The 2nd Battle of Sherpore 1879

For all discussions relating to the First and Second Afghan Wars of 1839-42 and 1878-80.

The 2nd Battle of Sherpore 1879

Postby JasonUbych » 26 Nov 2014 13:08

I have been reading "Adventures of a Highland Soldier" by Charles R Martin Late sergeant 92nd Gordon Highlanders. I am unsure exactly what day this took place but likely a few days after the Afghan forces assaulted the Sherpur cantonment on 23 December 1879. Could this be the biggest snowball fight ever?

After all the fighting and worry we had a good rest; and the challenge to fight our English and Irish comrades in a snow battle was at once accepted. None of the Sepoys or Ghoorkas would join, but a great number of the officers of these corps took part, the Scotch Officers coming to our side and the others to the English side.
The pipes of the Scottish army sounded the gathering of the clans about 9.30 a.m., each man armed with two haversacks to carry the snowballs. Nearly all the officers were mounted. After the corps, viz: 72nd and 92nd, were told off in half companies and sections, Major Douglas of the 92nd gave the command.
"The brigade will form for attack."
The English army was posted in a range of low hills in the Cantonment of Sherpur, and had forts built of snow dotted all over the hill side. The Scottish army, had all kinds of flags that we had captured, but we had the Royal Standard of Scotland with another behind it, with an awful size of a thistle on it and the following words:

McNeil of the islands,
And Moy of the lake,
For honour, for freedom,
For vengeance awake!

Of course all this was just a kind of burlesque. At 10 a.m. we were advancing in splendid order to the attack, and the shouts, cheering, etc., was something awful. Just fancy about two thousand sons of auld Scotia out for a day's fun! No harm could be done to the enemy until we came just to throwing distance, but as soon as we came about to embrace our Sassenach friends, the shower of snowballs came on us like hailstones, but on we went reserving our ammunition till we closed with them. Then\Oh then! The yells and shouts. Down went the forts in rapid succession, and it was here we could see after closing with them where the power of the Highlanders was. After gaining the top of the hill where they had gathered to make the last stand, our Sassenach friends became somewhat angry.
Here Lieuts. McBain, Grant and Stewart, of the 92nd, seeing Captains. Stewart. McKenzie and Chisholm of the 9th Lancers fighting hard against us, rushed at them, shouting "Down with the traitors! Down with them!"
The struggle continued for nearly two hours, and it was admitted on all sides that the Highlanders had it all their own way. General Roberts and his staff witnessed the whole affair, and enjoyed themselves so much that they remarked that they felt proud of the Highland brigade. I have seen many a snow battle in my Highland home but never such a one as this. Just think of it, nearly 2,000 a side, all under officers, where no man could or would dare to disobey an order, fighting with snowballs. By 12.30 p.m. the battle of Bannockburn was fought and won, but there was not one killed of either army, but there were hundreds wounded and the worst of all was Lieut McBlain, who had two blue eyes, Capt. Douglas, Lieut. Bethune and Color-sergt. W. Fraser were cut in several parts of the face. Capt. Murray, of the 2nd, and Lieut. Drummond were cut badly also; this was caused by our foes throwing ice and stones at us, but in fairness to all, one was as bad as the other on that score. Nevertheless Scotland won the day, and just as the first bugle had sounded for dinner we were on the march back to camp with our splendid band playing that fine march "Scotland the Brave”

Unfortunately it seems no medals or clasps were awarded but worse still no photo to be found.

New Member
Posts: 25
Joined: 30 Oct 2014 14:44

Re: The 2nd Battle of Sherpore 1879

Postby Dixie » 26 Nov 2014 14:50

Commanding Officer
The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment Re-enactment Society
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 248
Joined: 09 Jan 2010 01:35
Location: Surrey

Re: The 2nd Battle of Sherpore 1879

Postby tabony » 24 Dec 2014 01:07

Veteran Member
Posts: 971
Joined: 01 Jul 2010 20:46

Return to First & Second Afghan Wars 1839-80

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest