|Brevet Lt Col J
GALBRAITH assumed command of the Regiment on the 15th November 1879.
THE REGIMENT DEPLOYS
The Regiment was placed under orders for service in
South Afghanistan, and proceeded to Sibi en route to Kandahar, as follows
:- The detachment from Hydrabad (Consisting of 15 officers, 12 Sgts, 12
Cpls, 3 Drummers, and 219 privates) under the command of Maj C.F. OLIVER,
left that station on the 19th February, 1880, by rail, arriving at Sibi on
the 11th February, to await the arrival of the Headquarters. The H.Q.
under the command of Col GALBRAITH (Consisting of 15 officers, 26 sgts, 21
cpls, 9 drummers, 388 privates) left Kurrachee by rail on the 10th,
arriving at Sibi on the morning of the 13th February 1880. The Regiment
(With the exception of D Company) under the command of Col GALBRAITH,
marched from Sibi, en route to Kandahar, via Quetta, arriving at its
destination on the 25th March 1880.
D Company remained remained at Sibi as an escort for
the Royal Artillery. A further detachment, consisting of G and H companies
under the command of Capt J QUARRY, was sent to the Citadel of Kandahar
on the 29th March 1880. A detachment consisting of A and E companies under
the command of Capt McKINNON, left Kandahar en route for Khelat-i-Ghilzai
on the 6th April in relief of two companies of the 59th of foot.
Early in July 1880, Wali Shere Ali - who was encamped
at Girishk - reported that Sirdar Mahomed Ayoub Khan, Governor of Herat,
was marching on Kandahar at the head of a powerful army. In consequence of
this report Brigadier General BURROWE'S was ordered to proceed at once to
Girishk to check Ayoubs advance and accordingly he left Kandahar on the 5th
July, with the 2nd Infantry Brigade, two Regiments of Native cavalry, and
a battery of horse artillery. The Headquarters and B C D F G and H
companies of the 66th, under command of Col GALBRAITH formed part of
BURROWE'S marched as far as Kokeran on the 5th, where
he found supplies scarce, but excellent water. At 6 am on the following
day, tents were struck, and the column pushed on towards the Argandab
river, and halted at Ashoulkhan, where there was an abundance of fruit and
water. Atta Karez was the next halting place, and on the 8th the column encamped at Kushki nakud. From thence it proceeded to Mez Karez (A
deserted Village) and on the 10th arrived at Helmund near to Girishk,
which was on the opposite side of the river. The Helmund is some thirty
leagues from Kandahar.
DEPLOYED AGAINST WALIS MUTINOUS
On the 14th, BURROWE'S received intelligence that the
Walis troops had mutinied, whereupon he marched against them with five
companies of the 66th, three companies of the 30th Native Infantry, 400 cavalry,
and the horse artillery.
The mutineers numbered between four and five thousand
men and had with them the smooth bore battery, which the Indian government
had presented to the wali. Towards 10 am they opened fire on BURROWE'S
force, but the horse artillery returned fire with such good effect that in
about an hours time the mutineers had, had enough of it, and retired from their
position, leaving two guns behind them. BURROWE'S returned to camp about 4
pm, with the captured guns escorted by a party of the 66th. In this affair
the Regiment had four men wounded, one of whom later died. On the 21st the
column went into laager at Kushki Nakud, where there was an enclosure in
which the field hospital and commissariat stores were placed.
THE ROAD TO MAIWAND
On the 27th July the Brigade marched to Maiwand,
where the Regiment took massive casualties.
THE ACTION AT MAIWAND
ON THE 27th JULY 1880 WILL BE COVERED
IN DETAIL. ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT A BATTLE HONOUR THE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE
THERE ARE SO IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF OUR REGIMENTS HISTORY WE INTEND TO ADD
A SPECIAL LINK TO THIS PAGE IN THE NEAR FUTURE
the return of the survivors of Brigadier General BURROWE'S ill fated
column to Kandahar, the whole of the troops in cantonments were moved into
the Citidal, where they were besieged by the Afghans until the 31st August
1880 (See Battle honour Kandahar 1880 link) After relief by ROBERT'S on
the 1st September a detail from the Regiment went to the Battle field at
Maiwand where they buried the dead of the Regiment.
66th marched from Kandahar on the 1st October 1880, en route
for india, and arrived at Quetta on the 13th. After a fortnights rest
at Quetta, the march was resumed, Pir Chowki was reached on the 3rd November
and from there the regiment proceeded by rail to Kurrachee, where it
arrived on the 7th November.
the 19th January 1881, the 66th under command of Lt Col S.G.C. HOGGE,
proceeded to Bombay, and sailed for England next day in H.M. troopship MALABAR.
The ship reached Porstmouth on the 19th February where they disembarked
and proceeded to the isle of wight, to be stationed at Parkhurst