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Victoria and Albert collected works documenting political and military events

Cundall & Howlett

Private Jesse Lockhurst and Private Thomas O'Brien 1883 copy after 1856 original

Carbon print | 17.6 x 20.2 cm (image) | RCIN 2500190

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Photograph of Crimean War veterans Private Jesse Lockhurst and Private Thomas O'Brien convalescing at Chatham Military Hospital. Lockhurst is sitting on a chair to the left, his legs crossed and a shot in his right hand. He is wearing military uniform and there are visible wounds to his face. O'Brien is reclining on a bed to the right wearing hospital clothing. He is holding a shot in his right hand and there is a patch over his left eye. A curtain is draped behind. This photograph, printed by Jabez Hughes in 1883, is a carbon print pasted over the original photograph. There is a handwritten note below the photograph detailing the men's injuries. Lockhurst was hit by a shot weighing 18 1/2 ounces while he was in the advanced trenches and O'Brien was injured by a shot weighing 6 3/4 ounces at the Battle of the Redan. Both men lost the sight in one eye and suffered extensive injuries to their jawbone.  

Queen Victoria met Private Lockhurst and Private O'Brien on 16th April 1856 at Chatham Military Hospital during one of a number of visits she made to wounded soldiers who had returned from the Crimean War. She recorded in her journal for 16 April 1856: 'There were several in particular with shocking wounds in their heads, & having lost their eyes, but there were 2, in particular, who were extraordinary examples of recovery from the most awful wounds. One, Th: O'Brian, in the 1rst Royals, had had a ball, an inch in length & breadth (I had it in my hand), which pierced his eye, destroying it, & lodging in the jam, from which it was extracted! Truly awful; the other, Jesse Lockhurst, of the 31rst Regt had a ball over 2 inches in length & breadth, weighing 18 oz: (I also had it in my hand) which penetrated the right side of his face, - into his nose! It was extracted, but had left a fearful hole in his face, & he had lost the use of his eye, though it was not disfigured, but the hole in the face remained.' (QVJ, Royal Archives).

This portrait is one of a series by Joseph Cundall and Robert Howlett commissioned by Queen Victoria following her visits to the hospital.
  • Creator(s)

    Cundall & Howlett (photographer)

    Jabez Hughes (1819-84) (printer)

    Subject(s)
    Jesse Lockhurst, Private (fl.1855)
    Army-GB-Infantry-31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot (1783-1881)
    Thomas O'Brien, Private (active 1855)
    Army-GB-Infantry-1st (the Royal) Regiment (1822-1872)
  • 17.6 x 20.2 cm (image)

    29.5 x 23.1 cm (page dimensions)

  • Private Jesse Lockhurst, 31st Regiment and Private Thomas O'Brien, 1st Royal. Both were partially blinded in Crimea. They were seen by Queen Victoria at Chatham, 28 November, 1855 [in Crimean Portraits 1854 - 1856]

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Home economics
        • Furniture & accessories
          • Beds
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Clothing
          • Costume
            • Uniforms
              • Military uniforms
    • Social sciences
      • Military affairs
        • Wars, Campaigns & Battles
          • Wars
            • Wars of the nineteenth century
              • Crimean War (1853-1856)