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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 08:49 GMT
In pictures: the Malakand siege of 1897

Pashtun tribesmen

A collection of pictures from the late 19th century showing Britain's campaign against Pashtun tribesmen in what is now Pakistani NWFP has for the first time been publicly released.

Captured Pashtun tribesmen

They belong to Ben Tottenham, who is related by marriage to William Meiklejohn, commander of the British garrison at Malakand which was besieged by tribesmen for 10 days.

Indian soldier

The Pashtun tribesmen were up against British and Indian troops. Reports at the time said that the "disciplined musketry" of the Indian sepoys caused heavy casualties.

Colonel Meiklejohn (seated centre) with officers of the Malakand garrison

Soldiers at Malakand were confronted by "wave after wave of close-packed tribesmen, flooding out of the darkness and screaming while their war drums thundered".

Meg Meiklejohn

Meg Meiklejohn, the colonel's daughter and Mr Tottenham's mother-in-law, almost certainly would have been killed along with her nanny had the garrison fallen.

Gibraltar outpost, Malakand

Among the rare pictures in Mr Tottenham's collection is a contemporaneous photo of the picquet - or outpost - where Winston Churchill saw action in NWFP.

Buddhist Stupa

Also in the collection is this picture of a Buddhist stupa in the Malakand area thought to date 250 years before Jesus Christ. It is not clear whether it still exists today.

General Meiklejohn's camp at Chakdara

The successful relief of Malakand was seen by the fact that British and Indian troops could by August 1897 camp in the open. But this was an area they never fully conquered.






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