British Officer's photography album, part two

In the previous post, we described the first section of a nineteenth-century photography album compiled by a British Army officer, attributed to be the Army surgeon Alexander Dudgeon Gulland, MD Edinburgh University. The second section of the album includes photographs of the Indian Northwest Frontier Hazara Campaign (1867-1870) and others taken in Malta, Ireland, Guernsey, Spain, and elsewhere.

After the Jamaica photography, the album moves on to India and includes 32 photographs of Kashmir and the Northwest Frontier, in particular 8 fine photographs of Kashmir by the British photographer Samuel Bourne (1834-1912). The Bournes are numbers 792, 805, 815 (prize-winning photograph Srinagaar a Bridge on the Margual Canal above), 782, 776, 261, 818, and one titled Glimpse through the Forest.

There are also group portraits of the Sixth Royal Regiment, all annotated with names, including one with Gulland as a blurred figure at the edge of the frame, perhaps suggesting he was the photographer and moved into the frame at the last minute? A two-part panorama of the camp of the Hazara Field Force includes notes on all the batteries and contingents of Sikh, Gurkha, and Punjabi troops as well as men from the Maharaja of Cashmere and the Nawab of Ulm. The British recognized that collaborating with native troops was an essential part of sustaining the campaigns they had to fight to keep India.

There are also two striking and unusual images: one is of Hill Men in chainmail armour; and the other of what is noted as The Attack on Mhunnah-Ka-Dhunnah showing a cannon ball arching through the air and landing on a hillside. The other areas included in the album are mainly ports and bases used by the British Army and Navy. Most of these photographs are by commercial studios, which indicates that Gulland, like many nineteenth-century tourists, bought photographs of the places he visited.

One of 5 views of Malta is by Giorgio Sommer (1832-1914) and taken around 1860-1865. Among the 20 of Ireland are 12 large blind-stamped views and 3 others by William Lawrence. One of the 19 views of Guernsey is a mammoth print of the Harbour and Castle Cornet, most unusual for the time, and the views of Gibraltar and Spain are from Francis Frith’s Series.

This album is still being processed but will soon be available for research in the reading room of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library. Special thanks go to Katherine Spears who did the majority of the research on this unique album.