Major General Henry Tombs


Sir Henry Tombs was gazetted to the Bengal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant and served in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh wars, as well as the Uprising of 1857. More about the Uprising here and fascinating insights from the frontlines and on the ground by Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee here.

Felice Beato was a European photographer renowned for being one of the earliest personalities to capture bold subjects like military expeditions and war.  He and his brother Antonio gained the knowledge of photography from their brother-in-law, James Robertson, a Scottish photographer. It was between June 1855 to June 1856, in his formative years, Beato worked with Robertson as his partner and helped him photograph the Crimean War. Beato is most often remembered for his photography in Crimea, India, China and Japan. He arrived in Calcutta in early 1858 intending to document the aftermath of the Uprising of 1857. Between February 1858 and 1859, Beato travelled to Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Simla, Agra, Delhi, Lahore creating over 130 topographical and architectural photos of British military siege and campaigns. Beato’s photographs won him recognition because he was one of the first to venture away from Europe to document contemporary events for the European audience. Beato sailed for Hong Kong in early 1860 and photographed the Second Opium War in China. He also documented the Sudanese Colonial War in 1885, producing the most substantial photojournalism work at the time.

Major General Henry Tombs
Felice Beato
Albumen Print
H: 19 cm x W: 15 cm
Accession No.