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Captain Alexander Skene and Mrs Margaret Skene sheltering in the tower at Jhansi, 1857

March 12, 1857
National Army Museum
Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857



Captain Alexander Skene and his wife Margaret Skene were two British civilians who found themselves caught in the midst of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 while they were traveling through the city of Jhansi in India. The rebellion, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, was a violent uprising against British rule in India that lasted from May 1857 to July 1859.


As the situation in Jhansi grew increasingly violent, the Skene's sought refuge in the tower of the Jhansi fort. The fort was one of the few remaining strongholds still held by British forces in the area, and as such it was a target for rebel forces.


Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the British defenders of the fort, including Captain Skene, put up a fierce resistance. For several days they held off waves of attacks by rebel forces, using the tower as a last line of defense.


During the fighting, Margaret Skene showed great courage and resourcefulness. She helped to tend to the wounded and even joined in the defense of the tower, firing a rifle from one of the windows.


In the end, the defenders of the Jhansi fort were overwhelmed, and the Skenes were taken captive by rebel forces. They were eventually released and reunited with other surviving British civilians. The events at Jhansi became an important symbol of British resistance in India, and Captain Skene and his wife were celebrated as heroes for their role in the defense of the fort. Today, they are remembered as examples of the bravery and resilience shown by British civilians during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


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