British military monuments in India under English domination were an extraordinary theme, which grew by every year. The guiding factor was hostilities in relationships amongst Indians and Britons, as time passed. For example, things were not the same in the phase of 20th century, as it was in the early 18th century. Quite naturally Englishmen needed to safeguard themselves by fortifications. To accomplish such factors, bastions, fortress started coming up. Post-death military monuments were also an overriding factor during British rule in India.
As the British East India Company
`s military forces increased in size and as more wars ensued, monuments devoted to the military far outnumbered all others. Frequently executed in memory of a particular slain officer, it was common for them to be funded by fellow officers. The visual theme of grief predominated and rarely did they possess a visual sense of India.
During the 1810s, John Flaxman`s monument at St. Mary`s Church, Madras, dedicated to General Sir Barry Close (1756-1813), uniquely includes the auxiliary use of a cast of Indian mourners. Later this theme would appear again in J.G. Lough`s monument of Sir William Hay MacNaghten (1793-1841) located at St. Pauls Cathedral
A second theme regarding the British military monuments in India during this period addressed the factor of group death. In St. John`s Church, Calcutta, a monument is dedicated to the memory of Captain Charles Lionel Showers and his two lieutenants who died in 1814 while leading a charge of the Bengal Infantry during the Nepal War
of 1814-16. In another work, Robert William Siever executed a relief to four captains, a lieutenant and a physician who had died of fever in the course of the First Burma War
of 1824-26. It is located in St. John`s Church, Madras.
During the 1820s, John Bacon, Jr. created one of the first monuments using the weeping sepoy for his officer, rather than the lone weeping women. In this instance, the tribute is to Lieutenant Peter Lawtie whose monument resides at St. John`s, Calcutta. A second example is associated with John Hinchchlift`s monument to Lieutenant-Colonial Charles Barton Burr (d. 1821) of the Bombay Native Infantry, located in St. Thomas`s Cathedral, Bombay.
British military monuments in India bear even some more significant examples, when in 1834, addressing the theme of service to India, Francis Chantrey`s equestrian monument of Sir Thomas Munro (1761-1827), Governor of Madras was erected. The monument exudes the sense of Munro`s military and civilian authority. Placed on a fifteen-foot high pedestal, the sculpture symbolically elevated Munro above the people he served.