India Bulletin


India Bulletin was the published organ of the Friends of India Society. It was initially published monthly. Its objective was to publish a detailed account of events in India to inform the British public and foster a better understanding of the Indian question. It sought to persuade the British that Indian self-governance could be the only resolution for India. It covered in great detail the Civil Disobedience Movement, and paid particular attention to Gandhi. Its February 1936 edition was devoted to Nehru’s visit to London and gave a detailed account of the speeches he made and meetings he attended among the Indian community. The journal also paid particular attention to the national press coverage of Indian events and attempted to redress the balance by informing its subscribers of the repressive measures of the Government in India.

It often reprinted articles, many in abridged form, that were previously published in Indian newspapers including The Hindu, The Indian Social Reformer, The Servant of India, The Maharatta, Harijan and Young India. It also featured articles on the women’s movement in India, the fight for national freedom in Spain, and the question of resistance through non-violent non-cooperation. The publication informed its audience of Gandhian philosophy, in line with the objectives of the Friends of India Society. The publication’s output became ever more sporadic as the Friends of India encountered financial difficulties in the late 1930s. India Bulletin was last published in August 1939 and ceased with the outbreak of the Second World War.

Date began: 
01 Feb 1932
Key Individuals' Details: 

Editors: Horace Alexander, Will Hayes, Atma S. Kamlani, Reginald Reynolds.


Contributors: Horace Alexander, Mulk Raj Anand, C. F. Andrews, Haidri Bhuttacharji, Reginald Bridgeman, Moti Chandra, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, John L. Clemence, Mahadev Desai, M. K. Gandhi, Agatha Harrison, Laurence Housman, Edith Hunter, Muriel Lester, Leonard W. Matters, Jawaharlal Nehru, V. J. Patel, S. L. Polak, Rajendra Prasad, T. A. Raman, Reginald Reynolds, Romain Rolland, J. T. Sunderland, Rabindranath Tagore, D. V. Tahmankar, Krishna Vir, Monica Whately (member of the India League delegation).

Date ended: 
01 Aug 1939
Archive source: 

British Library Newspapers, Colindale, London

Precise date ended unknown: 
Books Reviewed Include: 

Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography

Rolland, Romain, Mahatma Gandhi: A Study in Indian Nationalism


30 Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 1 AA
United Kingdom
210 Herne Hill Road
London, SE24 0AN
United Kingdom
46 Lancaster Gate
London, W2 3LX
United Kingdom

Harold Moody


Harold Arundel Moody was born in 1882 in Kingston Jamaica to Charles Ernest Moody and his wife Christina Emmeline Ellis. From early on he was a devout Christian and was active in the Congregational Union, Colonial Missionary Society (chairman) and later the Christian Endeavour Union (1936).

In 1904, he moved to England to study medicine at King's College but was refused work because of his skin colour. He eventually set up his own practice in 1913 and slowly started to make a living. In the same year, he married Olive Mable Tranter, a white nurse. They had six children. In 1923, Moody spoke at the opening of the Indian Students' Hostel in Gower Street and lectured there again in early March 1930.

On 13 March 1931, he formed the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) at a meeting at the YMCA, Tottenham Court Road, London, with the help of Charles Wesley, an African-American history professor visiting Britain. Other original members included Belfield Clark, George Roberts, Samson Morris, Robert Adams and Desmond Buckle. More prominent members included C. L. R. James, Jomo Kenyatta and Una Marson. The objects of the LCP was 1) to promote and protect the social, educational, economic and political interests of its members; 2) to interest members in the welfare of coloured peoples in all parts of the world; 3) to improve relations between the races and 4) to co-operate and affiliate with organizations sympathetic to coloured people. In an address delivered by Moody at Friends House on 18 October 1932, he emphasized that: 'For the practical purpose of the League [...] our work is mainly confined to people of African descent - at present mainly West Indian and West African - although we have some Indians in our ranks.' (Moody, 'Communications' (1933), p. 94) The LCP focused more on African rather than South Asian issues. However, in 1935, R. S. Nehra, who had come to Britain via East Africa served on the executive of the LCP, and the League hosted events for South Asians, for example for Gandhi when he visited London.

In 1933, Moody also became involved in the Coloured Men's Institute. The CMI was set up by Kamal Chunchie in 1926 as a religious, social and welfare centre for sailors. In 1930, the Institute folded but was re-established by Chunchie again in 1933. This time Moody was involved along with Shoran Singha, a Christian Sikh and YMCA worker, Canon H. L. R. Sheppard, R. K. Sorabji and Lady Lydia Anderson among them.

Pastor Kamal Chunchie was Vice-President from 1935 to 1937. In the early years, the LCP was largely a social club but as the 1930 progressed the organization campaigned on political issues such as the working-class struggles in the Caribbean, the campaign to restore British citizenship to 'coloured' seamen in Cardiff in 1936, and against the colour bar in Britain. The LCP gained influence during the Second World War and lobbied for the rights of black servicemen and women in the armed forces. In 1944, the LCP organized a conference in London and a 'Charter for Coloured Peoples' was drawn up. Many of the elements of that charter foreshadowed the resolutions of the Pan-African Congress held in Manchester the next year, though Moody did not attend that conference. Moody remained the president of the LCP until his death. In the winter of 1946, Moody went on a tour of the West Indies in order to raise money for a cultural centre in London. He fell ill and died shortly after his return to London in April 1947. The LCP continued for a few more years but closed in the early 1950s.

Published works: 

'Communications', Journal of Negro History 18 (1933), pp. 92-101

Youth and Race (London: British Christian Endeavour Union, 1936)

Christianity and Race Relations (London, 1943)

Freedom for All Men (London: Livingstone Press, 1943)

The Colour Bar (London: New Mildmay Press, 1945)

Date of birth: 
08 Oct 1882

Kamal Chunchie (re-established the Coloured Men's Institute (CMI) with Moody in 1933), C. L. R. James (served on the executive committee of the League of Coloured Peoples, contributor to The Keys), Jomo Kenyatta, Ras Makonnen, Una Marson, R. S. Nehra (executive committee of the League of Coloured Peoples), George Padmore, Paul Robeson, Shoran Singha (served on the CMI with Moody), R. K. Sorabji (served on the CMI with Moody).

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Keys [Journal of the League of Coloured Peoples]

News Notes [League of Coloured Peoples]

Letter [League of Coloured Peoples]

Newsletter [League of Coloured Peoples]

The Times (26 May 1938; 30 May 1938; 9 June 1938)

Secondary works: 

Adi, Hakim, and Sherwood, Marika, Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 (London: Routledge, 2003)

Bute, E. L., and Harmer, H. J. P., The Black Handbook: The People, History and Politics of Africa and the African Diaspora (London: Cassell, 1997)

Dabydeen, David, Gilmore, John and Jones, Cecily, The Oxford Companion to Black British History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)

Daily Gleaner, 13 September 1923, p. 10.

Daily Gleaner, 28 March 1930, pp. 17, 24.

Fryer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984)

Joannou, Maroula, 'Nancy Cunard's English Journey', Feminist Review 78 (2004), pp. 141-63.

Killingray, David, Race, Faith and Politics: Harold Moody and the League of Coloured Peoples (London: Goldsmiths College, 1999)

Killingray, David, 'Moody, Harold Arundel', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Macdonald, Roderick J., 'Dr. Harold Arundel Moody and the League of Coloured Peoples, 1931-1947: A Retrospective View', Race XIV (1972-3), pp. 291-2.

Makonnen, Ras, Pan-Africanism from Within (Nairobi; London: Oxford University Press, 1973)

Morris, Sam, 'Moody - The Forgotten Visionary', New Community I (1971-2), pp. 193-6.

Rush, Anne Spry, 'Imperial Identity in Colonial Minds: Harold Moody and the League of Coloured Peoples, 1931-50', Twentieth Century British History 13 (2002), pp. 356-83.

Schwarz, Bill, West Indian Intellectuals in Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)

Thompson, Vincent Bakpetu, Africa and Unity: The Evolutuon of Pan-Africanism (London; Harlow: Longmans, 1969)

Vaughan, David Archibald, Negro Victory: The Life Story of Dr Harold Moody (London: Independent Press, 1950)

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

Archive source: 

Moody Mss, Private Collection

Anti-slavery society Mss, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, Oxford

Notes, newspaper cuttings, photographs, National Register of Archives, private collection

CO, DO, WO, HO series, National Archives, Kew

Arthur Creech Jones Mss, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, Oxford

Lord Lugard Mss, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, Oxford

Margery Perham Mss, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, Oxford

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Harold Arundel Moody


164 Queen's Road Peckham
London, SE15 2ET
United Kingdom
51° 28' 24.258" N, 0° 3' 23.9472" W
Date of death: 
24 Apr 1947
Location of death: 
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Sep 1904
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

September 1904 - April 1947

Jomo Kenyatta


Jomo Kenyatta was born in Ngenda around 1895. After moving to Nairobi, he became involved in the political and cultural life. He became general secretary of the Kikuyu Central Association (KCA) in 1928. In March 1929 he travelled to Britain on behalf of the KCA with Isher Dass, an Indian lawyer living in Nairobi. He had hoped to meet the imperial authorities but only briefly met senior officials at the Colonial Office. However, he established contacts with other anti-colonial activists in London and the Communist Party like George Padmore and Shapurji Saklatvala.

Kenyatta returned to Africa in 1930 but was back in Britain in 1931. He stayed almost continuously until 1946, with the exception of a few trips to Europe. During this period he was admitted to the London School of Economics to study anthropology under Professor Malinowski. Here, he wrote a number of articles that were later published as Facing Mount Kenya (1938). During this time, he also met a small group of black activists and campaigners, including C. L. R. James, Kwame Nkrumah, Peter Abrahams, Eric Williams and Paul Robeson. He also associated with the India League and the League of Coloured Peoples and met Gandhi when he visited London in November 1931. Throughout the 1930s, Kenyatta attended India League meetings and would have come into contact with Krishna Menon. In September 1939, Makhan Singh, the General Secretary of the Labour Trade Union of East Africa, asked Kenyatta and Krishna Menon to represent his organization at a conference planned for the end of September in Brussels. However, because of the outbreak of the Second World War, the conference never took place.

Through his involvement in the Pan-African Federation, Kenyatta would possibly have met Jawaharlal Nehru. Kenyatta knew N. G. Ranga from early on. In 1945, Kenyatta attended the fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester along with Amy Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, Ras Makonnen, Surat Alley, and George Padmore among others. He participated in Fabian Society conferences on post-war colonial affairs. Kenyatta returned to Kenya in September 1946 where he assumed leadership of the Kenya African Union. After the Mau Mau uprising in 1952, he was arrested in 1953 and spent the next seven years in prison. In 1962, he returned to London to negotiate the terms of a Kenyan constitution on behalf of the Kenya African National Union before being elected prime minister in June 1963. Kenya became independent in December 1963 and Kenyatta became president the next year. He ruled Kenya until his death on 22 August 1978.

Published works: 

'Kenya', in Nancy Cunard (ed.) Negro: An Anthology (London: Wishart, 1934), pp. 803-7

'Kikuyu Religion, Ancestor-Worship, and Sacrificial Practices', Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 19.3 (1937), pp. 308-28

Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu (London: Secker & Warburg, 1938)

My People of Kikuyu, and the Life of Chief Wangombe (London: United Society for Christian Literature, 1942)

Kenya: The Land of Conflict (Manchester: Panaf Service, 1945)

Harambee! The Prime Minister of Kenya's Speeches, 1963-1964 ... The Text Edited and Arranged by Anthony Cullen, etc [With Portraits] (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1964)

Suffering withour Bitterness: The Founding of the Kenya Nation (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1968)

The Challenge of Uhuru: The Progress of Kenya 1968 to 1970: Selected and Prefaced Extracts from the Pubic Speeches of His Excellency Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya (Nairobi: East African Publishing House; Birmingham: Third World Publications, 1971)

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1895

Peter Abrahams, Ralph Bunche, Isher Dass (travel companion on Kenyatta's first trip to London), Fenner Brockway, N. G. Ranga, M. K. Gandhi (through the League of Coloured Peoples), C. L. R. James, Alexander Korda (extra in Korda's Sanders of the River),Kingsley Martin, Harold Moody, Kwame Nkrumah, Paul Robeson, George Padmore, Shapurji Saklatvala, Eric Williams.

Contributions to periodicals: 

'Give Back Our Land', Sunday Worker 242 (27 October 1929), p. 3

'An African People Rise in Revolt', Daily Worker 17 (20 January 1930), p. 4

'A General Strike Drowned in Blood', Daily Worker 18 (21 January 1930), p. 10

'Unrest in Kenya', Manchester Guardian (18 March 1930), p. 6

The Times (26 March 1930), p. 12

'The Gold Rush in Kenya', Labour Monthly 15 (1933), pp. 691-5

'Hands off Abyssinia!', Labour Monthly 17 (1935)

Labour Monthly

New Statesman and Nation (27 June 1936)


Precise DOB unknown: 

Barlow, A. R., Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 12.1 (1939), pp. 114-16 (Facing Mount Kenya)

Cullen, Young, Journal of the Royal African Society 37 (1938), pp. 522-3 (Facing Mount Kenya)

Secondary works: 

Adi, Hakim, and Sherwood, Marika, The 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress Revisited (London: New Beacon Books, 1995)

Amin, Mohamed, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta: A Photobiography (Nairobi: Marketing & Publishing, 1978)

Archer, Jules, African Firebrand: Kenyatta of Kenya (New York: J. Messner, 1969)

Arnold, Guy, Kenyatta and the Politics of Kenya (London: Dent, 1974)

Assensoh, A. B., African Political Leadership: Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, and Julias K. Nyerere (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publications, 1998)

Beck, Ann, 'Some Observations on Jomo Kenyatta in Britain, 1929-1930', Cahiers d'Études Africaines 6 (1966), pp. 308-29.

Bennett, George, Kenya: A Political History: The Colonial Period (London: Oxford University Press, 1963)

Berman, Bruce, Control and Crisis in Colonial Kenya: The Dialectic of Domination (London: James Currey, 1990)

Berman, Bruce J., 'Kenyatta, Jomo (c. 1895-1978)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Berman, Bruce, and Lonsdale, John, Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa (London: Currey, 1992)

Chege, Michael, 'Africans of European Descent', Transition 73 (1997), pp. 74-86.

Cuthbert, Valerie, Jomo Kenyatta: The Burning Spear (Harlow: Longman, 1982)

Delf, George, Jomo Kenyatta: Towards Truth About 'The Light of Kenya' (London: Victor Gollancz, 1961)

Friedmann, Julian, Jomo Kenyatta (London: Wayland, 1975)

Fryer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984)

Good, Kenneth, 'Kenyatta and the Organization of KANU', Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines 2.2 (1968), pp. 115-36.

Howarth, Anthony, Kenyatta: A Photographic Biography (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1967)

Knauss, Peter, 'From Devil to Father Figure: The Transformation of Jomo Kenyatta by Kenya Whites', Journal of Modern African Studies 9.1 (1971), pp. 131-7.

Makonnen, Ras, and King, Kenneth, Pan-Africanism from Within (Nairobi; London: Oxford University Press, 1973)

Malhotra, Veena, Kenya under Kenyatta (Delhi: Kalinga Publications, 1990)

McClellan, Woodford, 'Africans and Black Americans in the Comintern Schools, 1925-1934', International Journal of African Historical Studies 26 (1993), pp. 371-90

Murray-Brown, Jeremy, Kenyatta (London: Allen and Unwin, 1972)

Ng'weno, Hilary, The Day Kenyatta Died (Nairobi: Longman Kenya, 1978)

Pegushev, A., 'The Unknown Jomo Kenyatta', Edgerton Journal 1/2 (1996), pp. 173-98

Savage, D., 'Jomo Kenyatta, Malcolm Macdonald and the Colonial Office, 1938-9', Canadian Journal of African Studies 3 (1970), pp. 315-32

Slater, Montagu, The Trial of Jomo Kenyatta (London: Secker & Warburg, 1955)

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

Wepman, Dennis, Jomo Kenyatta (New York: Chelsea House, 1985)

Archive source: 

PRO CO 533/384/9, fols. 86-7, Scotland Yard report, 18 June 1929, National Archives, Kew, UK

PRO CO 533/501/11, Scotland Yard report, National Archives, Kew, UK

Documentary footage, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

News footage in the National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

Documentary footage, Film and Video Archive, Imperial War Museum, London

News footage, Film and Video Archive, Imperial War Museum, London

Oral history interview, Sound Archive, Imperial War Museum, London

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
British East Africa
Current name country of birth: 
Other names: 

Kamau wa Ngengi, Johnstone Kamau, Johnstone Kenyatta

Date of death: 
22 Aug 1978
Location of death: 
Mombasa, Kenya
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
08 Mar 1929
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

8 March 1929 - September 1930; 22 May 1931 - 5 September 1946


57 Castletown Road, London W14 (Boarded with Ladipo Solanke, leader of the West African Students' Union)

23 Cambridge Street, London

95 Cambridge Street, London

Quaker Woodbrook College, Selly Oak, Birmingham

University College, London

London School of Economics, London

Storington, Sussex

Second World War (1939-1945)

01 Sep 1939
End date: 
15 Aug 1945
Event location: 

Italy, Greece, Sicily, France, Britain, Germany, Middle East, North Africa, Burma, Malaya, India, Far East, Pacific


As in the First World War, Indian soldiers were called upon by Britain to help in the war effort. Despite the constitutional fall-out from Britain’s declaration of war on behalf of India, without prior consultation of Indian representatives, Britain could nevertheless rely on India’s support. The massive involvement of men and women from India in Britain's war effort and her allies has remained a marginalized story of the Second World War. Indian soldiers provided manpower, equipment and auxiliary support in theatres of war throughout the world. Their contribution was vital to keep the supply lines to Britain open and to defend her borders at home and in the empire.

An Indian contingent provided vital backup to the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940 and these mule transport companies were evacuated at Dunkirk and received praise from British officers for their discipline and exemplary conduct in the midst of chaos. They were stationed in Britain until 1943 to provide vital back-up on the home front. South Asians in Britain such as Cedric Dover and Sudhindra Nath Ghose worked as ARP Wardens in Civil Defence. Indian pilots such as Mahinder Singh Pujji, one of seven fighter pilots chosen to join the RAF, flew Hurricanes, engaging German aircraft in dogfights over the English Channel. He was one of 24 Indian Air Force pilots sent to Britain in September 1940 to fly with the RAF (including four other Sikh pilots: Shivdev Singh, Gurbachan Singh, Tirlochan Singh and Manmohan Singh). Tirlochan Singh and Air Marshal Shivdev Singh flew bombers, the latter making twenty-two operational flights over Germany and later commanding an Indian Air Force squadron in Burma. The Royal Air Force needed to make up a shortage in pilots by actively recruiting personnel from across the Commonwealth. It dispensed with the colour bar of the armed forces that stipulated that only ‘British subjects of pure European descent’ could join. After October 1939 people from across the Commonwealth, regardless of nationality or race became eligible to join the RAF. By the end of the Second World War, over 17,500 such men and women had been recruited, serving in a variety of roles. A further 25,000 served in the Royal Indian Air Force.

In addition to meeting her own requirements, India’s new factories maintained a regular supply of vital war materials to her Allies. Textiles were sent to 15 countries. India would supply 37,000 of the 50,000 different textile articles required by the United Nations in the war. India was the third largest consignor of supplies to Australia for the Pacific war. Russia and China also received much war material from India.

South Asian merchant seamen living around the ports of London, Cardiff, Liverpool and South Shields also played a significant role. These sailors helped to ensure that the supply lines to Britain remained open and provided vital manpower often working under atrocious conditions for less pay than their white counterparts.

The Indian Army played a major part in the operations in Italy, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, East Africa and the Far East. The Fourteenth Army in Burma was the largest single army in the world. Its battle front of 700 miles was approximately as long as the Russian front against Germany. Of the total force of 1,000,000 men employed in Burma ( S.E.A.C.), 700,000 were Indians. By the end of the war, the Indian Army won 31 Victoria Crosses. In all, 4,028 awards for gallantry were made. In WWII the Indian Army suffered 24,338 killed, 64,354 wounded and 11,754 missing.

Secondary works: 

Bance, Peter, The Sikhs in Britain: 150 Years of Photographs (Stroud: Sutton, 2007)

Menezes, S. L., Fidelity and Honour: The Indian Army from the Seventeenth to the Twenty-first Century, rev. ed. (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Prasad, Bisheshwar (general ed.), Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War (Combined Inter-Services Historical Section (India & Pakistan))

Somerville, Christopher, Our War: How the British Commonwealth Fought the Second World War (London: Cassell Military, 2005)

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


Oral Archives No. 2/6, British Library, St Pancras


This recording from the British Library oral archive contains an interview with General Auchinleck, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, 1943-5. He also commanded Indian troops during the campaign in North Africa.


I think the English never cared; the English who lived in England, the politicians especially, I think they never took any interest in India at all. I think they used it…They couldn’t have come through both wars if the hadn’t had the Indian Army...I think they never really understood it.


Auchinleck's remarks sum up the British attitude towards the Indian contributions during the war. While there was much propaganda material available during the war, explaining and highlighting the Indian contributions to the allied war effort, their contributions were soon forgotten after the war and the myth that 'England stood alone' was perpetuated in historical accounts of the Second World War.

Archive source: 

L/PJ/8 series, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras:

L/PJ/8/503-536 India and the War, constitutional crisis arising from Governor General’s declaration, 17 October 1939

L/PJ/8/639 Subhas Chandra Bose disappearance and Death

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

L/PJ/12/630 Indian seamen, reports of unrest, welfare and union activities, November 1939 - January 1945

L/PJ/12/643 Indian industrial trainees under the Bevin scheme at Letchworth, Herefordshire, political influence by activists in UK, May 1941 - August 1943

L/PJ/12/659 Indian civilians and prisoners of war suspected of collaboration with Nazis; treatment and welfare, January 1944-1945

L/PJ/12/762 Indian prisoners of war in Europe, 1942-1943

L/PJ/12/763 Indian prisoners of war in Europe, January - December 1945

L/PJ/12/764 Treatment of Indian collaborators, October 1945 - April 1947

L/PJ/12/765 Collaborators in Germany: arrangements for repatriation and passport facilities, August - December 1946

L/PJ/12/766 Collaborators in Germany: arrangements for repatriation and passport facilities, January 1947 - January 1949

L/PJ/12/ 768 Indian collaborators: passport facilities for the UK, March 1947 - January 1948

L/PJ/12/769 Reports of interrogations of Indian prisoners of war and civilians captured in Europe and Far East, August 1945 - April 1946

L/PJ/12/770 Formation and activities of Indian National Army Defence Committee in the UK, October - November 1945

L/PJ/12/771 DIB report and proposal on treatment of members of Indian National Army, November - December 1945

L/I/1 series, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras:

L/I/1/1142 War history prepared by Bureau of Public Information

L/I/1/1122 Treatment of Indian news by the BBC 1942

L/I/1/1075 India’s representatives at the imperial war cabinet and pacific war council

L/I/1/1047 Prime Minister’s message to the Viceroy on the 4th Indian division and visit of a contingent to the UK, 1943-44

L/I/1/1048 Imperial War Graves Commission; publication of important announcements

L/I/1/1039 Broadcasting by Indian Army Officers: arrangements for liaison with War Office, 1944

L/I/1/1034 Honours, 1941-44

L/I/1/1035 Indian Army 1939-47

L/I/1/1036 Formation of Indian Army medical corps, 1943

L/I/1/1005 Suggestion that Mrs K. Bhatia visit UK to speak to women’s organizations

L/I/1/990 Question of bringing an Indian officer from Tunis to UK to lecture, 1943

L/I/1/1000 Proposal to bring Indian speakers to the UK, 1942-44

L/I/1/1001 Press cuttings on Indian speakers in UK, 1943-44

L/I/1/978 Bevin Trainee Scheme

L/I/1/48 Indian societies in the UK, 1933-46

L/I/1/50 India League, 1932-39

L/I/1/122Teaching of Indian history in British schools, 1941-45

L/I/1/124 Education about India in England

L/I/1/198 military (general and misc), 1938-41

L/I/1/540 Royal Indian Navy, 1934-39

L/I/1/542 Bibliography relating to India, 1942-48

L/I/1/836 India’s War Effort, 1941-42

L/I/1/837 India’s War effort, 1943-46

L/I/1/840 Indian Seamen, 1941-45

L/I/1/842 national war front 1943-46

L/I/1/843 Pamphlets, 1940-43

L/I/1/854 India and the war, 1945-47

L/I/1/857 MOI illustrated pamphlet on India’s war effort, 1943-48

L/I/1/858 Military pamphlets,1944-45

L/I/1/877 Muslim attitude to the war, 1940-41

L/I/1/903 Illustrated booklet ‘India at War’, 1941-42

L/I/1/904 France and the war, 1940-48

L/I/1/905 photographs (general), 1939-48

L/I/1/907-911 War Publicity in India by Photography

L/Mil series, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras:

L/Mil/17/5/4247-4285 India and WWII

L/Mil/17/5/4263 (Microfilm Misc 742) Pamphlet: India and the War 1939-1945, The Facts

L/Mil/17/5/4267 info on demobilisation of the Indian Army after WWII

L/Mil/17/5/4272 Pamphlet: Defence head quarters

Friends of India Society


The Friends of India Association was founded by Reginald Reynolds in 1930, shortly after his return from India. It adhered to Gandhian principles and attempted to make known to the wider British public Gandhi’s work in the Indian independence struggle. The object of the association was ‘to create and organize public opinion in Britain in favour of India’s right to self-determination, and to promote the significance of Mahatma Gandhi’s non violent movement as a moral equivalent of war’. The Friends of India Society was a pacifist, Quaker-associated organization. Like many Indian organizations in Britain at the time, it sought the Indian National Congress’s endorsement to become its spokesperson in London, and as such entered into direct rivalry with other organizations. Through its publication India Bulletin it sought to enlighten the British public about atrocities committed in India by the British. Furthermore, it tried to raise public awareness by holding regular rallies in Trafalgar Square. The Society was particularly active during the Second Round Table Conference, and Gandhi spoke to the Society on 6 October 1931.

The Society had its offices at 46 Lancaster Gate, next to the Fellowship Club, with which Atma S. Kamlani, its Secretary, was associated, and the Theosophical Society offices. It consisted of an information bureau, which collected information on India and distributed it among the British public to generate publicity through pamphlets, leaflets and a lending library. Furthermore, it organized platforms at which speakers addressed the public and held smaller group meetings not only in London but across the UK. The organization was reliant on donations from the public, subscriptions to Indian Bulletin and membership fees, and suffered serious financial difficulties from 1933 onwards. In 1931, the Society organized a tour titled ‘The Indian Caravan’, where Indian and British speakers would address meetings across the UK, speaking on Indian topics. The tour held thirty-one meetings in eighteen towns, travelling as far north as Carlisle and York.

From 1932 to 1939, the organization published India Bulletin which the India Office saw as containing ‘a mass of unscrupulous propaganda against methods employed by Government to quell the Civil Disobedience Movement’. It gave detailed accounts of atrocities committed in India which were later found in reports in the mainstream press in Britain. In 1933, it formed a Women’s Council. Because of the organization’s financial difficulties and some overlap with the India League in relation to its objectives, talk about potential cooperation between the two organizations started as early as 1933; however these never came off the ground. Atma S. Kamlani suffered a nervous breakdown in 1934 and left Britain. Gladys V. Coughin replaced him as Secretary.

The Society’s financial difficulties continued and it had to move in 1937 to 47 Victoria Street, London, SW1. According to the India Office, the organization ceased to function with the outbreak of the Second World War; however there is the suggestion that D. Tahmankar was still dealing with Friends of India Society correspondence in 1942. 

Published works: 

India Bulletin (1932-9 )

Other names: 

Friends of India Association

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)

Date began: 
01 Oct 1930
Key Individuals' Details: 

Presidents: Laurence Housman, Reginald Reynolds.

Executive Committee: Miss Bertha Bracey, Atma S. Kamlani, J. D. Moos, Miss Frances E. Morgan, Bisheshwar Prasad Sinha, Miss Richienda C. Payne.



Horace Alexander, Shivabjai Gordhanbhai Amin, Mrs Bhattacharji, W. J. Borwon, Fenner Brockway, Miss Chesley, Gladys V. Coughin, Madam Faruki, Laurence Houseman, Atma S. Kamlani, 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.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1939
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


46 Lancaster Gate
London, W2 3NA
United Kingdom

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



Indira Priyadarshini Nehru


Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru. As Nehru’s daughter, she became actively involved in the struggle for India’s independence. Indira Gandhi was educated at a number of schools and colleges in India and abroad. She first visited Europe in 1926, accompanying her parents to Switzerland for her mother’s convalescence. She visited Paris and London with her parents in 1927 and returned to India in December 1927. In April 1930 she formed the youth wing of the Indian National Congress, the ‘Vanar Sena’. She attended the Ecole de Bex in Switzerland, December 1927; St Mary’s Convent School in Allahabad, May 1931; and The Pupil’s Own School in Pune (Poona), May 1931 - April 1934. She passed her matriculation examination in April 1934 and in July 1934 was admitted to Rabindranath Tagore’s Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, Bengal.

In April 1935 Indira moved to Europe with her mother. In 1936 she joined the Indian National Congress. In February 1936 she attended Badminton School near Bristol and then in 1938 she joined Somerville College, Oxford. In the same year she became a member of the India League and through the contacts of her father was introduced to many figures involved with the Indian struggle for independence in the UK. Krishna Menon persuaded Indira to give speeches at meetings. She was involved with the India League's campaigns especially in support of Spanish Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. While in England she met with her future husband Feroze Gandhi, who was also a member of the India League and studying in London. Plagued by ill-health, she was attended to by C. L. Katial and she made repeated trips to convalesce in Switzerland.

Indira returned to India in 1941 together with Feroze Gandhi, whom she married in 1942. She took an active part in the Quit India movement and was imprisoned in Naini Central Jail from September 1942 to March 1943. Indira Gandhi served twice as India's Prime Minister and was assassinated on 31 October 1984.

Date of birth: 
19 Nov 1917

Miss B. M. Baker (headmistress of Badminton School), P. C. Bhandari (Dr), M. K. Gandhi, Agatha Harrison, Carl Heath (President of the India conciliation group), Naoroji Jal, C. L. Katial, Kailas Nath Kaul and Sheila Kaul (maternal uncle and aunt who lived in London), Parvati Kumaramangalam, George Lansbury (Labour leader of the 1930s), Harold J. Laski, Muriel Lester (social worker in London, who was host to M. K. Gandhi during his 1931 visit), Krishna Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lailamani Naidu and Padmaja Naidu (daughters of Sarojini Naidu), Sarojini Naidu, P. Subbarayan (barrister and political leader of Tamil Nadu), Edward John Thompson, Rabindranath Tagore.

University Labour Club


Secondary works: 

Brass, Paul R., ‘Gandhi, Indira Priyadarshini (1917–1984)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2007) []

Frank, Katherine, Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi (London: Harper Collins, 2002) 

Gandhi, Sonia (ed.), Freedom's Daughter: Letters between Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, 1922-1939 (London: Hodder & Staughton, 1989)

Gandhi, Sonia (ed.) Two Alone, Two Together: Letters between Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, 1922-1964 (New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2004)

Vadgama, Kusoom, India in Britain: The Indian Contribution to the British Way of Life (London: Robert Royce, 1984)

Involved in events: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Indira Nehru, Indira Gandhi


Somerville College
Woodstock Road
Oxford, OX2 6HD
United Kingdom
51° 47' 16.224" N, 1° 16' 50.1636" W
Badminton School Bristol, BS9 3BA
United Kingdom
51° 29' 35.25" N, 2° 38' 44.484" W
Date of death: 
31 Oct 1984
Location of death: 
Delhi, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1936
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1927 (short visit), 1936 - Spring 1937 (Badminton School), September 1937 - November 1938 (Oxford University), April 1939 - December 1939, January 1941.

Chuni Lal Katial


Chuni Lal Katial was a doctor and politician. He moved to England in 1927 after graduating with a medical degree from Lahore University and working for five years with the Indian Medical Service in Iraq. He resigned his position to continue his training in public health. He studied in Liverpool and gained a diploma in tropical medicine. He later became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine. On moving to London Katial established his own practice, first in Canning Town and later in Finsbury, attending mainly to working-class patients. He was a member of the Indian Social Club and the Indian Medical Association, and was involved with the Hindu Association of Europe.

He became heavily involved with the India League and was a supporter of Krishna Menon. During the second Round Table Conference in Autumn 1931, he put himself at the disposal of Gandhi, arranging meetings and effectively becoming his chauffeur. The meeting between Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi took place at his house.

He won a seat for Labour on Finsbury Borough Council in 1934 and served as Deputy Mayor from 1936 to 1938. He became the first South Asian mayor in 1938, a position he held until 1939. In 1946, he was elected to the London County Council to represent the borough. His work as Chairman of Finsbury’s public health committee had the most wide-reaching impact, with Katial being a driving force for the creation of a health centre for the borough, which opened in 1938. It concentrated under one roof a number of services and health provisions for the borough’s population, such as doctors’ surgeries, a TB clinic, a dentist and a women’s clinic. It was a trailblazer for similar provisions which formed an integral part of the National Heath Service, created in 1948.

During the Second World War, Katial worked as a civil defence medical officer and chaired the air raid precautions medical service and food control committee. He also provided training in first aid for the St John’s Ambulance Brigade. For his services to the borough he was made a freeman of Finsbury in 1948. The same year he returned to India and worked as Director-General of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India until 1953. He returned to London in the 1970s and died in Putney in 1978.

Published works: 

 Handbook Relating to Public Health Services in Finsbury (London: Finsbury Borough Council)


Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1898

Dr Bhandari, G. D. Birla, Durga Das, Mahdev Desai, M. K. Gandhi, Sir Mirza Ismail, A. S. Iyengar, M. A. Jinnah, Zafarullah Khan, Jiwan Lal Kapur, Muriel Lester, Krishna Menon, Indira Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Bepin Chandra Pal, Sir A. P. Patro, H. S. L. Polak, K. C. Roy, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Satis Chandra Sen (fellow doctor), Usha Sen, Muhammad Shafi, Said Amir Shah (India League), Purshottamdas Thakurdas.

Hindu Association of Europe, Indian Medical Association, Indian Social Club.

Precise DOB unknown: 
Secondary works: 

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

Visram, Rozina, 'Katial, Chuni Lal (1898–1978)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/448-56, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Oral History Files, Nehru Memorial Library, Delhi, India

Involved in events: 
Other names: 

Dr Chuni Lal Katial

C. L.  Katial


21 Spencer Street Finsbury
London, EC1V 7HP
United Kingdom
51° 31' 41.3724" N, 0° 6' 10.5048" W
Victoria Dock Road Canning Town
E16 3AA
United Kingdom
51° 30' 35.3448" N, 0° 1' 21.7416" E
Date of death: 
14 Nov 1978
Location of death: 
Putney, London
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1927
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1927-47, 1970-8


Liverpool, London.

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