British army in China

There is a rich archive comprising photographs taken by men connected to the British military presence in China, in peacetime and wartime, and both inside and outside zones of combat, from the beginning of the Second Opium War (1856) to the end of the Pacific War (1945). This Collection features photographs in private collections which were taken by army personnel and form part of HPC and those which have been digitised as part of the Regimental Museums China Photographs Project (about which see our blogs ‘In and outside the combat zone: The Regimental Museums Project’ part one and part two), to which in due course will be added photographs from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) Museum in Berwick-upon-Tweed and from further collections.

Guides to these collections, and reflections on them, can be found in posts about Weihaiwei and the First Chinese Regiment part one and part two, on ‘Images of War and Regimental Memory’, and on ‘Regimental Cartes de Visite’. See also ‘Inside and Outside the Combat Zone: Photography and Britain’s Military Presence in China’ by Andrew Hillier (Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 100, pp199-227, 2022).

Various regiments and corps featured in other HPC collections include: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire; Durham Light Infantry; Hong Kong Regiment; Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire); Highland Light Infantry; Royal Engineers; Royal Army Medical Corps; Royal Horse Artillery (RHA); Royal Marines; Royal Scots Fusiliers; Shanghai Volunteer Corps (SVC); Welch (Royal Welsh); Worcester; 1st Chinese Regiment; H.M. 18th Regiment. In addition, there is substantial material taken or collected by, or showing, Royal Naval personnel, and some material relating to the Royal Air Force.

Other collections that can found online relate to the history of the China postings of the Durham Light Infantry here and hereGloucester RegimentNorthamptonshire Regiment; and the Wiltshire Regiment. See also more generally this site.