India, Ceylon, The North-West Frontier and Afghanistan.
Cabinet Photographs, Carte de Visites, etc.
Cut from an album the
photograph at left depicts
Lieutenant John Keith of
Royal Artillery who was
killed by a tiger hunt with
brother officers in the
Wurdah District near
Nagpore, India.

Originally posted with no
additional information
regarding Lieutenant Keith
than that provided by his
Central India Times
obituary, Mr. Jerome Lantz
provided additional facts
regrading this unfortunate
soldier/hunter including his
first name, the date of his
commission, when he
shipped out to India, his
unit within the Royal
Artillery, as well as the
year of his death - a fact
missing from the
India Times
The story also reflects the
additional fact that warfare
was not the only danger
facing British soldiers
posted overseas. While
disease was probably the
most common malady
afflicting officers and other
ranks serving in the
colonies, other more exotic
dangers - such as the
mentioned tiger attack also
lurked in the shadows.  
Both items were found  
mounted together on an
album page.
Alexander James Henry Sturgeon
Royal Garrison Artillery
c. 1900
Two Unidentified Privates
Servant & Pets
c. 1890
Private Frank Smith
c. 1890s
Unidentified Piper
Argyll and Sutherland
c. 1899
Lieutenant John Keith of the
Royal Artillery
Mounted Photograph
2 3/8 inches by 3 3/4 inches
(6 x 9.5 cm)
Unknown Date c. 1860's
Unknown Location
Unidentified Private
The Lincolnshire Regiment
c. 1900
Unidentified Sergeant in Turban
Royal Engineers
c. 1880s-90s
Unidentified Rifleman
The Kings Royal Rifle Corps
c. 1902
Gunner George Thomas Sida
Royal Artillery
17th Lancer
c. 1893
Unidentified Farrier
12th (Prince of Wales) Lancers
c. 1902
Unidentified Private
1st Battalion
The South Wales Borderers
c. 1903
Unidentified Drummer
The Gordon Highlanders
c. 1902
The original article from
the April 27 [1867]
edition of the Central
India Times relating that
story of the unfortunate
Lt. Keith's fatal encounter
with a tiger.
Drummer F. Hayter
2nd Battalion,
The Suffolk Regiment
c. 1894
Unidentified Private
The Queen's
(Royal West Surrey)
c. 1900
Unidentified Private
2st Battalion
The Princess of Wales Own
(Yorkshire Regiment)
c. 1900
2 7/8 inches by 5 3/4
(7.5 cm x 15 cm)
The 3rd Kings Own Hussars
The 2nd Battalion,
The Gordon Highlanders
c. 1903
Ch. R. Elasford?
Unknown Regiment
c. 1890s
Lance Corporal
George Barton Meadows
c. 1905
Unidentified Private
2nd Battalion
The Derbyshire Regiment
(Sherwood Foresters)
c. 1888
Unidentified Sergeant & Bandsman
2nd Battalion
Kings Own Scottish Borderers
c. 1900
Staff Sergeant
Inspectors of Military Schools
c. 1890s
Daniel Dravot - "You are going to become soldiers. A soldier does not think. He only obeys. Do you really think that if a soldier thought twice he'd give his life for queen and country?
Not bloody likely."  
                                                                                                                                                  From the John Huston film of the Rudyard Kipling story The Man Who Would Be King
Charles Bailey
Royal Scots Fusiliers
c. 1880s
2nd Lieutenant
Alexander McDonnell Moore
2nd Battalion
Royal Irish Fusiliers
January 1883
Alfred Lilley
21st Hussars
25 April, 1871
No. 2673 Sergeant
John Madden
4th Battalion
60th Rifles
William Meldrum
16th Lancers
with Wife & Servant
Sergeant Edgar Job Evans
Mary J. Evans
The Kings (Shropshire) Light Infantry
c. 1900
Henry Charlesworth
Army Medical Sevice
December 1897
Left: Colonel Frederick Rowcroft

4th Gurkha Rifles

Carte de Visite
c. 1870's
Colonel Frederick Rowcroft, 4th Battalion, The Gurkha Rifles, entered
Afghanistan with General Roberts after the massacre of the British Mission to
Kabul in 1879.

Forty-five years old at the time, Roycroft wrote a series of letters home to his
friend  in London, Lachlan "Forky" Forbes and described the conditions in
Afghanistan that he and his men delt with - both due to the adverse climate as well
as the actions of the native Afghanis. Rowcroft was wounded in August of 1880.
After the end of the war Rowcroft retuned to India and assumed command of the
44th Sylhet Native Infantry but soon returned England and his home at Brighton
possibly due to illness since he dies not long afterward in 1883.
Private John Simpson Conder
14th King's Hussars
c. 1877
Pioneer Sergeant
Arthur John Linington Lidstone Wills
2nd Battalion,
The Suffolk Regiment
Unidentified Officer
20th Hussars
c. 1900
Horace Pitt Kennedy Skipton
Indian Police Service
Unidentified Trooper
12th (Prince of Wales) Lancers
c. 1902
Indian Havildar
Unidentified Royal Artillery Sergeant
c. 1900
Boer War Veteran
c. 1902
Five Unidentified Veteran Soldiers
Unknown Regiment
c. 1900
Album Group
1st Battalion, 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot
c. 1868
Privates Joe and John Stretton
c. 1880's - 1900's
Riflemen of the
32nd Burmah & 39th Gwalior Regiments
c. 1900
William Beattie
Royal Artillery Gunner
c. 1900
Unidentified Private
with Colt Lightning Rifle
Royal Warwickshire Regiment
c. 1900
Unidentified Sergeant
2nd Battalion, the Black Watch
and Family
c. 1900
Right: An unidentified Subadar

7th (Duke of Connaught's Own)
Rajput Bengal Infantry

Cabinet Photograph
c. 1900s
This cabinet photograph seems to depict a Subadar of the 7th (Duke of
Connaught's Own) Rajput Bengal Infantry from sometime after 1900. This
regimental affiliation is indicated by the unique badge on this junior officer's
turban. The rank of Subadar was the a commissioned rank in the Indian
Army and could be compared to the British Army rank of Captain.

Pinned to the breast of his tunic this soldier wears the 1900 China Medal
which was issued to those troops who took part in the so-called Boxer
Rebellion of that same year. The 7th Rajputs formed part of the
international force under German Count von Waldersee that relieved the
foreign legations in Peking after the famous 55-day siege of that city.
Capt.George H. H. Couchman,

Cabinet Photograph
Belgaum, India
c. 1887
Sometimes it is possible to attach an
identity to a face even when no name
is present on the photograph. Based
upon the apparent rank (captain) of
this soldier, his regiment (The
Somerset Light Infantry), the location
of the photograph (Belgaum, India)
and the fact that he is wearing the
India General Service Medal as well as
the Distinguished Service Order, I
have narrowed down the possibilities
to one man - Captain  (and
future general) George Henry
Holbeche Couchman of
the Somerset Light Infantry.

George Henry Holbeche
Couchman was born on the 7th
December 1859, the son of
Colonel E. H. Couchman of the
Royal Artillery a daughter of
Sir George Cornish Whitlock.

Couchman married Miss Helen
Mary Chattock in 1899. I have
been unable to any record of
children resulting from their

An outline of his service
career follows here:
Achibald Francis Stewart
Durham Light Infantry  
Indian Army
June 1986
Patrick Carfrae Dalmaloy
in Mufti
Indian Army
9th Lancers
No. 3692 Colour-Sergeant
Walter Anniss

Riding Regiment  
6/Royal West Surrey

Cabinet Photograph
Lucknow, India
December 30, 1904
Walter Anniss was
born at Balham,
Surrey on 26
February, 1876 the
son of Robert and
Elizabeth Anniss. He
received his education
at Church School in

He enlisted in the 1st
Battalion of the Duke
of Wellington's West
Riding Regiment for
twelve years on 30
January 1893. At the
time of his enlistment
he was described as
being 5 feet 5 3/4 inches tall,weighing 117 pounds with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He
was also described as having a diamond tattoo on his right forearm and a cross & anchor
tattoo on his left forearm.

Promotions were as follows:
Corporal - 15 May, 1895
Lance Sergeant - 19 November, 1895
Sergeant - 17 April, 1897
Band Sergeant
Albert John Warren
1st Battalion,
The Gloucestershire Regiment
Four Military Policemen
2nd Battalion,
The South Staffordshire Regiment
c. 1903
Leonard George Watkins

Royal Artillery
Indian Army Ordnance

Cabinet Photograph
Bourne & Shepherd
Bombay, India
Leonard George Watkins was born at Thrybergh, Yorkshire in 1860. He was
the son of Frederick Watkins and the former Miss Amelia Millett. Frederick
Watkins was at one time Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools and later
Archdeacon of York. He was also a friend and correspondent of Charles
Darwin from their days at Cambridge.

Leonard George Watkins was appointed a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal
Military Academy on 20 September, 1878. His promotions and appointments
were as follows:
Lieutenant - 27 July, 1880
Seconded to the Indian Ordnance Store Dept. - 19 September, 1886
Captain - 14 January, 1889
Major - 14 September, 1898
Lieutenant-Colonel - 15 July, 1908
Temporary Colonel/Inspector of Ordnance, Northern India -
16 November, 1910
Deputy Inspector General of Ordnance in India - 1 January, 1910
Colonel - 7 March, 1912
All of Watkins field service took place in India. He served in the 3rd Burma
War from 1885 to 1886, the North West Frontier (1897-98), with the Tirah
Expeditionary Force where he served as ordnance officer on the lines of
communications and received a Mention in Despatches on 4 March, 1898
from General Sir William Lockhart.
Privates No. 4533 Arthur Ponder and No. 4479 Alfred Richardson
of the 2nd Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment as they appear in a set
of memorial cabinet photographs that were probably produced for
members of their battalion after the tragedy at the Fallelie Canal
at Hyderabad that took both their lives on 20 June, 1902.
Lance Corporal
Edward May
"E" Company
2nd Battalion, the Royal Scots
September, 1902
Unidentified Rifle Sergeant
c. 1900
Unidentified Corporal
1st Battalion
The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
c. 1894
Private William Henry Wherry

2nd Battalion, 10th Regiment of Foot

Carte de Visite
c. 1865
Quite often military records give one
nothing more than an outline of a soldier’
s days with the colours but every so often
one can find hidden within those same
records a clue to the real character of
that same soldier. That is the case of No.
543 William Henry Wherry of the 2nd
Battalion, 10th Regiment of Foot.

William Henry Wherry was born around
1841 at Newross, Wexford, Ireland. To
date nothing has been found relating to
his parentage.

At the time of his attestation on 19
August, 1858 his trade was given as
blacksmith so one might assume that this
was a family calling.

Attesting with the 10th Regiment of Foot
with the stated age of 17 he stood 5 feet,
8 ½ inches tall and weighed 146 pounds.
After one short year he deserted from his
Edward VII type Army Long Service &
Good Conduct Medal presented to No. 2442
Colour Sergeant Wilfred Henry Hobson of
the Gordon Highlanders in 1907.
regiment on 18 August 1859 and
rejoined on 17 October of the same
year. Sentenced to imprisonment he
was confined...
Above: An album group of cabinet photograph featuring
Anglo-Boer War veteran Sergeant Major Alexander Millar DCM
(left) of the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal
Highlanders) taken in India c. 1910. The center image depicts
Bandsman Johnie Lawson also of the 2/Black Watch and the
image at left shows three unidentified members of the same
battalion. The center seated soldier is also a veteran of the
Anglo-Boer War.
This three photograph album group
dating from around 1910 features an
outstanding identified full length portrait
of bemedaled No. 4007 Sergeant Major
Alexander Millar of the 2nd Battalion, The
Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). Millar's
photograph bears an old pencil inscription
that reads: "
Sergeant Major Miller [sic]
promoted from Quartermaster Sergeant

Even without the slightly misspelled
notation the fact that the image depicts a
very senior NCO of the Black Watch who
is wearing the Distinguished Conduct
Medal, a four clasped Queen's South
Africa Medal, the King's South Africa
Medal and the Long Service & Good
Conduct medal his true identity would
probably been uncovered  without too
many difficulties. As in so many cases the
full identity of Bandsman Johnie Lawson
has proved rather difficult to determine
even though his photograph bears two
pencil inscriptions on its reverse - one in
his hand and one in another's.
Unidentified Hussar
Wearing Father's Medals
c. 1890s
General Cecil James East
Secunderabad, India
"Ball Room Trophy"
102nd Regiment of Native
Bombay Infantry
Unidentified Private
85th Regiment of Foot
27 March, 1869
Private George Barton
4th Hussars
Charles Loftus Bates
1st King's Dragoon Guards
April 1885
2nd Battalion Prince Albert's
(Somerset Light Infantry)
c. 1887
Bombardier W. Wilmot
7/5 Brigade, Royal Artillery
Tonghoo, Burma
c 1875
Unidentified Indian Sepoy

Unknown Regiment

Carte de Visite
c. 1880
Unidentified Light Infantryman
Allahabad, India
c. 1900
Untitled Mountain Landscape

Captain David Briggs, 7th Native (Bengal) Infantry

Watercolour Painting
c. 1857
Unidentified Jemadar

81st Pioneers

Paper Mounted Photograph
London, England

A rather unusual  photograph in many ways, this
image appears to depict a
Jemadar of the 81st
Pioneers and was taken sometime in the early
1900s apparently in London, England.

The round format photograph is mounted on a
double paper mount slightly larger that the more
traditional cabinet photograph. Both the larger
speckled gray paper backing and the smaller
round beige accent piece just behind the image
are high quality art paper. The work is hand
signed by Russian born but London based
photographer Louis Saul Langfier.

While this Indian officer's regimental badge is
clearly visible on his turban his actual rank is a
bit more of a semi-educated guess on my part.
After a bit of initial research I have been unable
to determine the exact reason for this man being
in London. My first impression was that he may
have taken part in the coronation celebration for
Edward VII in August 1902 but I did not find any
mention of the 81st Pioneers having taken part
in that event.
Two Soldiers on
Garrison Duty
c. 1900
Royal Artillery Sergeant
c. 1900
Colour Sergeant
c. 1885
Lieutenant of  Volunteers
(Lumsden's Horse?)
c. 1900
Mounted Infantryman
c. 1900
1st Battalion
York & Lancaster Regiment
c. 1905
of the
Bombay Rifle Volunteer Corps
c. 1890
Gerard Charles Lisle Howell
Indian Civil Service
Royal Artillery Sergeant and
Family with Servant
Mounted Infantryman
Enfield Musket
Registered Postal Cover

Private Thomas Copeland
1/South Lancashire Regiment

16 March, 1903
Colour Sergeant of Fusiliers
c. 1887
Sergeant in Mess Dress
c. 1880s
Royal Artillery
Gunnery Instructor
c. 1905
Francis Shingleton Smith
Indian Medical Service
14 February, 1909
John Hammerton
1/Worcestershire Regiment
March 1883
J. Chapman
1/Worcestershire Regiment
21 May, 1882
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
Risaldar Major Isri Singh, O.M.
19th Bengal Cavalry

Woordi Major Lena Singh
2nd Central India Horse

Risaldar Major Nadir Ali Khan
18th Bengal Cavalry

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

Unidentified Officer
Indian Cavalry
c. 1890s
Unidentified Officer
in Mufti
c. 1870s
Private Joseph Howard Cofield
2/Manchester Regiment
c. 1897
Album Group
Royal Artillery
British and Indian Army
Group Photograph
c. 1882
Armament Quarter Master
Sergeant William Henry Bonaker

Royal Army Ordnance Corps


Cabinet Photograph

c, 1910
This remarkably informal photograph shows No. 184 Armament Quarter Master
Sergeant William Henry Bonaker, D.C.M. of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps
posing with his bicycle on a jungle road somewhere in India during the 1910-11
holiday season. Three locals also joined Bonaker in the photograph in which the road
itself seems the center of the composition. Interestingly the road also forms a
demarcation line between the Bonaker on the two Indian natives. The almost idyllic
quality of the photograph belies the abject degradation and horror that Bonaker
would face in just a few short years.
Colonel of Pioneers
c. 1890s
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
suddenly broke in half and sank
taking 31 passengers and crew members to a watery grave. Amongst the
dead was Captain Robert Pope of the Royal Artillery.
Corporal Thomas Wace Bailey
Royal Artillery
16 October 1887
Unidentified Soldier

Possibly of the Royal Engineers

India, c. 1870s
Although lacking identification of any kind this
carte de visite none the less offers a outstanding
window or glimpse into the face of one of Her
Majesty's serving soldiers in India sometime
probably in the late 1870s.

Aside from his twisted gold shoulder cords,
polished buttons and gold chin chain, this soldier
wears little to embellish his bright white tropical
uniform. As befitting a man serving in India his
white foreign service helmet bears a white pagri,
which at the time were not authorized for wear
outside of India.

The man's rather well grown mustache and
mutton chop side boards give him the bearing of
an officer but there is nothing else to actually...