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ROBERTSON, Charles Gray.

Kurum, Kabul & Kandahar,

being a brief record of impressions in Three Campaigns under General Roberts.

Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1881 Stock Code: 145839
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First and sole contemporary edition of this uncommon eye-witness account of campaigning during the Second Afghan War (1878-1880), a key conflict of the Great Game, the geopolitical struggle that Robertson - who appears to favour the "forward policy" - draws attention to in talk of "Muscovite aggressiveness and perfidy".

Robertson (1855-1915), the son of Lieutenant-General Aleaxander Cuningham Robertson, the book's dedicatee, served as a lieutenant with his father's regiment, the 8th Foot (King's Liverpool). He was with the second battalion during the important victory at Peiwar Kotal (subsequently a battle honour), to which he devotes a chapter; the 8th were not heavily engaged in that action and Robertson had time to observe "the prettiest part of the whole spectacle. Up from our camp, past the artillery and its protecting infantry, came the 12th Bengal Cavalry, winding along the road. With the bright sunlight upon them, they looked like a wonderful dragon with quivering scales of brown and glittering gold" (p. 36). During the second phase of the campaign he served in the Transport Department and was attached to Roberts's Kurrum Valley Field Force. The regimental history then records that, "he was present at the action of Karez Kila 10th December, 1879; at the actions near Kabul and defence of Sherpur 12th to 23rd December, 1879; at the repulse of the attack on Colonel Jenkyn's detachment near Charassia 25th April, 1880; at Sir F. Roberts's march from Kabul to Kandahar 8th to 31st August, 1880, and at the battle of Bala Wali 1st September, 1880, when he acted as orderly officer to General Baker (star and medal with two clasps)". His book closes with a short chronological summary. The excellent maps show the Afghan frontier, Peiwar Kotal, Kabul and environs, and sketch map of Kandahar and environs.

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Octavo. Original dark green sand-grain cloth, gilt-lettered spine, paired blind fillet border to covers, dark slate green-coated endpapers.


4 double-page lithographic maps and plans.


Neat contemporary ownership stamp of "E. J. G." to recto of first map. Shallow dent to fore edge of covers. An excellent copy, bright and sharp, with the publisher's 20-page catalogue at the end.


Not in Bruce; Historical Record of the King's Liverpool Regiment of Foot (second edition, 1883).


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