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 12, 2021



Dispatches have reached Captain Crane, Resident Political Officer, and are now being relayed to Major General Whitsend, CO Peshawar Division...

Who has summoned Brigadier Padraic "Magpie" McGilligan, CO of 2nd Brigade...

The contents of the dispatch, dated August 4th, 1890, follows:

"Ghul Akbar, beloved son of TorGhar continues his ride up the Buner Valley towards Malakand. Many of the villages cower in fear, the Mullah Abdullah of Batora stood and found the wrathful hand of righteousness delivered in the words of the One True Rule...

Now he gathers with his Baluchi allies and Bunerwhals from Tangon and Elai poised to strike down vengeance on Ruffhusband Sa'ab for his insolence at desecration of his family and the burning of his brother's village Dargai."

A handy map is included as well:

The Courier proceeds to read the rest of the Dispatch: "Sir I respectfully send to you the summary of the message that the bandit Mulehead sent to Ghul Akbar:

"Noble Ghul Akbar, the Almighty Ruler gave his powerful blessing to me, his faithful and loyal humble servant, me the Mighty El Komiss Mulehead, Light of Waziris, true Khan of all the lands between Delhi and Kabul, protector of widows and orphans, Defensor of True Rule, Light of Faith.

Messengers are just arrived with news of your triumphs. Heretics have been punished to have deviated from the True Path and the dice gave them a heavy message: you’ll never betray TMWWBK.

But now my beloved son let us raise the eyes to where Umra’s infidels and Feringhis will destroy each other and after Swat you will subjugate Tirah.

The renegade jackal of Swat is foxy and smart, do not underestimate his power and his cheating tricks. His connection with Umra is stronger every day, we have to be confident in Ferenghees ability to distract chitralis reinforcements.  My son, The Almighty Ruler is blessing your actions, the trap is working! 

This is the destiny for the one who follows the wrong Ruler, but the Almighty Ruler provided us new rules to kick out Ferenghees and destroy heretics, and He said is only with good Dice that you can succeed. 

I have no news about my son Ghaazi Muletail El Komiss, some voices say he is in Khost, other in Buner, please forward to me any information about him, the Defensor of faithful believers.

When I will be the Khan of all Tirah we will go to Swat where I have some credits to collect, specifically one head of the Guru of Infidels!

Keep high morale and be loyal to your Khan, I got messages that the brothers in faith of Buner and Khost are already marching to join us in the triumphal campaign, I’m still hidden in the shadow , and I will hit sudden like a tiger and all Punjab will be under our wise governance."

BRIGADIER MCGILLIGAN: "'All Punjab will be under our wise governance'?!  Bloody cheeky bastard this Mulehead fellow!"

CAPTAIN CRANE: "Bloody cheeky indeed.  But I'm afraid he's got a growing quantity of lead and steel to go with his cheek, Brigadier -- including his new ally, Gul Akbar from the Black Mountains."

GENERAL WHITSEND: "Ruff-Husband and his brigade are at Dargai.  The question is... will they be enough to quash this Gul Akbar and his own growing band of rebels."

BRIGADIER MCGILLIGAN: "This Gul Akbar fellow and his gang have only fought other tribal riff-raff,  General.  While I'd love the chance to lead my men into the field, I'm sure old Ruff-Husband and his lot will make quick work of them."

CAPTAIN CRANE: "There's also the matter of leaving Peshawar itself very thinly garrisoned, Sir.  If you were to order Brigadier McGilligan and his 2nd Brigade to Dargai, we'd have very few troops left to hold down the fort here."

GENERAL WHITSEND: "Hmmm.  Neither of you seem to take this gathering threat from the North very seriously.  Do you realize that 1st Brigade's Cantonment at Dargai lies right at the foot of the Malakand Pass, overlooked by towering heights, from which our foes could snipe away by day and then launch deadly rushes under dark of night, returning each time to the mountain fastness conveniently located right over 1st brigade's shoulders?  No, whether or not to immediately send reinforcements to Ruff-Husband is not so quick and easy a decision as you present, at least not to my mind, and for better or worse I remain the one in command.

MEANWHILE OUT ON THE VERANDA, Captain Hardigan, commander of the recently arrived RHA battery waits with Havildar Major Kunara, both curious to learn if the recently arrived Dispatch will result in their units getting a chance to take the field...

HARDIGAN: "What do you think's up, Kunara?"

KUNARA: "The sky, Sahib. ... And also my regiment's rifles, and your battery's limbers.  I think the blood of heroes is up.  Tho could be just my wishful thinking!"


GENERAL WHITSEND: "Gentlemen, I have reached my decision.  Brigadier McGilligan, you and your 2nd Brigade shall......"


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