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George Housman Thomas (1824-68)

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert inspecting wounded Grenadier Guardsmen at Buckingham Palace 20 Feb 1855

RCIN 916782

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At Queen Victoria’s request, over 2,000 books were sent out to the forces fighting in the Crimea, at her own expense. They were to be circulated amongst the soldiers as a healthier alternative to the most common form of diversion from the war - alcohol. The bookplate was pasted into the volumes which Queen Victoria sent to the Crimea. RA/PP/VIC/1856, 8696 The Queens gift of Books to Her / Army is composed of 2112 Volumes, / divided into two libraries consisting / each of 1056 books; each library being / a duplicate of the other. One of these libraries was forwarded / to the Crimea on board the Steamer / ‘Clyde’ which sailed from the Thames / on Saturday the 26th January 1856. / The duplicate library ... will proceed by the first next Transport... At Queen Victoria’s request, over 2,000 books were sent out to the forces fighting in the Crimea, at her own expense. They were to be circulated amongst the soldiers as a healthier alternative to the most common form of diversion from the war - alcohol.RA/PP/VIC/1856, Proper label - Thomas was a military artist for the Illustrated London News. In this scene, the Queen and members of her family meet thirty-two wounded guardsmen returned from the Crimea. The Queen recorded in her journal how ‘It was a touching sight, & one could not see a finer set of men ... whom it made one’s heart bleed, to see so mutilated ... I had meant to make some kind of general speech, but I was so agitated, that it all stuck in my throat’. The watercolour shows the colourful appearance of the Grand Hall which had recently been redecorated.