About this site

Overview

This Afghan war site is run by me, Garen Ewing, as a resource for anyone interested in this largely unknown campaign that took place when the British Empire was a leading influence in world affairs. It has been written, mostly by myself, with the internet in mind, ie. relatively simple and often in the form of reference tables for consultation. It has also been written to accommodate as wide a variety of visitors as possible, whether they be fellow researchers, family historians, students working on a school project or even just the casual browser.

Bias and interest

I have tried to write with a fairly unbiased outlook as my interest lies in both the British and Afghan points of view. However, I think it can't be helped that a certain leaning is present due to the fact that I am a British citizen and the experiences of my countrymen in another land is partly the focus of my study, not to mention the fact that these are the resources that are more readily available and recorded. I have seen historical misrepresentation of both the British and Afghan sides of the story and this site will remain as true to the facts as possible - there is no doubt that both sides have things to be ashamed of and things to be proud of.

On a personal note, I do not agree with the political ideals that led to the Second Anglo-Afghan War and find Afghanistan a fascinating country with a rich heritage. Although the war still has echoes that have resounded into modern times, I think the campaign is far back enough in history that a fairly detached outlook can be used to view the events of the time, and perhaps a more personal/adventure aspect can be focused upon. That is not to belittle the tragedy of death and destruction that war inevitably brings, and the war itself is not a thing to be celebrated.

Use of material

Visitors may copy portions of this site for their own personal use, but if it is to be published in any form - be that on the internet or in print - then please get in touch with me to seek permission beforehand. I'm a friendly chap, and as long as the use is fair and recognition of the source is stated, I don't usually have a problem. I have provided high-resolution copies of illustrations for authors and family historians, and my articles have been reprinted. A lot of time, effort and even money goes into my research and collection, so I thank you for recognising this.

About me

My interest in the Afghan campaign of 1878-1880 initially came about because two brothers, my gggg-uncles, served in the 72nd Highlanders and saw much action there, from Peiwar Kotal to the battle of Kandahar. I dipped my toe into a bit of research and got sucked right in. In October 2004 I was invited on to BBC Radio 4's Making History programme to talk to presenter Sue Cook about the march to Kandahar, as their 'expert' on the topic. You can view the notes and 'listen again' to the actual programme here. Since then I have lent many prints from my collection to be published in various magazines and books, have contributed much research for authors writing on aspects of the Afghan war in a wide variety of publications, and wrote the introduction and illustrated the maps for a recent book on Maiwand.

In daylight hours I work as an illustrator and designer, and write and draw comics.

Artillery officer's sword, very likely taken into the Zaimukt expedition Dec 1879.
Garen Ewing collection

BBC Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
Feb 2010 Researching ancestors in the Victorian Wars Best overall site
May 2008 Researching your army ancestors Best site for links

A selection of works to which I have contributed or advised:

BBC Radio 4 Making History presented by Sue Cook Oct 2004

Maiwand: the last stand of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment in Afghanistan, 1880
(helped with research, wrote introduction and illustrated maps)

The March to Kandahar: Roberts in Afghanistan (supplied some images)

Family Tree magazine Feb 2010 - Victoria's Wars: Further conflict in Afghanistan
(supplied photograph of Afghan War medal and Kandahar Star)

Brooke's Battery - A History of 1/1 Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery 1908-1919
(supplied photograph)

Arabian Horse Times Apr 2007 - Vonolel and his master, decorated heroes
(supplied research and images)

Arabian Horse Times Feb 2007 - Maidan: Gallant Heart, Iron Will
(supplied research and images)

The Journal of the Victoria Cross Society Mar 2007
The Fighting Parson, James Williams Adams VC
(supplied research and images)

... to name a few!


All original content on this site is © Garen Ewing 2014, unless otherwise stated.
Original images from my own collection and data on this site should not be used without prior permission - thank you.