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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
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Tibetan monks.<br />
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A collection of never-seen-before photographs taken during the controversial 1903 British Mission to Tibet has come to light.<br />
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The rare snaps were taken by an officer during the campaign - the first time the British were given access to the country.<br />
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They depict the haunting beauty of the secluded country and brought images of Tibeten landscapes including Mount Everest to the west for the first time.<br />
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The set contains 140 sepia pictures of Tibetan buildings, people and soldiers, including a particularly poignant photograph of a British gunner manning a Maxim machine gun.<br />
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Early in the campaign, troops gunned down 700 lightly armed Tibetan monks standing in their path in the infamous Massacre of Chumik Shenko.<br />
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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.<br />
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"I hope I shall never again have to shoot down men walking away."<br />
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The expedition began in December 1903 when around 3,000 troops marched into the country from India led by Colonel Francis Younghusband.<br />
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It was initiated by Lord George Curzon, the Viceroy of India, to prevent Russia gaining influence in Tibet.<br />
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They reach the capital Lhasa in August 1904, when the government signed a treaty effectively turning the country into a British protectorate.<br />
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The photo archive is being sold by desecendents of one of the officers on the trip from southern England after languishing in a drawer for years.<br />
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The collection is tipped to fetch 1,200 pounds when it goes under the hammer.