Vonolel, a hero of the second British Afghan war

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 29th, 2017 in General

 Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts was the commander of the British expeditionary forces — the Kabul Field Force — that fought the second Anglo-Afghan war from 1878 to 1880.

General Roberts led his 10,000 troops, including 2800 British soldiers, on the legendary march from Kabul to Kandahar, where he defeated the forces of Ayub Khan.

The war horse General Roberts rode on the 20 days march from Kabul to Kandahar and on much of the campaign was Vonolel, a desert-bred Arabian stallion (photo below, at the National Army museum). Vonolel ranks high in the pantheon of history’s most famous war steeds

7 Responses to “Vonolel, a hero of the second British Afghan war”

  1. Vonolel was registered in the General Stud Book (GSB), and Miss Dillon even sent Raschida (Kars x Wild Thyme) to him for breeding, producing an 1896 chestnut filly named Helmund. I don’t know what happened to Helmund.

  2. Gorgeous stallion! The desertbred Arabian was the ultimate war horse 🙂

  3. It interesting that the Blunt never mentioned him or inquired about him, given that his classical type matched or even surpassed (in my opinion) that of some of their own imports.

  4. The Blunts never used any stallion they did not either import or breed themselves.

  5. yes, but no mention of him anywhere in their writings, while El Emir and others from India were mentioned…

  6. A painted portrait in color of Volonel under saddle appears on the cover of Margaret E. Derry’s “Horses in Society.”

  7. What a splendid animal. I certainly wish the Blunts had branched out to include him in their breeding plans. Of course, he is grey…

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