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R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Discussions related to firearms that do not fit in anywhere else.
Rodda
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:16 pm

Re: R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Postby Rodda » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:22 pm

I am very grateful to Shivaji for the info about the Rodda arms heist. I was told about this years ago by a family member, but they thought it took place in the 1920s rather than in 1914 and knew no details. I have just looked it up on Google and got several accounts which I have condensed and put into the Rodda Calcutta history on internetgunclub.com . It is probably only of minor passing interest that the heist was partly planned at the Marwari lodge in Mitra Lane. I understand that the Somani family who bought Rodda from my grandfather belong to Marwari sect.




panzernain
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Postby panzernain » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:01 am

Shivaji.Dasgupta wrote:Hi panzernain,
is this the video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKOfTr30zF8

reg.

No, this one, https://youtu.be/kK2bgt7XKzw
See at 2.00 min. of the video.

P. S. I am simply in love with rifles and double rifles from our colonial era. Have studied history for some time, so my dream is to once acquire one of these pieces of history and art. :)



indiaone
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:49 pm
Location: Noida India

Re: R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Postby indiaone » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:54 pm

Dear Mr. David,

I have noted your main question and will reply to the same. During the period 1940-45, the situation in India was not normal. The British were in retreat after the fall of Singapore and Burma. The Japanese were knocking at the door of India, the jewel in the crown of the British Empire.
It may be recalled that in 1939, the Government of British India declared war on Germany and got India involved in World War II. There was a lot of political resentment as it was done without consulting the elected Governments of the Indian provinces. In protest, the Provincial Governments resigned and Mahatma Gandhi gave a call to the British to quite India. There was civil disobedience all over the country and law and order problem in certain parts of the country. Civilians holding firearms under license were asked to deposit the same in the nearest police station. This was done under the Defense of India Rules and the official explanation was that in the event of Japanese occupation of any part of India, an armed civilian volunteer force will be created to put up resistance behind the enemy lines. These arms will be used for that purpose. The real motive is doubtful. Maybe the British were afraid that in view of the Quite India movement, there may be some armed rebellion if the civilians are allowed to retain their arms. So they undertook this exercise.
This action was done in a selective manner and all those whose loyalty to the British Crown was not in doubt (mostly Indian civil servants in the administration and landed gentry) were allowed to retain their firearms. To give credence to the official narrative, 12 bore LG and Lethal Balls were imported from the USA, via South America and Cape of Good Hope as the sea lanes from England was not safe and England was too busy manufacturing and supplying ammunition to the European war front. . These ammunitions were kept in the district armory of the Eastern Provinces of India for use if the Japanese occupy any part of India.
However, events took a different turn. The Indians were divided, while one section wanted the British to Quite, the other wholeheartedly supported the war efforts. During WWII, India holds the distinction of raising the world’s largest volunteer Army numbering 2.5 million, who went to war in defense of the British Empire. They were deployed in North Africa and Italy against the German and Italian Army and in the Far East in Malaya, Singapore and Burma. The Allied retreat from Burma brought the war to the door steps of India.
Within India, a massive effort was undertaken to stop the Japanese advance. The retreating troops from Burma were reequipped and the newly raised units were added to the Army of Field Marshal Slim to recapture Burma. More troops arrived from Britain, USA, NewZeland, Australia, West Africa and East Africa. This combined force was trained in jungle warfare in Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand States.
The Japanese got wind of the preparation and attacked India along the Eastern Front. Their advance was halted in the Battle of Kohima and Imphal. Then the huge Allied Force started its advance into Burma to recapture the lost country. The lead contingent was the 17th Indian Infantry Division. After several major battles, the Allied forces finally recaptured Burma. With the dropping of the Atom Bomb, the Japanese surrendered. After the war, some of the firearms were returned to the owners and some whose owners did not turn up were sold in public auction, again the purchasers were mostly Government officials. The cartridges imported from USA were freely distributed amongst the officials as gratitude for their dedication to duty during crisis.
You will agree that in such a situation, the question of sending civilian firearms to UK from India does not arise. I am sorry the narrative has become too long. I took this opportunity to make my young friends in this forum aware of India’s role in WW II and the situation prevailing at that time.
If time permits, do visit India and visit the Commonwealth War Graves, particularly in the North Eastern States. They have the mortal remains of large number of Australian who laid down their life in defending the frontiers of India.



Shivaji.Dasgupta
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:40 am

Re: R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Postby Shivaji.Dasgupta » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:46 pm

Thanks indiaone for your detailed write up on seizing of Civilian weapons by British govt to disarm the public in the name of war.

Thanks panzernain,I got the link and checked. Awesome. Just I have one question in my mind. till the best I got the Info. Before Leaving India Jim Corbett buried his three shotguns and two rifles some where in jungles near Kala dhungi, his village. the Location was known to two of his trusted fellows who never opened up till death. his Rigby rifle was among the Buried treasure. Is the Rifle displayed in Video is the original one??

Dear Rodda some more Points on this incident is as follows, you may find this useful.

1. The Information of the shipment arrived at R.B rodda on 18th Aug 1914.

2.The Shipment was probably reach to Kolkata on 24th Evening ( This is not sure as on this very day the Revolutionaries called an emergency meeting to finalize the plan )

3. on 25th Late Haridas Dutta meet PD Himmatsinka, at Mitra Lane where PD Himmatsinka who later went on to become a noted lawyer, lived. PD was a close associate of Bipin Bihari Ganguly. He, with the help of a barber gave Dutta a hair-cut in order to impersonate a rustic bullock-cart- driver.

4. on 26th morning the heist took place in between 12.00 hr to 1.00 pm.

5. After receiving the news for Arrival of Shipment the first meeting was done at Srinath lane on 20th Aug, then again on 21st Aug. After that the final meeting took place on 24th Evening at same place. Naren bhattacharya quit the plan as he was not sure about its success. but the younger band wants to go with it and finally Shree Anukul Mukherjee gives a go ahead with the plan.

6. The heist was come in light after 29th of Aug.when some one in R.B rodda noticed that Srish chandra Mitra Alias Habuda is not coming to work after 26th. while checking the Cargo he received from customs, Company found that only Cartridges, Springs and Cases are in those boxes. Srish Chandra Mitra never caught and missing for ever. Rumor that he crossed boarder and went to Burma and took a shelter. Died around 1930 in some Epidemic. He was a Deep cover Agent for Revolutionaries by the Pseudo name Abani Sarkar in Burma.

7. total 38 of 50 Weapons ever recovered.
most famously four of these Mouser pistols were used by Jatin mukherjee and his band of fighters on 9th sep 1915 at battle of Balasore. killing around 17th of Police personnel ( Unconfirmed source as the news of police death never come in light, only Balasore hospital morgue data is there to guess. 18 Dead bodies among which one is of Freedom Fighter Chittapriya Roychoudhary and others are police forces brought in there). This particular weapon was loved by Freedom fighters because its long range and convenience to use with the butt like a rifle if required.

Regards.



panzernain
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: R B Rodda, Lyon & Lyon, Manton & Co Calcutta

Postby panzernain » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:56 am

Shivaji.Dasgupta wrote:

Thanks panzernain,I got the link and checked. Awesome. Just I have one question in my mind. till the best I got the Info. Before Leaving India Jim Corbett buried his three shotguns and two rifles some where in jungles near Kala dhungi, his village. the Location was known to two of his trusted fellows who never opened up till death. his Rigby rifle was among the Buried treasure. Is the Rifle displayed in Video is the original one??
.

As far as the rifle in the video is concerned, it is original as it matches the and sales ledgers of Rigby London. But if Jim Corbett hid them away, then why his rifle has showed up in London? The story about the rifle stash in the jungle seems made up or fabricated as the people actually worshipped the London best belonging to Corbett. Somebody quietly must have shifted it back to London. The one in the video is one of the originals.




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