Afghan Medal to E Battery B Brigade for the Battle of Maiwand
A Second Afghan War Medal to “E” Battery “B” Brigade - Peiwar Kotal, (Grass Cutter Sunka Pandos E. Bty. B. Bde. R.H.A.) Naming is officially engraved in italic script, better than VF. Footnote: On the afternoon of the 26th July information was received that the Afghan force was making for the Maiwand Pass a few miles away Burrows decided to move early the following day to break-up the Afghan advance guard. At about 10 am horsemen were seen and engaged, and the brigade started to deploy for battle. Burrows was not aware that it was Ayub's main force. The Afghans, who numbered 25,000 including Afghan regular troops and five batteries of artillery including some very modern Armstrong guns. The Afghan guns gradually came into action and a three hour artillery duel ensured at an opeing range of about 1700 yards, during which the British captured smoothbore guns on the left expended their ammunition and withdrew to replenish it. This enabled the Afghans to force the left hand battalion back. The left flank comprising Indian infantry regiments gave way and rolled in a great wave to the right, the 66th Regiment, the backbone of defence, were swept away by the pressure of the Ghazi attack. E Battery / B Brigade Royal Horse Artillery (Captain Slade commanding) and a half-company of Bombay Sappers and Miners under Lieutenant Henn (Royal Engineers) stood fast, covering the retreat of the entire British Brigade. E/B RHA kept firing until the last moment, two sections (four guns) limbering up when the Afghans were 15 yards away, but the third section (Lt Maclaine) was overrun. Maclaine was captured and held as a prisoner in Kandahar, where his body was found at Ayub Khan's tent during the British attack on 1 September, apparently murdered to prevent his liberation. The British guns captured during the action were also recovered at Kandahar. E/B RHA came into action again some 400 yards back. The Sappers and Miners retreated as the guns withdrew. Henn and 14 of his men afterwards joined some remnants of the 66th Foot and Bombay Grenadiers in a small enclosure at a garden in a place called Khig where a determined last stand was made. Though the Afghans shot them down one by one, they fired steadily until only eleven of their number were left, and the survivors then charged out into the masses of the enemy and perished. Henn was the only officer in that band and he led the final charge.