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Our Soldiers Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Victoria's Reign   By: (1814-1880)

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Our Soldiers; Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Queen Victoria's Reign, by W.H.G. Kingston.

A very interesting book telling us about the various deeds of the British Army throughout the reign of Queen Victoria. Most of us will be aware of nearly all of the campaigns, but that there were so many comes as a bit of a shock. Although many of the campaigns and battles were favourably completed, quite a few were not, and this also comes as a bit of a shock.

Kingston was the original author, but died many years before the end of Queen Victoria's reign, and the work was taken in hand by Mr G.A. Henty, also a prolific writer of books for teenagers. There was some evidence in the book of two or more authors being at work, by reason of different spellings for the same person or item. For instance one of the authors spelt "Gatling guns" as "Catling guns". The Ghurkas also appeared in several variants, and a character called "Soojah ul Moolk" appeared with a different spelling practically every time!

Having cleared all that out of the way, we present you with a most interesting book that we hope you will greatly enjoy reading, or just glancing through.




In 1809 the reigning Ameer of Afghanistan, Shah Soojah ul Moolk, was dispossessed of his throne and an exile. Runjeet Singh, the Sikh ruler of Punjaub, plundered and imprisoned him at Lahore, and obtained from him the famous Koh i noor, the great diamond which is now among the crown jewels of Great Britain. Eventually Soojah escaped from Lahore and became a pensioner of the East India Company. For many years after the fall of Shah Soojah, anarchy ruled in Afghanistan, until in 1826 Dost Mahomed established himself upon the throne at Cabul.

Meantime Shah Soojah never ceased to plot for his restoration, and in 1832 came to an agreement with Runjeet Singh, in pursuance of which the latter undertook to assist him in an armed attempt to oust Dost Mahomed. The Indian Government, while professing neutrality, indirectly assisted Shah Soojah by paying his pension in advance.

In 1833 Shah Soojah's army was thoroughly beaten by Dost Mahomed before Candahar, though he himself escaped. But Runjeet Singh was more successful; he drove the Afghans back into the Khyber Pass and occupied Peshawur, which province he held against all the attempts of the Afghan Ameer to expel him.

In 1837 the Shah of Persia, under the instigation of and with assistance from, Russia, and in spite of strong remonstrances by the British, made war upon Afghanistan and marched upon Herat.


The siege of this place commenced on the 23rd of November 1837, and lasted over nine months, when it utterly collapsed, owing mainly to the determination and courage of Lieutenant Pottinger, who had arrived in the city just before, and assisted the Afghans in the defence. Notwithstanding the assistance of Russian volunteers the Persian attack was but feebly delivered; still, but for the presence of Pottinger and the courage given by his example, the Afghan defence would have been equally spiritless. At length, after some days' bombardment, a general assault was made on the 23rd of June 1838, and repulsed by Pottinger with heavy loss. Soon after the Shah, hearing that a British expedition had been sent up the Persian Gulf to force him to retire, raised the siege and left Herat, which has remained up to the present in the hands of the Afghans a fact which may be said to be in the first instance due to the heroic achievements of one young British officer, Lieutenant Eldred Pottinger.


The Indian Government had now determined, for reasons into which it is not our province to inquire, to make war upon Dost Mahomed and to replace Shah Soojah upon the throne... Continue reading book >>

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