Tomb of Allard
Old Anarkali

Gen. Jean-François Allard (1785-1839) was born in Saint-Tropez. As a captain of the French Hussars in the Old Guard, he fought in the Napoleonic Wars in Italy, Spain, and France. He joined up with the retreating Napoleon in Golfe Juan, escorted him to Paris where he became the ‘aide de camp’ (ADC) of Marshal Guillaume Marie Anne Brune from 1815 to 1816. After the Battle of Waterloo, he escaped to Iran, where he devoted himself to learning the Persian language. In Iran he served the king, but as the British had promised the government a lot of military assistance on the condition that all French soldiers be arrested and expelled, Allard thought it prudent to escape. From there he secretly moved towards Kabul, crossed the Khyber Pass in disguise and ended up on the banks of the River Ravi at Shahdara. Unknown to the Punjab’s secret police, this well-disguised traveller, in the company of another French general Ventura, crossed the river at night and landed up inside the old walled city of Lahore in March 1822.

In Lahore he let it be known to Maharajah Ranjit Singh that he sought employment in his army, and would train the Sikh in modern warfare, so that the expanding British could be halted. The maharajah took his time and made them wait. He ordered that they not leave Lahore and his spies made sure their every move was reported. The fear of them being British spies was on his mind. After almost three months the maharajah responded positively. Gen. Allard was given the task of organising the maharajah’s cavalry on European lines.
The structure of Tomb was originally built by Gen. Allard himself in memory of his daughter in the garden attached to his house, which on that account came to be called Kuri Bagh. The tomb, dating to 1827, carries the inscription: "Cette tombe a ete construite en 1827 sur l’ordre du chevalier general Allard sahib bahadur pour sa fille Marie Charlotte que dieu lui aporte sa benediction an paradis." The tombstone above the grave reads: "Marie Charlotte, decedee le 5me Avril, 1827, fille de M. Allard de St. Topiz Chivalier de la Legion d Honneur General de la Cavalerie".

So it was that the tomb of Marie Charlotte was constructed in 1827, almost 12 years before Allard himself died and was buried next to his daughter.

Posted by Liaqat Ali Vance on 2015-02-10 09:35:36

Tagged: , Architecture , Tomb , Allard , Kuri , Bagh , Old , Anarkali , Lahore , Google , Liaqat , Ali , Vance , Photography , Punjab , Pakistan , French , General

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