Members of the British Mission outside with ponies

Members of the British Mission outside with ponies

1999. (Album Print black & white)

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Key Information


H. Staunton ?


Harry Staunton

Date of Photo

1940 - 1941

Named Person

Pemba Tsering, Norbhu Dhondup, Sonam Tobden, Thornburgh, Innes-Keys, Harry Staunton



Accession number


Image Dimensions

116 x 90 mm

Group of Tibetan and British officials standing in front of ponies. From left to right, Tibetan orderly, unidentified, Pemba Tsering, Rai Bahadur Norbu Dhondup, Sonam Tobden Kazi, Capt. D.J. Thornburgh, Major J.G. Innes-Keys and Harry Staunton. They are all dressed for cold weather with scarves and fur hats.

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 - "Pemba Tsering, Rai Bahadur Norbhu, Sonam, Thornburgh, Keyes" 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: Major J. G. Innes-keys took command of the 1/15th Punjabis as Officer Commanding Trade Agent's Escort Gyantse from Sept. 1939 - June 1940. ( ibid. 235)

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: Pemba Tsering: Pemba Tsering (1905 - 54), along with Norbu Dhondhup and Sonam Tobden Kazi, was a locally-born cadre officer. He was educated at the Government High School in Darjeeling based on the British model. Only after many years service in lower ranking positions on the frontier was he promoted to Political Department posts after thoroughly absorbing the mentality of a Raj officer. In 1941 he took up post as British Agent Gartok, a post which he kept until 1945. Between August 1943 - March 1944, he relieved Sonam Tobden Kazi as British Trade Agent Yatung. In 1945 he took up the post of Head of British Mission Lhasa for one year and a gain between September and December 1947 when he relieved Hugh Richardson. On 17 July, 1954 the Gyantse Trade Agency was destroyed by floods. Pemba Tsering and his wife were among the several hundred people who were drowned. His son went on to study medicine at medical school in England. ( ibid. 81-2, 219, 222, 230-1)

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)

Other Information - People

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

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Members of the British Mission outside with ponies" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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