Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1881; St Jude’s, Whitechapel, 1886
Original caption: ‘The explosion party, consisting of Lieutenants Home and Salkeld of the Bengal Engineers, three sergeants of the same corps, Burgess, Carmichael, and Smith, etc., in the face of a very hot fire crossed in succession the precarious timbers of the battered bridge. … The Victoria Cross was conferred upon Lieuts. Home and Salkeld, also on Bugler Hawthorne and Sergeant Smith, etc.’
Athenaeum, 19 March 1881:
Mr. Eyre Crowe will probably contribute to the Royal Academy Exhibition … the attack on the gate of Delhi during the critical point of the Indian Mutiny, and at the moment when the explosion of a petard, laid before the walled-up gate by Lieut. Salkeld and others, is imminent. The leader of the assailants is on the shattered wooden bridge, and about to apply the match to the fuse, while some of his companions have jumped or fallen wounded into the ditch below.
Athenaeum, 14 May 1881:
It is full of incidents well selected, excellently designed, and carefully painted, and there is much energy and abundance of character in the expressions and actions of the figures.
Art Journal, June 1881:
The story, as told at length in the catalogue, is depicted with great skill and directness. Sergeant Smith, kneeling on the battered bridge, is in the act of stooping to ignite the fuse; down in the ditch lie the bodies of Lieutenant Salkeld and Sergeants Burgess and Carmichael, who have been mortally wounded in the attempt; near them stand Lieutenant Home, who had jumped from the bridge after placing the first powder bags, and Bugler Hawthorne, who was to sound the call to advance.