Monday, 25 April 2011

Aldershot in turbans

As far as you could see, among the endless lines of tents and waving standards, the broad maidan* was alive with foot battalions at drill, horse regiments at field exercise, and guns at practice — they were all uniformed and in perfect order, that was the shocking thing. Black, brown, and yellow armies in those days, you see, might be as brave as any, but they didn’t have centuries of drill and tactical movement drummed into ’em, not even Zulus, or Ranavalona’s Hova guardsmen. That was the thing about the Khalsa: it was Aldershot in turbans. It was an army.


Flashman and the Mountain of Light, p.58, Fontana Paperback edition, 1991.

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