The Military Army Blog

Chester resident ‘sleeping on concrete floor’ in Indian prison

A campaign to free six British ex-servicemen including a Chester[1] resident from an Indian prison claims the men are sleeping on concrete floors and living 23 to a cell. Ex-Army sniper Ray Tindall, 40, from The Crescent, Newton[2], who has a young daughter Lyra back in Chester, spent time in the same notorious Puzhal jail during the early stages of the case until he was released on bail. Conditions were described at the time as appalling .

A former sergeant with the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh and The 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, Ray is caught up in a living nightmare along with five UK colleagues who were last month sentenced to five years in jail[3] over weapons and smuggling charges.

Boat strayed into Indian waters

They were working aboard anti-pirate vessel Seaman Guard Ohio when it was impounded by the Indian authorities in October 2013 after allegedly straying into their territorial waters. Accused of illegally possessing weapons, the men, who have always protested their innocence, have been stranded in India ever since.

Charges against them were originally quashed[4] but the Indian authorities appealed and the men were found guilty in January following a trial[5]. In total 35 sailors and guards from the boat were handed five-year sentences.

Chester Resident 'sleeping On Concrete Floor' In Indian Prison Puzhal prison in Chennai

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Mr Tindall got engaged to his girlfriend Jessica Kemp, 37, from Rawtenstall via Skype on New Year s Eve but it was not the happy moment it should have been. Miss Kemp said: I am devastated. When Ray rang me to tell me about the conviction I was shocked. I couldn t believe it. He was crying down the phone and Ray never cries. I could also hear someone wailing down the phone.

RELATED STORY: Chester man sentenced to five years in an Indian jail[6]

A campaign is in full swing to raise 100,000 for a lawyer to represent the men with 31,195 generated so far[7] and a petition calling on the government to do more has so far been signed by 346,502 people. The latest posting on the Free the Seaman Guard Ohio Facebook page says information has reached the families of the incarcerated through Embassy officials that conditions are poor for all 35 men imprisoned in the city of Chennai s Puzhal Prison.

Chester Resident 'sleeping On Concrete Floor' In Indian Prison Ray Tindall is caught up in a living nightmare

Inmates are accommodated 23 to cell, without mattresses and are sleeping on concrete floors. They have no shoes, which can be bought but they have no money. The men have access to water and are allowed two cups of tea per day, one egg and chicken once a week

This is unacceptable treatment of any human being let alone 35 innocent men, said the posting.

The petition to government on the website[8] states: To think of them all back in prison with no company to help them, no visits from family…they are not even allowed to call home. They are being completely cut off from the world. It’s not right and something must be done.

We understand the British Government were shocked by the decision and never expected it. The have tried to lobby but it hasn t work. More needs to be done and it needs to be done now.

Rob Stratford Chester Resident 'sleeping On Concrete Floor' In Indian Prison Ray Tindall, left, when he ran Faraly’s Fine Produce, pictured with Gill Osborne from Scrummy Somethings, baker Jane Tomlin and beef farmer David Rowlands from Rowlands Red Poll Beef

Chester MP Chris Matheson[9] recently spoke in Parliament on the matter. He wrote afterwards: I used my time in the House of Commons to encourage the Government to seek a political solution to the ongoing issues in India. We must do everything in our power to get Ray Tindall and his colleagues home to their families. Enough is enough.


  1. ^ Chester (
  2. ^ Newton (
  3. ^ last month sentenced to five years in jail (
  4. ^ Charges against them were originally quashed (
  5. ^ found guilty in January following a trial (
  6. ^ RELATED STORY: Chester man sentenced to five years in an Indian jail (
  7. ^ with 31,195 generated so far (
  8. ^ The petition to government on the website (
  9. ^ Chester MP Chris Matheson (

l'Armée canadienne s'entraîne dans le Nord –

L'Armée Canadienne S'entraîne Dans Le Nord - 45eNord.caDes membres de la Compagnie Alpha (Cie A) du 1er Bataillon, Princess Patricia s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI), pr parent leur quipement en vue d une attaque au niveau du peloton, dans la r gion du lac Russell (Territoires du Nord-Ouest), lors d un exercice Arctic Ram. (Photo d illustration/Archives/Combat Cam)

compter d aujourd hui, 8 f vrier et jusqu au d but mars, environ 2 500 soldats de l Arm e canadienne (Force r guli re et Premi re R serve) ainsi que des Rangers canadiens s entra neront dans plusieurs secteurs du Nord du Canada, annonce la D fense nationale.

L Arm e canadienne vise ainsi maintenir et perfectionner ses capacit s op rationnelles dans les rudes conditions de l Arctique, explique le communiqu de la D fense.Toutes les divisions de l Arm e canadienne qui uvrent sur le terrain ( 2e, 3e, 4e, et 5e Division) seront impliqu es dans une s rie d exercices qui chelonneront d aujourd hui au 12 mars. La 2e Division du Canada, qui inclut toutes les unit s de la force r guli re et de la r serve de la province de Qu bec, sera pour sa part responsable de l organisation de l exercice R ACTION ROYALE qui se d roulera du 16 f vrier au 6 mars Montr al, St-Jean, Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Inukjuak et Qu bec. les effectifs de R ACTION ROYALE seront de 1 000 soldats.


Lieux: Montr al, St-Jean, Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Inukjuak, Qu bec

Date: 16 f vrier 6 mars 2016

Effectif: 1 000 soldats

Organisation responsable : 2e Division du Canada


Lieux: Resolute Bay (Nunavut) et Yellowknife (Territoires du Nord Ouest)

Date: 8 22 f vrier 2016

Effectif: Environ 200 soldats

Organisation responsable : 3e Division du Canada


Lieux: Pickle Lake et 13 communaut s loign es des Premi res Nations dans le Nord de l Ontario

Date: 13 21 f vrier 2016

Effectif: Environ 900 soldats

Organisation responsable: 4e Division du Canada


Lieux: Goose Bay, Nain, Saglek, Big Bay, Postville et Cape Kiglapait (Terre Neuve et Labrador)

Date: 8 23 f vrier 2016

Effectif: 180 soldats (6 soldats am ricains, 5 soldats n o z landais et 8 soldats polonais y participent)

Organisation responsable: 5e Division du Canada


Lieux : Goose Bay, Nain, Cape Kakiviak, Saglek, Cape Kiglaplt, Big Bay, Tukialik, et Cartwright (Terre Neuve et Labrador)

Date: 4 12 mars 2016

Effectif: 231 soldats (Premi re R serve)

Organisation responsable: 5e Division du Canada

Protection des fronti res nordiques

L'Armée Canadienne S'entraîne Dans Le Nord - 45eNord.caDes militaires du Lorne Scots (Peel Dufferin & Halton Regiment) constituant un peloton de la Compagnie d intervention nationale, se pr parent en vue d une embuscade, pr s Rankin Inlet, au Nunavut, lors de l exercice TRILLIUM RESPONSE, le mercredi 19 f vrier 2014.(Photo d illustration/Archives/MDN)

La protection de nos fronti res nordiques demeure une grande priorit sur le plan de la s curit pour le Canada. Le minist re de la D fense nationale et les Forces arm es canadiennes sont fermement r solus exercer la souverainet du Canada sur son territoire nordique et ces entra nements dans l Arctique nous permettent d accro tre notre pr sence visible dans le Nord du Canada. , a d clar ;a ce propos le ministre de la D fense, Harjit Sajjan, lui-m me un ancien militaire. L Arm e canadienne maintient donc sa disponibilit op rationnelle et continue d accro tre sa capacit de mener des op rations dans le Nord en s entra nant dans des conditions tr s difficiles dans certaines des r gions les plus recul es du Canada.

Les soldats perfectionneront et mettront l preuve leurs comp tences pouss es de survie par temps froid et se pr pareront aussi intervenir rapidement lors de simulations de menaces et d urgences nationales, comme les catastrophes naturelles, les ph nom nes m t orologiques extr mes et autres dangers, pr cise le communiqu . Parmi les temps forts des exercices: des sauts en parachute et une intervention n cessitant la participation des communaut s des Premi res Nations. Les exercices offrent galement occasion de collaborer avec les Rangers canadiens, les yeux et les oreilles des Forces arm es canadiennes dans le Nord , ainsi qu avec les communaut s locales et avec d autres minist res et organismes gouvernementaux.

Des soldats de la garde nationale de l arm e am ricaine, ainsi que des forces arm es n o ‘z landaises et polonaises ont galement t invit s participer l entra nement pour renforcer encore l interop rabilit entre le Canada et ses alli s.

The Battle of Sobraon 10th February 1846

The Battle of Sobraon was fought on 10 February 1846, between the forces of the East India Company and the Sikh Khalsa Army, the army of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab. The Sikhs were utterly defeated, making this the decisive battle of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The First Anglo-Sikh war began in late 1845, after a combination of increasing disorder in the Sikh empire following the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839 and provocations by the British East India Company led to the Khalsa invading British territory. The British had won the first two major battles of the war through a combination of luck, the steadfastness of British and Bengal units. The Sikhs had been temporarily dismayed by their defeat at the Battle of Ferozeshah, and had withdrawn most of their forces across the Sutlej River. The Khalsa had been reinforced from districts west of Lahore, and now moved in strength into a bridgehead across the Sutlej at Sobraon, entrenching and fortifying their encampment. Any wavering after their earlier defeats was dispelled by the presence of the respected veteran leader, Sham Singh Attariwala. Unfortunately for the Khalsa, Tej Singh and Lal Singh retained the overall direction of the Sikh armies. Also, their position at Sobraon was linked to the west, Punjabi, bank of the river by a single vulnerable pontoon bridge. Three days continuous rain before the battle had swollen the river and threatened to carry away this bridge.

Contemporary sketch map of the Battle of Sobraon from the Collection of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire)

The Battle Of Sobraon 10th February 1846

Contemporary sketch map of the Battle of Sobraon from the Collection of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire)

On 7th February 1846 Sir Hugh Gough received reinforcements. Moving out before dawn on 10th February with Taylor s brigade (including the 29th Regiment) leading, Chota Sobraon was occupied and from here at 10.00 hours the attack was launched. The 29th supported by two native battalions dashed towards the ramparts of clay and wood (in some places ten feet high), which the enemy had erected. The attackers could see nothing but the muzzles of the guns behind which the enemy infantry were posted in entrenchments four deep. After two unsuccessful charges, the 29th succeeded in reaching the first Sikh trenches. The enemy suffered terrible casualties and by the end of the battle had lost some 10,000 men and 67 guns. The British losses, too, were heavy suffering 2,383 killed or wounded, out of which the 29th s casualties numbered 186 out of a total strength of 552. The first British units began to cross the river on the evening of the day of battle, and on 13 February, Gough s army was only 30 miles (48 km) from Lahore, the capital. The remaining Sikh troops could not be concentrated quickly enough to defend Lahore. As a result the Sikhs were forced to come to terms. By the Treaty of Lahore, the Sikhs ceded the lands between the Sutlej and Chenab Rivers to the East India Company, and allowed a British Resident at Lahore. In addition, the Sikhs were to pay an indemnity of 1.2 million pounds.

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