In this neighbourhood is concentrated most of the Afghan army north of the Hindu Kush mountains, the fortified cantonment of Dehdadi having been completed by Sirdar Ghulam Ali Khan and incorporated with Mazar.
The pomegranate fields form a striking feature in the valley - the pomegranates of Kandahar, with its "sirdar" melons and grapes, being unequalled in quality by any in the East.
RANJIT SINGH, MAHARAJA (1780-1839), native Indian ruler, was born on the 2nd of November 1780, the son of Sirdar Mahan Singh, whom he succeeded in 1792 as head of the Sukarchakia branch of the Sikh confederacy.
The sirdar selected these native officers from those of Arabis followers who had been the least prominent in the recent mutiny; non-commissioned officers who had been drill-instructors in the old army were recalled temporarily, but all the privates were conscripted from their villages.
General considerations later caused the sirdar to allow exemption by payment of (Badalia) 20 before ballot.
The sirdar is allowed, moreover, to use 20,000 per annum of the badalia for the improvement of the education of the rank and file.
As the Egyptian brigadier, who had spent some years in Berlin, spoke German fluently, and it was also understood by the senior British officers, that language was used for all commands given by the sirdar on that special parade.
The discipline of the old army had been regulated by a translation of part of the Code Napoleon, which was inadequate for an Eastern army, and the sirdar replaced it by the British Army Act of 1881, slightly modified, and printed in Arabic. -
The sirdar made an attempt to raise a battaliQn of Albanians, but the few men obtained mutinied when ordered to proceed to the Sudan, and it was deemed advisable, after the ringleaders had been executed, to abandon the idea, and rely on blacks to stiffen the fellahin.
The stringent system of selecting British officers, originated by the first sirdar in 1883, is shown by the fact that of the 24 employed in creating the army, 14 rose to be generals.
Twelve medical and two veterinary officers are also employed departmentally, as well as officers acting as directors of supply, &c. Since the assumption of command by the third sirdar, Colonel (afterwards Lord) Kitchener, the ordnance, supply and engineer services have been separately administered, and a financial secretary is charged with the duty of preparing the budget, making contracts, &c. The total annual expenditure is 500,000.
The army raised by the first sirdar in January 1883 was highly commended for its work on the line of communication in 1884-1885, and its artillery and camelry distinguished themselves in the action at Kirbekan in February 1885.
In June 1896, owing to the indefatigable exertions of Major Wingate, a perfected system of secret intelligence enabled the sirdar to bring an overwhelming force of 6 to 1 against the Dervish outpost at Firket and destroy it.
The khalifa himself was killed; while the victor, who had joined the Egyptian army in 1883 as aide-de-camp to the first sirdar, in December I 899 became the fourth sirdar, as Major-General Sir F.
Sir Reginald Wingate, the sirdar of the Egyptian army (in which post he succeeded Lord Kitchener at the close of 1899) was named governor-general, and in the work of regeneration of the country, the officials, British, Egyptian and Sudanese, had the cordial co-operation of the majority of the inhabitants.
A British brigade was on its way up stream, but the sirdar, who had already arrived to take the command in person, decided not to wait for it.
In December the sirdar arrived with reinforcements from Cairo, and on the 20th sallied out and attacked the dervishes in their trenches at Gemaiza, clearing the whole line and inflicting considerable loss on the enemy, who retired towards Handub, and the country was again fairly quiet for a time.
Kitchener, who succeeded Sir Francis Grenfell as sirdar of the Egyptian.
The railway up the right bank of the Nile was continued to Kerma, in order to evade the difficulties of the 3rd cataract; but the sirdar had conceived the bold project of cutting off the great angle of the Nile from Wadi Haifa to Abu Hamed, involving nearly 600 m.
The sirdar sent him rifles and ammunition across the desert from Korti; but before they arrived, Mahmuds army, sent by the khalifa, swept down on Metemma on the 1st of July and massacred Abdalla wad Said and his garrison.
The forces of the khalifa remaining quiet, the sirdar visited Kassala and negotiated with the Italian General Caneva for its restoration to Egypt.
On his return from Kassala to Berber the sirdar received information of an intended advance of the khalifa northward.
The sirdar took up a position at Ras el Hudi, on the Atbara.
The khalifa was now in full retreat, and the sirdar, sending his cavalry in pursuit, marched into Omdurman.
The European prisoners of the khalifa found in OmdurmanCharles Neufeld, Joseph Ragnotti, Sister Teresa Grigolini, and some 30 Greekswere released; and on Sunday the 4th of September the sirdar, with representatives from every regiment, crossed the r~iver to Khartum, where the British and Egyptian flags were hoisted, and a short service held in memory of General Gordon, near the place where he met his death.
The British troops were quickly sent down stream to Cairo, and the sirdar, shortly afterwards created Lord Kitchener of Khartum, was free to turn his attention to the reduction of the country to some sort of order.
The province of Kandahar was severed from the Kabul dominion; and the sirdar Shere Ali Khan, a member of the Barakzai family, was installed by the British representative as its independent ruler.
As the British ministry had resolved to evacuate Kandahar, the sirdar Shere Ali Khan, who saw that he could not stand alone, resigned and withdrew to India, and the amir Abdur Rahman was invited to take possession of the province.
Three years before Timur had died, and his third son, Zaman Shah, by the intrigues of an influential sirdar, Paiyanda Khan, and been proclaimed his successor at Kabul.
At the expiration of four months the sirdar of Erivan took possession of a Turkish military station on the road to Erzerum, and the crown prince marched upon that city at the head of 30,000 men.
Wellby, 'Twixt Sirdar and Menelik (London, 1901).