BIKANER. H.H. Sir Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner with Sir Arthur Palmer, c-in-c India, circa 1901/2


BIKANER. A fine full plate 11 x 9 ins group portrait taken on the occasion of a visit to H.H. Sir Ganga Singh, K.C.I.E., Maharaja of Bikaner by H.E. General Sir Arthur Power Palmer, K.C.B. with his Staff and Aides de Camp. The photograph, in excellent condition has been mounted on fairly recent card having presumably been in an album or unmounted. The Maharaja wears the uniform of his Lancers with his Order of the Star of India [K.C.I.E. awarded 24th July 1901]. The Commander-in-Chief held the  post from 1900 until he was succeeded by Lord Kitchener in autumn 1902, these dates giving a narrow period in which this photograph could have been taken. Notable amongst his Aides is the Indian Officer of the 9th Bengal Lancers (Hodson’s Horse), Palmer’s old regiment from Mutiny days. This officer wears an Indian Order of Merit. An example of this photograph appears in N. Patnik: A Desert Kingdom p89 with the rather disappointing title A group of British officers. 

General Sir Arthur Power Palmer [1840-1904] was the son of Captain Nicholas Power Palmer, 54th Bengal NI who was killed on the retreat from Kabul in 1841. Although born at Karauli he was educated in England and from Cheltenham College he joined the 5th NI in February 1857 and served throughout the Mutiny, raising a 600 strong Sikh regiment to serve in Oude. He joined Hodson’s Horse in 1859. He served in Abyssinia, the 2nd Afghan War, commanded the 9th BL in the Sudan, commanded in the Chin Hills during the Burma campaign 1892-3, Tirah 1897-8, commanding the Punjab FF 1898-1900.

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