'Shergai [sic] Heights...', 1878.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph by John Burke [1845-1900] of the camp of the British Army Third Brigade on the Shahgai ridge before the attack on Ali Masjid, taken in 1878 and published in the album 'The Afghan War, Attogk to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab'. This Afghan plain is dotted with tents, looking tiny amongst the looming hills. Camels can be seen amongst the tents, used by the army to transport their supplies and equipment. The Third Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General Frederick Ernest Appleyard was made up of the 81st North Lancashire Regiment, the 14th Sikhs and 27th Punjabis. The Brigade is here paused before the attack on the important fort of Ali Masjid. The attack on this fortress on 21st November 1878 was the opening battle of the Second Afghan War. The full title of the photograph is 'Shergai Heights, Looking Towards Ali Musjid. Camp of Third Brigade. Enemy's Defences in The Distance'. A pioneer of photography in India, John Burke began working in Peshawar, as an assistant