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Francis Langford diary


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Langford was born in Ireland. He enlisted In the British Army in 1862 with the 85th King's Light Infantry, also known as the Bucks Volunteers or the Shropshire Light Infantry. In 1863 he achieved the rank of Lieutenant. He was stationed in India. He became a Captain in 1878. Langford served in the second Anglo-Afghan War from 1878 to 1880 with the Koorum Division and received a medal as part of the Zaimusht Expedition. Langford retired from the British Army as a Major in 1882.

This small, leather-bound volume with a metal clasp closure contains the diary of Francis Langford spanning the years from 1872 to 1881. The first page of the diary reads: Frank Langford 85th Light Infantry, Deolalee, March 1872. Langford's daily entries are written at the center of the volume beginning in April 1880 and ending in January 1881. The date for each entry is recorded on the left followed by short notations for each day. Langford recorded travels of the regiment, incoming and outgoing mail, periodicals he read, the weather, deaths of soldiers, military parades, picnics, servants, taking walks, and animal sightings. Langford also noted events at camp, wounded soldiers, attacks, and expeditions. The remainder of the volume is chiefly written in pencil and concerns traveling military groups including number of men and women, guards, officers, tents, and camels. Lists of items, names and addresses, furniture, and tools are recorded along with some expenses. One page is entitled Zaimusht expedition. The volume opens bottom to top in the manner of a reporter's notebook. In addition to the diary is a small portrait painting of Langford dated 1883. A printed calendar for the year 1870 is pasted on the inside front cover. The first leaf of the diary is detached. Portions of some leaves have been excised.

Sold at auction by Forum Auctions (London, England), July 10, 2017, lot 271.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
December 2017
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Francis Langford diary, 1872-1881.
Volume 1

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