Memorial of Thomas Dean Pearse
St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata
Date: 17 August 1880 Time: 5:30 am Location: Belvedere
Two shots broke the silence of the monsoon morning at Alipore, on the southern fringes of Calcutta (now Kolkata), but these were not ordinary gun shots but shots of a duel.
The shots were part of the infamous duel between Warren Hastings and Phillip Francis.
Hasting was appointed the Govern General by the directors of the East India Company. The directors also appointed a council of four members who enjoyed equal powers in the board as the governor general. Philip Francis was one of the four councils and always went against Hastings.
A conflict regarding the war with the Marathas lead to the duel between the two. Thursday, August 17 was the chosen date, and Belvedere was to be the venue; the time chosen for the encounter was half past five in the morning.
Both stood behind the mark and at the counting of one, two and three both fired. Francis fired first and missed his target while Hastings’ fire found its mark on his opponent’s right arm. Francis staggered and while attempting to sit, fell on the ground crying out he was a “dead man”. He recuperated within few days and attended the Council where both were civil in behaviour.
Afghan War Memorial
Ordnance Factory, Dum Dum, Kolkata (Calcutta)
It may sound unusual that a road in Dum Dum, north of Kolkata (Calcutta), is known as the Monument Road and whats more unusual, is that it does have a monument at it side.
The monument is shaped like a white tower and has some resemblance with the Saheed Minar (Octernoly Monument), which is located at the North – Eastern corner of Kolkata Maidan.
It is located next to the entrance of the Dum Dum Ordnance Factory and is dedicated to the fallen British soldiers of the First Anglo – Afghan War (1839 – 42).
The towering Afghan War Memorial was constructed in 1842 and predates the Dum Dum Ordnance Factory. The Dum Dum Ordnance Factory was set up in 1846, following the defeat of the British in the Afghan War, when the British East India Company decided to set up the first ammunition factory in India.
According to locals the dhum dhum sound of the the testing guns gave Dum Dum its name, but historians differ as the reference of the name Dum Dum can be found far beyond the days of the Dum Dum Ordnance Factory.
Clive House, Dum Dum, Kolkata (Calcutta)
Kolkata’s Oldest Existing Building
“I have tried, quiet hopelessly, to discover Calcutta’s oldest building, I suspect it to be Clive’s Country House in Dum Dum.”
Desmond Doig, An Artist’s Impression
”…built on an artificial mound of considerable height above the neighboring country, and surrounded by very pretty walks and shrubberies. The house has a vulnerable appearance, and its lower storey, as well as the mound on which it stands, is said to be of some antiquity. The building is of brick, with small windows and enormous buttresses.”
Bishop Heber, 1824