The Storming of the Dargai Heights

’Twas on the 20th of November, and in the year of 1897,
That the cheers of the Gordon Highlanders ascended to heaven,
As they stormed the Dargai heights without delay,
And made the Indian rebels fly in great dismay.

“Men of the Gordon Highlanders,” Colonel Mathias said,
“Now, my brave lads, who never were afraid,
Our General says ye must take Dargai heights to-day;
So, forward, and charge them with your bayonets without dismay!”

Then with a ringing cheer, and at the word of command,
They bounded after their leaders, and made a bold stand;
And, dashing across the open ground with their officers at their head,
They drove the enemy from their position without any dread.

In that famous charge it was a most beautiful sight
To see the regimental pipers playing with all their might;
But, alas! one of them was shot through both ankles, and fell to the ground,
But still he played away while bullets fell on every side around.

Oh! it must have been a gorgeous sight that day,
To see two thousand Highlanders dressed up in grand array,
And to hear the pibroch sounding loud and clear
While the Highlanders rushed upon the foe with a loud cheer.

The Gordon Highlanders have gained a lasting fame
Which for ages to come will long remain :
The daring gallantry they displayed at the storming of Dargai,
Which will be handed down to posterity.

Methinks I see that gallant and heroic band
When brave Colonel Mathias gave them the command,
As they rushed upon the rebel horde, which was their desire,
Without the least fear through a sheet of fire.

Then the rebels fled like frightened sprites,
And the British were left masters of the Dargai heights;
But, alas! brave Captain Robinson was mortally wounded and cut down,
And for his loss many tears from his comrades fell to the ground.

Success to the Gordon Highlanders wherever they go.
May they always be enabled to conquer the foe;
And may God guard them always in the fight,
And give them always strength to put their enemies to flight.

The Tirah Expedition

Further Fighting at Dargai

(from our special correspondent.)


The 2nd Division, under General Yeatman Biggs, left Shinwari this morning for Karappa, via the Chagru Kotal. The enemy, driven away on the 18th, had strongly re-occupied the position at Dargai and the crest of Narik Sukh, and before descending into the Chagru defile it was necessary again to expel him from these heights. Brigadier-General Kempster’s Brigade undertook this arduous task, supported by the fire of two batteries from the Chagru Kotal and No. 9 Battery R..A. from Samana Sukh.

For full three hours the tribesmen, sheltered in their sangars, stood this heavy bombardment, beating their drums, waving standards, shouting defiance, and keeping up a hot fire on the advancing infantry. But the attack was not to be denied. Following the same precipitous track as on the 18th, the 2nd Gurkhas and Gordon Highlanders leading, supported by the Dorsetshire and Derbyshire Regiments, and enduring many casualties without flinching, the troops bravely stormed the ridge at 3 p.m. Many of the enemy were killed in hand-to-hand fighting, and many were shot down as they fled.

It is to be regretted that this very strong position has had to be twice attacked, but the danger of isolating detachments to hold distant captured points is considerable, and the difficulties connected with food, water, and transport are immense. However, Brigadier-General Kempster’s Brigade will bivouac tonight on the captured position, and the Chagru Kotal will be held by the rest of the 2nd Division. Korappa will be occupied early to-morrow, Sir William Lockhart and staff accompanying the advance.

To-day’s casualties have not yet been ascertained.—By Indo-European Telegraph

The Times, 21st October 1897

Wikipedia Article

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Comments (1) »

  1. xahid
    In the year 2015, on the 3rd day of February at 7:47 pm

    sorry to say that the British army was defeated very shamefully at dargai heights…
    Mulla Mastan ali (as sartore faqeer) was the resident of Raiga -Buner.His name was Saadullah Khan son of Hameedullah Khan.He belonged to Shah Noori zai a sub tribe of Malizai.He fought war against Britishers in Malakand in 1897.He along with three to four hundred yusafzai yungsters attacked Malakand fort at night,killed many sikhs soldiers of British army and captured quater guard and looted the entire arms and ammunition.A british colonel,a majpr,a leutinentand five hundred and twenty one soldiers of British army were killed and one thousand and twenty three were wounded.Mullah mastan also attacked Chakdara fort on that night.He died in 1917 and burried in Fateh pur Swat

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