'Gorge at Ali Musjid, Khyber Pass', 1905 (c)
Photograph by Randolph Bezzant Holmes (1888-1973), India, 1905 (c).
The Khyber Pass is a 53-kilometer (33-miles) passage through the Hindu Kush. It connects the northern frontier of what is now Pakistan with Afghanistan. During the three Afghan Wars the pass was the scene of numerous skirmishes between Anglo-Indian soldiers and local tribesmen who tried to control access to it.
The fort of Ali Masjid sat upon steep cliffs and was located at the centre of the Khyber Pass, protecting its narrowest point. When the British invaded Afghanistan the Peshawar Valley Field Force, led by Lieutenant General Sam Browne, captured the fort on 21 November 1878 in order to secure British control of the Khyber.
From an album of 116 photographs compiled by Lieutenant Hugh Stephenson Turnbull, 57th Wilde's Rifles (Frontier Force) in India and Egypt, 1903-1906.
According to the Hodson Index of Indian Army officers, Turnbull was commissioned in 1902 but only served in India for six years due to the climate being unsuitable for his health. He joined the Irish Constabulary in 1912 but returned to the Army during World War One (1914-1918), serving with the Gordon Highlanders. He was appointed Chief Constable of Cumberland and Westmorland in 1922, and became Commissioner of the City of London Police in 1926. He retired in 1950 and died in 1973.
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National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection