'Gorka's Rifles. Mussoree Bataillons', c 1858.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a group of Gurkha soldiers with their British officer, taken by Felice Beato during the Indian Mutiny or Great Sepoy Rebellion (1857-1858). The first Gurkha Regiments were incorporated into the British army in about 1816. The Nusseree Battalion later became the 1st Gurkha rifles. Felice (Felix) Beato, a Venetian by birth, initially worked as a photographer in England. Around 1854 he began working with his brother-in-law James Robertson, based in Constantinople (Istanbul). Some photographs are signed 'Robertson, Beato and Co'. It is possible the 'and Co' refers to Felice's brother Antonio Beato. Robertson and Beato photographed the Crimean War in 1855 and afterwards the Indian Mutiny. Beato left the partnership with Robertson in 1860 to photograph the Opium War in China. In 1862 he moved to Japan, where he worked until 1877.