Roger Fenton's historic Crimean War photographs
We take a look back in history at Roger Fenton's landmark photographs from the Crimean War (1853-56). Widely acknowleged as one of the first ever war photographers, Fenton's pictures brought the Crimean battlefields to life for the public back home, showing first-hand the conditions soldiers and nurses had to endure. His work also made the war more immediate to Britons who had previously only seen the work of war artists - a huge leap forward towards today's 24 hour global satellite coverage.
Here, Fenton's mobile darkroom where he developed glass plates within 10 minutes of their exposure. His assistant Marcus Sparling is seated on the box.
Due to the size and cumbersome nature of his photographic equipment, Fenton was limited with what he was able to photograph, only able to capture static objects.
Sir George Brown and his staff before the Siege of Sebastopol 1854–55
At the time, Fenton's photographs were converted into woodblocks and published in the pro-war Illustrated London News.
Officers of the 42nd Highlanders regiment, known as the 'Black Watch', at their camp outside Sebastopol
Russia and the Ottoman Empire went to war in October 1853 over Russia's rights to protect Orthodox Christians. France and Britain entered the conflict in March 1854 and most of the fighting took place for control of the Black Sea, with land battles on the Crimean peninsula in southern Russia (now Ukraine).
The Allied Fleet in Balaklava Harbour, 1855
The Crimean War led to the death of about two million people both on the battlefield and through diseases, about 20,000 of which were British soldiers. The fighting ceased when new Russian Emperor, Alexander II, agreed to sign a peace treaty at the Congress of Paris in 1856.
Balaklava Harbour, looking seaward with the harbour crowded with sailing ships, 1855. Balaklava was the British headquarters during the Crimean war.
The Russian camp at the Genoese Castle, Balaklava
Captain William Cecil George Pechell (standing, third from right) and men of the 77th Regiment in their winter dress in the Ukraine, during the Crimean War, circa 1855. Pechell was killed at Sebastopol on 3rd September 1855, having received honourary mention in the despatches only a few days before.
Edward Birch Reynardson, a British army officer of the Grenadier Guards, stationed at Balaklava during the Crimean War
Cattle and supplies for the British army in Cossack Bay, Balaklava
The British 4th Light Dragoons encamped in the Crimea, 1855
Members of the 4th Light Dragoons pause for refreshments, 1855
Mortar batteries in front of Picquet House, Light Division, during the Crimean War, circa 1855. The British soldiers are positioned behind a berm, or raised earth fortification.
Captain Brown, Colonel Lowe and Captain George in their camp at Sebastopol
8th Hussars soldiers preparing a meal at the Cookhouse in the field
Lietenant Colonel Halliwell being poured a drink at an army camp in Russia
British artillery wagons with horse stabling behind near Balaklava, 1855
British soldiers pose for a photograph during a break
British supply ships at the roadstead of Balaklava during the Seige of Sebastopol
Captain Brown of the 4th Light Dragoons, seated, and his servant in winter dress
Daily life in Balaklava, 1855
The war artist William Simpson in Sebastopol
General Pierre Bosquet (1810 - 1861), French military commander during the Crimean War. Witnessing the British charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaklava, he remarked 'C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre' (It's magnificent, but it is not war')
Roger Fenton himself dressed in a Zouave uniform holding rifle. Zouaves were crack infantry units, originally composed of Algerians. During the Crimean War, Zouaves served with the French Army, allies of the British. Fenton's self-portrait in the costume indicates the high regard the British felt for the Zouaves.