Images from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Burma
Staff Sergeant & Wife
1st Battalion
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
Unidentified Lance Corporal
2nd Battalion
The Wiltshire Regiment
China - Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tientsin
Unidentified Private
2nd Battalion
The Gloucestershire Regiment
Unidentified Private
Royal Marine Light Infantry
Hong Kong
c. 1890s
Malaya, Singapore and the Straights Settlements
Unidentified Private
2nd Battalion
The Lincolnshire Regiment
c. 1890s
Unidentified Lance Corporal
The Rifle Brigade
c 1902
Staff Sergeant
W. Armstrong
Shanghai Volunteer Corps
Unidentified Gunner
Royal Marine Artillery
Hong Kong
c. 1900
Thomas Harold Mortimer Green

2nd Batt.,The Derbyshire Regiment
The Sherwood Foresters

Cabinet Photograph (trimmed)
Hong Kong
Thomas Harlod Mortimer Green was
Glamorgan, Wales the son of the
Rev.William Green and Mary M. Green.
He was one of at least nine brothers and

His military career included active duty
with the Chitral Relief Expedition in 1895
and duty along the North-West Frontier
at Dargai and the Sampagha and Arhanga
Valleys in 1895-97.

During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902)
he saw action in the Orange Free State,
the Transvaal, Cape Colony,
Johannesburg and Pretoria and was
severely wounded at Diamond Hill.  
Unidentified Sergeant
Royal Marine Light Infantry
HMS Imperieuse
Hong Kong
c 1892
Colour Sergeant
A. G. Bell
Singapore Volunteer Rifles
14 August, 1902
Unidentified Lieutenant
Colonel Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald

2nd Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry
Foreign Office

London, England

Cabinet Photograph

c. 1892
Appearing rather gaunt but otherwise determined looking
in his Foreign Office diplomatic uniform, Sir Claude Maxwell
MacDonald GCMG GCVO KCB PC had a rather
distinguished career as both solider and diplomat. He gained
his most notable fame for his leadership in the defense of
the foreign legations at the siege of Peking during the Boxer
Rebellion in 1900.

Born on 12 June, 1852 at Gwalior, Bengal, India to General
James Dawson MacDonald and his wife Mary Ellen. After
graduating from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, the
future Sir Claude was commissioned Lieutenant in the 2nd
Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry (HLI) on 16 March
1872.* He was promoted Captain on 12 February, 1881 and
Major on 18 November, 1882. He retired from the army in

While with the HLI MacDonald would see active service in
Egypt and the Nile. He was present at Tel-el-Kebir where he
received a Mention in Despatches from Sir Garnet Wolseley
and a brevet of major in recognition of his outstanding
services during the engagement and received the Egypt
Medal with clasp “
Tel-el-Kebir” and the Khedive’s bronze
Star. He again served under Wolseley during the Gordon
Relief Expedition being seconded to the 1st Battalion, the
Black Watch and was present at the battles of El Teb and
and Temaai where he was wounded and was awarded the 4th
Class Order of the Osmanieh and additional clasps for his
Egypt Medal: “
El Teb - Temaai” and “Suakin 1884”.

MacDonald was appointed Acting Agent and Consul General
at Zanzibar in 1887 and then in 1888 became Commissioner
on the West Coast of Africa. In 1889 he took part in a special
mission to the Niger Territories and was later in Berlin during
the negotiations that determined the boundary between the
Oil Rivers Protectorate and the Cameroons after which he
was appointed Commissioner and Consul-General of the
Protectorate and surrounding native areas. In 1891 he was
further appointed Commissioner and Consul General to the
Niger Coast Protectorate, the Island of San Fernando Po and
the Cameroons. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1892 and K.C.B.
in 1898 for his service in West Africa.

In all of the published accounts of MacDonald’s active
military career that I have read only Egypt and the Suakin
are mentioned . The medal roll for the 1892 East and West
Africa Medal list Major Sir C. M. MacDonald, Commissioner
& Consul General being entitled to the medal with clasp
Brass River 1895” for service during the Brass River
Expedition of 1895 - a punitive action against King William
Koko of the Nembe for his raid on the Royal Niger
Company's headquarters at Akassa. While the medal roll is
quite clear on the subject the 1908 edition of Hart’s Army
List makes no mention of MacDonald’s service in Africa or of
his award of the above mentioned medal.

In January 1896 MacDonald was appointed Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Peking. It was
during this posting that MacDonald faced the most
challenging time of his career when he found himself
commanding the defense of the foreign legations in Peking
during the Boxer led siege. During the siege MacDonald had
the rare privilege of being able to read his own obituary when
news accounts from China that were printed in British
newspapers mistakenly claimed that the legations had fallen
to the Boxers and the defenders massacred. This odd
circumstance was related in a letter to the editor of The
Spectator on the occasion of MacDonald’s actual death on 10
September, 1915:

“Sr.,- Were not the war so all-engrossing, it would seem strange
that no one, I think, should have recalled the fact that the late
Sir Claude Macdonald was one of the few men who have been
privileged to read their own obituary. It was after the Boxer
rising in China just fifteen years ago. In the middle of July,
1900, circumstantial accounts were received in this country of
the fall of the Peking Legations and of the massacre of all those
who were in them. A statement was made in the House on July
16th which left little room for hope, and I have before me a copy
of the Times of July 17th containing Sir Claude's biography.
The paper is already turning yellow, and the memory of the
gallant part which be played in the defense of the small
European community committed chiefly to his care seems to be
in like manner already fading away. Yet even in these days of
still greater storm and stress it is, perhaps, well to recall how the
British Legation at Peking was the fort which for two months
held the Boxer hordes at bay, and how Sir Claude Macdonald,
soldier and diplomatist, held the fort until General Gaselee's
force at last brought relief, being the first with our brave
Japanese allies to reach the beleaguered European quarter of the
Manchu city. We know now that there always was an influential
party at the old Empress's Court that shrank from allowing the
Imperial troops to join with the Boxers and make an end of the
Legations. But none knew it at the time, and for two months the
defense had to be conducted in daily anticipation of the worst.