Guy Mainwaring and Lord Charles Beresford

Guy Mainwaring and Lord Charles Beresford

Despite the theatrical nature of this portrait, the two men seen here are indeed sailors - at least, they are upper-class officers in the Royal Navy dressed up as able seamen and the photograph was possibly taken to commemorate an amateur dramatic production that took place on board during a tour of duty.

Inscriptions on the album page identify the sitters as Lord Charles Beresford and Guy Mainwaring, photographed in Hong Kong in 1869 while serving on HMS Galatea [the name of the vessel also appears on the striped jumper worn by one of the men].

In 1866 the screw frigate Galatea embarked on a world tour under the command of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son. According to a local report, when the ship reached Adelaide in February 1869 Lord Charles de la Poer Beresford was a Lieutenant and Guy Mainwaring was a Sub-Lieutenant.

Lord Charles de la Poer Beresford (1846-1919) later rose to the rank of Admiral and served as Member of Parliament, firstly for County Waterford and later for Marylebone East, the City of York, Woolwich and, lastly, for Portsmouth. He combined the two careers of the navy and a member of parliament, making a reputation as a hero in battle and champion of the navy in the House of Commons. He was a well-known and popular figure who courted publicity, widely known to the British public as ‘Charlie B’. He was created Baron Beresford in 1916.

Guy Mainwaring (1847-1909) attained the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. In 1889 he married Gertrude Henrietta Williams. The couple had three daughters. Captain Guy Mainwaring died in 1909 at Stafford House, Market Drayton in Shropshire.

Photographed by William Floyd of Hong Kong.


Code: 124570
© Paul Frecker 2023