Storming of the Rika-bashi Fort

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Storming of the Rika-bashi Fort
Part of Category:1st Afghan War
Date: 10 November 1841
Location: Sherpur Cantonment, Kabul, Afghanistan
Presidency: Bengal
Co-ordinates: 34.533685°N 69.208852°E
Result: Fort captured
British & Indians Afghans
Brigadier John Shelton

This was an event during the 1st Afghan War
For context see main article Kabul Uprising


With only two days supplies remaining, General Elphinstone ordered a storming party under Brigadier Shelton to attack the Rika-bashi Fort which was to the northeast of the Sherpur Cantonment. Captain Bellew was to blow open the fort gate but mistook the location and demolished a small wicket. The opening was very restricted and only two or three abreast could enter stooping. A detachment forced its way in but Capt Westmacott was shot as he approached and Capt M'Crae was cut down in the entrance. The Afghan garrison fled out of the main gate which was barred after them by the few attackers. Some enemy cavalry appeared and the assault party started to retreat. This encouraged the Afghans to rush back in. Lieut Bird and two sepoys barricaded themselves in a stable but the remainder of their comrades were slaughtered. Outside Brig Shelton managed to rally the soldiers and finally take the fort. The Afghans evacuated four neighbouring forts which were found to contain large amounts of grain. The British losses amounted to about 200 killed and wounded.

Storming Party

  • Two Horse Artillery guns
  • One mountain Train gun
  • Walker's Horse
  • 37th Native Infantry 100 men under Maj Griffiths
  • Capt Westmacott
  • Lieut Hawtrey
  • Capt MacCrae
  • Lieut Cadett
  • 6th Regiment of Shah's Force under Capt Hopkins
  • Lieut Bird


Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906:
William Elphinstone (1782-1842)
John Shelton (?-1845)

External Links

Historical books online

The Kabul insurrection of 1841-42 by G.B. Malleson ( Storming of the Rika-bashi Fort


Map of Sherpur Cantonment
Lady Sale's account Google Books