Father Christmas arrives at the British Legation on a camel, Beijing, 1923

Father Christmas arrives at the British Legation on a camel, Beijing, 1923




University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: NA33-03. This hand-coloured photograph was taken in late December 1923 during a ‘Christmas Tree Party’ for some thirty children at the British Minister’s residence in the British Legation at Beijing and includes the photomontaged addition of a couple wearing fur coats, thought to be Sir Ronald and Lady Evelyn Macleay. They partly obscure the man holding the camel. Sir Ronald Macleay was the British Ambassador to China 1922-26. G. D. Gray, Medical Officer of the Legation, is Father Christmas. A cropped version of the image was eventually published in 'The Times' on 2 February 1924 and captioned: 'CHRISTMAS IN CHINA - Father Christmas arrives on a camel at the British Legation, Peking, for the party given by Lady Macleay, wife of the British Minister'. From an album in the National Archives (ref: CO 1069-429). Crown copyright image reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England. The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of the information provided. This image may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, UK. Telephone: 020 8392 5225. Fax: 020 8392 5266. Infringement of the above condition may result in legal action.




December 1923




Black and white photograph


The National Archives, London

Share this page