Piper George Findlater, The Gordon Highlanders, winning the Victoria Cross at Dargai, 1897

Edward Matthew Hale

Piper George Findlater, The Gordon Highlanders, winning the Victoria Cross at Dargai, 1897
2 7 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 19cm

Piper George Findlater, The Gordon Highlanders, winning the Victoria Cross at Dargai, 1897.

Oil on canvas by Edward Matthew Hale (1852-1924), 1898.

The Heights of Dargai form a strategic position in the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, on the North-West Frontier. The pass was a focus of repeated conflict until 1881, when the Government of India came to an agreement with local Afridi tribesmen. However in 1897, the Afridi rebelled, killing the pass guards, and then began to raid across the border into India.

Reaction was swift: the Tirah Expeditionary Force was sent to suppress the rebellion and re-secure the pass. The British captured the precipitous heights on 18 October, but had to abandon the position because of the difficulty of keeping it supplied. This necessitated a second attack on 20 October and, during the fierce and prolonged attack by British Infantry and Gurkhas, The Gordon Highlanders earned two Victoria Crosses. One of the recipients, Piper George Findlater, was honoured for playing the regimental march, despite the fact that he had been shot in both feet and was unable to stand. Under heavy enemy fire, he sat up and played the bagpipes to encourage his comrades in their difficult, uphill attack.

Image Details

Negative No.
 
42778
Accession No.
 
NAM. 1957-04-3-1

© National Army Museum Copyright

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