14th Bengal Lancers, Murray’s Jat Lancers


An interesting and unusual small photograph, 5¾ x 3¾ ins unmounted, somewhat faded and with some old damp staining and a small tear without loss. This image of  Murray’s Jat Lancers [14th Bengal Lancers] shows a group of sowars resting on journey. They are seated on the ground pointing there rifles towards the camera in front of their commanding Indian officer and to the left is a mounted Indian officer. The image was taken in the 1890s by the Commandant, Lt Colonel Peter Bairnsfather and is unusual because most of the professional pictures we come across of Indian cavalry show them in much more formal and studied situations. This came from a small archive of the author’s material which we are gradually uploading to the website. It is quite likely that this is the only print of this photograph in existence.  jun8/1

Peter Robert Bairnsfather was Commandant of the 14th Bengal Lancers at the end of the Victorian era and had fought with the regiment in the Jowaki expedition of 1877 and the 2nd Afghan War where he was involved in the battles of Charasia and those around Kabul. Other items connected with Bairnsfather and a few photographs of the 14th Lancers can be found elsewhere on the website by using the SEARCH button and entering Bairnsfather. He wrote a notable book of hunting: Sport and Nature in the Himalayas in 1904.

Provenance: Family descent until a small archive of his writings and photographs was acquired privately by Bates and Hindmarch from a family member over ten years ago.

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