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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Earliest haunting images of Tibet revealed

August 5, 2013

August 2, 2013 - A collection of photographs taken during the controversial 1903 British Expedition to Tibet has come to light.

The sepia-toned pictures were taken by an officer during the British invasion of Tibet - the first time a Westerner had captured the likes of Mount Everest on film.

The set of 140 photographs show the Gyantse Dzong fortress and some of the Tibetan men, women and children in the villages that the troops passed during their advance towards the capital Lhasa.

Young monks in training are seen alongside older men of faith, while people working the land with yak-carts are also pictured.

The British Army's weapons are shown, with soldiers manning a Maxim machine gun, while lines of tents act as shelter for the men.

Some are even seen posing for souvenir pictures outside buildings on their route in the collection which belonged to Captain William Hayman, who is thought to have taken many of them himself.

Early in the campaign, troops gunned down 700 lightly-armed Tibetan monks standing in their path in the Massacre of Chumik Shenko.

The slaughter was so brutal that Lieutenant Arthur Hadow, commander of the Maxim guns detachment, wrote afterwards: 'I got so sick of the slaughter that I ceased fire.  I hope I shall never again have to shoot down men walking away.'

The expedition began in December 1903 when 3,000 troops marched into the country from British-ruled India, led by Colonel Francis Younghusband.

It was initiated by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, who was obsessed with preventing Russia gaining influence in Tibet.

The men reached Lhasa in August 1904, when the government signed a treaty effectively turning the country into a British protectorate.

The archive is now being sold by Captain Hayman's descendants after being left in a drawer for years. 

Selected photos can be viewed at

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