British Mission football team, the Marmots

British Mission football team, the Marmots

1998.131.384 (Print black & white)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

[view record]

Key Information




Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

October 20th 1936

Named Person

Sonam Tobden, Minghu, Frederick Spencer Chapman, Sidney Dagg, Dr Morgan, Evan Nepean


Lhasa Area >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

129 x 174

The British Mission football team. Back row from left to right: Sonham, (unknown), Minghu. Middle row from left to right: Chapman, Dagg, Morgan, Nepean. Bottom row unknown.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.8.27 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'C-8-27' has been written on the back of the print in pencil, as has the number '8' in the top right hand corner [MS 22/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Football teams - ours'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 3: ‘23/1 - The Lhasa Mission football team. Back row Sonham, Minghu, middle F. Spencer Chapman, Dagg, Morgan, Nepean’ [MS 22/03/2006]

Exhibition - This image appeared in the 2003 Temporary Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers "Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947"

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.), 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947', Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003, p. 58.

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.8' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Potala and Lhasa, officials coming through Pargo Kaling, the Turquoise Bridge, Tsarong, Trimon, views from and of Sera, a woman washing clothes, a shepherd with a sling and football teams. They seem to have been taken October 13th - 20th 1936 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: "Today we were challenged to a game of 'Soccer' by Lhasa United, a team picked from Tibetan, Ladaki (Mohammedan) and Nepalese sides. // They turned out in garish Harlequin-coloured shirts. After a good, clean, hard game the Mission Marmots (as we call ourselves) won by scoring the only goal of the day. The goal was so small that the only hope of scoring was to go through oneself with the ball. Playing at 11,800 feet is not as much of an ordeal as one would imagine, and we appeared to be no more breathless than our opponents. // We now practice nearly every day and are thinking of picking up a number of seven-a-side teams to keep ourselves in training" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', part VIII p. 2, written by Chapman] [MS 22/03/2006]

Other Information - Historical Background: “The Mission Marmots” was the name given to the 1936 British Mission football team. The Mission established this team to play against various local groups (including “Lhasa United”) on a pitch behind the Norbhu Lingka. No goal was ever conceded by the British perhaps because they wore army field boots – prompting a request from the Ladakhis that the British should refrain from “wearing those fearful boots”. The football season came to an abrupt end when someone stole the goal posts to use for firewood and sandstorms became frequent. Team members Back row from left to right: Sonam, ?, Minghu. Middle row from left to right: Spencer Chapman, Dagg, Morgan, Nepean. Bottom row unidentified Tibetans. The lack of names for some of the Tibetan players in this photograph may be explained by the fact that only Norbhu (the Mission translator) was able to tell who was who amongst the Tibetan servants to the Mission. [CH 2003]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "British Mission football team, the Marmots" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum