Pewter tankard, which belonged to Lieutenant (later Colonel) Edward Webb while a (voluntary) hostage at Kabul, 1840 (c)
During the 1st Afghan War (1839-1842) Webb was one of several British officers who volunteered to become hostages before the garrison left Kabul in January 1842. To secure the garrison's safe passage, guns, treasure and hostages were handed over to the Afghan chiefs.
Webb and 95 other hostages were liberated when the British returned to Kabul in September. On returning to the city they destroyed the citadel and bazaar as an act of revenge. The inscription on the plaque tells us that Webb was a captive from 1841-1842. The 266 notches on the tankard represent the number of days that he was held hostage.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection