India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During the Transfer of Power

India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During the Transfer of Power

Pamela Mountbatten

Language: English

Pages: 240


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In March 1947 Lord Louis Mountbatten became the last Viceroy of India, with the mandate to hand over 'the jewel in the crown' of the British Empire within one year. Mountbatten worked with Nehru, Gandhi and the leader of the Muslim League, Jinnah, to devise a plan for partitioning the empire into two independent sovereign states, India and Pakistan, on August 15, 1947 and he remained as interim Governor-General of India until June 1948. During this time Lord Mountbattens daughter and Indias mother, Pamela, was with her parents and kept a diary recounting this extraordinary tale of history. The diaries include their trips to stay in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Orissa and Assam, and the exotic palaces of Indian rulers. 'India Remembered' is a scrapbook of private family photographs taken during this historical period (Edwina Mountbatten walking arm in arm with Nehru through a courtyard, or Gandhi taking tea for the first time at Viceroys House). Includes many anecdotes from Pamela Mountbattens diaries such as reminiscences of having to leave 10 minutes before dinner was actually announced as the walk from the bedroom to the dining hall was so far (if running really late, riding a bicycle through the corridors to make time). Includes photographs evoking the atmosphere of the Mountbattens favourite retreat, that of Viceregal Lodge in Simla.

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Sunday 20th April The most awful part of one’s time is spent in writing these wretched diaries. All of us, except Daddy, have it perpetually hanging over us and yet the moment one gives up one regrets it! Monday 21st April We gave a garden party for all those on the Viceregal establishment. We were about four hundred but that did not include any of the three hundred and fifty indoor servants or any of the PW-W [the Public Works Department], merely the various heads of the departments. There.

Plans by announcing that he would become G-G of Pakistan. This left my father to decide whether to accept the offer to become G-G of India and therefore go against every non-partisan plan he had stood for in his tenure. Indeed his later acceptance of the governor-generalship of India did tarnish his impartial reputation and kindled persistent rumours that he was anti-Muslim League. A letter to Patricia dated 5th July signalled just how depressed he was with the situation: ‘I have boobed’, he.

To the crisis. Tuesday 4th November Mummy and Daddy are worried about the trip to England for the wedding and whether it should be cancelled because of the Kashmir crisis. Baldev Singh’s report from the front to the Defence Committee was not at all good about the situation there. Sunday 9th November We flew back to London for Philip and Lilibet’s wedding on the 20th at which I am to be one of the eight bridesmaids. Rajagopalachari will be Acting Governor General in Daddy’s absence. We.

The evening we watched a tournament in which the Bodyguard and the Camel Battery gave an excellent musical ride and drive followed by torch-lit club-swinging. We then returned for a large dinner party in the Durbar Hall. Saturday 17th January We flew back to Delhi and Mummy and Daddy immediately called on Gandhiji at Birla House. They found him very weak. But he greeted them with a twinkle in his eye and said, ‘It takes a fast to bring you to me.’ Sunday 18th January Gandhiji has broken off.

Picolette. Then there was the trouble of house-training the mongoose. My father said, ‘Well I think we start him the way you do with a dog. If there’s no chance of putting him where he should go, have some newspaper down and he can learn to go on the newspaper.’ That worked very well. His puddles were very scrupulously done on newspaper. Unfortunately, early on, he did find papers on my father’s desk which he used. They happened to be death warrants waiting to be signed. Neola started by.

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