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Glossary: B

A glossary of special terminology used in India during the British Administration.

Bandsmen
Members of a military band. There were two distinct categories of band:
1) Members of the bands of the Viceroy and of the Governor of Bombay were British NCOs and private soldiers on the Unattached List. The bandmasters of these bands were usually civilians, before 1914 often musicians of German extraction.
2) Bandsmen attached to EIC/Indian Army regiments of native cavalry and infantry were almost invariably Eurasians. In the late 18th and very early 19th century their names appear occasionally in the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Army Muster rolls but thereafter as non-combatants they are no longer included in the military records.
NOTE: Buglers and drummers who served with the British Army or the EIC European Artillery/Infantry were not bandsmen but combatant soldiers.

Bengal, Madras and Bombay Civil Funds
Provided benefits for the widows and children of members of the East India Company's Civil Service (HEICCS) and the Indian Civil Service (ICS) i.e. the top general administrative cadre in India. Closed to new subscribers c.1882-85. Records at IOR mainly from late 19th century onwards
Fund registers, L/AG/23/5,8,11; Payment books, L/AG/21/25,28,31.

Bengal Military Fund
Provided benefits for the widows of regular officers, surgeons and chaplains of the East India Company's Bengal Army. Closed to new subscribers 1862. Records at IOR mainly mid-19th century onwards.
Fund registers, L/AG/23/6. Payment books, L/AG/21/26.

Bengal Military Orphan Society
Provided benefits for the children (both legitimate and illegitimate) of regular officers, chaplains and surgeons of the East India Company's Bengal Army. Records at IOR mainly mid-19th century onwards - some earlier items.
Fund registers, L/AG/23/7. Payment books, L/AG/21/27.

Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India
The formal title of the institution more commonly known as the Board of Control or the India Board, established by Act of Parliament in 1784 to 'superintend, direct and control' the East India Company's civil and military government and the business connected with its Indian revenues. By the Government of India Act of 1858, the powers of the Board and the Company were transferred to the Secretary of State for India in Council.

Bombay Civil Fund
See above under Bengal, Madras and Bombay Civil Funds.

Bombay Military Fund
Provided benefits for the widows and children of regular officers, surgeons and chaplains of the East India Company's Bombay Army. Closed to new subscribers 1862. Records at IOR mainly mid-19th century onwards.
Fund registers, L/AG/23/12; Payment books, L/AG/21/32.