top of page

London Diaries

Title: Diaries of the British officers of the Indian Army in charge of the King's Indian Orderly Officers

Collection Area: India Office Records and Private Papers

Reference: IOR/L/MIL/5/713

Pages: 166 - 183



Major W. G. Strover 50th Kumaon Rifles

Officer in charge


April 12th

Major W. G. Strover placed on duty. Inspected 49 St George’s Road and made all arrangements for meeting Indian Officers with Mr. Kensdale.


April 14th

Went to Tilbury with Mr. Kendsdale to meet O.Os. Arrived 10:15 and found party had landed in charge of Capt Wesson 96th [illegible]. Arrangements had been made with Grindlays to clear all baggage which saved a deal of trouble.

Party was as attached.

Proceeded to Liverpool Street by Pr.O. Special arriving about noon. Arrangements made with Tilling & Co to provide one motor charabanc and one motor van. All luggage was collected by about 12:30 and the whole party with self and Mr. Kensdale left for 49 St George’s Road driving via St. Paul’s, Strand, Whitehall, through St. James Park and Victoria. O.Os were impressed with Buckingham Palace and various sights pointed out to them on the route.

On arrival a reporter from the Central Press agency asked permission to take a photograph of the O.Os which I allowed him to do.

At about 5 PM Mr. Kensdale took the O.Os out for a walk to Battersea Park.


April 15th

Spent morning being fitted by Bartells. In the Afternoon went for a walk on Chelsea Embankment with Mr. Kensdale. 


April 16th

Lt. Joseph went to mass at Roman Catholic Cathedral. In the afternoon O.Os went for walk as far as Westminster


April 17th

Visited O.Os in the morning. In the afternoon took O.Os for a walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens showing them the Albert Memorial which interested them. Returned home from South Kensington Station to Victoria by underground.


April 18th

I spent the morning with Colonel Bannerman at the India Office. A cable was dispatched to India asking what correct full dress was for an Honorary Lieutenant. In the afternoon Col Bannerman came to 49 St George’s Road and saw the Indian Officers and their orderlies also looked over the House. Afterwards I took the four O.Os to the Army & Navy Stores where they were fitted with black boots. They made one or two purchases and walked back via the Embankment.


April 19th

Called on Col Bannerman at Buckingham Palace but he was away. Afternoon spent fitting uniforms which took nearly 3 hours.


April 20th

In the morning Col Thornhill I.M.S. inspected the O.Os and their Batmen. In the afternoon, I took the O.Os by bus and tube to Roehampton where they watched tennis and a golf competition. They thoroughly enjoyed wandering about the grounds. Met Col Bannerman who returned with us by bus.


April 21st

O.Os went for walk in the morning. In the afternoon I took O.Os to Madame Tussauds which interested them a lot. Several of the figures they recognized. They particularly asked to see the murderers. Returned by underground.


April 22nd

In the morning I went to the India Office where Col. Bannerman told me that it had been decided that the Hon Lieutenants should wear the same full dress as a Lieutenant. In the afternoon I took the O.Os by underground to the Natural history Museum. They were interested in the various animals and want to go again.


April 23rd

The O.Os went in the morning to call on Dr. Major near Leicester Square. They asked my permission first. In the afternoon they went for a walk.


April 24th

In the afternoon I took the O.Os to Maskelyne and Devants. They thoroughly enjoyed the whole show. I think this is one of the best shows to take them to.


April 25th

In the morning I went to the India Office. The afternoon was taken up with Bartels fitting the Indian Officers mufti.


April 26th

In the morning O.Os went for a walk. Afternoon final fitting of O.Os tunics by Bartels.


April 27th

I went to India Office and met Gen Cobbe. Arrangements made for presentation of O.Os to Secy of State for India. In the afternoon Maj [illegible] called and took Lieut Joseph off to tea. I took remaining 3 O.Os to Kew Gardens which they seemed to enjoy especially the houses with Indian plants in.


April 28th

O.Os went for a walk with Mr. Kensdale. In the afternoon I took them to the Zoo. The keepers took us behind in several of the houses and the O.Os were very interested. In the evening Bartels fitted the mufti.


April 29th

I took O.Os in Hyde Park in the morning. In the afternoon they went out shopping.


April 30th

Lt Joseph went to church. I took other O.Os into Hyde Park where they were very interested in seeing all the people.


May 1st

I took the O.Os to the Botanical Gardens in the morning and we were shown round by one of the fellows. In the afternoon they went shopping with Mr. Kensdale.


May 2nd

I took O.Os to India office to be presented to the Secretary of State for India and to the Military Secretary. The O.Os were in full dress, 4 wore kharke. Tillings provided two open [illegible]. On our return Bartels came in to see the tunics as there were one or two minor alterations.


May 3rd

In the morning I went to India Office where I received instructions about the presentation of the O.Os to the King. In the afternoon I was going to take O.Os to U.S. Museum but it turned out wet. In the evening, I took O.Os to Boy’s Brigade Annual Demonstration at the Albert Hall. Invitations were [sic] had been sent to us to go on the Platform. Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson was in the chair. He and several of the Generals present asked to be introduced to the O.Os and conversed with them. The O.Os thoroughly enjoyed the show.


May 4th

In the morning I came to St Georges Rd to do some office work. In the afternoon I took O.Os to the United Service Museum in Whitehall. Col Sir Charles Leetham very kindly showed us all round the museum in which the O.Os were very interested. He asked us to come again as we were not able to see everything and the O.Os are keen on going again.


May 5th

In the morning I fixed up with the manager of the Coliseum to take the Indian Officers there in the afternoon. He very kindly placed the Royal Box at our disposal and came in to see us during the performance. Also he sent in cigars and tea. The O.Os thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I think turn they liked best was the acrobats.


May 6th

The O.Os were presented to His Majesty at Buckingham Palace. His Majesty was in the room when we entered. I led and filed round in front of the King then we all turned to the left and saluted. Col Bannerman, political AdC [Aide-de-Camp] presented me to his Majesty who shook hands with me. (I had previously taken off my right hand glove) Col Bannerman then introduced the O.Os who as their names were called out took a pace forward, saluted, then placed his sword horizontally across his body and drew it a few inches. His Majesty having touched the hilt they returned their swords, came to the order and saluted, then stepped back one pace. His Majesty then asked me several questions about the officers. We then saluted and withdrew. Afterwards Col Wigram met the Indian officers. Before leaving the Palace we wrote our names in the Buckingham Palace book. We then drove to Marlborough house and wrote our names in Queen Alexandra’s book.


May 7th

Mr. Kensdale took O.Os and batmen to Kew Gardens.


May 8th

I took O.Os round the Inner Temple and Middle Temple. Having made arrangements with one of the Benchers, we were shown round the benchers quarters. We afterwards went to the Law Courts and listened to a case being tried by the Lord Chief Justice. Also a second case in the Admiralty Court. The O.Os were quite interested.

In the afternoon I made arrangements for the whole party to visit Hatfield House.


May 9th

I went to the India Office in the morning. At 1:30 I took the whole party by motor charabanc to Hatfield. On our arrival there Lord Salisbury had kindly arranged for his housekeeper to show myself and the O.Os all over the House. Mr. Kensdale and the Batmen went round the grounds and saw some of the House. Afterwards we all went over the home farm where they were very interested in the cattle.


May 10th

Inspected O.Os kharke in the morning and found that was not suitable for home wear. In the afternoon I went to the India Office and got sanction from the political A.D.C. and Gen. Cobbe to refill the O.Os with kharke as necessary.


May 11th

Capt. Stanley 128th Pioneers kindly took the O.Os to the Crystal Palace. They saw the Imperial War Museum which interested them a lot. Capt. Mathias of the same regiment also accompanied them. Mr. Kensdale took the batmen to Madame Tussauds in the afternoon.


May 12th

In the morning I took O.Os to call on Mess of the King's Gentlemen at Arms at St. James’ Palace. In the afternoon I took O.Os to the Scala Theatre to see the French Revolution picture “The Orphans of the Storm.” They followed this well and were very interested.


May 13th

I took O.Os to Brooklands to see the motor racing. We met Col. Hancock there who joined up with our party.


May 14th

O.Os went to British Museum. Were very interested in the Egyptian exhibits.


May 15th

I went to see Col. Wigram at Buckingham Palace in the morning with regard to Ceremonial. Then went on to the India Office where I was able to fix up for the O.Os to see the House of Parliament. In the afternoon I took O.Os to Olympia where we watched some teams practicing for the tournament. Came back by bus and went for a walk in the Park.


May 16th

O.Os went for walk in the morning. In the afternoon I took them to a debate at the House of Lords. Tickets were obtained through Lord Stamford and we were accommodated in the distinguished Strangers gallery. The O.Os were impressed but found the debate hard to follow.


May 17th

I went to the India Office. In the afternoon Bartels came to fit O.Os with new Kharke tunics as the ones they brought from India with the exception of one proved unsuitable.


May 18th

I took O.Os to the Naval & Military Tournament. His Majesty opened the tournament and the O.Os and self were in full dress. We were given seats just to the right of the Royal Box.


May 19th

Maj Helmsley R.E. took Lieut Joseph and Sub Major Nanjappa to a Kinema [cinema]. Mr. Kensdale took remainder of party to the Indian museum.


May 20th

Lieut Khrishna Bobsle [sic] went to tea with Col Creagh. I took remainder to watch polo at Roehampton.


May 21st

Took O.Os to Zoo. It being Sunday I met several people there and was able to introduce the O.Os. We had tea together and I think they appreciated being introduced to various people.


May 22nd

Took whole party to the Hippodrome where the management kindly gave us seats.


May 23rd

Went to India Office in the morning. In the afternoon took O.Os to the House of Commons. We were met on arrival by Lord Ednam and shortly afterwards Lord Winterton came to us and I introduced the O.Os. We were given seats in the Distinguished Strangers gallery and listened to the questions and also part of the debate on the Naval Estimates. At about 4:30 Lord Winterton took us to tea on the terrace where we were joined by Col Sir Charles Yate and one or two other members. Lord Winterton also showed us round the House and took us down to the crypt. The O.Os were very impressed and pleased by the way they had been treated.


May 24th

Took whole party to see the weekly drill of the London Fire Bde [Brigade] at their Hd. Qrs [Head Quarters] at Southwark Bridge. The Chief Officer Mr. Dyer met us and was very kind in having the O.Os shown round.


May 25th

Took O.Os to the Chelsea Flower Show. They were amazed at the beauty of the various exhibits. Bartels brought kharke uniform at 6 pm.


May 26th

Took Lieut Joseph to Medical Board at India Office. In afternoon took O.Os to Royal Society of Arts Lecture on India for which we had been sent invitations. The lecture was a bit over the heads of the O.Os.


May 27th

Capt Walsh and Mr. Kensdale took whole party to Guildford to see the cattle show. Lord Winterton happened to meet the party there and very kindly obtained seats for them in the [illegible] Stand. They enjoyed the show thoroughly.


May 28th

Lieut Joseph went to church. Remaining O.Os went for a walk.


May 29th

Took O.Os to the Levee at St. James’ Palace. 2 carriages were ordered from Tilling’s for 10:30 am. We went to the Private entree door with Col Bannerman. We were drawn up in two ranks on the left of the throne Guard of the Gentlemen at Arms. The O.Os were very impressed with all they saw.


May 30th

Saw Col Thornehill about Sub Maj Vishram Rao in the morning. In the afternoon paid out the O.Os and settled up month's accounts.


May 31st

Derby Day. Started in one of Tillings Charabancs for Epsom from St George’s Road at 8:30 am. Arrived on the course at about 10:45. Found that our place although clearly marked as reserved for H.M.s Indian Orderly Officers had been taken by a bookmaker but was able to get him moved. The O.Os were very impressed with the vast crowds but felt the heat a lot. Left directly after last race and arrived back about 6:45 pm.


June 1st

Took O.Os to Rehearsal Parade of the Trooping of the Colour. Lt. Joseph rode in the procession with me. The other O.Os were near the saluting base. After the parade I took O.Os to Clarence House and presented them to H.R.H the Duke of Connaught. Unfortunately Sub Maj Vishram Rao Chowan was unable to attend through sickness. The lifeguards provided horses for Lt. Joseph and myself.


June 2nd

In the morning I took Sub Maj Vishram Rao to a medical board at the I [India] office and afterwards to Millbank hospital to arrange for treatment for his rheumatism. In the afternoon took whole party to the Royal Tournament where we had been given complimentary tickets.


June 3rd

The O.Os with exception of S.M. Vishram Rao attend the parade of trooping the colour. Lt. Joseph and I rode in the procession. The remaining O.Os and batmen being at the saluting base. They were all very much impressed with the fine drill. In the afternoon Lt Khrishna Bohsle [sic] went out with Capt Mathies of his regiment.


June 4th

Sunday. Lieut Joseph went to church. In the afternoon O.Os went to the London Museum.


June 5th

Whole party taken to see the Cart Horse parade in Regents Park. In the afternoon took O.Os to Lords Cricket Ground. Middlesex & Sussex were playing and they seemed very interested. I was able to fix up seats for them in the members stand.


June 6th

In the morning I went to Buckingham Palace to ask about programme of duty, then on to the India Office. In the afternoon I took O.Os to Roehampton to watch the polo.


June 7th

Saw Indian officers in the morning and rang up the Duke of York’s theatre as there was a play called the Goddess by the Indian players on that afternoon. The management very kindly gave us a box. I took the O.Os there in the afternoon and I think they quite enjoyed it.


June 8th

In the morning I took Lt Joseph to Col Elliot (oculist) to have his eyes tested. In the afternoon I went to Buckingham Palace with Col Bannerman to get final instructions about the court in the evening. In the evening we left in two motors at 8pm arriving at the private entre just before 8:30. The O.Os and self were posted on the left of the Throne guard. After the court Sir Derek Keppel asked me to take the O.Os up and give them some supper. They were introduced by Col Bannerman to Agha Khan and to the Duke of Athol. They thoroughly enjoyed the evening.


June 9th

Wet day. O.Os were rather tired after the Court and did not want to go out. I cam round to St. George’s Road in the afternoon and gave them their advance of messing.


June 10th

Took O.Os to the Richmond Horse Show which I think they enjoyed. Hired one car from Tillings. Several officers spoke to them.


June 11th

Capt Stanley took Lt. Krishna Bhosle to Richmond. Remainder of party including batmen went to the British Museum.


June 12th

Took O.Os to Lords Cricket Ground to see match between Middlesex and Somerset. They say they like watching the cricket.


June 13th

Took O.Os, in mufti, by train to Ascot. Day was wet and had great difficulty in getting them any seats.


June 14th

Capt. Walsh took O.Os to Marble Arch Cinema. Lieut. Joseph went with Maj. Agnew to see silver statuette at Goldsmith and Silver Smith’s Co.


June 15th

Took O.Os, in full dress, to Ascot by train. Hired car from Tillings to take us to the station and bring us back. I consider this is a better way of going than to hire a car for the whole journey. Same difficulty was experienced in getting seats for O.Os.


June 16th

O.Os went for a walk.


June 17th

Settled up messing advances in the morning. In the afternoon, I took O.Os to the Alhambra which they thoroughly enjoyed. Jugglers always amuse them.

June 18th

Whole party except S.M Vishram Rao went to the Natural History Museum.


June 19th

I went to the India Office in the morning. In the afternoon, O.Os were on duty at the Horse show. The management gave us a box next to the Royal Box. O.Os wore full dress, I was in mufti. The O.Os were very interested in the jumping.


June 20th

Took O.Os to House of Lords where Lord Stamford kindly showed us over the whole building. After this I took O.Os round Westminster Abbey. They were very interested in the Tombs of the Kings and the Coronation Chair. Also in the grave of the “unknown warrior.”


June 21st

In the afternoon went to Buckingham Palace with the O.Os in full dress for the Prince of Wales arrival. The King told me to introduce the O.Os to the Prince of Wales who shook hands and said a few words to each. In the evening self and O.Os were on duty at the Court. Arrangements were the same as on the 8th.


June 22nd

Self and O.Os. were on duty at the 3rd Court at Buckingham Palace.


June 23rd

Took O.Os to the Theatrical Garden party at Chelsea Gardens. They were interested in seeing the crowd of people there and in one or two of the shows.


June 24th

O.Os were to have been on duty at the unveiling of the King Edward VII Memorial at Shadwell Park by the King. We left at 1:30 giving ample time but Tilling provided an inefficient driver who lost himself 4 times in North London. The car also broke down 6 times. We eventually arrived near the park at 3:45 but found that H.M. was returning. Therefore made the O.Os stand with myself at the side of the road and we saluted H.M. as he passed. Then drove straight to the Palace and explained to the Equerry in Waiting exactly what had happened. He was very nice and said he would tell H.M. who would quite understand.


25th June

Whole party except S.M. Vishram Rao Chowan went to the Zoo on a ticket kindly given by the Secretary.


26th June

Whole party were taken by Capt Walsh to see the funeral procession of Field Marshall Sir H Wilson. In the afternoon he took O.Os to Stolls Picture Theatre. They like cinemas as much as anything.


27th June

O.Os were taken Roehampton where they saw the Prince of Wales playing polo.


28th June

We were on duty in full dress at the inspection of the Yeoman of the Guard by HRH the Duke of Connaught. HRH after the inspection told me to bring the O.Os to this and spoke with each of them. Afterwards I took them round the State Apartments at St. James’ Palace.


29th June

Took O.Os to West End Cinema to see Intolerance a good spectacular picture which they enjoyed. We had tea together first.


30th June

I paid out allowances in the morning. Lieut. Joseph Sub Maj Nanjappa went to Oxford to visit Col. Rie [illegible] returning in the evening.


1st July

I took O.Os to A.A.A meeting at Stanford Bridge. His Majesty was present. The O.Os enjoyed watching the sports and were quite impressed with the timing of the events.


2nd July

Lieut Joseph went to church. Remainder went for a walk.


3rd July

I took O.Os round the printing works of the Daily Mail at Carmelite House. They seemed to be very interested in the machinery. The proprietors kindly arranged for someone to show us round.


4th July

The O.Os went shopping with Mr. Kensdale.


5th July

Sub Maj Nanjappa went to visit Gen Porteans at Woking and Lieut Joseph went to visit Gen Evans R.E. at Bristol. I took remainder of party including batmen round the Royal Mews.


6th July

Rained the whole day. O.Os went for a short walk in the afternoon.


7th July

I took O.Os to tea with Mr. Coldstream I.C.S. He had invited several people to meet them and is always pleased to see them.


8th July

I took O.Os to see finals of the Interregimental Polo tournament at Hurlingham. It was a good match but spoilt by rain.


9th July

Lt Joseph went to church. Remainder stayed in on account of weather.


10th July

I took O.Os to investiture at Buckingham Palace. The same procedure is followed as at the Levees.


11th July

Wet day. O.Os did not get out.


12th July

I took the O.Os to the breaking up parade at Sandhurst. Lunch was arranged for them with some of the Indian cadets and after the parade I showed them all over the building. We went down in the Tillings cars as I had to meet Sir Douglas Dawson at 10 in the morning with reference the opening ceremony of the London County Hall. The O.Os thoroughly enjoyed their day. Mr. Kensdale took the batmen to Maskelyne & Devant’s which impressed them greatly.


13th July

I took whole party to Windsor Castle. The State Chamberlain arranged for us to be met at the station by two Royal Brakes. In the morning we went all over the castle =, had special permission to view the private apartments. I arranged refreshments at a tea shop and in the afternoon we drove out to the farms.


14th July

I took whole party round the Royal Mint. They were very interested. After our tour of inspection the Deputy Master saw the O.Os in his private office and had a chat with them.


15th July

I took the O.Os in to Hyde Park to see the old English players. Afterwards they all came back to tea with me.


16th July

Sunday Lt. Joseph to church, other O.Os went for walk.


17th July

I took O.Os to the opening ceremony of the New London County Hall. Full dress. We were placed on the steps just in front of His Majesty. The O.Os were very impressed with the ceremony.


18th July

I took whole party by motor charabanc to Hampton Court via Richmond Park and returning via Bushy Park. Arrangements had been made with Mr. Freedy [illegible] of the Office of Works to have us shown all over the building.


19th July

I took Lt. Joseph to Chatam to attend the unveiling ceremony of the R.E. War Memorial by H. H. the Duke of Connaught. After the ceremony we were both invited to lunch in the mess. Lieut Joseph was very pleased and met several of his old officers. The other O.Os went shopping with Mr. Kensdale.


20th July

I took the whole party to the Crystal Palace to see the firework display. We left Victoria 6-30 after they had had their evening meal arriving about 7 p.m. They had a look round the Imperial War Museum and saw a few sideshows after which we watched the fireworks from the terrace. I think this is a very good show for them.


21st July

The Indian officers were in attendance at the garden party. We all attended in full dress. The Prince of Wales, Duke of Connaught and several officers including the Prime Minister spoke to them. After the garden party we went into the entrance of the palace where the King took leave of us, presenting each of the Indian officers with the Royal Victorian Medal and myself with the M.O.O 4th class. The Queen shook hands with me and we marched away.


22nd July

I took the O.Os to the territorial review in Hyde Park. We stood at the saluting base first behind the King and his staff. Mr. Kensdale took the batmen to see the review.


23rd July

Lt Joseph went to church. Remainder went out for a walk.


24th July

O.Os went shopping during day. I went to India office. In the evening I took whole party to Victoria Palace Music Hall. They quite enjoyed the performances.


25th July

I took whole party to the Tower of London in the afternoon. A beefeater was told off to show us round and they were all very interested. In the morning I took O.Os to say goodbye to H.H. the Prince of Wales. We went in service dress. H.H. received me first and afterwards I brought in the O.Os. H.H. spoke to each one and showed us his collection of medals.


26th July

I took O.Os to the Fire Bde display at which medals were presented by the chairman of the L.C.C. to whom I introduced them. Afterwards I took them to the London Salvage Corps where we were shown round by Col. Fox the Chief Officer.


27th July

I took O.Os to an Indian play, done by Indians at the Little Theatre. They were quite interested and enjoyed the performance.


28th July

I took whole party to Portsmouth. Arrangements had been made with the Admiral Superintendant of the Dock Yard to have us shown round and on our arrival we were met by Commander Stow of the Dock Yard staff who took us first over the Victory then showed us some submarines and then took us to H.M.S. Malaya where we were entertained and shown round by the officers. After lunch Commander Stow showed us round the Dock Yard. This makes a most interesting and instructive trip for them.


29th July

In the afternoon I took the O.Os to the Coliseum. I ask them in the morning what they would like best as it was to be their last outing and they asked for the Coliseum. It certainly is the most suitable of all the theatres for them.


30th July

Lt. Joseph went to church. Remainder went for a walk.


31st July

I went to the India Office in the morning and arranged for the whole party to go down to Brighton. We left by the 1.4 train for Victoria and were met by the Mayor and Town Cleark of Brighton. We were taken round the Royal Pavillion and afterwards out to the Chatri. This makes a very good trip and I would suggest that it be done annually. If the Mayor of Brighton is informed before he will always make arrangements.


1st August

I settled accounts in the morning. O.Os spent most of day packing and did some shopping.


2nd August

In the afternoon I took O.Os in service dress to India office to say goodbye to the Secy of State for India, General Cobbe and Col. Bannerman. Afterwards we went to tea at Mr. Coldstream’s house.


3rd Aug

O.Os spent day shopping and packing their kits.


4th August

I took O.Os and batmen down to Tilbury and they embarked on S.S. Macedonia. O.Os [illegible] remainder deck passengers. Capt Chapman 62nd Punjabis is taking charge of them on the outward voyage.

bottom of page