The Chetta Ravine, Abyssinia, 1868
Watercolour by Lieutenant Frank James, Bombay Staff Corps, 1868.
A column of British and Indian troops including an Elephant Battery make their way down the steep road in the Chetta (Jedda/Jidda) Ravine. The road had been built by King Theodore of Abyssinia through the Chetta Ravine to get his heavy guns to his stronghold of Magdala. It had a gradient of 975 metres and was 7.24 km long with slopes of up to 45 degrees in places.
In April 1868, when Lieutenant-General Sir Robert (later Field Marshal Lord) Napier's force had reached this ravine, Theodore was preparing to defend Magdala and prevent the rescue of the British hostages whose detention had been the cause of the war.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection