'Jellallabad [sic] - Scenes in Camp', 1879.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of a group of Afghan soldiers in the British camp at Jalalabad, Afghanistan, taken by John Burke [1845-1900] in 1879. This photograph is from an album entitled 'The Afghan War, Attogk to Jellalabad, Gandamak and Surkhab'. These Afghan soldiers wear a mixture of uniforms and civilian dress and carry a variety of weapons. The kneeling man has a long-barrelled musket or jezail. Afghans have a long tradition of hand-crafting fine rifles and muskets that has lasted into the twenty-first century. 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 Afghanistan during the Second