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Lance Bombardier Davies 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

The creator of this volume may have been Lance Bombardier Davies who left England in 1935 as a member of the 8th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery. It is possible that he traveled to India on the H.M.T. Neuralia and he may have been stationed in Cawnpore. He seems to have been an accomplished equestrian. Photographs in the volume include "manoevres" [sic] and "in action," but it unclear if these photographs were taken during training or more active encounters.

This collection depicts the experience of a young British lance bombardier in the 8th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, possibly named Davies, in India from 1935 to 1940. There are about 231 photographs in the album with close to a dozen missing. In addition, there are a half dozen stamps of the time as well as a recommendation letter for Lance Bombardier Davies and two loose formal portraits taken at a different time and place.

The photos taken in India capture both the sights and places Davies visited as well as shots of his fellow soldiers. There are some, but not many, photos of Indians. Davies photographed the various camps in which he was posted, including the camp at Ranikhet, Rourke, Dulikhet, Mhow and Gujri. There are some photos of active duty and of the general military facilities, but most of the military photos are of Davies and his friends engaged in leisure activities: swimming, tennis, soccer, tug-of-war and of the horses.

There are many photos taken during trips. The album starts with his original trip from Europe with views of the Rock of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal and Malta in 1935. There are photos of New Delhi, the Old Delhi Fort Tuclackabad, Lucknow (the zoo, general sights, streets and buildings), Bombay Harbor, Cawnpore (general sights including the Ganges bridge), a trip to Mussorie and Peshawar (photos of winding roads and mountains), and Jhansi. Davies also travels to Burma, and photographs some people, the City of a Thousand Temples, the floods, and fishing. The trip to Kathgodam includes panoramic shots of landscapes and of the mountains as seen from Dulikhet (including Everest, Trisul and Kinchunganga) and cultivated hillsides and pine forests. There is also a set of photographs showing the remnants of buildings after an earthquake in 1935 in Quetta (Pakistan).

The few photos of Indians depict people in their everyday activities as well as traditional acts like the burning ghats, bathing at Benares, workmen and women, and "ramasamme" a procession of Muslim idols.

Almost every photograph is captioned with a typed label and pages are occasionally broadly titled. The creator is frequently in the photographs and is labeled, "Myself." Other individuals who are photographed include Gnr. Armstrong, Dvr. Bartlett, Best, Bdr. Boles, Bdr. Bostock, Brown, "Busty," L/Bdr. Croft, Bdr. Dibden, Jack Donaldson, Griffen, L/Bdr. Jones, Hall, Joe Harry, Kensey, Maloney, "Padre," Sig. Prosser, Tptr. Rudd, Bdr. Sankey, Gnr. Smith, Gnr. Summers, Temple, Gnr. Thomas, Gnr. White, L/Bdr. Williams, Bdr. Wilson.

Purchased, 2010.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Clémence Scouten
Finding Aid Date
March 3, 2010
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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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Photograph album, 1935-1940.
Box 1 Volume 1
Loose photographs (includes formal photographs of Davies (presumably) possibly on his wedding day and sitting on a horse) and a letter of recommendation for Davies from an unknown author, 1939, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1

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