BIKANER. H.H. Maharaja Ganga Singh with Major H. V. Cox of the 21st Madras Pioneers, circa 1900.


An unusual and striking Bikaner photograph by Herzog & Higgins, Mhow, Central India of the large Royal card size 12½ x 7½ins showing H. H. Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner in the white uniform and a British military adviser, Major Herbert Vaughan Cox of the 21st Madras Pioneers. The full length portrait shows the two smoking cigarettes, a relatively new fashion at this date. We are able to date this image fairly accurately by Major Cox’s medal ribbons to around 1900 when he was promoted to major.

Major Herbert Vaughan Cox of the 21st Madras Pioneers wears three medals recorded in Hart’s Army List as: 2nd Afghan War for service with the Khyber Line Force; IGS 1854 with two clasps for service in the Burmese Wars 1883-1888; IGS 1895 with two clasps for service on the North West Frontier with the Mohmand FF, the Tirah Expeditionary Force & the Buner FF. He appears in the 1895 list as serving with Imperial State Forces. The Indian Army List 1899  shows Cox as 2nd in command of the regiment and, from  31 December 1895 Inspecting Officer Rajputana Imperial Service Infantry and it is no doubt in this capacity that he was visiting Bikaner.

He had been commissioned initially into the 25th Scottish Borderers and was later to command the 69th Punjabis and ended his career as General Sir H. V. Cox, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., C.S.I.. He was awarded his C.S.I. on 12th December 1911 when he was a brigadier general and a military member of the Delhi Coronation Durbar Committee.