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Henry Vaux photograph albums of India


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

Major Henry George Vaux (1883-1957) was a military secretary in the British Army, posted in India. He served as Aide de Camp to Thomas David Gibson-Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael (Lord Carmichael) who served as Governor of Victoria from 1908 to 1911, as Governor of Madras from 1911 to 1912, and as Governor of Bengal from 1912 to 1914. Major Vaux also served under Lord Ronaldshay, Lord Lytton and Lord Sykes. He was named Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1921, by King George the V. Prior to his time in India, Vaux served as Lieutenant in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry around from at least 1909 to 1915. Vaux ended his career as a Lieutenant Colonel. Vaux married Edna Bensen von Stockhausen in 1915.

The five volumes of photographs capture the luxurious style and activities present in the lives of the highest ranking British military posted to India, and their families, in the early part of the 20th century. The subject of many photographs are the leisure activities enjoyed by this group – horse races, polo, hunting, tennis – as well as ceremonial events such as visits of kings, queens and dignitaries of all kind. Some family life is included as well through wedding photos, photos of pets and of the many residences in which this all took place.

This collection contains five photo albums, mostly containing photographs of India but also some of Italy and France in the second decade of the 20th century. There are five volumes, each labeled by place and year.

Volume 1 contains photographs of India from 1911 to 1913. These photographs show government houses and their grounds as well as various sights in Madras, Guindy, including locals, servants, a car, and buggy. A government house and garden in Dacca, Calcutta is also featured, as is a trip to Barrackpore. There are many group photographs, including a group photo of Legislative Council Members, and a photo including Miss Hamilton, Ena, Lady Alice Shaw Stewart, Baron & Baroness Nugent, Sir Hugh, Miss Moffet, Audrey, Mrs. & Mr. Schuster, Her Excellency Annesley, Miss Hamilton, Miss Maxwell Stuart, Fitz Roy, Major Gilbert, Lady Hammick, and "Pep," child of His & Her Excellency. This album also contains photographs from the King and Queen's visit to Delhi Durbar, the royal parade and extraordinary photos of the Madras Camp. In addition to the posed photos, there are many candids of a range of people and pets, and the Viceroy Cup Day (races).

Volume 2, India, 1917-1918 and 1921, contains group photos including a wedding photo with W.R. Gourlay, Capt Derry, Maj. Sandis, Lt.Col Smith, H. Maffey, Lt. Col. Verney, Capt. Ocock, Capt. Finch Knightly, Sir William Duke, Lord Donoughmore, Mr. Montagu, Lady Ronaldshay, Lord Chelmsford, Lady Chelmsford, Lord Ronaldshay, and Mr. Roberts. There is also a group photo in Aninman Islamia, Darjeeling, on the eve of the departure of His Excellency The Earl of Ronaldshay on October 17, 1921, which includes: M. A. Begg, Aziz Sha, H. Wazir Md., Mr. Chainuddin, Capt. C.B. Lyon, W.R. Gourlay, H.G. Vaux, M. Ramzan, A.Hamid, Md. G. Rabbani, Md. Idris, Y. Ahmed, M.L.C., M. Ahmed, Inspector of Schools, K. Ahmed, Shamshululema, A. Majid, Dr. F.A. Azziz, President, Hou'ble S. Nawabali, Minister, H.E. Gov. of Bengal, S.W. Goode, Dpty Commissioner, A. Momen, A.M. Ahmed, District Judge, A. Zaman, Erfan Ali, A. Rahaman, M. Haque, and K. Shamsuddin. As in other volumes, there are photos of the house, races, weddings, safaris, horses, palaces, polo players, tennis, and a period car. The Second Indian War Loan fundraiser is also captured here along with a photo of a tank from 1918, among other military and official events.

The third volume, Italy, France, England, India, 1923 to 1925, contains many photos of government houses, specifically one in Ganeshkind, as well as the official opening of The Electric Railway in 1925. Unlike the other albums, this one captures a trip to Europe, with photos of Rome, Pompeii and Naples. Leisure photos of races and a polo tournament are also in this album, along with various shots of Miss Warren, Miss Harmon, Alastair Cameron, Sir Leslie Wilson, Previté, Lady Wilson, Miss Goldney, Lt. Col. Pottinger, Mrs & Miss Pottinger, Capt. Pert, Mr. Adam, HH Maharajah of Kholapur, Mr. Ker, Maj. Trisidder, Capt. Sword, and Ris. Taj Mohamed.

The fourth volume, Bombay, 1928-1929, chronicles the King of Afghanistan's visit and arrival and more photos of Ganeshkhind and its grounds. Group photos include: Major H.G. Vaux, Captain K.E. Previté, Captiain G. Bunbury, Lt.-Col. A.G. Tresidder, Captain J.O. Horne, Captain R. Neville, Captain C.L. Mould, Risaldar-Major Lakhpat Singh, Lt.-Col. R.B. Butler, Mr. J. C. Ker, Mr. H. Graham, Miss M. Smith, Major H. deN. Lucas, Captain E.D. Holder, His Excellency Sir Stanley Jackson, Lady Wilson, and His Excellency Sir Leslie Wilson. Additional photos include Risaldar Natha Singh, Jemadar Shadil Khan, Mrs. Vaux, Mrs. Tresidder, Mrs. Lucas and son; H.H. the Maharao of Cutch, Mrs. Martin, H.E. Gov of Madras, Lady Sykes, H.E. the Viceroy, H.E. Lady Erwin, H.E. Gov of Bombay, Viscountesse Goschen, H.H the Nawab of Bhopal, the Hon. Mrs. Portal and Master Simon Portal (her son), Ris. Nathasingh, Sir Manubhai Mehta, Mr. Martin, The Hon. Sir Charles Watson, H.H. the Chief of Sangli, H.H. the Maharana of Porbandar, H.H. the Maharaja of Bikaner, H.H. the Maharaja Rana of Dholpur, Mr. Cunningham, Mir Maqbool Mahmood, Mr. Maxwell, Maj. Johnstone, Lt.-Col. Thorburn, Capt. Portal, Dr. Rushbrook Williams, Co. Haksaar, Capt. Cawley-Way, Capt. Bootle-Wilbraham, Capt. Crichton, Staff Officer to H.H. the Maharana o Porbandar, Capt. The Lord Ashley, and 2nd Lieut. A.B. Barton. The Government House Calcutta Christmas party is featured as well as the vice-regal lodge in Simla and other government houses and a royal bungalow. People of note in this album include Princess Alice, the King of Greece, Lord Wellingdon in Bombay, Lord Irwin arriving and leaving Bombay, and a photo of the Simon Commission. As in other volumes, leisure activities such as a trip to the races, a wedding, a photo of period car (Rolls Royce), top up and down, a police parade and government party are included. This is the only album with an impressive group photo of government house staff (200 people) and with some loose photos.

The final volume, India, is not dated and does not have captions. There are photos of homes, individuals, horses, a cricket match, tennis and weddings.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Clémence Scouten
Finding Aid Date
2015 November 6
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India, 1911-1913.
Box 1 Folder 1
India, 1917-1921.
Box 1 Folder 2
Italy, France, England, India, 1923-1925.
Box 1 Folder 3
Bombay, 1928-1929.
Box 1 Folder 4
India, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5

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