In Collaboration With Charles Griffin


This was painted by Vereker Monteith Hamilton in 1891 and depicts a battle in the 2nd Afghan War. After the declaration of war on Afghanistan in November 1878, a force under the command of Major-General Frederick Roberts advanced along the Kurram Valley towards Kabul. On 2nd December, at Peiwar Kotal an enemy force of 18000 men with 11 artillery pieces was found to awaiting the invaders. While a feint attack was made on the Afghans, Roberts commanded a turning movement by the 72nd Highlanders, the 5th Goorkhas and other troops which succeeded in dislodging them. The Afghans suffered heavy losses in men and guns whilst the British casualties in dead and wounded were less than 100. This defeat resulted in the flight of the Amir, Sher Ali, and his replacement by Yakub Khan, who signed the Treaty of Gandamuk, which ended the first phase of the 2nd Afghan War.


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by Stephen Luscombe