Welcome to the first issue of The Last Stand. This journal is the successor of The Maiwand Dispatch that was published by The Friends of Dr Watson for their Maiwand Luncheon held in July each year.


Why the demise of The Maiwand Dispatch? Essentially The Maiwand Dispatch centred on the fictional character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon, Dr. John H. Watson MD and his connection with military matters, the battle of Maiwand and other medical matters.  Over the past 18 months there has been an increased interest in the Second Afghan War 1878-80 and Maiwand but other than a mention in some books on the campaign and a couple of books written on the battle there is a gap ‘in the market’ for other material to be published.


The journal is intended to be a platform for those interested in the varied aspects of Maiwand and related subjects and to have their researches published – whether it be academic or of general interest – to be read by a wider audience.


We hope that the journal will build into a well-known and respected source of information on the battle of Maiwand and be acknowledged as such by those who will eventually turn the pages and read or use the material published therein.


This journal, in some ways, breaks new ground. Firstly it is free. There is no subscription to receive a copy. Secondly it will be sent to subscribers by email as an attachment or CD-rom to download and if required can be printed off as a hard copy for binding. Thirdly the journal will be placed on The Victorian Wars Forum website for their members to read. We thank Mark Simner and his forum staff for allowing this innovative opportunity to become available. We hope that this project will encourage others who have specialist areas in military history to consider following our lead and do the same.


Finally, for those wondering who is who in the picture at the top of this editorial the answer is as follows:


On the right is Richard Stacpoole-Ryding (Editor) and on the left Andy Chaloner (Deputy Editor). This photograph was taken in May when Richard’s book was used as the basis of a presentation on the battle of Maiwand at a function organised by the Berkshire committee of The Army Benevolent Fund at the REME Garrison at Arborfield, Reading.



Richard J. Stacpoole-Ryding & Andy Chaloner