5 Responses

  1. @Ed Burke: “by the sword” comes last because the final place is the place of honor.

    • Actually, don’t people generally kind of think #1 is #1? And my guess is that since probably 10 times as many of His Majesty’s finest died by disease and accident as died “by the sword” or bullet, that’s the reason for the phrasing… though of course it is a much greater “honor” to be hacked to death by a Khanda or Yatagan than to succumb to the marthambles or a quartain or malarial fever…

  2. This was the first of several British wars in Afghanistan. In most 19th century wars the number of dead from disease exceeded the combat casualties.

  3. The vast majority of the 20,000 dead were Indian Sepoys and camp followers. And remember, the officers were employed by the East India Co., not Her Majesty’s Government. I could have used that plaque for the cover of my book on the subject.

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