The narrow pass above the Siri Bolan (Baluchistan); Baluchi snipers attacking British troops from the heights as they pass through
Artist: Atkinson, James (1780-1852)
Water-colour showing British troops being attacked in the Bolan Pass, Baluchistan by Baluchi snipers, painted by James Atkinson (1780-1852) between 1839 and 1840. This is plate 7 from the album, 'Sketches in Afghaunistan'. Inscribed on the mount is: 'The opening into the narrow pass above the Siri Bolan.'
While serving with the Army of the Indus as Superintending Surgeon, Atkinson made many sketches recording the landscape of Afghanistan, and of the military campaigns of the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839-42. In this scene British troops are shown
fending off an attack from the fierce Baluchi tribe, who continually sprang out of their hideaways in the steep ravines of the pass. Atkinson wrote: 'The rocks on each side of this Pass are projecting and stupendous, and in the narrowest passages, almost perpendicular. Immense blocks of stone are scattered about all the way and the scenery is of a more magnificently wild character and of a bolder form than any hitherto met with. Many impediments to the march through the Pass, had been removed by the Engineers, but it was still an arduous task ...'