"and toy soldiers of the Raj"

The Raj, or British Raj, is a term for the period of British rule in those parts of the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), previously known as British India, or simply India.

The term Raj is often used for the years between 1858 (when control of India was passed to the British Crown) and 1947 (when India gained independence from British rule). However, it may also include the period between 1757 and 1858 when large areas of the Indian subcontinent were under the rule of the British East India Company.

During the British Raj, there were also a number of Princely states in India, under the control of Indian rulers in alliance with the British, an arrangement described as indirect rule or suzerainty. The map below shows the areas of India under direct British rule in 1919 (red), and those under indirect rule (green).

 

British Empire in India, 1919
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBritish Empire in India, 1919 - Credit: Moonraker/Maps & Lucy

 

Member of the Bengal Sappers and Miners regiment of the British Indian Army
Public DomainMember of the Bengal Sappers and Miners regiment of the British Indian Army - Credit: unknown
Cigarette card depicting Jemadar Mir Dast V.C, I.O.M, of the 55th Coke's Rifles regiment of the British Indian Army
Public DomainCigarette card depicting Jemadar Mir Dast V.C, I.O.M, of the 55th Coke's Rifles regiment of the British Indian Army - Credit: Gallaher Ltd. (photographer unknown)

Toy soldiers of the Raj are miniature models of soldiers of the Indian Army, which existed informally from 1858 onwards, and officially between 1895 and 1947. The army comprised native Indian soldiers serving alongside expatriate British officers.

Click here to see some toy soldiers of this type.