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Thomas Henry Kavanagh being disguised as a native, having volunteered to guide the relief force, Siege of Lucknow, 1857.

Oil on canvas, by Louis William Desanges, 1860 (c).

The 1900 Catalogue of the Victoria Cross Gallery at Wantage described the incident during the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859): 'On the 9th of November, 1857, Mr Kavanagh [1821-1882], then serving under the orders of Lieutenant General Sir James Outram, in Lucknow, volunteered on the dangerous duty of passing through the city to the camp of Sir Colin Campebell, the Commander in Chief - at Alum Bagh - for the purpose of guiding the relieving force to the beleaguered garrison in the Residency, a task which he performed with chivalrous gallantry and devotion'.

This painting is one of a series of 55 depicting Victoria Cross subjects executed between 1859 and 1862 by the British artist Louis Desanges, and displayed at the Crystal Palace during the 1860s and 1870s.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1958-12-48-1


National Army Museum, London


National Army Museum, Study collection

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