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John Burke ‘Camp and Abattis At Sherpur. 5th Punjab Infantry. 25th Dec 1879.’ This picture was taken two days after one of the fiercest battles of the war. A force of 50,000 Afghans besieged and then attacked the Cantonment and had been repulsed by the defenders making special use of the new ‘Gatling’ machine guns. Why Burke didn’t photograph the aftermath is a mystery - more than 3,000 Afghan bodies lay on the minefield.
1878–80, printed by Simon Norfolk 2011