Today is Festivus (See Seinfeld)

It’s the day for airing of grievances and feats of strength. So I’ll air a few grievances before we move on to other history.




The Battle of Ferozeshah

The pugnacious Sir Hugh Gough’s outnumbered British East India Company army aggressively attacked and defeated the Sikh forces commanded by the treacherous Lal Singh this day in 1845. The fighting is (as always in Gough’s battles) a bloody close-quarters brawl. The British and their Sepoy Bengal regiments showed great determination and courage, overcoming an enemy in a well-defended position.

On the first day the British took heavy casualties, as General Littlers divison came under heavy fire from Sikh artillery; and, believing only a rush with the bayonet would save his division from annihilation by the Sikh guns, charged the Sikh entrenchments. Three of his Bengal regiments held back (being short of water and ammunition), while his British regiment (the 62nd Foot) lost almost half its men in the unsupported attack.

Sir Harry Smith’s division fared better, breaking into the Sikh camp and capturing a great number of guns (the British captured a total of 72 guns) before the explosion of a Sikh magazine caused great disorder and death among both sides. Smith then withdrew his division from the Sikh camp.

At noon the second day, the battered British renewed their attack, and succeeded in driving Lal’s army from the field. However, a second Sikh army under Tej Singh arrived on the field and began to cannonade the exhausted British, who were largely out of ammunition for musket and gun. The destruction or capitulation of Gough’s army was imminent, when Tej Singh inexplicably withdrew. He claimed later that the movement of the British artillery and horse to the rear was interpreted as the start of a flanking maneuver. But the more likely answer lies somewhere in the bitter rivalries and court intrigue that crippled the Sikh army throughout the war.

Among those killed was legendary hero of the First Afghan War, Major George Broadfoot, who was serving on the staff of Governor-General [Sir Henry Hardinge), who was present at the battle.


The Hansome Cab

On this day 23rd December 1834, English architect Joseph Hansom patented the horse drawn taxi, known as the Hansom Cab. He went on to sell the patent to a company for £10,000 but the sum was never paid. The first Hansom Cab travelled down Hinckley’s Coventry Road in 1835. They were exported worldwide and became a feature of the 19th-century street scene.

Photo of Hansom cab and driver adding character to period filming for the TV movie Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking at Somerset House in London.


  1. I would love to have a Hansom Cab – such a beautiful design. Of course, not having a horse to pull it around might be a problem.

    Picking up my 4 bone rib roast today for Christmas day. Not looking forward to be out among the mask zombies.

  2. People forget about the Sikh war. As I understand it, they were a formidable enemy, trained by European “soldiers of fortune.” Speaking of fortune, the Koh i Noor diamond’s still in the crown — hopefully Prince Cider (Charles) won’t get to wear it…

  3. I never got into the whole Seinfeld thing. I just didn’t think the show was all that funny. My friends from Noo Yawk all loved it, and would talk about it for days.

    Must be a Big City thing…..

    • I’m with you on the Seinfeld show. I found the characters tedious and annoying. In contrast to about half my friends who thought it brilliant and extremely funny. Not sure if it was a Cosmopolitan divide, though someone (not a fan either, although she did like the Kramer character) pointed out that the characters all seemed to care way too much about what totally random people thought about them. I guess I’m not a fan of insecure and paranoid people, either fictional or real life.

      • New Yorkers (not lumping everyone in the pot, but) tend to be insecure and paranoid. Part of the problem that the nation had with President Trump is that he’s a classic New Yorker, with all the insecurities and paranoia built in.

        I never found Seinfeld’s stand-up routines to be funny, but he is said to be worth $950 million, for his schtick, so somebody thought that he was funny.

  4. Today is Festivus

    My grievance today is the cold wind and my feat of strength was taking my walk anyway. My dog’s grievance was going on the walk instead of wearing out the couch and his strength was refraining from biting me.

  5. WSF, if you had dragged me out of my warm and comfortable bed with a shackle around my neck, hauled me outside into the freezing cold and would have demanded that I take a dump in front of you, I would have savaged you with my fangs.

    All honor to Banner and his restraint and love of his master.

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