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Surgeon John McCosh, Bengal Medical Establishment
National Army Museum
NAM Accession Number: NAM. 1962-04-3-294
Curatorial description (accessed: 13 August 2017)
McCosh (1805-1885), who joined the Bengal Army as an assistant surgeon in 1831, was one of the first war photographers. He employed the calotype process, the first practicable negative and positive process on paper, patented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1841. McCosh had an eventful life: the ship on which he was sailing to Tasmania on sick leave was wrecked and he was the only passenger to survive. He saw active service on the North East Frontier of India against the Kols 1832-1833, in Gwalior 1843-1844 (for which he was awarded the Maharajpoor Star to be seen in the portrait), the 2nd Sikh War (1848-1849) and the 2nd Burma War (1852-1853). McCosh also published a number of books and poems before and after his retirement on 31 January 1856.
From an album of 310 photographs, 1848-1853.