'Khyber Side of Sarkai Hill', 1878.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
Photograph by John Burke (1845-1900) of a group of British Army scouts on the side of a hill, published in the album 'The Afghan War, Attogk to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab'. The soldiers sitting on the slope of this hill play a minor role in this photograph, which highlights the dramatic nature of scenery in Afghanistan. These scouts have entered Afghanistan in advance of the main column of soldiers to check for ambushes. The full title of the photograph is 'Khyber Side of Sarkai Hill. Officers of the (QO) Guides Reconnoitring'. A pioneer of photography in India, John Burke began working in Peshawar, as an assistant to the commercial photographer William Baker. Baker took up photography on retiring from the British Army in 1861 and Burke himself had worked as an apothecary in the Royal Artillery. When Baker stopped working in 1873 Burke carried on, recording the evolution of the Indian Raj in the late nineteenth century. Burke accompanied the British army on its advance into