The Battle of Ramnuggur 1848
During the Second Sikh War, the 14th Light Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Havelock, took to the field with Lord Gough’s Army of the Punjab; they formed part of a covering force commanded by General Sir Colin Campbell. The main element of this was the Cavalry Division of two Brigades under the command of Brigadier Charles Robert Cureton, who had himself served in the 14th during the Peninsular Campaign.
Charge at the Battle of Ramnuggur
Outnumbered by the Enemy
The first engagement with the enemy came on 22nd of November 1848 on the banks of the Chenab River near a place called Ramnuggur. The Regiment showed great gallantry and panache, whilst being overwhelmingly outnumbered by the enemy. It was during the battle that Colonel Havelock was killed whilst leading the second and decisive attack against the Sikhs.
The 14th fought alongside the 5th Bengal Light Cavalry, who later presented the Regiment with a magnificent silver cup to commemorate this and the many other battles that they fought together. This is The Ramnuggur Cup and is given pride of place in The Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess.
Ever since that day, the Anniversary of the Battle has been celebrated in The Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess with a Ball or Dance for the Warrant Officers, Sergeants, their ladies and guests. During the celebration, the Commanding Officer, the Regimental Sergeant Major and all Warrant Officers and Sergeants enact the Ceremony of the Horseshoe.
Charged with Champagne
The Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ form-up in a Horseshoe, in seniority order, with the Commanding Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major at the head. The Regimental Sergeant Major then recounts the key actions of the Battle of Ramnuggur. Following this, the junior Sergeant brings forward The Ramnuggur Cup. It is charged with champagne and passed from man to man, each proclaiming ‘The Heroes of Ramnuggur’ before drinking from the cup.
The word Ramnuggur is often seen spelt in various ways, including Ramnuggur, Ramnugger, Ramnuggar.