Lt. Col. William Baillie's burial and dungeon (underground water jail), Srirangapatna, KA - early colonial India

Lt-Col William Baillie's  memorial,Srirangapatna,

Lieutenant-Colonel William Baillie, a notable figure in the British East India Company's military history, began his service on October 18, 1759, as a lieutenant in the Madras infantry. Over the years, he advanced through the ranks: brevet-captain in 1763, substantive captain in 1764, major in 1772, and lieutenant-colonel in 1775. His early career included significant operations against Hyder Ali in 1767–8, where his leadership earned him recognition.

Baillie memorial,Srirangapatna,KA

Baillie memorial,Srirangapatna,KA

Above image: Baillie memorial, Srirangapatna, KA mage credit:

Baillie played a critical role in the destruction of French fortifications at Pondicherry in 1779. By 1780, he commanded a force in the Northern Circars, comprising two companies of European infantry, two artillery batteries, and five battalions of native infantry. This force was ordered to unite with the main British army near Madras under Lord Macleod, later replaced by Sir Hector Munro, as Hyder Ali invaded the Carnatic with a massive army.

Baillie 's Dungeon, Seringapatna flicker,com

Baillie's Dungeon, Seringapatna 

water passage to the dungeon?, Srirangapatna.

Above images: Baillie's Dungeon / underground water jail, Seringapatna, Karnataka -  This unique underground dungeon , located below the Sultan Bateri of the fort, features brick and lime mortar masonry with striking symmetric arches that illuminate the chamber. Resembling a mosque's dome, the arches allow prisoners to stand upright. The dungeon measures 30.5 by 12.2 meters, abuts the fort wall, and has a raised platform with stone slabs fitted with hooks and chains to restrain prisoners. Despite its strong roof, it was damaged by a British cannonball in 1799, which created a visible hole.

Prisoners were reportedly tied to the slabs and submerged in water up to their necks for certain hours. Colonel William Baillie died in this dungeon on 13 November 1782, and it was later named after him. In 1816, his nephew, Lieut. Col. John Bailey, erected a memorial in Lalbagh to honor him...........................

During his march towards Madras, Baillie defeated a division led by Tipu Sultan near Perambaukum but incurred significant losses. Despite requesting reinforcements, Munro provided minimal support, fearing the safety of his stores at Conjeveram. On September 10, 1780, Baillie faced Hyder Ali's entire force at the Battle of Pollilur. The battle was disastrous; the explosion of ammunition wagons within Baillie's formation caused chaos. Despite the valiant efforts of his troops, the battle ended in defeat, with most of Baillie's forces killed or captured.

Baillie himself, severely wounded, displayed remarkable courage throughout the engagement and subsequent captivity. He was imprisoned at Seringapatam, enduring harsh conditions, often in chains. His bravery was acknowledged by both his peers and his captors. Baillie succumbed to his injuries and the harsh conditions of captivity on November 13, 1782.

In memory of his sacrifice, Baillie's nephew, Lt. Col. John Baillie, commissioned a memorial near the Gumbaz in Seringapatam, the burial site of  Tipu Sultan. This austere yet poignant monument commemorates Baillie's service and the suffering he endured. Baillie's story is a testament to the complexities and brutal realities of the Anglo-Mysore Wars, highlighting both his strategic role and the tragic end he met in captivity.,_Seringapatam.JPG