|Afghan church, Mumbai, India.www.dgde.gov.in|
An Anglican Church in South Mumbai, India, was built by the East India company with a view to commemorating those killed in the first disastrous Afghan War of 1838 -1842 (the Battle of Maiwand near Kandahar) and this historical church is a mute testimony to them who fought hard to safeguard the prestige of the British Crown. This unexpected worst defeat dampened the morale of the British forces stationed here for a while. This church is called the Church of St. John the Evangelist.The work was begun in 1847 and the church was consecrated on January 07, 1858 by Bishop Harding. Viceroy James Bruce Elgin, a Scotsman was a major contributor in his personal capacity towards costs of construction.-. However, work on 60-metre high bell tower was completed by 1865. Frequently referred to as the Afghan Church, it is in Navy Nagar - inside a Naval Base (formerly British, now Indian) in the Colaba area of Mumbai (Bombay).
This beautiful church exemplifies early Victorian English Gothic revival architecture and has excellent multi-colored stained glass windows, the high ventilators for better air circulation inside the church and majestic entrance to the church. This monument is simply a personification of poignant stories of the soldiers in stone. The church was once a small thatched chapel, a kilo meter south in what was then known as the "Sick Bungalows", now a busy part of Mumbai. The British East India company took appropriate steps, as initiated by the British back home, to build a solid memorial for the British army of the first Afghan war.
|Goreme cappadocia, Afghan Church, Mumbai, .tripadvisor.com|
|The Afghan Church,Mumbai; the Guild of the Holy Standard. victorianweb.org|
|Afghan Church, Mumbai, by sheroyt. flickr.com|
01. It was the heaviest and worst ever defeat the British suffered yet. It shook the morale of the best British regiments.
02 War Records also mention that in the first Afgan-British encounter only one person, one Surgeon William Brydon - a medical officer - three out of 16,000 men, returned safely to Jalalabad, now in Pakistan to tell the tale of a war in which the English army was trounced by the Afghan soldiers (who were good at gorilla warfare) and the rest were perished near Kandahar.
03. The other two lucky survivors were the French General, who led Ranjit Singh's army and his administrative head, and a Parsi gentleman called Nowrojee.
04. As for Indian soldiers, most of them were from Dharmasala Battalion of Raja Rajit Singh's army.
05. Many of the Indian sepoys were massacred,
thrown down from the fort wall and some were burnt alive