Sir George Robertson described events in Chitral in 1895 as a ‘minor siege’, but the siege and subsequent relief should be viewed as an important episode in Britain’s ‘Great Game’ with Russia, which would have serious consequences for the British several years later. Indeed, the retention of Chitral by the Indian Government would be a contributing factor to the mass uprisings along the North-West Frontier of India during late 1897. In reality, it was anything but a minor siege
CHITRAL 1895 An Episode of the Great Game
A very welcome new account of the famous siege of the fort at Chtiral in 1895, where a small Indian Army garrison, commanded by Surgeon-Major Sir George Scott Robertson and Captain Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend, was besieged by a joint Chitrali and Pathan army. Despite the odds being heavily stacked against them, Robertson’s beleaguered little garrison held out for forty-eight days until a relief expedition was able to fight its way through to the rescue. The siege and subsequent relief is a story of valour and sheer determination in the face of a stubborn adversary and extreme weather conditions, all played out on the often-mountainous terrain of the north-western border of British India.