These photographs were all taken by L.Sgt. Johnston of Carmarthen. L.Sgt. Johnson was a member of the 436th Welsh Field Company which was allotted to the 53rd Welsh Division of the Royal Engineers in the 1914-1918 War. This Division served in Egypt and Palestine between 1915-1917. While in Egypt and Palestine L.Sgt. Johnson took several photographs which he later used as a basis of a lecture. Here are his photographs of Egypt.
A camel on an irrigation wheel on the west bank at Thebes. Wheels like this, known as a saqiya, were used to draw water from the Nile from the 5th century AD. Camels were used in Pharaonic Egypt from around 500BC. For more information see: http://www.qurna.org/saqiyas.html
A saqiya today. Copyright Barry Budd.
The felucca on which L. Sgt. Johnson travelled from Aswan to Luxor. Feluccas are small sailboats still commonly used on the Nile.
A felucca recently photographed at Elephantine. Copyright Barry Budd.
In 1917 when these photographs were taken, Egypt was controlled by the British. Many Egyptian items now in European museums were taken out of Egyptwhen Egypt was under the control of France or Britain . Some were sold by Egyptians to Europeans, others were simply taken by Europeans. This is also the case with many of the objects held by the Egypt Centre. Some people say that because of this we should give the objects back to Egypt. What do you think? For more thoughts on colonialism and repatriation click here.
We do not know what L. Sgt. Johnson looked like. However, several photographs show this man. We wonder if this was L. Sgt. Johnson.
Other photographs taken by L. Sgt. Johnson include:
Montani Sugar Factory, 35 Miles from Luxor
The Temple of Seti I (the ‘Qurna temple’), Thebes