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Ganda Singh, a Sikh Chaprasi (messenger) of Colonel Wilmer's Topographical No. 14 Survey Party

Photo credit: National Army Museum

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A former gunner officer in the British Army, Colonel John Wilmer (1841–1920) joined the Survey of India in 1871 when he was given charge of No. 5 Party surveying Bhopal and Malwa (today in Madhya Pradesh state). His No.14 Survey Party was responsible for the pendulum, a device used to discover variations in the direction of gravity, due to the variable density of the earth’s crust. This was important to the exact calculations of the survey.

National Army Museum





oil on canvas


H 59.9 x W 50.8 cm

Accession number

NAM. 1951-11-16

Acquisition method

gift from Major General Sir G. Burrard, 1951

Work type



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National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, Greater London SW3 4HT England

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