Sepoys attacking Baluchi snipers in the Siri-Kajur Pass (Baluchistan)
Artist: Atkinson, James (1780-1852)
Water-colour view of Sepoys attacking Baluchi snipers in the Siri-Kajur Pass (Baluchistan) by James Atkinson (1780-1852) between 1839 and 1840. This is plate 6 from the album 'Sketches in Afghaunistan'. Inscribed on the mount is: 'The wild pass of Siri-Kajoor.'
This sketch was made during the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839-42 when Atkinson served as the official Superintending Surgeon of the Army of the Indus, a combined force of British and Indian troops. Traversing the narrow passes between the high ridges of Baluchistan, the British troops were vulnerable to ambush by the Baluchis, who hid in dens in the ravines. Skirmishes were common. Atkinson wrote: "This Pass lies between Abigoom and Siri-Bolan ... on the right [on cliff edge] is the date tree from which this Pass takes the name 'Siri-Kajoor'. The road is hemmed in by wild and rugged mountains ... A dead camel and a camp follower with his throat cut and otherwise most cruelly mutilated, were seen lying together in the middle of the road. Here also, destruction to the Army was most unsparingly dealt out and almost with impunity."