United Kingdom

Royal Horse Artillery

Carte-de-Visite, backmark "TW"

Officers of A Battery, E Brigade (late Bombay), RHA

Superb 1860s carte-de-visite displaying five officers from the Royal Horse Artillery around a gun.

The officers are, from left to right :
- A lieutenant, as is shown by his simple cuff braiding and the Crown on his collar
- Another lieutenant
- A Captain ; he is wearing two campaign medals ; the one on the right is the Indian Mutiny (1857-59) medal (one clasp) ; the one on the left is the Indian General Service 1854 Medal (one clasp)
- A third lieutenant
- Another Captain (with specific cuff braiding, and Crown and Pip on collar) ; he's wearing the riding overalls .

This Carte de Visite shows the Officers of a Battery of Royal Horse Artillery ; the typical establishment of a Battery in the 1860s consisted in two Captains (one of them being a Second Captain) and three Lieutenants or Second Lieutenants, in charge of two guns each.

The Captain on the right is George William Borradaile, who was promoted to Second Captain on August 3 1865. On this photograph he is wearing the booted overalls that will be suppressed in 1871.This Carte de Visite, taken in India, thus dates from the mid. to late 1860s. At the time he was serving with A Battery, E Brigade, RHA. 

The decorated officer in the center of the photograph is Captain Thomas Marshall Harris.
A Cadet of the HEIC in 1845-46, he joined the Bombay Artillery as a 2d Lieutenant on June 11 1847, and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on August 15 1852. In 1856 he was attached to the 3rd Troop (Blake's) Bombay Horse Artillery that took part in the Persian Expedition. He served in the capture of Reshire, surrender of Bushire, and bombardment of Mohumrah. The campaign was short lived (on the photo Captain Harris is displaying his India General Service Medal with "Persia" Clasp - medal on the left), but the British Forces had scarcely come back to India that the Mutiny broke out.

Blake's Troop served in Central India ans was attached to General Robert's Force in January 1858. Lieutenant Harris took part in the siege of Kotah (March 24th to 30th, 1858) and pursuit. On June 17th he was present at Kotah-ke-Serai, where the famous Rhanee of Jhansi, disguised as a man, was killed in a charge of the 8th Hussars. That action was immediately followed by the Battle and capture of Gwalior (June 19th-20th), where he was mentioned in despatches. 
The 3rd Troop Bombay Horse Artillery formed part of the reinforcements led by Brigadier Napier from Gwalior to Paori when Maun Sing seized it. The siege lasted two days (August 20th-21st) before the rebels fled ; Second Captain Harris (he was promoted on August 27th 1858) did not take part in the following affair at Bijepur, where the two guns of the Battery that had taken part in the pursuit of the rebels where commanded by Lieutenant A.R.Hoskins. This is the only action of the Battery he did not take part in. 
He may however have commanded the Battery on October 9th, at the action of Sindwaho (not included in Colonel Blake's services), where Brigadier Michel's troops (reinforced by Smith's Brigade) opposed the Nana Rao and the Nawab of Banda, who  protected the fords of the Jumni. The salvos of case shot of the Troop were instrumental in the decision of the action, that was immediately followed by another action at Kurai, still in the pursuit of Tantia Topee.
He was again involved with Smith's Force on November 14, where they again met a reappearing Maun Sing at Kundri. Lieutenant Harris was severely wounded in the action. He was awarded the Indian Mutiny with Clasp Central India (on the right).

Thomas Marshall Harris was transferred to the Regiment of Royal Artillery at the 1861 amalgamation. He was gazetted a Captain on April 23rd, 1863 (dated October 21st 1862).
On April 18th, 1864, he is appointed from the 18th Brigade to the command of A Battery, 4th Horse Brigade (late 1st Troop, Bombay Horse Artillery). The following month the Brigade was renamed E Brigade. He will remain in command of the Battery (transferred to D Brigade when the E Brigade was reduced in 1871, and renamed C Battery D Brigade) until October 25th, 1872, when he will be successed by Major W.W.Woodward.
Captain harris had been made a Major on July 5th 1872, when the regimental rank was reinstated in the Regiment of Artillery, and immediately thereafter promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel (gazetted August 6th 1872, dated August 1st). In 1875 he is Assistant Adjutant of Artillery, Bombay.
He was gazetted back Lieutenant-Colonel from the Supernumerary List on April 13th 1875 (dated April 1st)
He'll be promoted to Colonel on August 1 1877. In 1880 he is posted to 7th Brigade. He will retire with the rank of colonel, "upon a pension, with extra annuity, dated 1st October, 1882".

That photograph was probably taken in the late 1860s, when both Harris and Borradaile were Captains. The last station of the Brigade in India was Ahmednuggur (left in 1872), and that may be the place where the photograph was taken.
The identity of the Lieutenants are unknown.

Many thanks to James Hanafin