Battle of Khoord-Kabul Pass

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Battle of Khoord-Kabul Pass
Part of 1st Afghan War 1839-42
Date: 8 January 1842
Location: Khoord Kabul Pass, Afghanistan
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 34.438208°N 69.440216°E
Result: British retreat
British & Indians Various Afghan tribes
Maj Gen William Elphinstone
Brigadier John Shelton
Mohammad Akbar Khan

This was an event during the 1st Afghan War
For context see main article Retreat from Kabul to Gundamak

Boothak to Khoord-Kabul

This was the third day of the Retreat from Kabul to Gandamak. The Khoord-Kabul pass is about 5 miles (8 km) long and overlooked by cliffs 5-600 feet (150-180 metres) high. Attacks began again early in the day but ceased when Major Pottinger and Captains Lawrence & Mackenzie were handed over as hostages at the demand of Akbar Khan. The exhausted and frozen crowd of men and animals moved into the pass and the Ghilzai tribesmen once again opened fire. In the confusion 500 regular troops and 2,500 camp followers were killed and another Horse Artillery gun abandoned. Capt Anderson's little daughter Mary and Capt Boyd's youngest boy Hugh were carried off by Afghans. The force reached Khoord-Kabul where the night was spent night without food and fuel and only four small tents. Many died of exposure overnight.

Named casualties


  • Capt. Paton, Asst Quartermaster-General
  • Lieut. St George, 37th Native Infantry
  • Maj. Griffiths, 37th Native Infantry
  • Maj. Scott, HM 44th Regiment
  • Capt. Bott, 5th Cavalry
  • Capt. Troup, Shah's Force


  • Capt. Swinton, HM 44th Regiment
  • Dr Cardew
  • Lieut. Sturt
  • Lady Sale


  • Mrs Bourke, soldier's wife
  • Mrs Stoker, soldier's wife (and son Seymour)
  • Mrs Cunningham, soldier's wife
  • Child of a soldier of the 13th

External Links

1st Afghan War Wikipedia
History of the War in Afghanistan Google Books
Retreat to Gandamak British Battles
Passage through the Pass Google Books
Lady Sale's account Google Books

Historical books on-line

The Kabul insurrection of 1841-42, ed. by G.B. Malleson 1879 - Action at Khurd-Kabul