British officers of the Queen's Own Corps of Guides, 1878.
Photograph by John Burke, 2nd Afghan War (1878-1880), 1878.
The Queen's Own Corps of Guides, formed in 1846 by Lieutenant Harry Lumsden in Peshawar, were the first military force to adopt khaki as a service dress. The Guides consisted of a unique combination of infantry companies and cavalry squadrons. The North West Frontier where they operated was rarely quiet and although many other cavalry and infantry regiments served there, none was engaged more frequently than the elite Guides.
They also saw service in the 2nd Afghan War, initially with the Peshawar Field Force at Ali Masjid. The Guides also fought at Futtehabad (2 April 1879), Asmai Heights and Sherpur cantonment (December 1879) and in many other smaller skirmishes during the campaign. The officer seated on the far left is Major Wigram Battye who was killed at Futtehabad. His brother, Captain Frederick Battye, stands third from right. On the far right stands Lieutenant Walter Hamilton who won the VC at Futtehabad trying to rescue the mortally wounded Major Battye. Hamilton was later killed leading the Guides escort at Kabul on 3 September 1879.
From an album of 74 photographs.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection