Indian independence movement

Laurence Housman


Laurence Housman, brother of the poet A. E. Housman, was a playwright, writer and illustrator. Houseman was a committed pacifist and socialist. He was an early supporter of Indian independence and a member of Krishna Menon's India League.

Date of birth: 
18 Jul 1865
Secondary works: 

Cockin, Katharine, ‘Housman, Laurence (1865–1959)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

City of birth: 
Bromsgrove, Wocestershire
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
20 Feb 1959
Location of death: 
Glastonbury, Somerset

Atma Kamlani


Atma S. Kamlani was a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of India Society, a rival organization to Krishna Menon's India League. He also edited the society's organ India Bulletin.


Horace Alexander, Shivabjai Gordhanbhai Amin, Mrs Bhattacharji, W. J. Borwon, Fenner Brockway, Miss Chesley, Gladys V. Coughin, Madam Faruki, Laurence Housman, Netta Koutane, Krishna Datta Kumria, Niarendu Datta Mazumdar, J. D. Moos, Miss Frances E. Morgan, Sylvia Pankhurst, Hormasji Rustomji Pardiwalla, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Miss Richienda C. Payne, H. S. N. Polak, Professor G. S. Ranga, Reginald Reynolds, Adrian Kolu Rienzi, Bertrand Russell, R. Rutnam, Shapurji Saklatvala, B. P. Sinha, Tarini Prasad Sinha, Reginald Stamp, Shridhar Nadharai Telkar, Wilfred Wellock, Miss Dorothy Woodman.

Secondary works: 

Owen, Nicholas, The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/428, L/PJ/12/411, L/I/1/50, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Other names: 

Atma S. Kamlani



S. A. Wickremasinghe


S. A. Wickremasinghe was born in Akurassa, Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, in 1901. He was schooled in Ananda College, Colombo. He first arrived in Britain for his education in 1926. In 1927 he was joint secretary of the Indian Majlis student society and had active links to the Communist Party of Great Britain. In 1929 he graduated with an MBBS from the University of London where he also got his MRCP form the Royal College of Physicians.

By 1931 he had returned to Ceylon and with Philip Goonewardena was involved in social work, helping lower caste communities. Wickremasinghe was a member of Ceylon's State Council from 1931-6, advocating complete independence. He lost his seat in the 1936 election.

He subsequently returned to London with his wife, Doreen Young, to open a doctor's surgery in South London, near Elephant and Castle. During his time in London he became involved in the India League and renewed his links with the Communist Party of Great Britain. Wickremasinghe was a founding member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party in 1938, which convened regular meetings and protests, often in conjunction with the India League in London. He co-organized with Krishna Menon a conference on 'Socialism in India and Ceylon' in 1938. Wickremasinghe and the Sama Samaja Party were closely associated with Ben Bradley and the Communist Party of Great Britain. He founded the Communist Party of Ceylon in 1943. In 1945 he represented Ceylon at the inaugural World Labour Organisation held in France. He continued to campaign for Ceylon's independence and remained involved with leftist politics in Sri Lanka until his death in 1981.

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1901
Precise DOB unknown: 
Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/450, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Sri Lanka


London, SE17 1DX
United Kingdom
51° 29' 31.1244" N, 0° 5' 29.9508" W
Date of death: 
25 Aug 1981
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1926-9, 1936-43


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