Francis Younghusband bigraphy, stories - British army explorer

Francis Younghusband : biography

31 May 1863 - 31 July 1942

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, KCSI, KCIE (31 May 1863 – 31 July 1942 in DorsetAnon. 1942 Obituary: Sir Francis Edward Younghusband. Geographical Review 32(4):681) was a British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer. He is remembered chiefly for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia; especially the 1904 British expedition to Tibet, which he led, during which a massacre of Tibetans occurred,French, p. 222 - 227. and for his writings on Asia and foreign policy. Younghusband held positions including British commissioner to Tibet and President of the Royal Geographical Society.

Military career

In 1886-1887, on leave from his regiment, Younghusband made on an expedition across Asia. 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, Younghusband explored Manchuria, visiting the frontier areas of Chinese settlement in the region and the Changbai Mountains. Younghusband 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 [nonexsitent] snow-capped peaks 10,000-12,000 ft tall in the area)), while Fulford was providing the travelers with a language and cultural expertise.)

Parting with his British companions, Younghusband then crossed the Gobi Desert to the Chinese Turkestan, and pioneered a route from Kashgar to India through the uncharted Mustagh Pass.Younghusband, Francis E. (1896). , pp. 58-290. John Murray, London. Facsimile reprint: (2005) Elbiron Classics. For this achievement he was elected the youngest member of the Royal Geographical Society and received the society's gold medal.

"From Peking To Yarkand and Kashmir via the Mustagh Pass" In 1889, the year he made Captain, Younghusband 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.The Heart of a Continent, pp. 186ff 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.The Heart of a Continent, pp. 234ff 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.

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.Dictionary of National Biography Sir George Macartney In 1891 he returned to India through the Pamirs. At Bozai Gumbaz in the Little Pamir he encountered Russian soldiers, who forced him to leave the area. This was one of the incidents which provoked the Hunza-Nagar Campaign.

During his service in Kashmir, he wrote a book called 'Kashmir' at the request of Edward Molyneux. Younghusband's descriptions went hand in hand with his paintings of the Valley by Molyneux. In the book, Younghusband declared his immense admiration of the natural beauty of Kashmir and its history.

In 1890, Younghusband transferred to the Indian Political Service. He served as a political officer on secondment from the British Army.

The Great Game, between Britain and Russia, continued beyond the start of the 20th century. Younghusband, among other explorers such as Sven Hedin, Nikolai Przhevalsky, Chokan Valikhanov and Sir Aurel Stein, participated in earnest. Rumors of Russian expansion into the Hindu Kush and a Russian presence in Tibet prompted the Viceroy of India Lord Curzon to appoint Younghusband, by then a Major, to serve as British commissioner to Tibet from 1902-1904.

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