Afghan Church – The War Memorial

An Anglican Church is the Church of St. John the Evangelist. It is famously known as the Afghan Church which is located in Navy Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai. The purpose of Britishers to built this church was to commemorate the dead of the First Afghan War.

The foundation stone of the church was laid on the 4 December 1847 by Sir George Russell Clerk. The church was consecrated on January 7, 1858 by Bishop of Bombay, John Harding. The spire cost a sum of Rs 5,65,000 and was finished on June 10, 1865. Sir Cowasji Jehangir who contributed a sum of Rs 7,500 to help complete the building.

See more photos of Afghan Church

Short History:
The retreat of the British forces from Kabul in 1842 was described at the time as the worst disaster suffered by the British in India. Many of the casualties of the conflict came from the East India Company’s Bombay Army and military establishments located in proximity to the present church site.

In the war British army lost 4,500 troops, along with about 12,000 civilians which included both the families of Indian and British soldiers, plus workmen, servants and other Indian camp-followers.

Around 2,000 of the Indians, many of whom were maimed by frostbite, survived and returned to Kabul to exist by begging or to be sold into slavery. Some at least returned to India after another British invasion of Kabul several months later, but others remained behind in Afghanistan.

The church is located in the Colaba area of South Mumbai.

How To Reach:
Bus no. 123, 106, 137 from Churchgate station
Bus no. 103, 1 from CST

Distance: 4.5 kms from CST to Afghan Church
4 kms from Churchgate to Afghan Church

Source of article: Wikipedia

Read more:
Afghan Church – Wikipedia
1842 Kabul Retreat (or Massacre of Elphinstone’s army)

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