King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


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Images from Empire

The King's Own in the Victorian and Edwardian Era

Families, Sport and a Home from Home

The faster journeys to overseas postings meant a greater number of soldiers were able to bring their wives and families. For women, especially in India, colonial life permitted luxuries that may not have been possible back home. Though most women who left England went to join their husbands, they were accompanied by others motivated by different reasons. Some went as missionaries, nurses and some were driven by the spirit of adventure.
An enduring legacy of the British Empire is the spread of the English language and culture. Sport was an important part of colonial life. The popularity of the various games followed class divisions. Equestrian sports such as polo were popular with Officers of the King’s Own, whilst football was often favoured by the lower ranks. By the end of the nineteenth century, race meetings, cricket matches, championships and football matches were established all over the empire.
The Victorian and Edwardian periods saw new social and political movements gaining momentum. The Army Temperance Association promoted total abstinence from alcohol and supported alternative pastimes to drinking. Heavy drinking was endemic to the early Victorian army, but by 1902, the temperance movement had become a considerable influence on the professional British Army.


The 2nd Battalion King’s Own Temperance Group in India, 1892.

Accession Number: KO0828/03

The wedding of Lieutenant Lionel Cowper, at the Garrison Church, Calcutta, 1906.

Accession Number: KO0987/01

The King’s Own sports champions, Malta, 1896.
Accession Number: KO0129/01

Unknown image from the collection of Colonel Grover, circa 1900.
Accession Number: KO1175/11

Winners of Soldiers Cup Cricket Competition, Malta, 1903.
Accession Number: KO0594/02-42

Winners of Football League, Malta, 1903.
Accession Number: KO0594/02-43

Winners of HRH Prince Henry of Prussia Polo Cup, Hong Kong, 1900.
Accession Number: KO2590/097

bulletWhere the sun never sets
bulletSteamships, the backbone of the empire
bulletFamilies, Sport and a Home from Home
bulletPax Britannica?

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2010 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum