[Illustrated with over one hundred maps, photos and portraits, of the battles, individuals and places involved in the Indian Mutiny]
“John Ruggles was born at Lewisham, Kent, on 21 July 1827, the son of William Henry Ruggles, a local schoolmaster. He was educated at New Propriety School, Blackheath, and attended Addiscombe Military Seminary, August 1843 to June 1845. He landed in Calcutta in January 1846 where he was posted as Ensign to the 41st Bengal Native Infantry. He served in the expedition under General Wheeler against Kote Kangra in 1846, attached to the 2nd Bengal N.I.
“During the Indian Mutiny he was present throughout the defence of the Residency at Lucknow, June to November 1857, as Officiating Sub-Assistant Commissary General (Medal and clasp). He joined the China expedition in 1860-61, as a volunteer with the 15th Loodhianah Sikhs (Medal). Ruggles transferred to the 19th Punjabis in 1862 and served as second-in-command of the regiment in the Bhootan campaign of 1865, including the assault and capture of the Bala Stockades (Medal and clasp; brevet of Major). Ruggles retired on 1 September 1876, as Honorary Major-General, and was appointed Honorary Colonel of the 19th Punjabis on 13 May 1904.
“In 1906 Ruggles’ Indian Mutiny memoirs were published, to much acclaim, under the title Recollections of a Lucknow Veteran 1845-1876. This was published by Longmans, Green, & Co., not quite fifty years after the Indian Mutiny but near enough for the Madras Times to term it ‘The Mutiny Golden Jubilee Book’.
“Major-General Ruggles, one of the last surviving original defenders at Lucknow, died on 26 July 1919, by which time he had become known as ‘Father of the Garrison’ - the senior of the little band that drinks the ‘Silent Toast’ each year’.”-Dix Noonan Webb