First Previous 1 OF 3 NextLast

Queen Victoria's First Visit to her Wounded Soldiers

1 of 3 portraits of Charlotte Canning (née Stuart), Countess Canning

Identify sitters

© National Portrait Gallery, London

8 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Buy a greetings card Make a donation Close

Queen Victoria's First Visit to her Wounded Soldiers

by Jerry Barrett
oil on canvas, 1856
58 1/4 in. x 86 3/8 in. (1480 mm x 2193 mm) overall
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, 1993
Primary Collection
NPG 6203

Artistback to top

  • Jerry Barrett (1824-1906), Painter. Artist or producer associated with 9 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

Sittersback to top

This portraitback to top

Queen Victoria was deeply affected by the sufferings of her troops in the Crimea. Barrett shows her visiting disabled soldiers at the Brompton Hospital, Chatham on 3 March 1855, with her husband, Prince Albert, and their two eldest sons, the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred, later Duke of Edinburgh. The bearded figure behind the Queen is her cousin George, Duke of Cambridge, who had himself fought at the battles of Alma and Inkerman but who returned home in horror at his experiences. At the right of the official party behind the royal group is Lord Hardinge, Commander-in-Chief of forces. The two uniformed officers in front of him are Colonel Eden, Commandant of the Chatham garrison, and, holding a card, Dr. Reade, staff surgeon of the hospital. A number of the disabled soldiers can be identified. Seated on the bed talking to the Princes is Sergeant Leny, who had fought at the battles of the Alma, Balaclava, and Inkerman, while the figure lying in bed behind him is the badly injured James Higgins, whose 'appearance caused much painful emotion to her Majesty'. Seated on the far left is Private John McCabe who sustained terrible injuries taking part in the cavalry charge at Balaclava. The standing figure on the far right is Sergeant John Breese who lost an arm at Inkerman: after the Queen's visit he was appointed to her personal Body Guard. Behind him sits the sad figure of George Barrett who received a shot between his eyes at Inkerman, leaving him with a 'fearful scar' and the loss of his senses of taste and smell.

Linked publicationsback to top

Placesback to top

Events of 1856back to top

Current affairs

Queen Victoria introduces the Victoria cross, an award for British soldiers who displayed exceptional valour in battle. Each medal was produced from Russian guns captured in the British war. In 2006, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry became the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross since 1965, for his actions in the Iraq war.

Art and science

The National Portrait Gallery is founded by Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl of Stanhope, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Thomas Carlyle, all biographers and historians. Historical rather than artistic in focus, the Gallery's aim was to collect original portraits of outstanding figures from British history, notably from politics, the arts, literature and science.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning publishes her epic and autobiographical poem Aurora Leigh.


The Treaty of Paris ends the Crimean war. Russia concedes to the Anglo-French-Austrian Four Points of August 1854 including the guarantee of Ottoman sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia also agreed to a demilitarisation of the land islands in the Baltics, a term which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War.
Britain launches the second Opium war against China.

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.