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from John Huston's film of the Rudyard Kipling story The Man Who Would Be King.
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United States
Philippine Insurrection Campaign Medal

to

Sergeant John Osborne Powell
United States Army

c. 1905
Unlike British medal rolls which list the same service information engraved on
the specific medal's rim and which were prepared and maintained by the
recipient’s regiment, American “rolls”, or possibly more correctly indexes,  are
simply a numerical list of serial numbers cross-referenced to a man’s name.
Sometimes the man’s rank and unit are also listed, sometimes only his branch
of service. Sometimes nothing more than his hometown and sometimes just a
name and nothing else.

Eventually, all pretense as to keeping track of to whom a campaign medal was
issued to, was scrapped and by the time of World War One the numbering
system was all but abandoned.
Surgeon-Major Henry Cornish
Army Medical Department

Album Page Mounted Carte de Visite

Natal Colony, South Africa

c. 1881
This carte de visite by Natal photographer William Bowman was taken from  
an album recording notable members of the Natal military and civil services
from the time between then end of the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879 and the
Transvaal War of 1881. While many of the men depicted are now obscure to
history, the page mounted carte de visite stood out because of the part played
by its sitter Surgeon-Major Henry Cornish in the disastrous battle of Majuba
Hill during the Transvaal War.
Depicting a color sergeant from a Canadian militia rifle battalion, this cased Pannotype is
an example of one of the rarest forms of 19th Century photographic processes encountered
today.

Perhaps the greatest failing of early glass plate photographic images was their inherent
fragility. Padded cases similar to this one were developed to offer such glass images a
degree of protection. And while cases made for quite beautiful means of presentation for
such images, the glass image house withing could still be cracked or shattered if the case
was dropped or sharply struck.

I an attempt to remedy the situation, in 1853 the firm of Wülff & Co developed the
pannotype process. The process involved transferring the image bearing emulsion layer
from a glass plate ambrotype image to a flexible substrate such as fabric or more rarely
leather (such as this example) which had been previously blackened and waxed.  While the
process did indeed produce an unbreakable image it inadvertently left the transferred
emulsion very prone to cracking, flaking and other forms of deterioration.

In any event the widespread introduction of the much more robust metal plate
tintype
(
melainotype or ferrotype) around 1860 made the pannotype redundant and it quickly
disappeared from the market.
Canadian Militia Color Sergeant
of Rifles

Full Cased 1/6th Plate Leather
Pannotype

Canada

c. Late 1850s
Generally falling outside the historical scope
of this website, this rather unusual memorial
cabinet photograph has been included her for a
number of reasons. One of these is its rather
unusual and touching nature. Secondly with the
100th anniversary of the end of the Great War
just recently concluded, its inclusion is more
than a little timely.

This cabinet card memorializes No.1428 Private
David Henry Napier of B Squadron, 1/2nd
County of London Yeomanry (Westminster
Dragoons) who died of pneumonia (apparently
contracted at Gallipoli) at Cairo, Egypt on 11
August 1915. He was buried at the Cairo War
Memorial Cemetery. HIs medal entitlement
included the 1914-15 Star and the British War
and Victory Medals.
Memorial Cabinet Card to  
Private David Henry Napier

Westminster Dragoons

December 1917
Military General Service Medal
Recipient

Half Cased 1/6th Plate Ambrotype

Unknown Photographer

c. 1850s
Dating from the middle of the 19th
Century, this half cased 1/6th plate
glass ambrotype photograph appears
to have immortalized a recipient of
the Military General Service Medal
(MGSM) – a retroactive award
created in 1847 and presented to
surviving veterans of the Napoleonic
Wars and the War of 1812.

The medal that this rather pleasant,
although unfortunately unidentified
gentleman is wearing appears to
have at least five clasps which would
seem to have made him a veteran of
Wellesley’s Peninsular War against
Napoleon in Spain (1807–1814).

This medal along with its maritime
counterpart, the Naval General
Service Medal (NGSM) were the first
true campaign medals issued by the
British Crown.  While both the
MGSM and the NGSM were very...
"A Slippery Customer"

Pen and Ink Political Cartoon
by
Leon Barritt

New York, United States

1901
Signed and dedicated to an unknown recipient “Compliments of yours truly, Leon
Barritt"
this large pen and ink political cartoon offers a biting commentary on the
second phase of the Anglo-Boer War as seen through American eyes.
Watercolour Sketch of the
Suswa River near Dehradun

by
Lieutenant
William James Logan-Home
Royal Engineers

Dehradun, India

April 1872
Of the many technical talents in which candidates of the Royal
Engineers received training, sketching and painting were perhaps the
least outwardly martial. In the days before easily transportable
photographic equipment, the ability to record views of new territories
traversed and surveyed were critical to an officer of engineers tasks. This
little watercolour painting is a perfect example of an engineer’s artistic
training put to use.

Taken from an album that was once the property of Lieutenant William
James Logon-Home, Royal Engineers, this riverine view is titled
"Looking N.E. from Jamnu Khata -on the Sooswa- Eastern part of Dehra
Dhoon. April 1872"
. Although unsigned, the attribution is pretty certain
given the original ownership of the album in question.

William James Logan Home, the eldest child and son of Colonel George
Logan-Home, 12th Laird of Broomhouse and Anne Doran was born on 26
September 1847. He attended the Loretto School at Midlothian, Scotland
and the 1927 edition of the school’s registry gives us an account of his
short but very accomplished life.
Former Trumpeter
Charles Edward Duly, 9th Lancers
and Daughter


R
eal Photo Postcard

G
reat Britain

c. 19
10
He was a man of many parts: trumpeter of the
9th Lancers and veteran of Lord Roberts’ epic
march from Kabul to Kandahar, music hall
performer, author, acrobat and part time pickle
maker.

The self-described “artiste” was born Charles
Edward David Duly on16 August 1858 in the
seaside resort town of Brighton in Sussex to
James Arthur Duly and Francis Sarah Turner.
Apparently small in stature even as a child
Charles found work performing as a circus
acrobat in his youth. He must have been looking
for a more adventurous life when he attempted to
enlist in the army when he was fifteen years old.
No doubt he was disappointed when he was
rejected for being underage.

Not dissuaded, Duly bided his time and on 19 May
1873 he successfully attested with the 9th Lancers
as No. 1534. If adventure is what Duly was
looking for he soon found it. By 1875 9th Lancers
were deployed to India and with the outbreak of
the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War in 1878 Duly and his
regiment traversed the infamous Khyber Pass
into the theater of operations.