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…though one white man is seldom physically a match for an Afghan in a sheepskin or wadded coat, yet, through the pressure of many white men behind, and a certain thirst for revenge in his heart, he becomes capable of doing much … They … realised for the first time that an Afghan attacked is much less formidable than an Afghan attacking…


This is from ‘The Drums of the Fore and Aft’ in ‘Wee Willie Winkie’.

An inexperienced British regiment has retreated in disarray before a furious charge by Afghan fanatics. Two drummer boys have been left behind in no-man’s-land, and they decide to march and countermarch across the front, beating the advance. The boys are killed by an Afghan volley, but the regiment is shamed into attacking, and the day is won.