'Amir Shere Ali, Prince of Abdulah Jan, and Sirdars', c 1878.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph by John Burke [1845-1900] of the Afghan Amir Shere Ali Khan [1825–1879] surrounded by his sirdars and family, taken in about 1878 and published in the album 'The Afghan War, Attogk to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab'. Shere Ali sits in the middle with his arm around a young boy dressed in a splendid military uniform, perhaps the Amir's son or grandson. The Amir is surrounded by his sirdars, a title for high ranking military officials. Below is a reproduction of a document signed by European prisoners in Kabul during the First Afghan War in 1842. A pioneer of photography in India, John Burke began working in Peshawar as an assistant to the commercial photographer William Baker. Burke accompanied the British army on its advance into Afghanistan during the Second Afghan War of 1878-1879.