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Edmund Barron Hartley, Victoria Cross, aged 12, 29 June 1859 | by whatsthatpicture
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Edmund Barron Hartley, Victoria Cross, aged 12, 29 June 1859

Edmund Barron Hartley VC, b. 6 May 1847, taken on 29 June 1859.


One of my favourite ever acquisitions, and the inspiration behind the creation of the 150 Years Old Flickr group.


What makes this image particularly special is that it is precisely dated, reliably named (including date of birth), and traceable to quite a notable figure, being a recipient of a Victoria Cross for his deeds as a surgeon in the Basuto War in Southern Africa - see


Aside from it's history, it's a lovely, quite early ambrotype (1859), of good quality and in great condition.


But what I just love about this picture is the fact that here he is at the age of 12 with no idea of what lies ahead of him in life, let alone that he will be awarded with perhaps the most prestigious and rare awards that any serviceman can receive.


Money can't buy stories like that!


From what I can tell, studio details on the reverse, embossed in the oval label, are as follows:



45 High Street Exeter

81 Union Street Torquay (really not clear on that one, but some further research should clarify the address)

Union St Plymouth

& 26 City Road London

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Taken on June 29, 1859