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Second letter to Noreen Milton-Thompson and Edwina Pugsley

Last year at this time I wrote about the two books that were published in 1996 containing information about the death of our Great Great Grandfather Frederick Angelo. This is an "update".

I have nothing more to say about "Angels of Albion" but I have had considerable correspondence with Andrew Ward, the author of "Our bones are scattered - the Cawnpore massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857".

He is an American living in Washington State. As I suspected he concluded that the officer who swam the river etc was Frederick Angelo because he was described by a native as an "officer of the grenadier company". This is really his only evidence and it does not stand up. Ward now agrees with my contention that Frederick was killed at the ghat having previously been wounded in the knee. This has always been the family version and is probably based on information from Captain Mowbray Thomson, one of the four survivors of the massacre, who had been at school (Dr Grieg's of Walthamstow House, Leytonstone) and at Addiscombe with Frederick.

Andrew Ward was also an advisor to Channel 4 when they were making the programme about the Cawnpore massacre. He was very disappointed in the final production. Among other inaccuracies wrong weapons were shown, the building represented as Nana Sahib's palace was someone else's, the building described as a ruin left over from the siege was an old post Mutiny house in the cantonment and they confused the North West Provinces with the Northwest Frontier. They did not use new material he unearthed for them. According to Ward he suggested to the producers that they should show the miniature portrait of Frederick with a "voice-over" quoting from Helena's diary praying for his safety. This did not, of course, happen in the film.

I imagine the flurry of interest in Cawnpore and the Mutiny is now over, at least for the time being.

December 1997

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