About this object

The album contains card-backed images from the Younghusband Expeditition of 1903-04, usually four per page with the majority captioned (in Bell's handwriting). The contents as follows (uc = uncaptioned):
Page 1- (uc) Mission encampment / (uc) Tibetan fort / (uc) Sikh sepoys in river / (uc) Coracles crossing river
Page 2 - (uc) Raft crossing river / (uc) Tibetan delegation coming to meet Mission / (uc) Pack mule in front of lake / (uc) Road leading to Gyantse dzong?
Page 3 - (uc) Dzong ? seen across the plains / (uc) Dzong with sandbag defence in foreground / (uc) Chinese delegation arriving at Gyantse Trade Agency / (uc) Chinese delegation on way to Trade Agency
Page 4 - Shap-pes coming from interview with Col. Younghusband / The Lama Shap-pe / Shap-pes coming from interview with Col. Younghusband / (uc) Three Officials
Page 5 - Bazar in Lhasa / Bazar in Lhasa / (uc) Mission soldiers / Muhammadan traders in Lhasa
Page 6 - Scavengers (ra-gya-pa) in Lhasa / Lt. Col. Burne outside his hut in Chumbi / Moody and self on Natu Pass / Pemiongelu (?) Lama and his disciple
Page 7 - Troops at Rinchengong / A corner of Rinchengong / Self with British and Chinese officers at Chumbi outside my bungalow / Chinese dancing at Chumbi
Page 8 - Chinese dancing at Chumbi / Chinese dancing at Chumbi / Tongsa Penlop of Bhutan on his official entry into Chumbi / Pioneer officer measuring road before blasting
Page 9 - Tonsa Penlop / Band of Tongsa Penlop leading procession into Chumbi (two photographs) / The first bazar started in Lhasa for the troops / Gen. Macdonald's march through Lhasa
Page 10 - Troops marching through Lhasa / Kar-gyü Monastery in Chumbi / View of Lhasa. Roofs of Cathedral appear in centre of picture
Page 11 - Mule lines in Chumbi on first arrival of force in Tibet / Camp at Chumbi; building just commenced / Bazar outside mission encampment at Lhasa
Page 12 - First camp of mission force at Lhasa; Col. Younghusband's tent in centre / Crossing mules over second branch of Tsangpo en route to Lhasa / Mules being forced into water to be towed across Tsangpo
Page 13 - Rathon boat with mules in tow crossing Tsangpo / Chinese Temple / Supply and Transport quarters at Chumbi
Page 14 - Civil officials of Lhasa with escort / Chumbi valley villagers / Tsangpo at Chaksam ferry where the troops crossed
Page 15 - Transport passing along Yamdrok Tso enroute to Lhasa / Entrance to Lhasa / Monastery and Chö-ten en route to Gyantse
Page 16 - Monks in Gyantse Monastery running away from camera / River near Lhasa / Gen. Macdonald and staff marching through Lhasa
Page 17 - Mules being crossed over Tsangpo / Gyantse Jong / Potala
Page 18 - Gyantse Jong / Potala / Potala
Page 19 - Nagatse Jong & troops en route to Lhasa / View of Potala from north / Potala
Page 20 - Villages meeting mission on first advance to Gyantse / A Chöten gateway on way to Gyantse / Medical College, Lhasa
Page 21 - Pal-kor Chöde monastery Gyantse / Col. Younghusband's tent at Nagatse, receiving Shappes from Lhasa / Bazar outside first camp of mission force at Lhasa
Page 22 - Present of foodstuffs to troops from Amban. Outside Col.Younghusband's tent at Lhasa / Mules just picketed on arrival in camp below Karo La / Coolies bringing out fodder and grain from Tibetan village
Page 23 - Remains of Tibetan wall after destruction by troops / above wall prior to destruction by troops / Mountain battery loading up before Tongsa Penlop
Page 24 - Entrance of Tongsa Penlop into Chumbi / Tongsa Penlop inspecting troops in Chumbi / Mountain battery coming into action before Tongsa Penlop
Page 25 - Entry of Tongsa Penlop into Chumbi / entry of Tongsa Penlop into Chumbi / Bazar at Chumbi
Page 26 - Baggage just in at Karo La / Entrance to Red Idol Gorge defended by Tibetans / (uc) overhead view of Karo La
Page 27 - (uc) Mission encampment / Mule train rounding lake / aerial view of mission encampment
Page 28 - (uc) aerial view of town / a Tibetan defensive wall / encampment Karo La

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date made
    1903 - 1904
  • Materials
    Leather Skin; Paper Plant; Paper Cardboard
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
    1903 - 1904
  • Measurements
    245 mm x 300 mm x 34 mm; 9 5/8 in x 11 13/16 in x 1 5/16 in
  • Note
    Page 29 - (uc) Encampment in the snow / (uc) Gyantse villagers / (uc) Snowy plains Page 30 - (uc) camp at Karo La / (uc) yak herd / (uc) troops marching Page 31 - (uc) Mission camp / (uc) camp at Karo La / (uc) line of troops Page 32 - (uc) Gyantse / (uc) group of Tibetans in street / (uc) soldiers by tin hut Page 33 - (uc) mules on hillside / Phari / (uc) camp at base of dzong Curator's note: The photographs in this album were taken by G I Davys (see Royal Geographic Society also), who was a medicial officer during the expedition. He was also stationed in the Punjab and therefore appears to have been attached to the 40th Pathans regiment who accompanied the expedition. Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Charles Alfred Bell ( Collector)

Explore related


  • Mission to Lhasa 1903-1904

    Start date: 1903
    End date: 1903
    Description: The British Mission to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of southern Tibet by British Indian forces on the pretence of negotiating trade relations between Tibet and British India. However, this was instigated primarily in the hope of preventing the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India. The expedition was led by Colonel (later Sir) Francis Younghusband. It had a damaging effect on the British reputation, many Tibetans were killed and monasteries and houses were looted and/or destroyed along the way. The 13th Dalai Lama feld Lhasa before the arrival of the expedition and Younghusband negotiated, a soon to be repelled, convention with the Tibetan government or Kashag in Lhasa that was signed in the Potala on 7 Septmber 1904.

Object view = Humanities
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