[Burma Frontier Service;Evelyn Waugh's batman] 105 items: confidential correspondence, memoranda, reports, printed docs, telegrams, cuttings) relating to R.E.S. Tanner's BFS application and training, including a Civil Affairs Staff Centre course.

Burma Frontier Service; Civil Affairs Staff Centre, Wimbledon; Ralph Esmond Selby Tanner (1921-2017), Social Anthropologist, East African colonial administrator, Evelyn Waugh's batman
Publication details: 
Burma and London (including Whitehall and the Civil Affairs Staff Centre, Southlands House, Wimbledon Common). Between 1946 and 1948.
SKU: 21240

For biographical details of Dr R. E. S. Tanner, see the end of this description. Brown card folder (by The Parker File Co. Ltd, Rangoon), housing 105 items (confidential correspondence, memoranda, applications, advisory and information documents, reports, telegrams, newspaper cuttings) relating to Tanner's application and training for a Civil Affairs post in Burma, including material from the training course he undertook at the Civil Affairs Staff Centre, Wimbledon. The folder and its contents are in fair condition, lightly-aged and worn. The volume contains two copies of Tanner's typed 'Application for appointment to the Colonial Service', giving biographical and service information, and including among his referees 'For Service in Command (CRETE etc) | EVELYN WAUGH late RM c/o Maj-Gen. R. E. LAYCOCK Combined Operations HQ'. Also Tanner's handwritten 'Application for appointment as Staff Officer (Civil Affairs) | (Under A.C.I. 1426 of 1944). The first item in the volume, carrying the ownership signature of 'R. E. S. Tanner', is 'Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of Burma | London, 17th October, 1947.' Thirteen-page printed document published by the Government of Burma Central Printing Office, Rangoon, 12 November 1947. (No copies of this Burma printing on COPAC, and the only copies of the London HMSO printing at the British Library and Birmingham.) Also: 'Extract from Introduction to Burma during the Japanese occupation'. Authors: 'H. J. H.' and 'F. R.'. Duplicated document by the 'Civil Affairs Staff Centre (Far East Wing.)', dated February 1945 and marked 'Confidential'. Also: 'Vacancies in the Colonial Service open to Officers of the Indian Police, Burma Police Class I, and Burma Frontier Service'. Duplicated document by the 'India and Burma Services Re-employment Branch, | Commonwealth Relations Office, | King Charles Street, S.W.1', dated 1 January 1948. Also: 'Memorandum | Re-employment arrangements available to European officers of the Secretary of State's Service in India and Burma, and of the Burma Frontier Service'. Undated duplicated document by the IBSRB, Whitehall. Among other duplicated documents are fifteen legal 'Precis' from Tanner's course at the Civil Affairs Staff Centre, Southlands House, Wimbledon Common, totalling 120pp, each headed '(Far East Wing) | Legal', dating from between February and April 1945, most signed in type by 'H. P.' Also present are three examples of legal statements (by Ma Nan Yu, Paw Hmon and Maung Tha Byaw). Also 'The High Court of Judicature at Rangoon. General Letter No. 6 of 1946', regarding charging procedure, and document by 'J. W. Leedham [John Walter Leedham (1905-1992)] | District Magistrate, | (Resident, N.S.S.), | Northern Shan States, | Lashio.' Also a group of related typed documents:'Shan States Manual | Civil Procedure' (13pp); 'The Shan State Opium Order | Politicle [sic] Department Notification No. 37, dated the 10th September 1923.' (3pp); 'The Shan States Arms Orders 1924' (2pp); 'The Shan States Excise Order, 1925' (2pp); 'Mongmit State Tenancy Rules' (3pp); 'Motor Vehicle Rules' (2pp); 'The Shan States Gambling Order' (2pp). Also a printed 1945 pamphlet of twenty-four pages, issued by the Colonial Office, London, titled 'His Majesty's Colonial Service Post-War Opportunities'. The last item in the volume is a duplicated typescript of a study by 'A[lan]. A[rthur]. Cameron, Assistant Superintendent, Kodaung Hill Tracts', titled 'A Note on the Palaungs of the Kodaung Hill Tracts, of the Mongmit State'. Closely-typed over 49pp (the first 13pp foolscap 8vo, the last 36pps 8vo), with figures. (The original of this item was published in 1912 in Rangoon by the Office of the Superintendent Government Printing, Burma.) The correspondence in the folder includes: numerous items signed by G. E. Pennell, 'for Resident, Northern Shan States, Lashio'; several items from the Colonial Office, London; a couple of items from the War Office, London (both stamped 'Confidential'); several items signed by J. S. Manikan, Frontier Areas Administration, General Administration Department, Rangoon; letter from S. de Glanville, Office of the Resident, Northern Shan States, Lashio, with signed response from Tanner stating that he cannot sign his annual report as 'My wife's conduct is not liable to criticism or imputation by the Government'; letter from Assistant Resident, Kyaukme. Also long letter from 'Philip', i.e. P. T. Barton, on letterhead of the Government of Burma, Frontier Areas Administration, Rangoon, 26 April 1947, which he begins with the joke that he has 'told the Civil Service Commission that if they really had the future of the Empire at heart then there was no option but to employ you', before turning to the 'draft report of Rees Williams', his own life in Rangoon, his position as 'best man to John Naiff', 'a second visit to the Shwe Dagon during the water festival'. Tanner's entry in the 1965 'Who's Who in East Africa' states that he was 'educated Rugby School 1935-39, Oxford University 1955-59; Dip. Social Anthropology 1956, B.Sc. 1959; Army Service 1940-45; Burma Frontier Service 1945-48; Colonial Administrative Service 1948-60; Extra Mural Dept., University College Nairobi, 1961-65; Chairman, East African Institute of Social Research since 1965'. With the aid of his son, Tanner published the diary of his army service during the 1942 retreat from Burma: R. E. S. Tanner and D. A. Tanner, 'Burma 1942: A Retreat. The Diary of Ralph Tanner 2nd Battalion The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry' (2009). The book contains a 'military biography' describing how between 1940 and 1941 Tanner served as batman to Evelyn Waugh ('then a Royal Marine captain acting as the Intelligence officer for the Commando Brigade') in Crete, and returned to England in June 1941, having been mentioned in despatches. In October of that year he 'volunteered to join a small party going to Burma. This party became part of Military Mission 204 destined for China, and were trained in demolitions at Maymyo, a north-eastern Burma hill station known as the Bush Warfare School.' Having been promoted from private to second lieutenant, he took part in the second part of the Burma Campaign and the retreat, before falling sick with dysentery. Thereafter he trained in intelligence in India, before another bout of ill health led to another return to England in 1944. After a spell at 'the War Office in Whitehall as an Intelligence Officer in section MI2d dealing with the Japanese Army', Tanner 'volunteered for Civil Affairs in Burma on 4 May 1945 for which he went through a course in Wimbledon and went back to Burma via India on a draft which started from London on 24 July 1945. In Burma he was posted to Lashio in the Northern Shan States, from where he was demobilised in October 1946, having been taken on as a probationer in the Burma Frontier Service'. In a 1975 Punch magazine interview with Paul Buckman, he resists all attempts to get him to confirm the stereotype of Waugh as an irascible snob, stating instead that he was 'considerate' and 'everything you'd expect an officer to be, if you were an ordinary soldier'.