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2nd Highlanders Light Infantry photograph album 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

In the year 1787, four new British Army regiments were ordered to be raised for the service of the state, to be numbered the 74th, 75th, 76th, and 77th. The first two were directed to be raised in the north of Scotland, and were to be Highland regiments. The regimental establishment of each was to consist of ten companies of 75 men each, with the customary number of commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell, K.B., from the half-pay of Fraser's Highlanders, was appointed colonel of the 74th regiment. The regiment was styled "The 74th Highland Regiment of Foot." The uniform was the full Highland garb of kilt and feathered bonnet, the tartan being similar to that of the 42nd regiment, and the facings white; the use of the kilt was, however, discontinued in the East Indies, as being unsuited to the climate.

In 1881, the 74th Regiment was redesignated the 2nd Battalion and in 1889, the Battalion's headquarters were in Cherat. During the time documented by this album (1889 to 1894), the 2nd Battalion appears to have been in training and did not see any action. According to the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, the 2nd Battalion moved from Cherat to Peshawur in 1889, and from Peshawur to Fyzabad in 1890, where they remained until 1895. The Battalion was "14th in order of merit in musketry for 1892-1893" (page 152) and they appear to have been very successful in their sporting matches against other British Army regiments.

Work cited:

Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, Volume 5, No. 4, October 1905: pages 151-153.

"74th Highlanders, 1787-1846," (viewed 2016 January 11)

This collection is composed of one album of 68 photographs (all 12 x 8 inches) of India and the 2nd Highland Light Infantry in the late 19th century. About one third of the photos are of the regiment and the rest are photos of India (mostly Shimla, Calcutta, Cherat, and Lucknow).

The photographs of the regiment are all formal. They depict the regiment on parade or in a particular military formation, as well as group shots of different military and social categories. Researchers will find group shots of pipers & drummers, officers, sergeants, corporals, the regimental staff, and various sports teams. Sports teams include the "Scottish Rifles Football Team," the "E Company 'Tug of War' Team," "E Company Cricket Team," and an unnamed football team, along with their trophies and associated performance in various competitions. There is also a photo of the Sergeant's "Cycle Club." Only one photograph includes wives and children.

The last photograph of the album, entitled "A Jolly Picnic Party up the Kyhber Pass, March 1890," is the only photo to list individual names. The names and titles are not always legible: GMS Lindsay, L.B. Sgt. Linder, [Sch] Master McDougall, [CrSgt] Stoddarts, Band Master MacRimmon, Sergt Major Stewart, [] Taylor, Barrack Master Fisher, Band Sergt Runneman, [] Sergt Dawson, [] Sergt Meek, Sergt Kellie, Pay Master Sergt Nicholson.

The balance of the album captures a tranquil India, mostly its landscapes and sights. In Cherat, researchers will find the British Sanitorium [sic]. Shimla, the most photographed sight, shows the church, post office, vice-regal lodge, civil and military offices, Elysium Hill, monkeys being fed on Jackhoo Hill, Intogh military station, telegraph office, and general shots of the hillside in the winter and summer. A trip to Lucknow reveals shots of The Residency from several angles. In Calcutta there is a photo of the Hooghly floating bridge, the post office, government house, Eden Gardens and Esplanade Road. The Taj Agra and Fort Agra make a brief appearance as well. Another trip captures shots of the Himalayas, a Dwali Dak bungalow, the Pindar River and Pindari glacier. The only shots illustrating the life and culture of Indians are of a burning ghat and bathing ghat in Benares.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Clémence Scouten
Finding Aid Date
2016 January 11
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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India photograph album, 2nd Highlanders Light Infantry, 1889-1894.
Volume 1

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