Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.
The moral rights of the author and editors have been asserted.
From boyhood I was always interested in India, intrigued by stories from Grandma Hinde and the “curios” that she had brought back after spending much time abroad as the wife of a serving soldier. Some of these “curios” later came into my hands but have unfortunately been lost over the years.
This record of my time in India during the years 1945 - 1947 was written with two objectives in mind. Primarily, for my own interest and the pleasure of recalling the people I met and worked with, the places I visited and the events of the last few years of British rule before India became independent. Secondly, to collect together and tidy up an assorted collection of letters, contemporary notes, Army orders and documents, photographs and cuttings from newspapers and magazines that I had accumulated (regrettably far too many in total to be able to include fully here).
I have tried to keep the use of Urdu words to a minimum although in some cases they are the ones that come to mind. I was never an Urdu scholar although I could generally make myself understood and there was always a tendency to use Urdu words in ordinary conversation with friends. The accompanying photos are of dubious quality. Film was very difficult to get and the only camera I had was a Kodak box-camera costing about 12/6 (72½p). (A superior model to the “standard” box-camera at 8/6 in that it had a “portrait” lens which allowed photos down to a distance of 3 feet). The film rolls gave 8 exposures but by masking off half the screen, I was able to get 16 pictures of half the normal size on the roll.
I have been surprised at the way that vivid memories of the time have been brought to life during this work, and on re-reading what I have written I have been reminded of other incidents that I have not recorded and could only be added by a complete re-write!
When I started to write, it was not my intention that it would be read by anyone but I later thought it might be of some interest as a story of the time.
Jack Adams, 1999