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[Ruins of the] Residency, shewing the Gate and Scaffold. [Kabul].

[Ruins of the] Residency, shewing the Gate and Scaffold. [Kabul].

Photographer: Bengal Sappers and Miners

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1879

Shelfmark: Photo 197/(18)

Item number: 18

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Ruins of the Residency in Kabul, taken by the Bengal Sappers and Miners, an engineering arm of the Indian Army in c. 1879 during the course of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-80). A caption accompanying the photograph reads ‘Showing Residency after the explosion and two scaffolds. The tall one erected on the spot where the gun stood which Lieut Hamilton charged out against, and on which he was killed. The Kotwal of Kabul was hanged on this gallows - and about 80 others’. The men were hanged by British troops serving under General Roberts in revenge for the killing of the British Resident at Kabul and his mission. By the treaty of Gandamak (1879) Yakub Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan agreed to allow a British resident in Kabul, something which his father had refused; in return he received the promise of a subsidy and support against foreign attack. The British administrator, Cavagnari took up residence in Kabul in July 1879, but in September the same year was killed along with other European members of his staff including Lieutenant W.P. Hamilton, who led the mission’s escort. In October British forces under General Roberts arrived in Kabul tasked with taking public revenge on the murderers. The men accused of killing the British mission were hanged on gallows set up in the Bala Hissar near the Residency. The Kotwal or police chief of Kabul was accused of overseeing the attack and of issuing the order for the local population to resist Roberts’ forces.

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