13-16 per cent in Bengal.
His Majesty's 31st Regiment arrived in Bengal in June 1825, and was joined in that year by 500 recruits, of whom there died 65, a proportion of 11 per cent, in Bengal.
The volunteers are generally men from the age of 30 to 35, in which class the ratio of deaths from 1826 to 1829 (including a period of active service) was 6·92, while during the same period, the ratio in the class from 18 to 20 years was 16:12 per cent.
Besides the sending from England of lads too young for the service in India, there was another important circumstance as affecting their health, which was that of their having been sent out at improper periods; for they arrived in Bengal at the hot and rainy seasons, found to be more especially obnoxious to the lad or boy recruits; and of such, unfortunately, was the chief part of those sent out in 1826 to 1829, as well as before.
From the difference of habits of military and civil life, young soldiers are in every climate peculiarly liable to disease, and cæteris paribus the younger the more susceptible to feel the change; and this change has a direct tendency to induce a highly inflammatory diathesis, leading to such explosions of disease as witnessed here among the recruits. The tendency to disease exists it is true in all seasons in India in the young and plethoric, but it is in the hot and rainy seasons, and particularly at the commencement and termination of the rains, that endemial diseases are most dangerous, and fatal; yet this was the very time at which these recruits principally arrived in Bengal.
I took the earliest opportunity, and seized every occasion, to make the strongest representations on these important subjects, and of sending out soldiers for His Majesty's service to India at proper