A class of solemn schoolchildren, c.1908, with, it is presumed, their missionary teacher, Mr Large, at the back of the room (El01-28). Both the foreign teacher and the children have their hair in the Manchu style. This hairstyle was imposed on the Han Chinese during the Qing dynasty and not abolished until the coming of the Republic in 1912. The hair on the front of the head was shaved off above the temples every ten days, and the rest of the hair braided into a long ponytail, or queue.
Albert W. Large had arrived in China in December 1903 with the China Inland Mission. This is presumably the Pao-Ning Boy’s School. There 54 pupils, according to his report in the August 1908 Chinese Recorder: ” (A.) The senior primary with twelve boys, (B.) the junior primary with twenty-four boys, and (C.) the preparatory school with eighteen boys.” By 1921 he and his fellow-missionary wife were based at Sintientze (新店子), near Paoning 保宁, in Sichuan province, a small mission station that had opened in 1892.