Sappers & Miners in the Afghan War 1878-1879-1880
summarised by Garen Ewing from various sources © www.angloafghanwar.info 2006

Corps that served

Bengal Sappers & Miners
- Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Company

Madras Sappers & Miners
- A, B, C, E, I, K Company

Bombay Sappers & Miners
- Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Company

Corps distribution at start of campaign

Peshawar Valley Field Force
- No. 2, 3, 6 (Telegraph) and 8 Bengal Sappers & Miners.
- B, E and K Madras Sappers & Miners (from Jan 1879).

Kurram Valley Field Force
- No. 7 Bengal Sappers & Miners

Kandahar Field Force
- No. 4, 5, 9 and 10 Bengal Sappers & Miners
- No. 2 and 5 Bombay Sappers & Miners.

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Peshawar Valley Field Force
1st January 1879

  • Sappers & Miners at Jalalabad
  • Sappers & Miners at Jamrud
  • Madras Sappers & Miners at Ali Masjid

South Afghanistan Field Force
14th January 1879

  • 4th , 5th, 9th and 10th Company Sappers & Miners at Kandahar H.Q

Kurram Valley Field Force
24 February 1879

  • 7th Company Bengal Sappers at and about the Peiwar Kotal

South Afghanistan Field Force
16th May 1879

  • 10th Company Bengal Sappers at Kandahar
  • Nos. 2 and 5 Bombay Sappers at Darwaza
  • 9th Company Sappers & Miners at Vitakri

Peshawar Valley Field Force
26 May 1879

1st Division

  • 2 companies Bengal Sappers & Miners at and near Gandamak and Safed Sang
  • 2 companies Bengal Sappers & Miners and 1 company Madras Sappers & Miners at Jalalabad

2nd Division

  • 1 company Madras Sappers & Miners at Basawal
  • 1 company Madras Sappers & Miners at Landi Kahana and Landi Kotal

Troops in Kurram Valley
at the end of the first campaign

  • 7th Company Sappers at Balesh Khel

Khyber Division North Afghanistan Field Force
September 1879

  • Bengal Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6 Company Sappers & Miners
  • Madras E, A and I Company Sappers & Miners

30 October 1879

  • 2nd and 6th Companies arrive at Safed Sang from Jalalabad

November 1879

  • 3rd: 2nd and 6th Companies march from Safed Sang with General Bright
  • 4th: reached Surkh-ab Pu
  • 5th: reached Jagdalak
  • 6th: reached Kata Sang
  • 8th: 5th Company arrive at Pezwan from Rorkee
  • 9th: 2nd, 5th and 6th Companies returned to Safed Sang
  • 2nd Company Sappers to be left at Jagdalak Fort
    - 6th Company Sappers to be left at Pezwan
    - 13th: 5th Company at Gandamak

December 1879

  • early part of: 3rd Company arrive at Gandamak from Landi Kotal, proceeded to Jagdalak Fort
  • 14th: 5th Company to march from Gandamak to Kabul with General Gough
    - 6th Company at Pezwan
    - 2nd and 3rd Companies at Jagdalak Kotal
  • 15th: evening, 5th Company arrive at Jagdalak Kotal, proceed to the Fort
  • 21st: 5th Company leave Jagdalak Fort for Kabul with Gough
  • 23rd: 5th Company arrive Kabul
    - 2nd and 3rd Companies at Jagdalak Kotal

Kabul Field Force
31st December 1879

1st Division

  • No. 7 Company Sappers & Miners

2nd Division

  • No. 5 Company Sappers & Miners

Second (Khyber) Division East Afghanistan Field Force
31st December 1879

1st Brigade

  • Nos. 2 and 3 Company Sappers on line of communications, Khyber route

2nd Brigade

  • No. 6 Company Sappers at Pezwan Kotal, Safed Sang, Gandamak
  • 1 company Madras Sappers & Miners at Jalalabad
  • A Company Madras Sappers at Barikao, Basawal, Dakka

3rd Brigade

  • C Company Madras Sappers at Landi Khana, Landi Kotal.

Troops in Kurram Valley
31st December 1879

2nd Brigade

  • No. 8 Company Sappers at Thal, Alizai

Kabul Field Force
27th January 1880

  • Nos. 2, 3 and 6 Company Bengal Sappers at Seh-Baba, Jagdalak, Pezwan
  • A, C and I Madras Sappers at Rozabad, Fort Battye, Darunta, Jalalabad

Bengal Division at Kandahar
March 1880

  • Nos. 4 and 10 Company Sappers & Miners at Kandahar

Kabul Field Force
31st March 1880

  • Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 7 Company Sappers & Miners at Kabul

On Lines of Communication
31st March 1880

  • No. 6 Company Sappers at Jagdalak
  • A Company Madras sappers at Safed Sang
  • C and I Company Madras sappers at Lachipur, Girdi Kas, Ali Boghan

Troops in Kurram Valley
April 1880

  • No. 8 Company Sappers & Miners at Chapri

Kandahar Field Force
26th May 1880

  • No. ? Company Bombay Sappers at Chapar
  • No. ? Company Bombay Sappers at Harnai

On Lines of Communication
30th June 1880

  • No. 6 Company Bengal Sappers at Jagdalak
  • A and I Company Madras Sappers at Safed Sang
  • C Company Madras Sappers (half) at Ali Boghan
  • C Company Madras Sappers (half) at Lachipur

Northern Afghanistan
10 August 1880

  • No. 10 Company Sappers - to withdraw from Kabul 11/12th Aug
  • Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 Company Sappers - en route to India from Kabul
  • No. 6 Company Bengal Sappers, A, C and I Company Madras Sappers - Khyber Line Force
  • No. 8 Company Sappers at Peiwar Kotal to withdraw to Kohat

Southern Afghanistan
10 August 1880

  • No. 2 Company Bombay Sappers at Kandahar
  • Nos. 3, 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers - en route to Pishin and Quetta

Southern Afghanistan Relief Force
24th August 1880

  • No. 3, 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers & Miners (detachment) at Chaman
  • No. 3, 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers & Miners (detachment) at Khojak
  • No. 3, 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers & Miners (detachment) at Kala Abdulla

Kurram Valley Field Force
1st September 1880

  • No. 8 Company Sappers at Shalozan

Southern Afghanistan
30th October 1880

  • No. 3 Company Bombay Sappers at Kandahar, Argandab Valley and neighbourhood
  • Nos. 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers on construction of railway line (Dargai and Chapar)
  • No. 2 Company Bombay sappers returning to India

Southern Afghanistan
31st December 1880

  • No. 3 Company Bombay Sappers at Kandahar
  • Nos. 4 and 5 Company Bombay Sappers on Gwal-Sibi railway line

Evacuation of British troops from Kandahar
April 1881

  • No. 3 Company Sappers & Miners depart 22 April, arrive at Chaman 27 April


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