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Second Lancers photograph album


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 Second Lancers, established in 1809 by William Linnaeus Gardner (1770-1835), was a cavalry regiment in the British Indian Army. It is probable that the creator of this album was a British or Indian officer who served with the Second Lancers between 1909 and 1913. There is no identifying information in the album and both Indian and British soldiers are depicted. The majority of the photographs were taken in Poona (now Pune), India and several were signed by photographers Stewart & Son in 1911.

It seems likely that the creator of this volume traveled to England during his service, possibly for training purposes at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. It is unclear if the creator was taking photographs of grand homes (generally in the Suffolk region) during his travels or if he was visiting family or friends. The creator appears to have been a horseman, taking advantage of sporting events in India during his service there, particularly in Poona, Mhow, and Delhi. He also attended the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary as Emperor and Empress of India, which took place in Delhi in 1911.

This photograph album documents the experiences of a soldier, probably a British or Indian cavalry officer, serving in the Second Lancers in India from 1911 to 1913. For the most part, military life is not documented--instead the volume consists of formal portraits of British and Indian soldiers; candid photographs of soldiers; portraits of horses; and photographs of a trip to England, equine sports in India (including racing and polo), and a trip to Delhi for the Delhi Durbar held in December 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary as Emperor and Empress of India.

Formal and candid photographs of officers are nearly always captioned, but rarely with a full name. Instead, initials or last names are usually present, with the exception of a formal photograph of Indian officers which includes full names. Researchers interested in the history of the Second Lancers will find these officer photographs as well as one documenting the Second Lancers Centenary Week to be valuable.

The trip to England includes photographs of Stowlangtoft Hall, Stowlangtoft Church, Langham Hall, and Badwell, all in the Suffolk region of England. There are also photographs of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst as well as Farnborough Court, which may have had connections to the Army as a result of its geographic proximity to Sandhurst.

The creator's affinity to horses and horse-related sporting events is well documented in this volume. Researchers will find photographs of the Club at Mhow, Mhow from the Station Hospital, and the Mhow Tent Club (in preparation for hunting boars); the Grand Stand, the betting ring, and the paddock in Poona (now Pune); owners and trainers v. jockeys events held in Poona; and a polo match held at the University of Delhi (probably taken during the Durbar events in 1911). There are also numerous portraits of horses, including "The Rat," "Soapsuds," and "Caractacus," as well as the Mhow hounds.

The Delhi Durbar in 1911 includes photographs of landmarks, spectators, veterans, the garden party, and "chiefs doing homage at Durbar." There is a loose photograph probably of the Durbar, documenting the tents and event location.

These photographs are mounted on heavy card stock and bound in an album with no cover. Most of the photographs are not signed, but a few are signed by photographers Stewart & Son and Ramchandrarao & Prataprao. Two photographs of the Mhow Tent Club preparing for a boar hunt in 1911 were taken by Ramchandrarao & Prataprao and were published in The Times of India Illustrated Weekly Supplement on July 19, 1911.

Sold by Design Books, 2005.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge
Finding Aid Date
2017 May 18
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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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Photograph album, 1909-1913.
Box 1 Folder 1

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