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Charles Thurston Thompson (1816-68)

Barracks, Boulogne c. 1857

RCIN 2500815

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This photograph is from an album of 35 prints, probably all taken during the mid to late 1850s, showing the army camps at Boulogne and Aldershot. Prince Albert took an active interest in all aspects of army organisation including the establishment of the first permanent army training camp in England at Aldershot. In September 1854 he visited the army camp in Boulogne. The juxtaposition in the album of the Boulogne camp photographs with those taken at the newly established camp at Aldershot, shows that the French camp was more picturesque than the British one. However, as Prince Albert looked at the trim wooden huts, with glass-paned windows and brick chimneys in Boulogne, he may have reflected that it was not the business of a modern working barracks to be picturesque.