Royal Commonwealth Society : Views in Australia, Egypt, Aden, Asia and other places chiefly circa 1908-1915

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p>The collection was originally housed in seven boxes, four of which were specially made with individual slots for slides. These were numbered 3, 6, 10 and 11 and the remaining boxes were unnumbered. Presumably these formed part of a larger collection, but nothing is known of the original owner or the fate of any other boxes. For conservation reasons, the collection has since been re-boxed. The captions given are normally those which appear on the slides themselves.</p> <p>The photographer of this collection is unknown. He apparently travelled to Australia on the 'Indraghiri' in 1908 and was in the Red Sea on the 'Indraghiri' or the 'Indrawadi' in 1909 (119, 125-6). He apparently visited China in 1909 and 1911 (230 and 221). Slides of the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) are dated 1909 (323), 1910 (267-268), and there is a sequence of cultivation on Belang-Belang between 1911 and 1915 (294-301). Several pictures were taken on the 'Highland Glen' and the 'Highland Rover' in 1914 (437-441) and 173, showing the Hong Kong cenotaph, must be post World War I.</p> <p> The only clue to the photographer is in initials to some of the captions. 'WD' appears in scenes scattered through the series, e.g. 39, 41, 52, 119, 274 and 323 and he could be the photographer or a companion. For at least part of his travels WD was associated with HPA - they appear together in Batjan in 1910 (275-277). HPA is seen in some of the photographs taken in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1910-1911 (355-6 and 358). Other photographs taken at this time include PCA and Maude (presumably his wife). He appears to have been manager or owner of Watagoda, an estate in Ceylon. There was an H.P.C. Armitage, Assistant Conservator of Forests in Ceylon who retired in 1903, but it has not been possible to examine any directories of Ceylon in 1910 to see whether PCA might be his brother. Any suggested identification of these individuals must be highly speculative.</p>


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