|Dec 1903 – Sept 1904|
|Chronological list of Wars and Campaigns|
|British Field Force||Tibetan Armed Forces|
|Result: Anglo-Tibetan Agreement of 1904|
|Medals: Tibet Medal|
|Category: Tibet Expedition|
|See our interactive map of|
Tibet Expedition 1903-04
locations and routes on Google Maps
The Expedition to Tibet in 1903-04, also known as the Anglo-Tibet War.
At the beginning of the 20th century Britain and Russia were competing for influence in Central Asia. To counter the perceived threat, the British sent an expedition under Francis Younghusband to negotiate with the Tibetans. The first excursion with Claude White, the Political Officer for Sikkim, to Khamba Jong was rebuffed and a field force was dispatched through the Jelep Pass. The Tibetans were defeated at two major battles and the expedition reached Lhasa in August 1904. The Dalai Lama had fled but Younghusband forced a one-sided treaty on the regent which gave Britain trading rights in Tibet. This was later repudiated by the Tibetans.
- 200 32nd Pioneers
- 300 followers
- Six Coys 8th Gurkhas Lt-Col Kerr
- Eight Coys 23rd Pioneers Lt-Col Hogge
- Half Coy 2nd Sappers Maj Haycock
- Maxim gun detachment of Norfolk Regiment Lt Hadow
- Two 7-pounder guns of 8th Gurkhas Capt Leeke
- Two 10 pounder guns of No 7 Mountain Battery Royal Garrison Artillery Maj Fuller
- Field Hospital
- Engineer Field Park
- Ammunition Column
- Telegraph, postal and survey detachments
- One Wing Royal Fusiliers Col Cooper DSO
- 40th Pathans Lt-Col Campbell DSO
- 19th Punjabis Maj Herbert
- Three Coys Mounted Infantry Capts Otterley & Peterson, Maj Rowlandson
- Maxim gun detachment of Royal Irish Rifles Lt Bowen Colthurst
- Two 7-pounder RML guns of No 30 Mountain Battery Lt Marindin
- Two 10-pounder RML guns of No 27 Mountain Battery Lt Field
- 10,000 transport drivers
- 8,000 supply and transport coolies
- 10,500 mules and ponies
- 400 donkeys
- 9,225 bullocks and yaks
|19 June 1903||Mission left Darjeeling|
|21 June||Reached Gangtok|
|26 June||Arrived at Tangu|
|4 July||Claude White (Sikkim Political Officer) left Tangu|
|5 July||Mr White reached Diagong|
|7 July||Mr White reached Khamba Dzong|
|18 July||Younghusband reached Khamba Dzong|
|11 October||Younghusband left Khamba Dzong for Simla|
Mission to Lhasa
|5 December 1903||Mission left Darjeeling|
|12 December||Crossed the border at Jelep Jelep La 4267m|
|14 December||Arrived at Yadong|
|20 December||Reached Pagri|
|7 January 1904||Crossed the Tang La 4,521 m|
|8 January||Made camp at Tuna|
|31 March||Battle at Guru|
|9 April||Action at Tsamdang Gorge|
|11 April||Reached Gyantse|
|5 May||Tibetan attack at Gyantse|
|7 May||Battle of Karo La|
|26 May||Battle of Palla|
|6 June||Action at Kangma|
|6 July||Gyantse Dzong stormed|
|14 July||Mission left Gyantse for Lhasa|
|19 July||Reached Nagartse|
|24 July||Crossed the Kampa La 4,794 m|
|31 July||Crossed the Bramaputra at Chaksam Ferry|
|4 August||Reached Lhasa|
- British Expedition to Tibet Wikipedia
- The Younghusband Expedition tibettalk.wordpress.com, archived.
- Francis Younghusband Wikipedia
- Images of Empire - amazing pictures show the entry of British forces into Tibet in 1904 September 18, 2013 www.express.co.uk
- "Officers, Gentlemen and Thieves: The Looting of Monasteries during the 1903/4 Younghusband Mission to Tibet" by Michael Carrington Modern Asian Studies 37, 1 (2003), pp. 81–109, archived.
- "Survey work in Tibet" Captain Charles Ryder of the Survey of India was in charge of survey work on the Younghusband expedition He later became the Surveyor-General of India. Ryder Archives.
Historical books online
- List of Officers on the Lhasa Mission who actually reached Lhasa. by Perceval Landon. Archive.org, see below. Some of the medical personnel are not on this list.
- Chronology of the Expedition by L Austine Waddell Archive.org, see below.
- "With the Thibet Mission Force" by Major A. R. Aldridge J R Army Med Corps 1904;3:3 272-273
- "With the Tibet Mission Force" by Major A. R. Aldridge J R Army Med Corps 1905;4:2 235-240
- "With the Sikkim Tibet Mission Force" by Captain C. W. Mainprise J R Army Med Corps 1904;3:5 535-538
- Captain Mainprise also wrote many letters which have been transcribed online as Field Force To Lhasa 1903-04. 50 Letters from Captain Cecil Mainprise.
- "Reprint: The Tibet Mission Force, 1903-1904" J R Army Med Corps 1906;6:1 67-90. It is not stated what this article is reprinted from, but it appears to an official report for government
- "Across the North East Frontier" by Colonel HC Wylly , page 642 The United Service Magazine Volume 29 New Series April 1904 to September 1904 Archive.org
- Lhasa and Its Mysteries: A Record of the Expedition of 1903-1904 by L Austine Waddell Lieut.-Colonel, Indian Medical Service. 1905, original edition. With illustrations Archive.org, Public Library of India Collection. 2nd edition 1905. With illustrations (rotatable) Hathi Trust Digital Library. 3rd and Cheaper edition 1906 With a lesser number of illustrations. Archive.org. The author, who took part in the expedition and was mentioned in despatches, was also a Tibetan scholar and explorer. Laurence Waddell Wikipedia.
- Lhasa: An Account of the Country and People of Central Tibet and of the Progress of the Mission sent there by the English Government in the year 1903-04 by Perceval Landon 1905 Archive.org. Volume 1, Volume 2. The author was special correspondent of The Times on the expedition. USA edition title: The Opening of Tibet Archive.org. A one volume edition which appears to have less photographs, but which may possibly include a different selection of images.
- The Unveiling of Lhasa by Edmund Candler 1905. Archive.org. The author was the Daily Mail correspondent accompanying the expeditionary force.
- To Lhassa at Last by Powell Millington (pseud. i.e. Captain Mark Synge, later Lt-Col, Supply and Transport Corps) 1905 Archive.org
- Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India: Volume 4 North and North-Eastern Frontier tribes by Intelligence Branch Army Headquarters India 1907 Archive.org. Includes Tibet.
- With Mounted Infantry In Tibet by Brevet Major W J Ottley, 34th Sikh Pioneers 1906 Archive.org.
- 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 by Sir Francis Younghusband KCIE. Published by John Murray 1910. Archive.org.
- "Tibet", page 115, The History of the Indian Mountain Artillery by Brigadier-General C A L Graham 1957 Archive.org.
- Sikhim And Bhutan, Twenty-one Years On The North-east Frontier 1887-1908 by J Claude White. Archive.org 1909 edition.
- "Reminiscences of Tibet". Online report by Frederick Campbell who accompanied the Younghusband Expedition to Lhasa, Tibet, 1904. The Serving Soldier King’s College London Collections.
- "The Gartok Expedition 1904-1905", page 159 The Great Plateau being an account of exploration in Central Tibet, 1903, and of the Gartok expedition, 1904-1905 by Captain C. G. Rawling 1905 Archive.org. The terms of the Treaty provided that a trade mart be opened at Gartok and the expedition took place to survey the area and select a suitable location.
- “The British Expedition to Thibet 1903-4” page 306 British documents on the origins of the war, 1898-1914, Volume IV: The Anglo-Russian Rapprochment, 1903-7 edited by G P Gooch and Harold Temperley 1929. Archive.org
- Bayonets to Lhasa: the first full account of the British invasion of Tibet in 1904 by Peter Fleming 1961. Archive.org Lending Library. Another file, Archive.org, mirror from the collection of the Archaeological Survey of India at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
- "Chapter 10. Lhasa – At Last" page 159 Trespassers on the Roof of the World : the Secret Exploration of Tibet by Peter Hopkirk 1995. Archive.org Lending Library. Peter Hopkirk was with The Times of London for nineteen years, as chief reporter and Middle and Far East specialist.
- "A North-East Frontier Cemetery" by W J Buchanan page 6, Bengal, Past and Present Vol 9 July-Dec 1914. Gnatong on the trade route from Sikkhim to Tibet. Archive.org, mirror from ASI/IGNCA
- Field Force To Lhasa 1903-04. 50 Letters from Captain Cecil Mainprise. intotibet1903-04.blogspot.com.