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West Vancouver
British Columbia
Canada
V7W 3H7
Contact Bernhard Lauser
Telephone +1 604 922 2444
Fax +1 604 922 2272
Mobile +1 604 720 2000
Specialists Books; Historical Documents and Manuscripts relating to Travel, Exploration and Voyages
Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts
Stand E15

British Army Officer and Surgeon Stanley E. Dean of Warminster, Wiltshire

1943 - Archive of Photos, Letters and War Medals - British India

Murree - Srinagar - Nainital - Kashmir - Himalayan Regions , 1943

Murree, Srinagar, Shimla, Agra, Delhi, Northern India, August 1943 - August 1946. Mini archive comprising two photograph albums with excellent views of northern India, two war campaign medals, and ephemeral documents including an army pass, of an English officer Stanley E. Dean of Warminster, Wiltshire, who was a surgeon with the British Army Royal Corps of Signals, No 122 Telegraph Operating Section based in Kirkburton, Yorkshire, and serving in India during the Second World War. Together with 43 letters and 8 telegrams written by Dean to his wife Joan in England while away with the army.

The albums together contain 321 gelatin silver print photographs, mostly snapshot views, with detailed manuscript captions, mounted onto cardstock leaves separated with tissue guards. An additional 7 photographs are loosely placed within. Two oblong 8vo. string-tied albums measuring approximately 26 x 19 cm, cloth boards, one brown, the other taupe. Front pastedown to second album is annotated and dated in manuscript. Fourteen (14) newspaper clippings are placed within the volumes alongside related photographs. Photographs vary in size, the smallest measuring approximately 5,5 x 5,5 cm, the largest 10 x 12 cm, and 2 panoramic views measuring 15,5 x 6 cm. The letters are numbered in manuscript by the writer, the vast majority accompanied by their original covers and written in 1946 from India. The telegrams precede the letters, most sent in 1943-1944. Two campaign medals and one accompanying ribbon bar were awarded to the officer for his service in India, here contained in the original O.H.M.S. box of issue with the entitlement notice leaf.

Stanley E. Dean, Rank SGN, army identification number 14532788, received the Defence Medal and corresponding ribbon bar for his service in Bengal and Assam between 1 January 1944 and 2 September 1945, as well as the War Medal 1939-1945 for his full-time service in the war during its two latter years. A telegram herein, dated 5 October 1943, reveals that prior to serving abroad, he was an instructor at 48 Air School in Woodbrook, near East London, Eastern Cape.

Nostalgic and striking views of Kashmir and Jammu, the Himalayan foothill regions, high altitude hill station towns, and New Delhi, are abundant in the two albums of photographs compiled surgeon Stanley Dean of the Royal Corps of Signals Telegraph Operating Section.

Dean departed for India from Liverpool on 14 August 1943 with the British Army Royal Corps of Signals, No 122 Telegraph Operating Section. During the Second World War, the Supplementary Air Formation Signals were augmented to at least nineteen units. Several were formed in Kirkburton in Yorkshire in 1943, some of which were for service India, their main purpose being to supply signal personnel for advanced air fields. The 19th regiment, for example, supported Gemeral Slim's 14th Army as it liberated Burma from the Japanese. On a grander scale, the Signals Units were tasked with improving signals, communications, and radar, which also involved improving the Indian Army post and telegraph departments, and constructing long-distance overhead carrier systems.

Travelling and mountain trekking extensively throughout northern India, photographs capture the vastness of the mountainous region of Kashmir. Highlights include panoramic views of Nainital and of the Himalayan Range with the Nada Devi summit at its center, multiple views of Dal Lake near Srinagar some of which show the long houseboats for which it is famed, rare photographs of the Northwest Frontier customs post at Domel, nostalgic photographs of Shimla and Srinagar, and ancient ruins such as the Kashmiri Pandit Martand Sun Temple.

His voyage home, departing from Bombay on 14 August 1946 precisely three years to the day after his departure from England, is captured in 20 photographs. The passage took him to Aden and through the Suez Canal, with a stop at Port Said.

The first album begins in what is now Pakistan, with the scenes at the remote town of Jhika Gali and the Topa Hills. Superb professional photographs capture life in the historic town of Murree which was founded in 1851 as a sanatorium for British troops. At least one photograph shows the officer at Islamabad, now the capital city of Pakistan, with rickshaws behind him.

Twelve images show army camp life on Kuldana Mountain, Murree, Pakistan. A cantonment named "Kuldana" was established in the 1860s by the British Army, in the verdant hills of Murree. [Several renowned British regiments have camped at Kuldana, some of which include the Northumberland Fusiliers, Devonshires, Duke of Wellington's, Leicestershires, Bedfordshires Regiment, 3rd Battalion The Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion Gordon's Highlanders, West Yorkshires, East Surreys and 57th Wilde's Rifles.]

Two (2) panoramic photographs and nineteen (19) other snapshot views capture the magnificent natural history of the lake and mountains of Naini Tal [Nainital], including Chena Peak [Cheena, china Peak], where the officer and some colleagues enjoyed their leave. A significant mountain climb affords a clear view of the Himalayan Range.

The album continues at Simla [Shimla] in the Himalayan foothills with more high altitude treks, including a thirteen kilometer walk through forested hills to Wildflower Hall and the marker for Tibet.

The famous Kohala bridge, which at the time marked the border between Kashmir State and the Northwest Frontier Province, was evidently crossed, as the officer ventured into what is Pakistan today. In the Jhelum Valley he takes notice of terraced hillsides and small river bank villages. Especially rare are the views of Domel, a little town complete with a Customs house, on the Northwest frontier border. One of the images shows a caravan of oxen-pulled tent carriages.

A lovely and captivating visual memoire of Srinagar unfolds in some twenty-five photographs, featuring, as expected, its famous houseboats, but also other indigenous watercraft, and the Bund. - Kashmir - Jhelum Valley

Nine photographs show officer Dean and company touring the Taj Mahal at Agra. He also visited the ruins of the Martand Sun Temple which overlooks the whole of the Kashmir Valley, and the ruins of Awantipora.

The other album is centered in and around Delhi, in the year 1945. Pertaining to the war, are scenes of the airshow which took place in March of 1945 at the Willingdon Airport [now Safdarjung Airport]. Also part of the five-day 'Victory Celebration,' Dean photographs the parade participants including an Indian regiment, a Scottish bagpipe procession, the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens), a camel corps, a group of Naga tribesmen from Burma, among others.

A tour of Old Delhi features the historic Red Fort with five snapshot views taken of its interior, the Ghantaghar clock tower in the famous Chandni Chowk market as seen from Nai Sarak street, and other street scenes busy with pedestrians and cyclists, and a tram. [From 1908 to 1963 trams operated in Old Delhi]

In New Delhi, the officer visited the Lakshmi Narayan Temple and courtyard [Laxminarayan Temple, Birla Mandir Temple] which had only recently been completed in 1939, the Jama Masjid mosque, and the India Gate memorial next to the King George Memorial. Another view from the memorial site provides a distant snapshot view of the ancient fort called Purana Qila, with the King George V Coronation Memorial, complete with statue standing in the foreground [the statue has since been relocated, leaving only the canopy structure]. A tour of the Qutb complex results in lovely snapshot images, inclding a view of the Qutub Minar iron pillara which is famous for its testament to skillful ironwork of ancient times.

Other views include Rashtrapati Bhavan, a Presidential Residence formerly known as Viceroy's House and now the official home of the President of India, including views of the Mughal Garden and Viceregal Garden, and the circular shaped Council House, built between 1921-1927, and which is now the Parliament Building [The opening ceremony was performed on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India.]

Here he also includes photographs of the Corps of Signals' Headquarters and telegraph operations systems.

The Defence Medal is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945, to be awarded to subjects of the British Commonwealth for non-operational service in the Armed Forces, the Home Guard, the Civil Defence Service, and other approved civilian services during the period from 3 September 1939 to 2 September 1945, inclusive. It was issued for specific campaigns and service parameters, including service in Bengal and Assam, west of the Brahmaputra, from 1 January 1944 to 2 September 1945.

The War Medal 1939-1945 is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16 August 1945, for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth who had served full-time in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

Signalling in the British Army was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908 when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed. The Royal Corps of Signals was officially come to be on 28th June 1920, then simply called Corps of Signals. Before the outbreak of the Second World War, recruits were required to be a minimum of 5 feet 2 inches tall, all recruits were taught to ride horses, and they did their signal training at Catterick, North Yorkshire. During the Second World War, the majority of the Corps was stationed overseas, with around a third stationed in India. Participating in every major battle, at the end of the war the Corps numbered 8,518 officers and 142,472 soldiers. The Corps motto is Certa Cito, which translates to Swift and Sure.

Condition
O.H.M.S box as issued and medals never worn. Slight wear to album boards and medals box, otherwise the lot in Very Good Condition.
£1,500