| Our Empire Story|
|by H. E. Marshall|
|Vivid and picturesque account of the principal events in the building of the British Empire. Traces the development of the British colonies from days of discovery and exploration through settlement and establishment of government. Includes stories of the five chief portions of the Empire: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Ages 10-16 |
 THE Union Jack floated once more upon the walls of
Cawnpore, but there was still much to do ere Mutiny
should be over. "Soldiers," said Havelock, "your
general is satisfied, and more than satisfied, with
you. But your comrades of Lucknow are in danger." And
with the memory of Cawnpore in their hearts, Havelock
and his men marched on to Lucknow.
But Havelock had to fight his way there. He lost so
many men and used so much ammunition that at last he
was not strong enough to take Lucknow. He was obliged
to turn back to Cawnpore and wait until Sir James
Outram joined him with more troops. Outram was a
gallant soldier, "without fear and without reproach,"
and together these two brave men marched to help their
At Lucknow the British had taken refuge in the
Residency. This was a number of houses and gardens
surrounded by a wall. It was not very strong, but it
was far better than the old hospital at Cawnpore. Sir
Henry Lawrence, the governor, was a wise and careful
man. Seeing the storm coming, he did everything he
could to meet it. He gathered stores of food and
ammunition, and strengthened the defences of the
Residency. But alas, at the very beginning of the
siege, Sir Henry was killed.
 One day a shell burst into the room where he was
talking with some of his officers. There was a
blinding flash, a fearful roar, and the room was filled
with dust and smoke. In the deep silence which
followed, someone asked, "Are you hurt, Sir Henry?"
For a moment there was no answer. Then quietly he
replied, "I am killed."
So brave Sir Henry died. "If you put anything on my
tombstone," he said, "let it be only, 'Here lies Henry
Lawrence who tried to do his duty. May the Lord have
mercy on his soul.'" Then with his last breath he urged
his men never to give in, but to fight to the end.
The terrible summer days dragged on—days spent amid all
the noise and din, dust and smoke of war, nights of
anxious watchings, broken with sudden alarms. The
houses were shattered and riddled with shot, so as to
be scarcely any protection from the burning sun or from
the enemies' guns. Food was scarce, clothes were in
rags. But still the men fought and watched, and the
women prayed and waited, and endured. And like an
emblem of their dauntless courage, all through the
siege the Union Jack floated from the highest tower of
the Residency. It was faded and patched, tattered and
riddled with holes, the staff was splintered with
bullets, it was broken again and again. But a new
staff was always found, and up went the gallant flag once
more, a defiance to the foe.
"BRITISH SOLDIERS WERE SEEN FIGHTING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE STREETS."
At last one morning,
distant firing was heard. As the hours passed the
sound came near and nearer. Then the garrison new that
at length help was at hand. The excitement and
suspense were awful. But there was nothing to be done
but to wait. It was not until it was growing dark that
amid the clamour of fighting the sound of the British
cheer was heard, and louder still,
 shrill and piercing, the scream of the bagpipes, and
the yell of charging Highlanders. A few minutes more,
and British soldiers were seen, fighting their way
through the streets to the Residency gates.
Then from the battlements rose a deafening cheer. Such
a cry of joy it is not often been man's lot to hear.
It was the first cry of returning hope from the hearts
that had grown hopeless. It was a sob, and a prayer,
and an outburst of thanksgiving, all in one. And as
the gates were opened, and the men, weary, dusty,
bloodstained, rushed through, women sobbing with joy
ran to throw themselves upon them, happy to touch their
bronzed hands or war-worn coats. With tears running
down their cheeks the rough soldiers lifted the
children in their arms. From hand to hand they passed
the little ones, kissing them and thanking God that
they had come in time to save them. It was a scene of
wild, sweet joy and almost unutterable relief.
But after all the siege of Lucknow was not over.
Havelock and Outram had not men enough with them to cut
their way back through the swarms of sepoys, and bring
all the ladies and children to safety. So the siege
began again. It was not until two months later that
Sir Colin Campbell landed in India, and cutting his way
through the rebels, really relieved Lucknow.
Scarcely a week later Sir Henry Havelock died. Greatly
sorrowing, his men buried him in a garden near the
city, his only monument being a tree marked with the
Before the relief of Lucknow, Delhi had been taken, and
now the mutiny was nearly over. There was still some
fighting, but gradually it ceased. Lord Canning made a
proclamation, offering pardon to all who had not
actually murdered the British. Most of the rebels laid
 down their arms, and once more the country sank to
It was now decided that India should no longer be ruled
by the Company but by the Queen. So the great Company,
which had begun in the reign of Queen Elizabeth came to
an end in the reign of Queen Victoria. This was
proclaimed to all the people of India on the first of
the 1st November 1858. Now, instead of
Governor-General, the ruler of India was called
Viceroy. And Lord Canning, who had been
Governor-General throughout the mutiny, became the
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