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British Army photograph album: Sudan, Egypt, Petra Constantinople, circa 1934-1937
Bernath Mss 401
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British Army photograph album: Sudan, Egypt, Petra Constantinople, circa 1934-1937


Online Archive of California


Album contains 188 black and white photographs with borders, mounted double-sided to 23 brown cardstock leaves, each separated with web-patterned tissue guard. Occasional manuscript captions. Photographs range in size, the largest measuring 22,5 cm x 14cm, the smallest measuring 6cm x 10,5cm. Original photographs taken by a Colonel of the British army affords us the unique pleasure of a visual journey to Khartoum, Constantinople, Petra and Egypt, circa 1937. Album conatins highlights of a voyage with his wife on the SS Rashid, to Turkey, Greece, and Jordan, and also of time spent with the army in British East Africa. Scenes captured here inadvertently indicate a shift in time and industry, showing for example, steam engine trains alongside a horse-drawn cart, both employed in transport. In Egypt , we also see military camps employing camels, while in contrast other camps are equipped with British lorries, motorcars and even biplanes.
Other photos pertaining to the British army show the camp at Helmieh, Egypt, the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) in a ceremonial performance possibly on the shores of the Red Sea, military posts in remote areas of British East Africa, and a convoy crossing the Sahara. Of Port Sudan one cannot help but to notice the rigorous labor of receiving cargo. The Sudan and the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya were then under rule of the British Empire; scenes include a visit to the Muthaiga club in Nairobi and wild game hunting excursions as well as the capture skinning of a large rhinoceros; other game photos of wild buffalo, oryx, gazelle and impala. Place names are handwritten. These include: military camps in N.F.P. [Nothern Frontier Protectorate of British East Africa], Lake Magadi in the Kenya Rift Valley Isiolo and Nanyuki.
Numerous photographs are taken of the tombs, temples, and Nabataean monuments of ancient Petra, as well, in Egypt the great pyramids, the Sphinx, obelisks and columns, the low Aswan Dam under construction, and the ruins of the palace located on the Suez Road in the Sinai High Mountain Region, of Abbas Hilmi I, Pasha, who was Viceroy of Egypt between 1849 - 1854. A spectacular aerial view taken from a biplane overlooks Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock. Views of Constantinople (Istanbul) and Bosporus in Turkey, mostly taken from a ship looking onto the coast, include the Hagia Sophia and the mosque of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known commonly as the Blue Mosque, as well as Canakkale and the Dardanelles or Hellespont Narrows. Antiques of Athens, Greece, feature the Parthenon. Although the traveler is not named, his colleagues, sometimes shown with him, indicated that he was a Colonel, possible of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders infantry.
The 1st Battalion went to Sudan in 1934 and remained there until 1936. In 1935 the 2nd Battalion moved to Palestine then Egypt. A photograph loosely inserted at the front of the album is inscribed to verso, "Self & Arthur Gemmell with ivory at Khartoum." There are also few photographs taken in England, including the historic Parnham house, colleagues at a Master Gunner course taken in Lulworth, Dorset, and of an airship or zeppelin in flight. (Derived from vendor descriptive info, Additional derails in CF.)


1934 (issued)


The collection is open for research.
Use governed by UCSB Special Collections policy.
Cite as: [Identification of item], British Army photograph album: Sudan, Egypt, Petra Constantinople, Bernath Mss 401. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Physical Description:

0.2 linear feet





No place, unknown, or undetermined

Copyright Note:

The collection is open for research.
Use governed by UCSB Special Collections policy.