POLLOCK, SIR GEORGE (1786-1872), Baronet, field marshal, son of David Pollock, was born on 4 June 1786. In 1803, he entered the East India Company artillery. He took part in the campaign against Jasvant Rāo Holkar,1804-05, and served in Nepal, 1814, and in the first Burmese war,1824-26. In January 1842, he was appointed commander to the "Army of Retribution" which marched through the Punjab to reconquer Afghanistan after the Kābul massacre of November 1841. He marched with his force towards Peshāwar under unfavourable circumstances. There was alarm in the Khaibār and Frederick Mackeson was besieged in 'Alī Masjid by the tribals till the Sikh force came to his relief. When, on 5 February 1842, Pollock arrived at Peshāwar, he was faced with a serious situation. George Russell Clerk's constant pleadings at the Sikh court at Lahore for help had received a positive response from Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh. Moreover, Lord Ellenborough's offer of Jalālābād to the Sikhs on its evacuation by the British had necessitated the despatch of a large Sikh force to Peshāwar — 16 battalions, 2 brigades and several regiments, 25,000 men in all. Pollock, who had 3 brigades under his command reached Jalālābād on 16 April. The Sikhs kept the Pass open as far as 'Ali Masjīd. Pollock had instructions to hand over Jalālābād to the Sikhs on the retirement of the British army. However, Mahārājā Sher Siṅgh felt reluctant to accept it without active British help.

         Pollock returned to England in 1846 and, in 1854, became senior government director of the East India Company. In 1870, he was promoted field marshal and, in 1872, created a baronet "of the Khyber Pass." He died on 6 October 1872 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


  1. Hasrat, Bikrama Jit,ed. and annot., The Punjab Papers. Hoshiarpur, 1970
  2. Buckland, C.E., Dictionary of lndian Biography. London, 1906

B. J. Hasrat