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Billy Fish: "He wants to know if you are gods." Peachy Carnehan: "Not gods - Englishmen, the next best thing."
                                                                                                                                                                
from John Huston's film of the Rudyard Kipling story The Man Who Would Be King.
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A Virtual Museum of Antique Victorian-era British Military Photographs and Associated Biographical Research
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Stuff to buy from soldiersofthequeen.com
Drummer John Francis Dunne

A Company
1st Battalion
Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Cabinet Photograph

c. 1880s
When originally purchased, I had no idea
as to the identity of this young soldier, the
image being purchased simply due to its
unique nature and remarkable clarity. I
was contacted by Jenny Bosch - a member
of an
Anglo-Boer War group on Facebook -
who kindly informed me of this young
man's celebrity.

John Francis Dunne was born around 1886...
Staff Sergeant
Charles William Bamford

Army Service Corps

Woolwich, England

Cabinet Photograph

16 October, 1890
Son of a serving Sergeant Major in the Royal Artillery, Charles William
Bamford was born at the Lucknow Cantonment in India on
17 July, 1864. His father, the afore mentioned Sergeant Major was Charles
Edward Bamford and his mother the former Mary Ann Castleton. The
young Charles arrived in England sometime prior to 1871 when he is
shown in the census of that year residing with his family at Sheffield
Barracks.

Charles followed his father into Queen’s service sometime prior to the
outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War (1879) and although his service papers
have not been found (possibly due to his later promotion to officer) a
relatively complete record of his service in five wars under three
sovereigns can be put together.
These four outstanding photographic studies were once part of set of fifteen which depicted officers of the Anglo-Indian cavalry who were chosen to take part in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee which took place in London in 1887. The set of
photographs were in all likelihood the official portraits of these officers taken at the behest of the Queen by noted photographers Andrew and George Taylor. After supplying the Queen with her photographs the Taylor brothers would have offered
additional sets for sate to the general public. These photographs came from one of those commercially available sets.

The set original depicted two British officers (Captain C.W. Muir, Viceroy's Body-Guard and Captain G.A.Money, 18th Bengal Lancers) and 13 highly decorated Indian officers and was complete until it was broken up for individual sale via online
auction. While the dispersal of the set was unfortunate it did allow at least some of the images to be displayed here. It was interesting to note that the two images of British born officers sold for a considerably higher sum than any of those of the
Indian officers even if the later are by far considerably much more rare and more desirable from a collectors point of view in my opinion - especially when one considers their extremely fine condition and outstanding composition.

With the close of the auction I had acquired what I consider to have been the four best of the photographs - each depicting an identified veteran Indian officer taken at the very apex of the British Raj. For the most part biographical information on
these men has been hard to come by some interesting details have come to light
Continued
Risaldar Major Isri Singh, O.M.
19th Bengal Cavalry

1887
Woordi Major Lena Singh
2nd Central India Horse

1887
Risaldar Major Nadir Ali Khan
18th Bengal Cavalry

1887
Risaldar Major Sher Singh
Sirdar Bahadur
C.I.E., O.B.I., O.M.
2nd Punjab Cavalry

1887
William Hyder Abdel Malek

Uganda Civil Servive

Uganda/British East Africa

c. 1899
Putting all hyperbole aside, William Hyder
Abdel Malek of the Uganda Civil Service was
indeed the son of a sheik - at least according
to his father’s 1870 marriage certificate.  
William was born about 1871 in Syria to
Abdelghani Hyder Abdelmalek a Levantine
subject of the Ottoman Empire and the
former Miss Eliza Agnes Morgan.
Veterinary Lieutenant
Alfred Joseph Haslam

Army Veterinary Corps
Uganda Railway Service

Mounted Photograph

April 1888
The familiar origins of Alfred Joseph
Haslam are somewhat uncertain and after
repeated attempts I have been unable to
determine exactly who his parents were.
Based on the 1891 census of Scotland he
seems to have been born at Halifax England
on 27 November 1863.

He attended medical school in Edinburgh,
Scotland (New Veterinary College) graduating
with high honors April 1884. He joined the
Army Veterinary Department in February
1885 and one short month later found himself
in Suakin and seems to have been attached to
the Suakin Field Force them operating in the
filed under the command of ...
11th U.S. Cavalry Trooper
Anglo-Boer War Veteran

11th United States Cavalry

Mounted Photograph

c. 1905
This early 20th Century photograph is one of those images that at the
same time begs but defies attempts to positively identify the soldier
subject. As far what can be determined, the photograph clearly depicts a
trooper of the 11th United States Cavalry from the early 1900s...
Discharge Parchment and Original
Tinned Iron Storage Tube

Private David Stewart
71st Regiment of Foot

29 November, 1852
Coming up with an appropriate title for private
David Stewart’s entry was problematic only due
to the rather picturesque choices his service
records offered. Stewart is without a doubt the
earliest enlisting private soldier featured here at
soldiersofthequeen.com having enlisted during
the reign of William IV on 26 September, 1831
at Aberdeen, Scotland.

Stewart was born about 1811 in Forfar, Scotland.
Due to his very early birthdate I have not been
able to establish his family connections in that
town. A tailor at the time of his attestation,
Stewart attested as No. 1118 with 79th (Cameron
Highlanders) Regiment of Foot for a term of
unlimited service. This rather forbidding and
open ended enlistment was somewhat mitigated
by a tree pound enlistment bounty.

Stewart remained with the 79th until 21 march,
1838 when he transferred to the 71st (Highland
Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot.
Captain Robert Pope

Royal Artillery

Bangalore, India


Carte de Visite

c, 1862
The SS Carnatic was a 1770 ton steamship
launched in London on 12 June, 1862, she was
a transitional vessel – fully rigged but with a
single screw 2400 horsepower 4-cylinder steam
engine. She was constructed with a wooden
planked iron framed hull. Owned by the
Peninsula & Orient Steam Navigation
Company (P&O), she operated on the Suez-
Bombay-Hong Kong route prior the opening of
the Suez Canal.

Outward bound for Bombay on 12 September
1869 near the mouth of the Gulf of Suez the
Carnatic ran aground on a reef close by
Shadwan Island.  Apparently there was little
concern expressed by the ship’s captain P. B.
Jones. The ship’s pumps were started and like
the Titanic some 43 year later an air of
normalcy reigned until around 2:00 a.m. of the
14th when rising water suddenly quenched the
boilers cut cutoff all power to the ship. In spite
of the loss of power – and any hope of getting
off the reef – it was not until 11:00 a.m. of the
14th that Captain Jones finally gave orders to
abandon ship. Only four passengers had
managed to board a lifeboat when the ship...