An Unlikely Hero: George Scott Robertson

By Dorothy Anderson

Starting his occupation as a British healthcare professional significant in Afghanistan, George Scott Robertson chanced on himself protecting Chitral fortress in 1895 opposed to a besieging strength of hundreds of thousands of tribesmen. He was once celebrated as a hero, yet this was once just one bankruptcy in what was once a unprecedented lifestyles. traveling in India, Canada and Kafiristan, he took half in several army expeditions at the Frontier, wrote a well known ethnography, 'The Kafirs of the Hindu Kush', and in later existence grew to become a vociferous MP representing valuable Bradford, whos radical Liberal perspectives either happy and surprised his parts. Elegantly written and good researched from fabrics supplied by way of the Robertson kinfolk, 'An not likely Hero: George Scott Robertson' is the tale of an adventurer, ethnographer, soldier, medical professional, businessman and flesh presser, that allows you to be of curiosity to any scholar of the interval.

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That this used to be opposite to the very peremptory orders that Durand had bought was once missed in favour of the fait accompli. All have been agreed, as Bruce famous, that the raid on Chilas were ‘... for the Gilgit district, a most crucial incident; for had now not one other and masses extra direct course been secured to the Punjab through the Kaghan Valley? ’ . eight * * * Durand, in a protracted letter to the Commander-in-Chief (now Lord Roberts) on the finish of November, had already assessed the benefits, yet was once greater than a bit scared of respectable judgement on what had occurred and been accomplished.

For Badcock, who within the opinion of many additionally deserved a V. C. ), and for Manners-Smith for the cliff ascent and seize of Mayun. there have been different awards, together with a brevet significant for Mackenzie (‘and none may well deserve it better’). Durand was once made C. B. (Companion of the Bath), and Robertson C. S. I. (Companion of the megastar of India). * * * After the crusade got here contrasts in job and objective. Robertson was once urged to escort his six Kafirs (who have been at his aspect in the course of the crusade, terrified through the heavy hearth and severe battling) on their stopover at to India and their presentation to the Viceroy.

Robertson with a grin permitted the Diwan’s interpretation of occasions and intentions, encouraging him to proceed. This he did, at size, with a intentionally off hand point out of the help that Sher Afzul was once receiving from the Amir at Kabul, and extra forceful allusions to the contract through all these of the Muslim religion residing alongside the frontier of coming jointly as a united strength to force the British from Chitral. The Diwan used to be additionally moved to consult the destiny of Cavagnari in Kabul in 1879, how his demise had occur for the shortcoming of a pal equivalent to Umra Khan; and he persisted with an easy rationalization comparable destiny wouldn't take place to Robertson, for Umra Khan used to be his buddy and protector.

The protect and sentry tasks have been very heavy: there have been pickets on towers, gates, lined approach, water tower, stables, staring at over the ammunition and the Chitralis; there remained, as a struggling with strength for attainable sorties and replacements, 100 and 67 males. The reckoning of ammunition, paying attention to the cautious account made on a daily basis of rounds expended, was once reassuring, and inspection of guns confirmed 300 and 43 rifles healthy for firing. The rations of meals, at present price of expenditure, have been adequate as much as eleven June, ‘a cozy reflection’, Robertson stated, and never the close to hunger that the Diwan feared for them.

We needs to preserve our place in Chitral, and to take action, organize for the hole of a highway from Peshawar’. thirteen Durand was once given a selected remit from the Viceroy: he was once to examine the direction that were undefined, describe it, and supply for Lord Elgin an everyday document at the panorama and attainable advancements: if keep watch over over Chitral used to be to proceed, may well a garrison shuttle from Peshawar and be maintained. It was once a project that Durand was once happy to adopt. * * * He arrived at Nowshera on 28 April, and settled down that night to report back to the Viceroy.

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