Kanpur is known for many things- the culture, the language, the leather industry and finally for once being called the Manchester of East. What people often forget to recall about the city is its extensive contribution to India's freedom struggle.
An old relic of Cawnpore, the Memorial church is as much of an architectural marvel and a reminder of the brave fight the people of Cawnpore put against the British, and the bloodshed that followed it.
Standing tall at the centre of the Kanpur Cantonment, The Kanpur Cathedral Church has been an object of much curiosity from tourists and locals alike.
Popularly called the All Soul's Cathedral, this majestic church was constructed in 1875 to commemorate the 'courage and valour' of the British troops who fought in the sepoy mutiny of 1875 in the city. The sepoy mutiny saw the annihilation of thousands of people on either end of the fight. With the Massacre Ghat and Bibighar being places that saw most of the violence.
The lives lost can be accounted to both sides, these killings especially barbaric in nature, were the first spark that lit the widespread fire of revolution and mutiny in the country. Which lead to one of the biggest struggles that the country had ever seen and first ever violent respond to the British exploitation.
Designed by the famed Walter Granville, a former employee of the East Bengal Railways, the Kanpur Memorial Church showcases the exquisite Lombardy Gothic style of architecture. Made of vibrant red bricks, in different hues, the church houses a beautifully carved figure of an angel with crossed arms and holding batons: a symbol of peace. A memorial garden is also located on the east of the church and is as stunning as the structure it houses.
Though stunning to behold, the church is symbolic of the struggle people of Kanpur did and the memorial of all lives lost.
The church, though built to commemorate the British lives lost, serves more as a reminder of the blood lost to gain the freedom and the price we had to pay for it. Written in the blood of martyrs and innocents, Kanpur's Memorial Church still serves as a reminder of what we lost to gain the freedom that we take for granted today.