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Landi Kotal Cemtery
 

Landi Kotal Cemetery, Khyber Pass

 
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Founded:1879?
Website:
none
Transcriptions of Graves: Email me if you can provide them.
Photographs
General: click here
Graves: Click here
Plaques: Click here
Burials
Graves from:
1) Second Afghan War (1879 - 1880) - most of the graves
2) 1898
3) Third Afghan War (1919)
 

 

Landi Kotal Cemetery

Accessible by road (or railway, 'Khyber Steam Safari') from Peshawar, it is the largest of the three cemeteries in the Khyber Pass. The graveyard's main gate is usually kept locked. A Christian family which looks after a small chapel behind the Khyber Rifles Mess has the spare key. Some of their family members work in the Photography Section of the Khyber Rifles Mess nearby and they are quite helpful and can be contacted at the Mess if one wants to visit the cemetery.

The Landi Kotal Cemetery is about the size of a soccer field. Its burials are mainly from 1879-80 (Second Afghan War) and 1898 and 1919 (Third Afghan War). Many regiments and battalions are represented here. Two stone obelisks stand in the middle each bearing a plaque. The inscription on one is almost faded and the other records: "Sacred to the memory of the British soldiers of all ranks who lie buried near this spot 187 of whom died at Landi Kotal from the result of wounds received in action and from disease during the Afghan Campaign of 1879-80 and the remainder since the reoccupation of the Khyber in 1898"

The older graves lying towards the far end are unfortunately not very well preserved generally and sometimes it is not even possible to tell who is buried underneath. Many headstones have disappeared altogether. However, the relatively newer graves dating from 1898 onwards which are closer to the entrance are all in a better state.

Interviews with the Christian family that looks after the Landi Kotal cemetery revealed that there has been no funding from any quarter for its upkeep in the last two or three decades and therefore the cemetery has gone into gradual decline. It is a real pity considering this is one of the most important cemeteries in the North West Frontier from both historical and tourism point of view and is invaluable for family history research as well. The Khyber Pass cemeteries must be included in the threatened monuments and the heritage lists. Besides local initiatives by citizens, the British and Pakistan governments and their agencies need to play a more proactive role in their upkeep. Moreover, the involvement of national and international NGOs in their conservation is also necessary to seek a broader base of support. It is essential to preserve all such surviving Victorian cemeteries in the region before it is too late, because in another few years these irreplaceable landmarks might be lost forever due to neglect.

Dr Ali Jan

(Note: All surviving headstones in the Landi Kotal Cemetery have been photographed by Dr Ali Jan of the Sarhad Conservation Network)

 

General

Relatively newer graves near the gate
View from the far end

 

Plaques

Sacred to the memory of the British Soldiers ..... who lie buried near this spot 187 of whom died at Landi Kotal from the result of wounds received in action and disease during the Afghan Campaign of 1878 - 80 and the remainder since the reoccupation of the Khyber in 1898
Unknown plaque

 

Graves

Cook

Day

Hicks

Hoare

Miles

Pttaway

 

All images and text are copyright.
You may download either for personal use only but not for use on websites.
For website and all other uses, please email Dr. Jan here.
(c) Dr. Ali Jan 2006-2007

Contact me: rabiazafar78@yahoo.com

Last update: Sunday, May 6, 2007