King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

Lancaster

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Collections - Photographs

The museum contains many thousands of photographs - the oldest date back to the Crimean War of 1854-56.

Many photographs feature in the 'Photo Gallery' of this website.

See Photo Collection Listing for more information.

The earliest photographs, when photography was in its infancy, were taken during the Crimean War - when Britain and France joined together to fight Russia.  The first military expedition to be accompanied by an official army photography unit was to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1868.  A unit of Royal Engineers took a stunning range of photographs illustrating the 400 mile advance from the Red Sea coast to the fortress of Magdala.

The later part of the 19th Century produced many images - often featuring individuals - many officers posing for their portraits or soldiers lined up for group photos!  As the popularity of photography spread images record the life of the regiment in India, at home and on campaign in South Africa.

The activities of the Volunteers and, from 1908, the Territorial Force are recorded at their annual camps.  And it is of the territorial soldiers of the First World War who we have a substantial number of photographs.  Rare images are carefully preserved of the 1st/5th Battalion King's Own on active service in France and Flanders in 1915.  Some of these images are on display in the museum, and many more can be found in this website.

Photography continued in the inter-war period - with group photographs being very popular, including many sporting groups - in all parts of the world - Burma, India, Egypt as well as at home in the UK.  A collection of personal albums record what life was like for soldiers and their families -and some of the sightseeing soldiers got up to whilst away from duty. 

Officially photography was not allowed for security reasons in the Second World War - but we are lucky that some soldiers disobeyed this rule and in our collection we have some wonderful images of the regiment in action.  Photos of the regiment in Burma, Italy and Malta compliment official 'War Office' photographs.

Copies can be obtained of most photographs in our collection - although some cannot be copied for copyright reasons.  Please get in touch for more information.

Highlights of the Collection (* featured in the Photo Gallery)

bullet*Crimean War 1854-56
bullet*Abyssinian Campaign 1868
bulletSouth African War 1899-1902
bulletVolunteers 1870-1908
bullet*Territorial Force 1908-1914
bullet*1st/5th Battalion on the Western Front - First World War
bullet*2nd Battalion on the Western Front - First World War - 1915
bullet*2nd Battalion on the Salonika Front - First World War - 1918
bullet*8th Battalion on the Island of Malta - Second World War
bullet*2nd Battalion in Burma as part of the Chindit Operation in 1944
bulletWar Office photos of the regiment in the Western Desert and Italy
bullet'Picture Post' photos of the 107th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in Normandy, France and Belgium in 1944-45.
bulletLarge collection illustrating sport and social activities
bullet*1st Battalion in Trieste - 1945-49
bullet*1st Battalion in Korea and Hong Kong - 1954-56

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

2010 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum