Protecting his friend or standing over the vanquished?

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Where: Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
The calm after the storm gives us time to visit the National Museum - our sister institution across the yard. The title of this shot is "Museum, Dublin" and of course it is likely in the museum in Dublin. A fine sculpture apparently depicting a scene from a battle, it should perhaps be easy enough to identify?

We, in the shelters of Library Towers, hope that all our Irish and UK supporters came through the delights of ex-Hurricane Ophelia unscathed yesterday!

Our contributors, including O Mac, B-59, Beachcomber, Niall McAuley, and Bernard Healy, gave us a wealth of information on this statue and its subject. The statue, of bronze-painted plaster, was completed sculptor Charles Bell Birch in Dublin around 1880. The captured here in Dublin's National Museum, it is now housed in the National Army Museum in London. The subject of the statue is Lieutenant Walter Hamilton of Inistioge, County Kilkenny. Hamilton, who won a VC for his actions during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, was killed during a siege of the British Residency in Kabul. The manner of his exploits, "conspicuous gallantry" and death were such that (perhaps unsurprisingly) they were captured more than once in print. And, obviously, in this dramatic statue....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_05429

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 3399
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland nationalmuseumofireland kildarestreet dublin2 sculpture twomen onefallen revolver sword centralcourt victoriacross charlesbellbirch countykilkenny thefarpavilions walterhamilton walterrichardpollockhamilton secondangloafghanwar corpsofguides britishindianarmy indianarmy

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    DannyM8

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:03:45

    I have a vague memory of seeing this in the RDS in Ballsbridge?

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    guliolopez

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:06:19

    I was just gonna say [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] that it didn't like any room in the National Museum that I know. But those pillars behind do look like the columns supporting the mezzanine in the RDS exhibition hall. I may however just be proving that I don't spend enough time in our capital's cultural institutions :) www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/21050077350/

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    O Mac

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:06:49

    WALTER POLLOCK HAMILTON VC ... www.inistioge.ie/150/Walter_Pollock_Hamilton_VC_.html "A slightly over-life-size statue of Hamilton striding over an Afghan threatening him with a knife was produced in bronze-painted plaster by Charles Bell Birch in Dublin in around 1880. It is now on display in the National Army Museum, Chelsea, as is a plaque to him (set up in the Punjab Frontier Force Chapel, then in the sanctum crypt of St. Lukes Chapel, Chelsea)."

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    B-59

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:33:05

    Displaying this scene during the Siege of the British Residency in Kabul on September 3, 1879: "Hamilton faced the oncoming Afghan wave, and emptied his revolver into them before being overwhelmed and killed. His stand allowed his 5 surviving men to retreat inside the compound." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_the_British_Residency_in_K...

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    B-59

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:40:27

    According to www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armycampaigns/indiancampai... the statue stood in Kildare Street, Dublin.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 17/Oct/2017 08:59:09

    The Gazette formally announces that the Queen has conferred the Victoria Cross upon Lieutenant Walter Richard Pollock Hamilton, Bengal Staff Corps, for conspicuous gallantry during the action at Futtehabad on the 2nd April, 1879, and who was recently killed while resisting the attack upon the British Embassy at Cabul.
    From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/150170326?searchTerm=w... (December 1879)

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    Céanndhubahn

    • 17/Oct/2017 09:21:40

    Incredibly emotive statue...I read about this battle in a fantastic novel by MM Kaye, “The Far Pavilions”.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 17/Oct/2017 09:27:57

    I think the statue was definitely in the National Museum big hall (whatever that is known as) Centre Court. There are many other photos of the statue in the catalogue, eg - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000324224 which shows its relatively central position. The hall in July 2017 via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/musicaloris/][https://www.flickr.com/photos/musicaloris/36169854431/]

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    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Oct/2017 10:27:58

    On the Sculptor, the DIA says: BIRCH, CHARLES BELL Born: 1832 Died: 1893 Sculptor, of London, for whom see Charles Birch, who had worked as an assistant to JOHN HENRY FOLEY , executed the statue of the Rev. Hugh Hanna in Carlisle Circus, Belfast, which was unveiled in 1894.(1) He exhibited at the Dublin International Exhibition in 1865,(2) at the RHA in 1876,(3) and at the Irish Exhibition, London, in 1888,(4) as well as being a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy.

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    DannyM8

    • 17/Oct/2017 10:28:16

    In the book Ireland on Show: "Art, Union, and Nationhood by Fintan Cullen I see that the statue did in fact reside in the RDS from the 1920's up to 1985 when it was presented to the National Army Museum in London on the suggestion of Major-General Goff Hamilton a great-nephew of Lt. Hamilton. See this page and the following two The book also contains a Lawrence photo of the statue and the same photo appears on the front cover.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Oct/2017 10:41:34

    In its entry in the British National Army Museum it is described as Bronze-painted plaster, signed by Charles Bell Birch (1832-97), Dublin, 1880 (c).

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    guliolopez

    • 17/Oct/2017 11:10:31

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] - Unequivocal proof that I don't spend enough time in museums (and don't know my exhibition rooms from my exhibition halls) :)

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 17/Oct/2017 11:20:04

    Afghanistan has a long, long history of foreign "liberators"....

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    Canadian Pacific

    • 17/Oct/2017 12:28:33

    You can almost hear the gunshot from this statue.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 17/Oct/2017 13:24:01

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] You beat me to it with that reference! Great to have the history of what happened to it as well as references to Lawrence taking the photos. This page details other memorials to him: Memorial window & plaque, St Canice's Cathedral, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland Memorial, Inistioge Church, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland P Memorial, St Paul's Cathedral, London Plaque, Sanctum Crypt, St Luke's Church, Chelsea, London Statue at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London P Memorial at Felsted School, Essex Memorial at Horse Show Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland Name on Guide's Memorial Gate, Mardan, Afghanistan Memorial at Christ Church, Rawalpindi, Pujab, Pakistan That Ballsbridge reference is, presumably, a duplicate reference to our plaster statue. I would imagine he's also commemorated in Glasnevin Cemetery along with other Irish holders of the VC

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 17/Oct/2017 22:46:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] That book is fascinating with details of this statue and its historical context within the Dublin Museum (as it was known then - National Museum 1908+). It also says some of the Lawrence photos of the statue and museum interior were published in a book Ireland in Pictures in Chicago in 1898, likely the latest date for this photo.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 17/Oct/2017 22:55:15

    btw I wonder if young Walter was left or right handed? Would you fire a pistol with your left hand and fight with a sword right handed?

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 18/Oct/2017 01:23:55

    a novel was written about Mr. Hamilton, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Far_Pavilions

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    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Oct/2017 05:08:29

    Ireland in Pictures: A Grand Collection of Over 400 Magnificent Photographs of the Beauties of the Green Isle Comprising Views of the most famous buildings, historic places, romantic scenery, venerable ruins, rich art treasures, etc., etc. with Historical and Descriptive Sketches By the Hon. John F. Finerty of Chicago Published by J.S. Hyland & Company, Chicago (1898. Length 405 pages)

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 18/Oct/2017 06:52:26

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/] catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000132416 . I think we have discussed this book before. Or I might be dreaming. On flickr - www.flickr.com/search/?text=%22Ireland%20in%20Pictures%22

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 18/Oct/2017 07:12:18

    Whoopee! Digitized version - digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:126035#?c=0&m...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 18/Oct/2017 12:53:41

    Thanks all. It took me a while to digest all of that - and hence a while to update the description and tags. But I've done my best to do so today :)