Francis Younghusband

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, KCSI KCIE (31 May 1863 – 31 July 1942) was a British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer. He is remembered for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia; especially the 1904 British expedition to Tibet, led by him, and for his writings on Asia and foreign policy. Younghusband held positions including British commissioner to Tibet and President of the Royal Geographical Society.

Sir Francis Younghusband
Francis Younghusband 1905
Francis Younghusband c. 1905
Born31 May 1863
Died31 July 1942 (aged 79)
Alma materRoyal Military College, Sandhurst
OccupationBritish Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer
AwardsOrder of the Star of India
Order of the Indian Empire
Charles P. Daly Medal (1922)

Early life

Francis Younghusband was born in 1863 at Murree, British India (now Pakistan), to a British military family, being the brother of Major-General George Younghusband and the second son of Major-General John W. Younghusband[1] and his wife Clara Jane Shaw. Clara's brother, Robert Shaw, was a noted explorer of Central Asia. His uncle Lieutenant-General Charles Younghusband CB FRS, was a British Army officer and meteorologist.

As an infant, Francis was taken to live in England by his mother. When Clara returned to India in 1867 she left her son in the care of two austere and strictly religious aunts. In 1870 his mother and father returned to England and reunited the family. In 1876 at age thirteen, Francis entered Clifton College, Bristol. In 1881 he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a subaltern in the 1st King's Dragoon Guards in 1882.[1]

Military career

Long White Mountain - p235 - Interior of an inn
A one-room inn in a then-wild area east of Tonghua, Jilin, where Younghusband and his companions stayed in 1887[2]

Having read General MacGregor's book Defence of India he could have justifiably called himself an expert on the "Great Game" of espionage that was unfolding on the Steppes of Asia.[3] In 1886-1887, on leave from his regiment, Younghusband made an expedition across Asia though still a young officer. Sailing to China his party set out with Colonel Mark Bell's permission to cross 1200 miles of desert with the ostensible authority to survey the geography; but in reality the purposes were to ascertain the strength of the Russian physical threats to the Raj. Departing Peking with a senior colleague, Henry E. M. James (on leave from his Indian Civil Service position) and a young British consular officer from Newchwang, Harry English Fulford, on April 4, 1887, Lieut Younghusband explored Manchuria, visiting the frontier areas of Chinese settlement in the region of the Changbai Mountains.[4][5]

On arrival in India he was granted three months leave by the C-in-C Field Marshal Lord Roberts; the scientific results of this travel would prove vital information to the RGS. Younghusband had already carried out numerous scientific observation (in particular, showing that the Changbai Mountains's highest peak, Baekdu Mountain is only around 8,000 feet tall, even though the British maps the travelers had showed [nonexistent] snow-capped peaks 10,000-12,000 ft tall in the area[6]), while Fulford was providing the travelers with a language and cultural expertise.[7] Younghusband crossed the most inhospitable terrain in the world to the Himalayas before being ordered to make his way home. Parting with his British companions, Younghusband then crossed the Taklamakan Desert to the Chinese Turkestan, and pioneered a route from Kashgar to India through the uncharted Mustagh Pass.[4] He reported to the Viceroy, Lord Dufferin his crossing through the Karakoram Range, the Hindu Kush, Pamirs where the range converged with the Himalayas; the nexus of three great empires. In the 1880s the region of the Upper Oxus was still largely unmapped. For this achievement, aged still only 24 he was elected the youngest member of the Royal Geographical Society and received the society's 1890 Patron's Gold Medal.

Younghusband PekingToYarkand Map
"From Peking To Yarkand and Kashmir via the Mustagh Pass"

In 1889, he made captain, and was dispatched with a small escort of Gurkha soldiers to investigate an uncharted region north of Ladakh, where raiders from Hunza had disrupted trade between Yarkand and India the previous year.[8] Whilst encamped in the valley of the Yarkand River, Younghusband received a messenger at his camp, inviting him to dinner with Captain Bronislav Grombchevsky, his Russian counterpart in "The Great Game". Younghusband accepted the invitation to Grombchevsky's camp, and after dinner the two rivals talked into the night, sharing brandy and vodka, and discussing the possibility of a Russian invasion of British India. Grombchevsky impressed Younghusband with the horsemanship skills of his Cossack escort, and Younghusband impressed Grombchevsky with the rifle drill of his Gurkhas.[9] After their meeting in this remote frontier region, Grombchevsky resumed his expedition in the direction of Tibet and Younghusband continued his exploration of the Karakoram.

Younghusband received a telegram from Simla, to attend the Intelligence Department (ID) to be interviewed by Foreign Secretary, Sir Mortimer Durand transferred to the Indian Political Service. He served as a political officer on secondment from the British Army. He refused a request to visit Lhasa as an interpreter, disguised as a Yarkandi trader, a cover not guaranteed to fool the Russians, after Scots merchant, Andrew Dalgleish had been brutally hacked to death. Younghusband was accompanied by a Gurkha escort, celebrated for their ferocity in combat. The Forward policy was circumscribed by a legal offer to all travellers of a peaceable security crossing borders. Departure from Leh on 8 August 1889 on the caravan route took them up the mountain pass of Shimshal towards Hunza; his aim being to restore the tea trade to Xinjiang and prevent any further raids into Kashmir. Colonel Durand from Gilgit joined him. Younghusband probed the villages to gauge the reception: calculating it was a den of thieves, they ascended the steep ravine. The Hunza was barred to them, a trap was sprung; the parley terms took him inside to negotiate. The nervous reception over, they were all relieved to find safety; Younghusband wanted to know why and who was way-laying innocent civilian traders? The ruler, Safdar Ali extended a letter of welcome to his Kashmiri kingdom; the British investigated from whence came the Russian infiltrators under Agent Gromchevsky. Further south at Ladakh, he kept close watch on their movements. Reluctantly, Younghusband dined with the Cossack leaders who divulged the secrets of their common rivalry. Gromchevsky explained that the Raj had invited enmity for meddling in the Black Sea ports. The Russian displayed little grasp of strategy, but basic raw courage; he betrayed the confidence of Abdul Rahman as no friend to the British. Younghusband tentatively concluded that their possessions at Bokhara and Samarkand were vulnerable. Having drunk large quantities of vodka and brandy, the Cossacks presented arms in cordial salute and they parted in peace. Woefully unprepared for winter, the British garrison at Ladakh refused them entry.

Younghusband finally arrived at Gulmit to a 13-gun salute. In khaki, the envoy greeted Safdar Ali at the marquee on the Karakoram Highway, the men of Hunza kneeling at their ruler's feet. This was colonial diplomacy, based on protocol and etiquette, but Younghusband had not come for merely trivial discussions. Reinforced by Durand's troops, Younghusband's arguments were to prevent the criminal looting, murder and highway robbery. Impervious to reason though he was, Younghusband was not prepared to allow Safdar Ali to laugh at the Raj. A demonstration of firepower "caused quite a sensation" he wrote in his diaries. The British major was disdainful, but content when he left on November 23, to return to India, which he reached by Christmas.

In 1890, Younghusband was sent on a mission to Chinese Turkestan, accompanied by George Macartney as interpreter. He spent the winter in Kashgar, where he left Macartney as British consul.[10] Younghusband wanted to investigate the Pamir Gap, a possible Russian entry route to India. But he had had to ensure the Chinese at Kashgar were sorted out to prevent a tripartite attempt by the Hunza clans. It was for this reason he recruited a Mandarin-interpreter, junior officer, George Macartney to accompany his missions into the frozen mountains. They wintered in Kashgar, as a listening post: meeting in conference with the Russian Nikolai Petrovsky, who had always resisted trade with Xinjiang (Sinkiang). The Russian agent was well-informed about British India, but proved unscrupulous. Believing he had succeeded, Younghusband did not reckon on Petrovsky's deal with the Taotai, the Chinese governor of Hunza.

In July 1891, they were still in the Pamirs when news reached them the Russians intended to send troops "to note and report with the Chinese and Afghans". At Bozai Gumbaz in the Little Pamir on 12 August he encountered Cossack soldiers, who forced him to leave the area.[11] This was one of the incidents which provoked the Hunza-Nagar Campaign. The troop of 20 or so soldiers planted a flag on what they anticipated was unclaimed territory, 150 miles south of the Russian border. But to the British the area was Afghan territory. Colonel Yonov, decorated with the Order of St George, approached his camp to announce that the area now belonged to the Tsar. Younghusband learnt that they had raided the Chitral territory; furthermore they had penetrated the Darkot Pass into the Yasin Valley. They were joined by eager intelligence officer Lieutenant Davison; but the British were disabused by Ivanov of British sovereignty: Younghusband remained polite, maintained protocol but hospitable to the big Russian bear hug.

During his service in Kashmir, he wrote a book called Kashmir at the request of Edward Molyneux. Younghusband's descriptions went hand in glove with Molyneux's paintings of the valley. In the book, Younghusband declared his immense admiration of the natural beauty of Kashmir and its history. The Great Game, between Britain and Russia, continued beyond the start of the 20th century until officially ended by the 1907 Anglo-Russian Treaty. Younghusband, among other explorers such as Sven Hedin, Nikolay Przhevalsky, Shoqan Walikhanov and Sir Auriel Stein, had participated in earnest.[12] Rumours of Russian expansion into the Hindu Kush with a Russian presence in Tibet prompted the new Viceroy of India Lord Curzon to appoint Younghusband, by then a major, British commissioner to Tibet from 1902-1904.

Invasion of Tibet and massacre at Guru

In 1903, Curzon appointed Younghusband head of the Tibet Frontier Commission with John Claude White, political officer of Sikkim, and E. C. Wilton as deputy commissioners.[13] He subsequently led the 1903-04 British expedition to Tibet, whose putative aim was to settle disputes over the Sikkim-Tibet border; the expedition by exceeding instructions from London, controversially became a de facto invasion of Tibet.[14]

About 100 miles (160 km) inside Tibet, on the way to Gyantse, thence to the capital of Lhasa, a confrontation outside the hamlet of Guru led to a victory by the expedition over 600-700 Tibetan militia, largely monks.[15] Some estimates of Tibetan casualties are far higher; inciting other conflicts,[16] Younghusband's well-trained troops were armed with rifles and machine guns, confronting disorganized monks wielding hoes, swords, and flintlocks. Some accounts estimated that more than 5,000 Tibetans were killed during the campaign, while the total number of British casualties was about five.

The British force was supported by King Ugyen Wangchuck of Bhutan, who was knighted in return for his services. The incident, portrayed by Chinese sources as a "massacre", embarrassed the British Government, which desired good relations with China for the sake of the coastal Chinese trade. Accordingly, the British repudiated the treaty known as the Treaty of Lhasa that Younghusband's services had obtained.

In 1891, Younghusband received the Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, which was upgraded to Knight Commander in 1904;[1] and in 1917, he was awarded the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India. He was also awarded the Kaisar-I-Hind Medal (gold) in 1901[1] and the Gold Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1905.[17]

In 1906, Younghusband settled in Kashmir as the British representative before returning to Britain, where he was an active member of many clubs and societies. In 1908, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. During the First World War, his patriotic Fight for Right campaign commissioned the song Jerusalem.

Himalaya and mountaineering

Younghusband was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1919, and two years later became Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee which was set up to coordinate the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest.[18] He actively encouraged the accomplished climber George Mallory to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and they followed the same initial route as the earlier Tibet Mission. Younghusband remained Chairman through the subsequent 1922 and 1924 British Expeditions.

In 1938 Younghusband encouraged Ernst Schäfer, who was about to lead a German expedition to "sneak over the border" when faced with British intransigence towards Schäfer's efforts to reach Tibet.[19]

Personal life

In 1897 Younghusband married Helen Augusta Magniac, the daughter of Charles Magniac, MP. Augusta's brother, Vernon, served as Younghusband's private secretary during the expedition to Tibet.[20] The Younghusbands had a son who died in infancy, and a daughter, Eileen Younghusband (1902–1981), who became a prominent social worker.[21]

From 1921 to 1937 the couple lived at Westerham, Kent, but Helen did not accompany her husband on his travels. In July 1942 Younghusband suffered a stroke after addressing a meeting of the World Congress of Faiths in Birmingham. He died of cardiac failure on 31 July 1942 at Madeline Lees' home Post Green House, at Lytchett Minster, Dorset.[22] He was buried in the village churchyard.[21]

Spiritual life

Biographer Patrick French described Younghusband's religious belief as one who was

brought up an Evangelical Christian, read his way into Tolstoyan simplicity, experienced a revelatory vision in the mountains of Tibet, toyed with telepathy in Kashmir, proposed a new faith based on virile racial theory, then transformed it into what Bertrand Russell called 'a religion of atheism.'[23]

Ultimately he became a spiritualist and "premature hippie" who "had great faith in the power of cosmic rays, and claimed that there are extraterrestrials with translucent flesh on the planet Altair."[24]

During his 1904 retreat from Tibet, Younghusband had a mystical experience which suffused him with "love for the whole world" and convinced him that "men at heart are divine."[25] This conviction was tinged with regret for the invasion of Tibet, and eventually, in 1936, profound religious convictions invited a founder's address to the World Congress of Faiths (in imitation of the World Parliament of Religions). Younghusband published a number of books with what one might call New Age themes, with titles like The Gleam: Being an account of the life of Nija Svabhava, pseud. (1923); Mother World (in Travail for the Christ that is to be) (1924); and Life in the Stars: An Exposition of the View that on some Planets of some Stars exist Beings higher than Ourselves, and on one a World-Leader, the Supreme Embodiment of the Eternal Spirit which animates the Whole (1927). The last drew the admiration of Lord Baden-Powell, the Boy Scouts founder.[26] Key concepts consisted of the central belief that would come to be known as the Gaia hypothesis, pantheism, and a Christlike "world leader" living on the planet "Altair" (or "Stellair"), exploring the theology of spiritualism, and guidance by means of telepathy.

Younghusband allegedly believed in free love ("freedom to unite when and how a man and a woman please"), marriage laws examined as a matter of "outdated custom."[27] One of Younghusband's domestic servants, Gladys Aylward, became a Christian missionary in China.

Fictional portrayal

The Ingrid Bergman film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) is based on Gladys Aylward's life, with Ronald Squire portraying Younghusband.[28]


Younghusband wrote 26 books in all between 1885 and 1942. Subjects ranged from Asian events, exploration, mountaineering, philosophy, spirituality, politics and more.

  • Confidential Report of a Mission to the Northern Frontier of Kashmir in 1889 (Calcutta, 1890).
  • The Relief of Chitral (1895) (co-authored with his brother George John Younghusband)
  • South Africa of Today (1896)
  • The Heart of a Continent (1896) The heart of a continent: vol.1
  • "Our True Relationship with India" . The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. 1905. pp. 599–620.
  • Kashmir (1909)
  • India and Tibet: a history of the relations which have subsisted between the two countries from the time of Warren Hastings to 1910; with a particular account of the mission to Lhasa of 1904. London: John Murray. 1910.
  • Within: Thoughts During Convalescence (1914)
  • The Sense of Community (1916)
  • The Gleam (1923)
  • Modern Mystics (1923) (ISBN 1-4179-8003-6, reprint 2004)
  • Mother World in Travail for the Christ that is to be (1924)
  • Wonders of the Himalayas (1924)[29]
  • The Epic of Mount Everest (1926) (ISBN 0-330-48285-8, reprint 2001).
  • Life in the Stars (1927)
  • The Light of Experience (1927)[29]
  • Dawn in India (1930)
  • The Living Universe (1933)
  • The Mystery of Nature in Frances Mason. The Great Design: Order and Progress in Nature (1934)


  1. ^ a b c d C. Hayavando Rao, ed. (1915). The Indian Biographical Dictionary. Madras: Pillar & Co. pp. 470–71. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  2. ^ James 1887, pp. 235–238
  3. ^ General Sir C MacGregor, The Defence of India, (Simla, 1884)
  4. ^ a b Younghusband, Francis E. (1896). The Heart of a Continent, pp. 58-290. John Murray, London. Facsimile reprint: (2005) Elbiron Classics.
  5. ^ James, Sir Henry Evan Murchison (1888), The Long White Mountain, or, A journey in Manchuria: with some account of the history, people, administration and religion of that country, Longmans, Green, and Co.
  6. ^ [[#CITEREF|]], pp. 254,262)
  7. ^ [[#CITEREF|]], pp. 125,217)
  8. ^ The Heart of a Continent, pp. 186ff
  9. ^ The Heart of a Continent, pp. 234ff
  10. ^ Dictionary of National Biography Sir George Macartney
  11. ^ Riddick, John (2006). The history of British India. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-313-32280-8.
  12. ^ David Nalle (June 2000). "Book Review – Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia". Middle East Policy. Washington DC: Blackwell. VII (3). ISSN 1061-1924. Archived from the original on 1 June 2006.
  13. ^ Patrick French (2011). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. Penguin Books Limited. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-14-196430-0.
  14. ^ "Tibetans' fight against British invasion". – China Tibet Information Center. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  15. ^ Morris, James: Farewell the Trumpets (Faber & Faber, 1979), p.102.
  16. ^ Nick Heil (2008). Dark Summit: The Extraordinary True Story of One of the Deadliest Seasons on Everest. Virgin Books Ltd. p. 54. ISBN 0-7535-1359-5.
  17. ^ "Scottish Geographical Medal". Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  18. ^ Text of The Epic of Mount Everest, Sir Francis Younghusband.
  19. ^ Hale, Christopher. Himmler's Crusade (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003) pp. 149-151
  20. ^ Fleming, Peter (2012). Bayonets to Lhasa - the British invasion of Tibet. Tauris Parke, London. ISBN 9780857731432.
  21. ^ a b Dictionary of National Biography
  22. ^ Anon. 1942 Obituary: Sir Francis Edward Younghusband. Geographical Review 32(4):681
  23. ^ French, p.313.
  24. ^ French, p. xx
  25. ^ quoted in French, p.252.
  26. ^ French, p. 321
  27. ^ French, p. 283
  28. ^ French., p. 364
  29. ^ a b Hopkirk, op cit.
Secondary sources
  • Allen, Charles (2004). Duel in the Snows: The True Story of the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5427-6.
  • Broadbent, Tom (2005). On Younghusband's Path: Peking to Pindi. ISBN 0-9548542-2-5.
  • Candler, Edmund (1905). The Unveiling of Lhasa. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.
  • Carrington, Michael (2003). "Officers Gentlemen and Thieves: The Looting of Monasteries during the 1903/4 Younghusband Mission to Tibet". Modern Asian Studies. 37, 1: 81–109.
  • Fleming, Peter (1986). Bayonets to Lhasa. ISBN 978-0195838626.
  • French, Patrick (1997). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. ISBN 0-00-637601-0.
  • Hopkirk, Peter (1990). The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia. pp. 447–482. ISBN 1-56836-022-3.
  • Mehra, P. (1968). The Younghusband Expedition.
  • Meyer, Karl E.; Brysac, Shareen Blair (25 October 1999). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1-58243-106-2.
  • Seaver, George (1952). Francis Younghusband: Explorer and Mystic.

External links

A. R. B. Shuttleworth

Brigadier Allen Robert Betham Shuttleworth (20 February 1873 – 30 July 1935) was an officer in the British Indian Army and player of The Great Game.Shuttleworth was born in Dapoli, Maharashtra, India, to Allen Thornton Shuttleworth, who won the Albert Medal of the First Class, and Laura Phoebe Betham. His younger brother was Sir Digby Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth joined the British Army relatively late, beginning his career in the militia.For a time in 1908, Shuttleworth was acting Consul in Kashgar while George Macartney was in England. During this time, Shuttleworth became involved in investigating the expeditions of Eizaburo Nomura and Zuicho Tachibana, even dining with them at Chini-Bagh. Shuttleworth reported his suspicions to Sir Francis Younghusband, and these suspicions about the two Japanese eventually made its way to Lord Morley, Secretary of State for India.Shuttleworth died suddenly in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Baza'i Gonbad

Baza'i Gonbad or Bozai Gumbaz (Persian: بزای گمبز‎, lit. 'domes of the elders') is the site of a domed tomb (or gonbad) and nearby settlement of Kyrgyz and Wakhi herders in the Wakhan in Badakhshan Province in north-eastern Afghanistan. It lies in the Little Pamir on the right bank of the Bozai Darya, near where it joins the Wakhjir River to become the Ab-i Wakhan,This eastern reach of the Wakhan Corridor has little access to the outside world. Most of the supplies comes through traders from the neighboring Chipursan and Misgar valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan.

There is no evidence to indicate that the local Pamir Mountains had ever earlier supported permanent settlements. While debris of mud buildings and similar constructions can occasionally be found, they are generally seen as only indicating relatively recent occupation and have little if any evidence of a permanent character. The shrines and tombs scattered throughout the area are all of a comparatively recent character. There are also the remains of a small fort can be found near this location. It is said to have been built by Bozai, a Kyrgyz chief.Baza'i Gonbad was the scene of a minor incident during the Great Game. In 1891 the Russians sent a small military force to the area. The British Captain Francis Younghusband, in the course of his Pamir expedition, encountered the Russians at Baza'i Gonbad, and the Russians ordered him out of the area. The Russians subsequently apologised for the incident.

Bronislav Grombchevsky

Bronislav Grombchevsky (Russian: Бронислав Людвигович Громбчевский; Polish: Bronisław Grąbczewski, 1855–1926) was an ethnic Polish officer in the Imperial Russian Army and an explorer/spy, famed for his participation in The Great Game.

Grombchevsky traveled extensively in the Far East and Central Asia during the period 1888–92. He is regarded as the Russian counterpart to the British military-explorer Francis Younghusband. The two Great Game rivals famously met in 1889 when they were exploring the Raskam Valley for their respective governments.His name also appears in English as "Gromtchevsky" and "Gromchevsky".

Edward Mary Joseph Molyneux

Maj. Edward Mary Joseph Molyneux (13 March 1866 – 19 January 1913) was a British painter and art collector.During his years in the Himalayan Valley of Kashmir, Molyneux painted many scenes of the capital city of Srinagar and other areas which inspired him. The paintings were published in a book titled Kashmir, accompanied by descriptions of the Valley by Francis Younghusband.

Captain Molyneux also amassed an extensive Impressionist art collection, including paintings by Picasso, Monet, Manet and 17 by Renoir. They were sold as a 'lot' to Ailsa Mellon Bruce, who bestowed the entire collection upon the National Gallery of Art.

His nephew was Edward Henry Molyneux, fashion designer.

Fight for Right Movement

The Fight for Right Movement was founded in August 1915 by Francis Younghusband. Its aim was to increase support for the First World War in Great Britain and to boost morale in the armed forces.

Henry English Fulford

Henry English Fulford also known as Harry English Fulford, or simply H.E. Fulford (1859–1929) was a British diplomat, who spent most of his career in China.H.E. Fulford was born in Chepstow, Monmouthshire. His father, Rev. John Fulford, had been an Anglican priest in Australia (Adelaide and Melbourne). Soon after the boy's birth, the Fulford family returned to Australia, where Rev. Fulford (later, Rev. Canon Fulford) resumed his ecclesiastical career.After graduating from the Melbourne Grammar School, Henry Fulford went to England, to acquire some business experience in London.In 1880 H.E. Fulford joined the British Consular Service, and was sent to work in China. In 1887, when he was a student interpreter at the British Consulate in Newchwang (today's Yingkou), he joined two British officers on leave from India – H. E. M. James of the Indian Civil Service and Francis Younghusband of the British Army – and went with them on a tour of Manchuria. As he was the only person of the three Brits who had a China background, he provided the British party with a language and cultural expertise.Fulford served for a number of years in the British consulate in Newchwang. He became the consul there in 1899, and served in that position during the Boxer Uprising and the Russo-Japanese War, informing the British governments on the events as they developed.

He was appointed CMG in the 1900 Birthday Honours. In 1906, he was appointed the British Consul General in Mukden (now, Shenyang).

Later, he held a number of other consular posts throughout China. He served as a Consul General in Hankou (1911), acting Consul General in Shanghai (1913), and Consul General in Tianjin (1912–1917).In 1917, Fulford retired and returned to Australia. On 15 May 1929, his daughter found him shot dead, apparently in a suicide, in the bedroom of his Melbourne residence.

International Club for Psychical Research

The International Club for Psychical Research (ICPR) was a short-lived psychical organization that was formed in May 1911 by Annie Besant.

Jocelyn Playfair

Jocelyn Noel Christine Malan Playfair (21 August 1904 – May 1997) was a British novelist.

She was born in Lucknow, British India, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Malan. Both of her parents were of French Huguenot descent. The year she was born (1904), her father accompanied Francis Younghusband on the Younghusband Expedition to Tibet.

She married Ian Playfair in 1930, who was in the Royal Engineers and later was appointed the rank of Major-General. After the birth of their two sons, the couple returned to Britain in the late 1930s. She wrote ten books between 1939 and 1952.She died in Hounslow, London, in May 1997.

Joint Himalayan Committee

The Mount Everest Committee was a body formed by the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society to co-ordinate and finance the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition to Mount Everest and all subsequent British expeditions to climb the mountain until 1947. It was then renamed the Joint Himalayan Committee; this latter committee organised and financed the successful first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.

Khamber Jong

Khamber Jong, also called Gamba, Kampa, or Khampa Dzong, is a Tibetan hamlet north of Sikkim. In June 1903, Colonel Francis Younghusband, serving as British commissioner to Tibet, led a diplomatic mission consisting of five officers and five hundred troops through Nathu La to Khamber Jong. The objective of the mission was to meet Chinese and Tibetan representatives and discuss mutual non-aggression and trade agreements. After being kept waiting for five months before the Chinese and Tibetan representatives arrived, the mission was recalled.The abbot of Shigatse had been sent by the 9th Panchen Lama to meet the British diplomatic mission at Khampa Dzong.It was reported to be the capital of the district during the British Mount Everest Expedition 1922.Traditional Tibetan carpet making is thought to have originated in Khampa Dzong.


Murree (Punjabi, Urdu: مری‬‎, marī, meaning "apex") is a mountain resort town, located in the Galyat region of the Pir Panjal Range, within the Rawalpindi District of Punjab, Pakistan. It forms the outskirts of the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area, and is about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Islamabad. It has average altitude of 2,291 metres (7,516 ft).Murree was founded in 1851 as a sanatorium for British troops. The permanent town of Murree was constructed in 1853 and the church was sanctified shortly thereafter. One main road was established, commonly referred to even in modern times, as the mall. Murree was the summer headquarters of the colonial Punjab Government until 1876 when it was moved to Shimla.Murree became a popular tourist station for British within the British India, several prominent Englishmen were born here including Bruce Bairnsfather, Francis Younghusband and Reginald Dyer. During colonial era access to commercial establishments was restricted for non-Europeans including the Lawrence College. In 1901, the population of the town was officially 1,844, although if summer visitors had been included this could have been as high as 10,000.Since the Independence of Pakistan in 1947, Murree has retained its position as a popular hill station, noted for its pleasant summers. A large number of tourists visit the town from the Islamabad-Rawalpindi area. The town also serves as a transit point for tourist's visiting Azad Kashmir and Abbottabad. The town is noted for its Tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture. The Government of Pakistan owns a summer retreat in Murree, where foreign dignitaries including heads of state often visit.

Mustagh Pass

The Mustagh Pass or Muztagh Pass is a pass across the Baltoro Muztagh range in the Karakorams which includes K2, the world's second highest mountain. The crest of the Baltoro Muztagh marks the present border between Pakistani and Chinese territory.

According to Francis Younghusband, there are actually two passes, the eastern or 'Old' Mustagh Pass (alt. about 5,422 m.) and the so-called 'New' Mustagh Pass, about 16 km (9.9 mi) to the west (altitude variously given as 5,700 and 5,800 m.) The pass is on the watershed between the rivers which flow towards the Tarim Basin and those flowing to the Indian Ocean.

Patrick French

Patrick French (born 1966) is a British writer, historian and academician. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he studied English and American literature, and received a PhD in South Asian Studies. He was appointed as the inaugural Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Ahmedabad University in July 2017.

French is the author of several books including: Younghusband: the Last Great Imperial Adventurer (1994), a biography of Francis Younghusband; The World Is What It Is (2008), an authorised biography of Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States of America; and India: A Portrait (2011).

During the 1992 general election, French was a Green Party candidate for Parliament. He has sat on the executive committee of Free Tibet, a Tibet Support Group UK, and was a founding member of the inter-governmental India-UK Round Table.

Sarpo Laggo Glacier

The Sarpo Laggo Glacier (Sarpo Laggo: young husband) is a glacier in the autonomous region Xinjiang of China, in the Karakoram mountain range of the Himalayas. It lies north of the Baltoro Muztagh range. It could be reached from the Baltoro glacier on the Pakistani side of the Karakorams via the Old Muztagh Pass northeast of the Trango Towers. It is however easier to approach the glacier from the Chinese side, starting a long hike at Kashgar on the Karakoram Highway and finally passing K2's northern base camp.

The Glacier is named after Francis Younghusband, who was the first person to pass the Old Mustagh Pass and thus enter the Sarpo Laggo region. There is another glacier not far away, also named after him: Younghusband glacier (also known as Biango glacier) flows from Muztagh Tower towards the Baltoro Glacier.

Shaksgam River

The Shaksgam River (Chinese: 沙克斯干河; pinyin: Shakesigan He, Hindi: शक्सगाम नदी, Urdu: دریائے شکسگام‎) is a left tributary of the Yarkand River. The river is also known as the Kelechin River and Muztagh River. It rises in the Gasherbrum, Urdok, Staghar, Singhi and Kyagar Glaciers in the Karakoram. It then flows in a general northwestern direction parallel to the Karakoram ridge line in the Shaksgam Valley. The river valley was explored in 1889 by Francis Younghusband (who referred to the Shaksgam as the Oprang)., and again in 1926 by Kenneth Mason, who confirmed the sources of the river.The upper river valley is used by climbers approaching the north face of K2. The approach requires a crossing of the river, which is hazardous. Between its confluence with the Shimshal Braldu River and its confluence with the Oprang River the river forms the border between China and Pakistan administered Kashmir. The area is used as winter pastures by yak herdsmen from the village of Shimshal. Historically, the bed of the Yarkand river where Shaksgam joins it, was used for cultivation by farmers from the state of Hunza. The rulers of Hunza are said to have obtained these "territorial rights to Raskam" in the distant past.Administratively, the Chinese part of the valley is within the southernmost portions of Yarkand County (the source) and the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (lower course).

The average annual temperature in the region can fall below freezing.

Tibet Frontier Commission

The Tibet Frontier Commission headed the British expedition to Tibet in 1903–04. The Commission comprised seven diplomats and army officers, led by Colonel Francis Younghusband. Despatched on the orders of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, the Commission was intended to establish diplomatic relations with the government of Tibet and, in particular, to resolve the dispute over the border between Tibet and Sikkim. The Commission was escorted by a large military force led by Brigadier-General J. R. L. Macdonald. However, the expedition was met with hostility by a Tibetan government uninterested in negotiation, and conflicts erupted, in one instance resulting in the massacre of hundreds of poorly armed and poorly trained Tibetan soldiers, which were no match for a professional army equipped with Maxim machine guns.

Captain Herbert James Walton served as Medical Officer and Naturalist to the Commission, and was able to make a comprehensive study of the flora and fauna of the southern and central areas of Tibet during the expedition's slow progress to the capital, Lhasa.

Treaty of Lhasa

The Treaty of Lhasa, officially the Convention Between Great Britain and Tibet, was a treaty signed in 1904 between Tibet and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, then under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty. It was signed following the British expedition to Tibet of 1903-1904, a military expedition led by Colonel Francis Younghusband, and was followed by the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1906.


Younghusband may refer to:

Younghusband (band), an English alternative rock band, formed in 2007

Younghusband (band)

Younghusband are an English alternative rock band, formed in 2007 in Watford, Hertfordshire and now based in London. The band is composed of singer-songwriter Euan Hinshelwood, bassist Joe Chilton, guitarist Adam Beach and drummer Peter Baker.

The bandname is taken from the colonial adventurer Francis Younghusband, who was detailed in the autobiographical travel book Seven Years in Tibet written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. Hinshelwood claimed that "his name popped up in the first or second line, so I got excited and never got round to actually reading the book".

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