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Photograph copy of certificate with signatures given by European prisoners in Kabul 1842, to one Bahu Khan.

Photograph copy of certificate with signatures given by European prisoners in Kabul 1842, to one Bahu Khan.

Photographer: Burke, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: Photo 487/(3)

Item number: 3

Length: 29.5

Width: 22.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a certificate dated 11th March 1842, signed by European prisoners held in Kabul during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42), taken by John Burke in c.1878. John Burke accompanied the Peshawar Valley Field Force, one of three British Anglo-Indian army columns deployed in the Second Afghan War (1878-80), despite being rejected for the role of official photographer. He financed his trip by advance sales of his photographs 'illustrating the advance from Attock to Jellalabad'. Coming to India as apothecary with the Royal Engineers, Burke turned professional photographer, assisting William Baker. Travelling widely in India, they were the main rivals to the better-known Bourne and Shepherd. Burke's two-year Afghan expedition produced an important visual document of the region where strategies of the Great Game were played out.

The certificate reads, 'Bahu Khan whom Sirdar Mohammed Akbar Khan placed in charge of the ladies and others of the Kabool force detained at this place having requested a certificate of his conduct we the undersigned have much pleasure in stating that he has conducted himself with great kindness and attention showing every desire to make our situation as little irksome as possible.'

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