Maiwand and The Great Game

The impressive cast iron statue of a lion in Forbury Gardens, Reading has become one of the most iconic images of Reading.

The Lion is posed snarling defiance to the north – towards Russia. Built by George Blackall Simonds and unveiled in 1886, it commemorates those who died in the Battle of Maiwand. Yet few of us probably know much about the battle and its tragic association with Berkshire.

In this talk, Mike Cooper looks at the Battle of Maiwand against the background of Anglo-Russian rivalry in Asia – The Great Game –  something he’s been following for 40 years – and the history of the lion itself.

This talk is the second of three in the Winter Potpourri online talks series. Book all three talks in the series for £12.50 (members £10).  The other talks take place on 25th January and 21st March.

Pre-booking is required, because the event link will be sent in advance.                             

To join this talk, you will need a computer device with speakers. Ideally, also a webcam and microphone. You also need to be able to access the internet from it. First-time users of Zoom, will be asked to download a small piece of software, which will be sent in advance.                                                                                                                                      

To book – scroll down.

Image: The_Maiwand_Lion Tom Bastin CC-BY-2.0


Thu 22 Feb


14:00 - 15:15

Tickets from



Zoom Video Conference


The Centre - Berkshire FHS


  • Mike Cooper
    Mike Cooper

    Mike has had a lifelong interest in history, especially military and local history. Following a history degree at the University of Reading he worked as a librarian, with both the University and Reading Library. In addition to work on librarianship, he has had three books on the history of Reading published. Mike works for Reading Borough Council, and lives in Tilehurst with his wife and Moggy the Cat.