The Soldier's Return, 1861

Henry Nelson O'Neil

The Soldier's Return, 1861
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

The Soldier's Return, 1861.

Oil on board by Henry Nelson O'Neil (1817-1880), 1861.

A tired and injured veteran sits slumped beside a stile, while a woman and child bring him food. Presumably discharged from military service due to disability, the sergeant appears without means even to buy civilian clothes. He wears an assortment of regimental clothing, including a glengarry (forage cap) of the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot.

This painting was almost certainly intended as a continuation of O'Neil's famous pair of narrative paintings, showing troops leaving for and returning from the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859), 'Eastward Ho! August 1857' and 'Home Again'. In 'Home Again', the highlander is seen distressed by a 'Dear John' letter. He appears here having become a vagrant, reliant upon charity.

Image Details

Negative No.
Accession No.
NAM. 1995-06-18-1

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