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Biplane near Shanghai, 1927.

Biplane near Shanghai, 1927.

EP01-013. ©2013 Adrienne Livesey, Elaine Ryder and Irene Brien

The first prints in the albums were not taken by Ephgrave, but date from 1927, and were given to him by British military pilots serving with the 10,000-strong Shanghai Defence Force, sent to head off a feared Chinese nationalist assault on the foreign-controlled (and British dominated) International Settlement. A biplane flies over the countryside outside the city. The print has been damaged by the glue used to fix it in the album, but the romance of flight, and of Shanghai re-imagined, still comes through, and surely impelled the then 11-year old to collect the images.‚Äč