Last Children of the Raj: Volume II by Laurence Fleming, Mark Tully

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By Laurence Fleming, Mark Tully

Here's a distinct entry-point into British and Indian social and cultural heritage within the final and momentous interval within the historical past of the Raj. it's a shiny choice of person stories of kids born among 1914 and 1940 and who spent their early life and early life in British India or the Princely States. It contains info of the roots in India, kin connections, friendships with different British and Indian young ones, trips, adventures, questions of colour and race, and impressions of the Raj. the second one international battle types a ordinary break--war-time India, Independence and Partition, and the postwar return--how did they consider concerning the new India, and what had India given them and what did they provide to India?

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The convent became my rock and refuge. I adored the teacher who had been in charge of me since my entering the school, and when after Christmas 1944 we left to return on a wartime convoy to England, I felt my life had ended. Had I been free to choose, I would have stayed on with the nuns and become one of them. I was 15, and those most vivid and impressionable years of my life have left a lifetime mark. ROBERT MATTHEWS In March 1940, at the age of nine, I was packed off to the senior boys’ school of the Lawrence College, Ghora Gali, in the Murree Hills.

But a month later, the summons arrived, we confessed, and our mothers went to court to represent us. Apparently the Indian judge had great difficulty deciding which of the two over-14-stone ladies had been on the back! The court found it hilarious, but we (or rather our mothers) were still fined. Due to the war, the school provided a social melting-pot with children of various races, colours and creeds, all living and learning together. It set the seal on any lingering notions of racial or social superiority that I retained, and I count myself fortunate to have had friends from such varied backgrounds.

I loved to sit on the damp, cool bottom of the boat and look over the edge at the little waves on the lake, or perch on the steps at the water’s edge, watching the punt yaw at its mooring and hoping to get sprayed by an unusually big wave. I loved to swim, because the water was cool. Rangoon was a humid 80–85 degrees Fahrenheit that could rise to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely fell lower. During the day I always wore a cotton handkerchief tied around my neck to catch the sweat off my face and neck.

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