- Name: William Henry DICK-CUNYNGHAM
- D.O.B: 16th Jun, 1851
- D.O.A: 13th Dec, 1879
- D.O.D: 7th Jan, 1900
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant 92nd (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment of Foot
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
The Sherpur Pass, Kabul, Afghanistan 13 December 1879
13 December 1879
THE SECOND AFGHAN WAR 1878-80
Major General Roberts was determined to dislodge Mohammed Jan’s forces from Takht-i- Shah, a natural fortress and the highest point of the Darwaza Heights to the south of Kabul. An advance south along the Heights on 12 December 1879 made less progress than had been hoped. The next day, he ordered Lieutenant Colonel Baker to march from Sherpur and attack a spur of the Heights which ran east from Takht-i-Shah towards the village of Beni Hissar. Major G S White VC led the advance with four companies of the 92nd, the Gordon Highlanders. White saw that Afghan reinforcements were rushing up the slope from the village and decided to attack the spur between them and Takht-i-Shah. When the Highlanders reached the top of the spur they were halted by heavy fire but Lieutenant W H Dick-Cunyngham rallied the men and after desperate fighting they took the position. White then moved along the spur to the Takht-i-Shah and met up with the force coming south along the Heights. It was, however, a pyrrhic victory. By now Kabul and the whole surrounding area had risen against the British and Roberts had to withdraw all his men into the Sherpur cantonment.
For conspicuous gallantry and coolness displayed by him on the 13th December, 1879, at the attack on the Sherpur Pass, in Afghanistan, in having exposed himself to the full fire of the enemy, and by his example and encouragement rallied the men who, having been beaten back, were, at the moment, wavering at the top of the hill.