[Bawa Daswanda Singh commends Sir William Birdwood to the Viceroy Lord Irwin.] 'True Copy' of curious Typed Letter from Singh to Irwin, in English, enthusiastically endorsing Birdwood, with long original Autograph Note Signed from Singh to Birdwood.

Author: 
Bawa Daswanda Singh of Montgomery, Punjab [Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax [Lord Irwin] (1881-1959), Viceroy of India, 1926-1931; Sir William Birdwood (1865-1951), Commander in Chief, India]
Publication details: 
Montgomery, Punjab. 20 November 1930.
£320.00
SKU: 20915

6pp., foolscap 8vo, on six leaves. Mimeographed document. In good condition, lightly aged. Addressed to 'The Right Hon'ble | His Excellency Lord Irwin, | the most distinguished and best Viceroy, India ever had, true, sincere and the best friend of India'. The margins of the first page are filled with an original autograph note, signed twice by 'Bawa Daswanda Singh, Sardar Sahib, Retired P.E.S. Montgomery (Punjab)', and addressed to 'Our most respected & most beloved your Excellency F.M. Sir Wm. Birdwood C-in-C in India'. He asks him to read and acknowledge 'this humble note of mine to H.E. Lord Irwin Viceroy about my humble loyal tribute to your Excellency [...] It is painful to bid farewell. May your Excellency live long & continue to prosper'. He asks for Birdwood's address in England, and hopes he will be the next viceroy. The letter to Irwin itself is a curious, rambling and obsessive production, written in florid tones, beginning: 'May it please Your Excellency, | I, the humble loyal son of an Indian Mutiny Veteran Military Commissioned Officer father of Probyn's Horse, who fought most loyally and gallantly under the British Flag in many most hard-fought and bloodiest actions engagements and battles and Campaigns in India, China, Afghanistan and on the North West Frontier of India, throughout his long and meritorious Field Service, wherever his Regiment Probyn's Horse was engaged, and who received many Sword Cuts and bullet wounds on his person and body, who received many decorations and died full of honours, I, Your Excellency's humblest and most loyal subject, Sardar Sahib, Bawa Deswanda Singh, Retired Punjab Gazetted Educational Service, […] open my lips and my sincere heart to Your Excellency, […] I am, Your Excellency, thoroughly convinced that the presence in India, after retirement, of His Excellency Field Marshall Sir William Birdwood, Commander-in-Chief, of India, in any capacity, with his nearly half-a Century years' full knowledge of India, of Indians and of Indian affairs, both Military and Civil, […] will be most useful to Your Excellency as Viceroy […] and to His Excellency General Philip Chetwode, our next Commander- in-Chief in India.' He rambles on in the same vein, explaining his reasons for becoming 'a great humble admirer of Sir William'. He stresses that 'during the last 26 Twenty six years, I saw Sir William, and paid him my respects only thrice, only three times, only three times', and that his admiration has grown through reading of his feats in the newspapers. 'If no Provincial Governorship in India be available at present then the least thing, the smallest reward, Your Excellency, which you Excellency can give to this one of the very greatest and one of the most renowned soldiers of the British Empire, Sir William, is to make H.E. F.M. Sir William Birdwood the greatest Zamindar, the greatest Agriculturalist, the greatest Government grantee in India by granting Sir William, one thousand or at least six or seven hundred rectangles of land in one of the Punjab or India Colonies, in order to enable him (Sir William) to settle in India which he has served so loyally and so efficiently for all but fifty 50 long years, which is not a joke.'