Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
c.1878-80 Afghan regular army Guard cavalry
Recently on the Colonial Wars Yahoo Group there has been some discussion of 25mm-28mm figures available to model the Afghan regular army of the Second Afghan War (1878-1880) era.
As someone with close to a lifelong interest in the subject, I couldn't help but get involved in the conversation, mostly to describe the Afghan regular army figures contained in the old Wargames Foundry North-West Frontier range, designed by Alan and Michael Perry, back in the early-to-mid '90s.
During the course of this conversation, I made a made a big mistake in my description of the Guard cavalry figures, which said mistake I was luckily able to correct thanks to someone else who knew better saying it just didn't sound right. I'm very grateful he pointed out my error, because if he hadn't, I probably would never have realized it, and my incorrect description would have been stuck there on the web forever, which would be kind of embarassing!
Now I've decided to turn my mistake into something slightly positive, by taking some decent pics of the figures in question and posting them here...
There are 2 Guard Cavalry figures, and they are 2 of my favorites from the range -- a TROOPER holding his saber at rest (NWFCav72), and an OFFICER with his right arm upraised (NWFCav71).
Both figures wear old East India Company brass helmets, with horsehair plumes. I believe they are at least partially based on a description by Lord Roberts of a detachment of Afghan cavalry he saw in 1879, while seeing Major Cavagnari and his escort of Guides off on their way to found the new British embassy in kabul:
"Early next morning the Sirdar, who had been deputed by the Amir to receive the Mission, came into camp, and soon we all started for the top of the pass. We had gone about a mile, when we were joined by an escort of Afghan Cavalry, dressed something like British Dragoons, with the exception of their head-gear, which consisted of the discarded helmets of the old Bengal Horse Artillery. They were mounted on small, useful-looking horses, and were armed with smooth-bore carbines and tulwars (Native swords)."
Here's some pics...
If I have time I will attempt to take some more pics of the various Afghan regular army units in my collection. There are a lot of pics of them in action at various refights of Maiwand, spread throughout the many posts on this blog, but they are not at all easy to locate by subject, so it might be worth the time.