Officials of the British Mission on horseback

Officials of the British Mission on horseback

1999. (Album Print black & white)

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Image in Album

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Key Information


H. Staunton ?


Harry Staunton

Date of Photo

January - June 1940

Named Person

Sonam Tobden, Sir Basil Gould, Thornburgh, Harry Staunton



Accession number


Image Dimensions

116 x 90 mm

Four mounted officials attended by orderlies. From left to right (on horse back) are Sonam Tobden Kazi, Basil Gould, Capt. Thornburgh and Harry Staunton. Each of the horses heads are being held by grooms who are dressed in a wide range of clothing. From left to right, Tibetan robe and circular fur hat, fur-trimmed Tibetan robe and brocade and fur hat, Sikkimese orderly's robe and pill-box hat and Lepcha costume with striped tunic. It looks as if the party are about to depart on an official visit possibly from Dekyi Lingka.

Further Information



Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1999

Donated by

Diana Hughes


H. Staunton

Photo also owned by

Diana Hughes

Other Information

Notes on album mount - "Sonam, B.J., Thornburgh, Self" is written in capital letters and in pencil below the photograph. [KC 17/1/2006]

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: Alex McKay discusses the position of native intermediaries in Tibet and the British Raj, 1997, Richmond: Curzon Press, "While British officers came aand went, there was a gradual build-up of experienced local staff, who carried out much of the day-to-day work and tactfully instructed new British officers in their duties. ... The intermediaries had an important behind-the-scenes role and the most successful of them were promoted to Political Department postings. Three can be classified as Tibet cadre officers. Norbu Dhondup and Pemba Tsering both served as Trade Agent Yatung and were then promoted to take charge of the British Mission Lhasa, and in the 1940s Sonam Tobden Kazi, 'a worthy successor to Laden La and Rai Bahadhur Norbu' was groomed for a senior position with postings as Trade Agent in Gartok and Yatung." (pp. 122-3)

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: Capt. D.G Thornburgh was British Trade Agent Gyantse from 03.02.1940 - 20.07.1940. ( ibid. 232).

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: Sonam Tobden Kazi was Basil Gould's personal assistant on this trip and became the British Trade Agent Yatung in September 1942 until August 1943 and again from March 1944. ( ibid . 233)

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Officials of the British Mission on horseback" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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