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Kimberley John Lindsay

Who can decipher the Political Agent's writing?

22 posts in this topic

Dear fellow Great War Forum members,

Capt Durand (later a Baronet) had a good Great War; mainly as a Staff Captain in Mesopotamia. Towards the end of the War, he was appointed as an Assistant Political Agent in Rajputana. The report is interesting, but could someone please fill in the gaps that I have been unable to translate, as it were.Folio 6 Report 3-2-1919.JPG

‘Captain Durand was my Assistant and also “Companion” to the Minor Maharajah. In the first capacity his work was mostly routine but in dealing with more important cases on the few occasions when they arose he showed shrewdness and judgement.

As Companion he and Mrs Durand – a very popular and charming lady – went with the Minor Maharajah and Maji (?) (Maharani) Samba (?) to Kaxwzxyz (?) for 3 months and so, from what I can gather managed the xyz (?) with complete success.

On his return he was indefatigable in getting the Minor Maharajah (?) to play polo and other manly games – and though(?) the xyzxyz was opposed to remaining a “Companion” after the investiture I do not think it was due to any personal dislike of Captain Durand.

He is a keen sportsman and a fine shot with perhaps a touch of the “Garcon” (?) to the casual acquiaintance. But on closer association his kindness of manner (?) and genuinely hospitable xyzxyz (?) make him, in companion with his charming wife an acquisition in xyzxyz (?).’

 

‘Bharatpur, 3 February 1919    

                    

A. D. Macpherson (?) P.G.   E.R.S. (?)’

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kashmiri? Kashmir? For 3 months; so far as I can gather managed the tour?;acquisition in our nation

Hospitable official perhaps?

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Dear Alison,

Super! Many thanks for "having a go".

Yes, Kashmir would make sense. Tour would also seem right.

However, I am not sure about 'make him, etc.'

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Is it 'his kindness offered' can you post another copy with the words cut off on the fold showing if possible please

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Maji sahiba, genuinely hospitable SPIRIT

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ID: 6   Posted (edited)

I wonder if the Minor Maharaja might actually be Mysore?

 

Also, Garcon might be Gascon, implying a rather dashing and impetuous type. D'Artagnon was a Gascon.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Clifton

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Maji sahiba, genuinely hospitable SPIRIT and gascon is French for bragging/boastful I think

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Dear Alison and Ron,

Thanks for all your helpful input (for want of a better word!). I will weave your erudite suggestions into my on-going manuscript.

No, I am not able to supply a fold-less scan: I have this from my Friend-at-Court researcher (I am ensconced in south-west Germany).

By the way, I attach pictures of the cast of characters: the Durands - she was an Australian (like myself) - had a messy separation. There were no children, and the title of Baronet went to his brother (MC, RA in the Great War). I now have the Sir Edward Durand medals.

The Maharajah died quite 1913 wedding Edward Durand - Vera Lucas-Tooth.jpgDurand 1921.jpg220px-Maharaja_Kisan_Singh.jpgDurand medal group MiD not confirmed.jpgyoung, but old enough to leave several children...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

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Kindness of heart

Great pics and medals to have

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Dear Alison,

Your Maji sahiba was brilliant.

Here is a twist of a postscript...

Kindest regards,

Kim.image001 (1).jpgimage002.jpgimage003.jpgimage004.jpg

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The reading of him as having "a touch of a Gascon" is looking a lot stronger! :lol:

 

Ron

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

Dear Ron, dear Alison,Folio 3 Report 20-4-1919.JPG

Yes, indeed. 

Here is another Report, written two months later by a VC (Agent to the Governor-General and Chief Commissioner of Ajmer-Merwara: The Hon'ble Lt-Col J. Manners Smith, VC, CVO, CIE, who had been en Poste since 4 Jan 1918): also in a scrawl! Here again, perhaps the one or the other word could be "translated"?

‘In March 1918 Captain Durand was appointed to act as Assistant Political Agent in the Eastern Rajputana States and Companion to His Highness the Maharajah of Bhurtpore and was to serve (?) until December 1918. His work was favourably reported on by the Political Agent.

He was here attached to the Rajputana Agency office as Special Assistant and became secretary of the India Soldiers Board for Ajmer-Merwara.

As special Assistant during the (illegible), Captain Durand proved himself capable and efficient in dispensing (?) of work. He was also given the work of arranging a Durbar in Ajmer for the distribution of Titles (illegible) Gifts and Rewards for services rendered in the War and carried out the arrangements with much success.

He gets on well with Indians and would do well as a Political Officer.

Mount Abu, 20 April 1919

(signed) J. Manners Smith, Lt-Col.’

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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Fascinating stuff ok will see what I can do!

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Was to 'stay' till Dec

 He was 'here' I think is 'then' attached to

as special assistant during this timing? Or perhaps during the touring as 

efficient in disposing of waste. He was also 

efficient in dispensing of water

Sorry not much help on that one

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Dear Alison,

Thanks for taking the good old College try: much appreciated!

Interestingly, when referring to one of my Indian Political books by the late Sir Basil Gould, CMG, CIE ("The Jewel in the Lotus", Chatto and Windus, 1957), I was surprised to see that Basil and Edward had rehearsed the Durbar 1911 as stand-ins for the King and Queen!Durbar 11 Sir Basil Gould Jewel in the Lotus.jpgSir Basil Gould.jpg

Furthermore, I found a photo of Gould, wearing a medal group coincidentally very similar to that of Durand: both having taken part in the Great War...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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that would have been a sight worth seeing!

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re first post

Where is this from?

 

How about:

Kashmir

Managed the town

Through the latter

Hospitable spirit

Acquisition in our platoon

?

Anything missing except the ones in the binding?

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ID: 18   Posted (edited)

Dear Stuart,

The first post was a Confidential Report by the Resident (or his representative) on the progress of Indian Army officer and temporary Political, Capt. E. P. M. Durand (the elder son of a Baronet), about the latter's performance. This was generally judged to be satisfactory...

Obviously, being trusted with the behaviour of a future Maharaja was a big responsibilty - although such officers tended to take that sort of thing in their stride.

Thanks for your contributions and "having a go" at deciphering especially the last word. I suspect it referred to a larger organisation, such as the Foreign and Political Department.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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On 3/21/2017 at 09:16, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

and efficient in dispensing (?) of work

... and efficient in disposing of work, I think. Basically he didn't let stuff build up in his in-tray!

 

Ron

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Dear Ron,

Good work! That is certainly right. Thanks for that.

The final word still puzzles me, somewhat...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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If it isn't platoon, is it station?

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Dear Stuart,

Good work! 'Station' is the word. Super!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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