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RE 083 — Sherpur Cantonment

View from the W end of the Bemaru hills in W direction. In the middle of the picture the northern end of the west-wall of Sherpur with its improvised continuation, constructed with the help of wheels from conquered Afghan guns. In the middle: Fort Gholam Hussain Khan, occupied by the 3rd Sikhs.
[Album:] Sherpore Cantonment with Paghman Range. [S&M List:] 2-13. View from Bimaru [sic!] shewing the Pugman Range.
  • Original:
    Chatham: Box No.: F 43, Album No.: 6/5, Page No.: 33
  • Collection Cabul Defences, Photo. No. 21A, the same picture: “View showing the original defence thrown up between the extreme N.W. corner of Sherepore and the Western slope of the Bemaru hills.”
  • Collection Cabul Defences, Plan No. 12: “Sherpur Cantonment – detail of breastwork No. 1.”
  • Collection John Burke, JB-191: another photograph of the same view
  • The Illustrated London News, Vol. 76 (1880/1), p. 185: Engraving of the “North End of the Sherpore Defences.”; p. 186: description of the situation.
  • Thackeray, E.T. (1881): Views of Kabul and Environs, pl. 19: identical photograph, “View from Bimaru shewing the Pughman Range.”
  • Duke, J. (1883): The Kabul Campaign, f.p. 282: sketch by L.J., based on this photograph, “[...] Laager formed of Amir’s gun-wheels.”
  • The Second Afghan War 1878-80: Abridged Official Account (1908), f.p. 378: identical photograph, “Corner of Sherpur Cantonment, near Bimaru Village [sic!], showing Improvised Fortifications of Colonel Jenkins' Section; Paghman Range in background.”
  • L.W. Adamec (1985): Kabul and southeast Afghanistan, p. 727: Sherpur, "The cantonment built by Amir Sher Ali, 1 mile to the north of Kabul city, and in which the British army, under Sir Frederick Roberts, was beleaguered in December 1879. Sherpur is said to be connected with the Amir's palace at Paghman by an underground passage [...]"
  • Moncrieff, G.S. (1987): Canals & Campaigns, in early November 1879 he notes on p. 69: “The whole energy of the corps – which means a good deal – was at this time directed as far as I could see on turning the Sherpur Cantonment into comfortable winter quarters for the British Army, which then numbered nine regiments of infantry, three regiments of cavalry, four batteries and one company of sappers. Nothing was being done to the defences. There were gaps at the ends of the Bemaru Heights by which an enemy could easily enter our position, and the Heights themselves were not fortified in any way. Nothing was being done to remedy these defects or even to clear the front of our position of the thick mud walls that separated the fields, or of any other cover which an assailant might have.”
Image No.
RE 083
Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive 1878-1880 1878-1880
RE 057-099, Kabul Photographs
Albumen paper with gold toning, 205/280 mm, mounted on cardboard
excellent, background faded
Place, date
Kabul, winter 1879/80
  • 0101. Kabul City
  • 1.57 Pictures of Landscapes, Cities
  • 2.126 Kabul and SE-Afghanistan
  • 4.364 Second A.-A. War (1878-1880)
  • 4.83 Military Installations, Buildings
  • Latitude / Longitude34.540647 / 69.175967
    Google Earth34°32'26" N / 69°10'31" E / 1810 m
    Survey of India MapSheet 38 (1917), Kabul: Sherpur, 2B 26

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