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William Elphinstone (1782-1842), Major-General

Sitter in 1 portrait
Scottish-born William Elphinstone was the son of William Fullerton Elphinstone, a director of the British East India Company. Elphinstone entered the army in 1804. He saw service throughout the Napoleonic Wars, rising through the ranks until he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1813 and led his regiment at the Battle of Waterloo. After his promotion to colonel in 1825 he served as aide-de-camp to King George IV. Elphinstone was promoted to major-general in 1837, and, in 1841, during the First Anglo-Afghan War, was in command of the British garrison in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was responsible for the disastrous British retreat from Kabul in 1842, in which his troops were all but wiped out in a massacre.

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William Elphinstone

by William Salter
oil on canvas, 1836-1839
NPG 3714