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Album Page Mounted Carte de Visite
William Bowman - Photographer
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 the end of the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879 and the beginning of the Transvaal War in 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.

Born at Taunton in 1844, Henry Cornish's military career began in 1866. Before the Transvaal War, he had served in the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War, being attached to the 10th Hussars. He received a Mention in Despatches for his services and would have been entitled to the Afghan War Medal although I have not been able to find his entry in the appropriate medal roll.

Surgeon-Major Cornish photograph and biography appeared in Sydney H. Shadbolt's The Afghan Campaigns of 1878-1880 (London, 1882) and is reproduced in whole. below:

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