I have looked for any references to your man Christopher Dowdall/Dowdell
travelling from India to Australia with no success I am afraid.
I note that he enlisted on 14th August 1854 for 10 years i.e. until 13th
August 1864, but he must have obtained his discharge early in order to
proceed to New Zealand when he did. He is recorded as being on the
"Gresham", which left Hobson's Bay (Melbourne) on Saturday 30th January
All I can find about his service in India is that he was awarded the Indian
Mutiny Medal. I found his name in a supplementary list published in a volume
of (U.K) Parliamentary Accounts and Papers. This link should take you
direct to the page:
If this link does not work please contact me off-list.
He was awarded the medal for "Suppression of the outbreak at Kolapore on the
night of the 6th December 1857, under Brigadier General LeGrand Jacob."
You can download the whole document if you wish. There is quite a lot of
correspondence on the award of the medal to the listed men, but its award
was finally approved. Dowdall is recorded as being in Australia, so whether
he ever received his medal is a moot point.
As far as I am aware, published medal lists for this medal contain only the
names of those from the British Army units that took part in suppressing the
mutiny. So this list from an Indian Army unit is a lucky find!
I hope that this is of some interest. The Kolapore incident is fairly well