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A Virtual Museum of Victorian-Era British Military Photographs & Associated Research

What's in a Name?

Uploaded to this website many years ago, this photograph depicts a young officer in Ottoman or Anglo-Egyptian service.  The photograph's card mount bears an old pencil notation identifying the man as "George Merhige, Khartoum, Sudan, the brother of Monsur.".  A further notation references "Eng. Pharmacy" and "two years in studying".

Research provided little additional information but did point to the man possibly being of Levantine origin and probably Christian.  The photograph's status remained as such until recently after reopening the investigation into this officer's identity. As is so often the case the breakthrough such as it was came from an unexpected source, in this case an early 1900s example of a Kodak film wallet.

A film wallet was the paper folder in which a customer received his developed negatives and corresponding photographic prints  back from the developing /printing studio. This wallet in this case was imprinted with the particulars of one George Morhig, propitiator of the English General Stores of Khartoum, Sudan. The stores are mentioned asl also serving as pharmacy's  and photographic studios.  Although circumstantial, the photograph's notation and the wallet's printed advertisement

 seemed to indicate that Merhidge and Morhig were the same man. Things were pretty much confirmed by a photo postcard

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Lieutenant George Naaman Morhig

Anglo-Egyptian Medical Corps

Khartoum, Sudan

c. 1900

Sergeant of the Royal Scots & Associates

Cabinet Photograph

Edinburgh, Scotland

c. 1900s

Seemingly dating from the early Edwardian era, this cabinet photograph is a rather unusual item. Technically and stylistically it is a typical example of early 20th Century studio photography, What sets it apart is the image's military subject matter.

The photograph records the likenesses of four men. Seated in front are two British men The man on the right is a veteran sergeant of the Royal Scots who wears the Egypt Medal with a single clasp and the bronze Khedive's Star. The man on the left wears civilian clothes with the only noteworthy detail of his attire is what appears to be a Masonic fob on his watch chain.

The two standing gentlemen make the image interesting. Both men appear to be NCOs in the West African Frontier Force. The man on the left wears three gold chevrons point up surmounted by a king's crown on hs lower right cuff and a marksmanship badge on his lower left cuff. The man at right wear three gold sergeant's chevrons on his upper right sleeve.  Both men wear a number of campaign medals which seem to include the East and West Africa Medal and the 1902 Africa General Service Medal.

The curious aspect of this image is what was the circumstance that bought these four men together in Edinburgh, Scotland in theearly 1900s? That is the subject of continuing research.

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Four Men from Edinburgh

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Lewis Francis Philips

King's Ryal Rifle Corps


c. 1891

Lewis Francis Philips, KRRC

The youngest son of John William Philips of Heybridge, Staffordshire and the former Olivia Dodsworth, Lewis Francis Philips was born on 4 October 1870.


Educated at Winchester College, he passed through the Royal Milita6y College and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) in 1890. He was promoted captain in 1898. After service in the Anglo-Boer War he passe through the Army Staff College and and promoted major in the 2nd KRRC in 1905. Promoted Lieutenant Colonel (temporary) in 1914, Colonel (temporary) and Brigadier General (temporary) in 1915.

During his active service in South Africa, he saw action during the Relief of Ladysmith, at Tugela Heights and Laing’s Nek. He saw additional field service in Cape Colony and Orange River Colony. Between 15 April 1901 and 4 February 1902, he held the appointment of Assistant Provost Marshal. He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the clasps “Relief of Ladysmith”. “Tugela Heights”, “Laing’s Nek”, “Cape Colony”, and “Orange Free State”, as well as the King’s South Africa Medal with its “1901” and “1902” clasps. Additionally, he received as Mention in Despatches from Lord Robert on 4 September 1901.

Table of Contents

Home Service
The British Isles
The Jewel in the Crown
Southern Africa
Land of the Bantu & the Boer
Land of the Pharaohs
The Nile Valley, & the Mediterranean
The Empire's Wild West
The Southern Cross
Australia & New Zealand
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The Far East
China, Hong Kong & Singapore
Mountains of the Moon
East, West & Central Africa
A Quiet Backwater
Bermuda & The West Indies
The Back of Beyond
The Furthest Corners of the Empire
Old Soldiers Never Die
Life After the Colours
By the Level & the Square
The Lure of Fraternal Brotherhoods
Sons of the Regiment
Children in Uniform
The Limelight
Victorian Soldiers Depicted on Stage
The Hollywood Raj
Victorian Soldiers in Motion Pictures
The Strange, Unusual & Just Plain Odd
Through a Glass, Darkly
Original Glass Plate Negatives
The Great Game
Britain's Imperial Rivals

Some Interesting Diversions

A Night at the Opera
Wagnerian Operatic Photographs
The Streets of Laredo
Denizens of America's Western Frontier

Quartermaster & Commissariat Department.

Merchandise for the Regimental Mess & Barracks

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