Sherpur Cantonment, December 1879

John Burke

Sherpur Cantonment, December 1879
2 8 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 20cm

The Laager and Abattis, Sherpur Cantonment, December 1879.

Photograph by John Burke, 2nd Afghan War, 1879.

In December 1879, a powerful Afghan uprising occurred and the Sherpur Cantonment, one mile north of Kabul, became the operational base of General Roberts' Kabul field force over the winter of 1879-1880. However, there were only 7,000 men available to man a perimeter nearly five miles long, and the fortifications were incomplete; at the north-west corner, an abattis (barrier) had to be improvised from the wheels of captured Afghan artillery. Even so, troops like the 5th Punjab Infantry, pictured here, proved fully capable of resisting the assault of the besieging Afghans. On 23 December, 100,000 of the enemy were repulsed for the loss of only three men killed.

Image Details

Negative No.
Accession No.
NAM. 1965-10-212-35

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