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Ghuznee 1839

Ghuznee 1839, John Dransfield 2nd Foot. Engraved with name on reverse centre & regiment on reverse rim. Ribbon soiled but an old piece of silk ribbon. John Dransfield, service number 948…

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Ghuznee 1839, John Dransfield 2nd Foot.

 

Engraved with name on reverse centre & regiment on reverse rim.

 

Ribbon soiled but an old piece of silk ribbon.

 

John Dransfield, service number 948 was stationed in Deesa, India on the 1841 Worldwide Army Index.

 

The 2nd Regiment of Foot, the Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment was already on garrison duty in Baluchistan when the Afghan War broke out in 1839, the regiment was in Brigadier General Wilshire’s 1st Brigade, taking part in a long mach to the capital Kabul, via Kandahar & Ghuznee, the conditions were simply terrible with a shortage of food, no roads and unbearably hot temperatures.
Once they had march the 700 miles to Kandahar it was made clear that the impregnable fortress of Ghuznee must be taken before Kabul could be occupies.

 

There was no siege equipment available so the plan of action was to blow a hole in the gates and storm the city.

 

At first light under the cover of darkness a party of sappers blew up the gates on 23rd July 1839, allowing the infantry to storm through the holes, the 2nd Regiment during the storming lost 4 men killed and 23 wounded, including 6 officers.

 

By 8th August Kabul was captured the the British Army believed they had successfully taken over the country, leading to a large portion of the army being sent back to India.
The 2nd Regiment withdrew to India via the Bolan Pass in the south, Wilshire was still in command and was ordered to inflict punishment on the Khans of Khelat en route to India, due to their constant attacks on British Forces.
On the 13th November 1839, the Baluchis were seen to be massed on the heights above the town of Khelat, the infantry were deployed into three columns to push back the Baluchis with artillery support, the enemy then retreated back to the safety of Khelat as the British chased them down.

 

The gates of the fortress had been successfully blown open, so the storming party consisting of the 2nd Regiment, 17th Regiment & 31st Bengals charged into the town to be greeted by 2,000 Beloochees, the elite warriors of the nation, they disputed every foot all the way to the Inner Citadel, but the British eventually took the town, during the desperate defence the Khan and many of his chiefs were slain, being the capture of the final stronghold of the Beloochistan, the British were victorious and placed their own monarch on the throne of Afghanistan.