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In June 1855, during the Crimean War (1854–1856), Kars, a city in north-eastern Turkey, was besieged by a Russian army of 25,000 men. Demoralised by their defeats at the hands of the Russians, the Turks left the defence of Kars to Brevet Colonel (later General Sir) William Fenwick Williams who was the British commissioner with the Ottoman Army in Anatolia. Through his brilliant organisation, the garrison was able to repulse three major Russian attacks, but eventually cold, famine and an outbreak of cholera forced it to surrender on 26 November 1855.
oil on canvas
H 252 x W 440 cm
gift from St Stephen's Club, 1963