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The Deserter Taken

Photo credit: National Army Museum

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Army life in the early nineteenth century could be harsh – but the punishment for trying to escape could be harsher. Flogging, branding or even hanging, might await captured deserters, most of whom were new recruits unused to the discipline, or men about to be sent abroad without their families. Kidd has constructed the scene in a way that is sympathetic to the deserter. The fainting woman and the smashed crockery indicate a harmonious domestic life that has been destroyed by the violent intrusion of soldiers.

National Army Museum





oil on canvas


H 51 x W 61.2 cm

Accession number

NAM. 1964-01-4

Acquisition method

gift from Sir Alec and Lady Martin, 1964

Work type



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National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, Greater London SW3 4HT England

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