Jug commemorating the Battle of Dargai, North West Frontier, India, 1897
Creamware, transfer printed and hand painted, Campbellfield Pottery, Glasgow, 1897 (c).
Printed with 'Dargai 1897' and 'The Gay Gordons' with two vignettes of the Tirah Expeditionary Force scaling the Dargai Heights on the North West Frontier, 1897.
The Heights of Dargai form a strategic position in the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, on the North-West Frontier. The pass was a focus of repeated conflict until 1881, when the Government of India came to an agreement with local Afridi tribesmen. However in 1897, the Afridi rebelled, killing the pass guards, and then began to raid across the border into India.
Reaction was swift: the Tirah Expeditionary Force was sent to suppress the rebellion and re-secure the pass. The British captured the precipitous heights on 18 October, but had to abandon the position because of the difficulty of keeping it supplied. This necessitated a second attack on 20 October and, during the fierce and prolonged attack by British Infantry and Gurkhas the Gordon Highlanders earned two Victoria Crosses.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection