Captain James Skinner was buried in a ruined fort above the river of Jugdulluk, Afghanistan, 1842:
The British invaded Afghanistan in 1838 to restore to his throne Shah Soojah, for fear of the Russian collaboration with the then Chief of Chiefs, Dost Mohammed, but the British Army of 5000 was destroyed. Only 2 men escaped. James Skinner was a member of the Commisariat in Cabul. This is part of the story of his final days:
“His horses being stolen, he dressed as an Affghan, and rushing into the street, was received into the house of an opposite neighbour, who, out of regard for him, and gratitude for disinterested services previously rendered to members of his family, protected him. The aged mother of this Affghan friend, rushing from the house, in defiance of the danger, and taking Captain Skinner by the hand, called him her son, drew him into the house, and gave him sanctuary in the Harem, where he remained concealed for a month, undergoing many adventures in the dress of a female and seeking shelter occasionally in a cavity under the floor, over the opening of which clothes were thrown, when strangers entered. Two of his host’s wives quarrelled, and the Affghan taking part with one, the other flew out and vociferated there was a Feringee hid in the house, that she would give information, and have both him and her husband taken away together.
On hearing this, Captain Skinner resolved to be no longer a source of anxiety and danger to his protectors. That night, December 10th, his friendly host provided himself and servant with Affghan dresses and swords, and about midnight let them out. They had reached in safety the gates near the cantonments, when they were met by a crowd returning from some festival or religious meeting, without the walls. They recognized him, raised the cry of “There goes a Feringee,” and commenced pursuit. Captain Skinner made a rush for the cantonments, but was intercepted. He defended himself till he broke his sword, but still kept the mob at bay, when an Affghan rode up and said, “Come on my horse, and I will save you.” He answered, ” No, but give me your horse and I will pay you handsomely, it cannot carry two.” The Affghan replied,” By my soul I will save you, and take you to cantonments; get up behind, there is not a moment to be lost.” Skinner mounted, and the Affghan immediately galloped to the quarters of Ameen Oolah Khan, our chief enemy, and the leader of the revolt. To him he presented his prisoner, saying, ” Sahib, I make you a present of a Feringee.”(From ‘Sketch of the Military Services of Lieutenant-General Skinner and his sons’ by Allan Maclean Skinner, 1863).