A British blacksmith removing the leg irons off a slave, 1907.
This photograph shows a sailor removing the manacle from a newly freed slave. The picture is part of a small collection donated by Samuel Chidwick to the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. His father Able Seaman Joseph Chidwick, born in 1881, was serving aboard HMS Sphinx.
The Africans featured in the photos escaped in a canoe from a slave-trading village on the coast on hearing that the Royal Navy ship was in the area. In his report dated 15th October 1907, Commander Litchfield wrote that the ship received ‘six fugitives’ on a cruise off the Batineh Coast, Oman between 10th and 14th October. One of the fugitives had been manacled for three years and had escaped with his leg irons still on.
Samuel Chidwick said: