1907 - 1910 General Walshe British India / Peshwar / Burma Spy Archive

[Brigadier General Frederick William Henry Walshe Archive] - Main View

1907 - 1910 General Walshe British India / Peshwar / Burma Spy Archive


Unique first person espionage archive of the Great Game.


[Brigadier General Frederick William Henry Walshe Archive]
  1910 (dated)     8.5 x 11 in (21.59 x 27.94 cm)


This is a fascinating, unrecorded archive of secret British Indian Army espionage documentation, dating from first decade of the 20th century, providing the modern reader a unique fly-on-the-wall view of the geopolitical, military, and social history of the frontiers of British India as the Great Game came to a close and as the Great War loomed. The documents predominantly date from 1906 to 1910, contain privileged information intended for an audience of prospective intelligence officers in the British Indian Army, and were mainly produced in Peshawar, headquarters of the British Indian army on the frontier with Afghanistan. Peshawar was an espionage hub, crucial to British efforts to counter threats by Russia and China to destabilize India, the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire.

The archive - dozens of documents of manuscript, typescript, and indigo copies, plus 3 maps - is predominantly the work of Brigadier General Frederick William Henry Walshe (1872 - 1931). Some elements of the archive date from then-Captain Walshe's own intelligence training in 1906 and 1907, while posted in the army transit camps of Deolali near Mumbai; the bulk of the archive dates from 1910, when he was himself a Major in Indian Army Intelligence, lecturing to produce the next generations of regimental intelligence officers - part of new British efforts to organize and professionalize military intelligence, which prior to 1909 had largely not existed in any systematic way. We see the infancy of modern military intelligence practice in these pages.
Original Military Intelligence
The archive provides a window on pre-WWI British intelligence practices and tradecraft generally, but it is not solely an educational work: particularly with respect to contemporaneous events on the border of China and British Burma, the archive contains the observations of a professional intelligence officer well-informed on crucial geopolitical issues of his day, and contain policy recommendations which in at least one case, (namely the 1910 Piànmǎ Incident) appear to have been acted upon. Taken as a whole the archive provides a unique glimpse of a secret world of British foreign and colonial policy during the Edwardian period.
The End of the Great Game?
'The Great Game' was a diplomatic confrontation between the British and Russian Empires over Afghanistan and other territories in Central and Southern Asia. The conflict, rooted in long-standing animosity between Russia and Britain, revolved around Afghanistan, which, while lacking significant resources of its own, was strategically situated. For its part, Russia feared Britain was making commercial and military inroads into Central Asia, an area long within the sphere of influence of St. Petersburg. Britain, conversely, feared Russia making gains in India, 'the jewel in the crown' of British Asia. While ostensibly The Great Game had 'ended' with the signing of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, the British officer responsible for this document was well aware the conflict remained. In one of his lectures, Walshe touches on the attitude of Afghans specifically to the British and to the Russians: 'Some will fight for us, some against us, but all will fight.' Evidently, the pieces for The Great Game remained on the board - even as other players, namely Germany and the Ottoman Empire, began to add their tokens to the map.
Walshe the Intelligence Officer: Burma and the Piànmǎ Incident
Included in the archive but not the syllabus are a series of Walshe's observations regarding British India's disputed frontiers not only with Afghanistan but also abutting the Chinese Empire, both along the north in Tibet and further east, in the northern part of Burma. Some are noted as lecture material, but appear to represent unique, contemporary insider accounts pertaining to the part of the world upon which international geopolitics were balanced, in the Asian theatre. These lectures predate the 1914 demarcation of the McMahon Line, but record the state of affairs following the 1907 accord between Russia and Britain in which both empires agreed not to interfere in Tibetan affairs, in effect surrendering it to China.

This section includes Walshe's manuscript 'Notes on the N. and N.E. Frontier of E. Bengal and Assam' (India, 1910), that discussed the boundaries between British India (Burma, Arunachal Pradesh and Bengal) and China (Tibet and Yunnan), with the caveat written in pink pen at the top 'Policy indicated is only suggested and had not been approved, possibly never will be'. It is particularly relevant in that it (and the appended map) predated by a matter of months the December 1910 Piànmǎ Incident, in which the British occupied Hpimaw (片马, Piànmǎ). Walshe's observations appear to be recommendations in reaction to a specific, developing situation on the border, and they are accompanied by a manuscript map prepared for the purpose.
  • Notes for N.E. Frontier (India) Memorandum. 24pp manuscript, 4 pp. indigo.
  • MAP: Skeleton Map to accompany Memoranda on the Situation on N.E. Frontier of India July 1910. Manuscript pen and ink, 23.25 x 27 inches.
This neatly-executed manuscript map focuses on the Northern Undelimited Border between China and British Burma, focusing prominently on the Kachin hill tribes and the Chinese Shan States. At the map's center is the gap between the upper Irrawaddy River, and the upper Salween River: an extremely ill-defined border area, which at its easternmost extent includes the town of Hpimaw, or Piànmǎ. During the period of British colonization of Burma, the region was ruled by autonomous Kachin hill tribes (albeit subject to British police actions in 1892 and 1896.) Despite repeated negotiations with the Qing Chinese, this part of the Burma/China border was unfixed due to insoluble differences between British and Chinese conceptions of territoriality: the British insisted on hard geographical boundaries, whereas the Chinese focused on cultural assimilation, Chinese education, and hereditary relationships that might traverse, or shift across geographical features. In 1910, the new chief of the Denggeng tribe loyal to Qing China to attempted to enforce jurisdiction over, and collect tax from, the weaker Piànmǎ villages, who resisted and appealed to the British. In December of 1910, the British sent an expeditionary force to Hpimaw (片马, or Piànmǎ) in order to establish British suzerainty, and fix the border with China.

This manuscript map, executed in July of that year, anticipates that move, and the occupation may well have been based in part on Walshe's recommendations. Just as the Russian threat made Afghanistan strategically important to India's safety, Burma's proximity both to French Indochina and the Chinese in Yunnan made it a potential hot point. The French railway from Haiphong can be seen reaching up to Yunnan Fu; branches of the Burmese railway from Mandalay to Myitkyina and to Lashio connect the frontier ultimately to Rangoon; the 'Assam Railways and Trading Company's' Dibru-Sadiya railway appears to the west, extending along the Brahmaputra River. Consulting Walsh's memorandum, his concerns lie in possible connections of these railways - a rail connection between the Irrawady and Haiphong via Yunnan Fu, for example - as such connections favored Britain's rivals. Therefore, Walshe states Great Britain's goals for the region:
Great Britain has no reason to attack China on this side as her objective, Pekin, is more accessible from the sea. For defensive purposes better to prevent development of country + the building of Railways from Burma into Yunnan… China apparently wishes to solidify her control in these parts to be able to threaten our N.E. frontier and perhaps later to recapture Burma… We must keep close watch on China's movements +, if necessary, at once step in + insist on suitable mutual frontier. A 'buffer line' here no use whatever.
His recommendations: 'Sooner we do the following the better:
  1. Tell China what we consider the frontier from Bhutan to the Irrawaddy-Salween divide and make this effective.
  2. Insist on the Irrawaddy-Salween divide being the frontier.
  3. Discourage Ry (railway) construction from Burma and Assam into Yunnan
  4. Improve the intelligence system and organize surveys of country
  5. Encourage Ry construction between Assam and Burma.'
The December 1910 occupation of Piànmǎ, reinforcing British territorial claims to the Irrawady-Salween divide, was entirely consistent with Walshe's recommendations. The move was successful, despite ample evidence that Piànmǎ and its surrounding villages were already (from the Chinese perspective) essentially Chinese territory based on standing frontier acculturation policy. The commander in the field would later admit that the Chinese claim was 'not a very strong one, yet it is stronger than ours, for we have none...' It would appear that the buildup to the Piànmǎ Incident was in fact 'The Situation on N.E. Frontier of India' that Walshe's memorandum addressed.
Walshe the Student: Indian Staff College, Deolali, India November 1906 - February 1907
  • Bombay Defences, 11/3/06.
  • MAP: The Port of Bombay Survey of India, October 1906. 22 x 11.75 inches, zincograph with manuscript notation. Split at fold with some loss.
  • Bombay Defences (assignment, 11/3/06) 1p. indigo
  • Bombay Defences (proposal, 11/11/06) manuscript 5p. indigo.
  • Indian Staff College Bombay Defences Junior Division. (assessment, 11/29/06 3pp. indigo.
Deolali was home to a major British/ Indian military base and transit camp in the vicinity of Mumbai. It housed both soldiers awaiting return to Britain and was also used for training and acclimatization for soldiers newly arrived in British India. Apparently, it too was home to other military administrative and educational elements: for then-Captain Walshe of the Royal Field Artillery, it was home of the newly-founded (1905) Indian Staff College, to which he was assigned. In November of 1906, Walshe received an assignment to 'propose suitable alterations' in the defenses of Bombay, 'Plans, maps and charts to be added where necessary.' Walshe's response and his commandant's critique are accompanied - and keyed to - an unrecorded, large format map of Bombay Harbour, printed in 1906 by the Survey of India. This map - stamped 'confidential' - appears to have been printed expressly for the use of the Commandant of the Indian Staff College, a scant month before this assignment and its execution. Printed in Zincograph, the map bears Walshe's notations for his improvements to the defenses of the harbor. The map provides a detailed view of Bombay, extending from Trombay in the north as far south as Neigaum, with extensive detail on coastal observation posts and batteries. Walshe's manuscript notations include proposed searchlights and their areas of effect, as well as his proposed changes in defensive strongpoints.

It is telling that, although his extensive plans for maritime defenses of the port were received positively, they fall short of the assignment. His instructor complains: 'Very good as far as it goes. You have omitted all mention of land defence.' It is interesting that a young artilleryman should focus so entirely on the naval defense of the harbor - was a land attack so unthinkable?
The Second Map: Night Maneuvers
  • Junior Division Tactics Night Operations (assignment) February 1907. 3pp indigo.
  • Operation Orders February 14, 1907. Manuscript, 4pp. (with ms. diagram)
  • Night operation bearings diagram, manuscript pen and ink
  • Points noted in leading Night March. 2/8/07manuscript 3p.
  • Précis of Points Noticed on Night March. 2/9/07 2pp. indigo.
Walshe's student work continues with a plan for night-time war games, to be staged outside of Nashik (Maharashtra), India. Walshe's assignment assumes the opposition - 'BLUE' - to have set up entrenched positions. His object is to dislodge them with a 'RED' force of mixed cavalry, infantry, and artillery - in a night operation. Nighttime maneuvers, despite the advantages in surprise offered by them, were exceedingly complicated in the days before radio communication; the opportunities for deadly error were many. Walshe's detailed manuscript orders for the night operation (along with his instructor's comments, queries and criticism) are written out on four sheets, accompanied with a detailed diagram of the disposition of his force - less a map than an order of battle, but still an innovative and orderly representation in two dimensions of a complicated assemblage of men. Also present in this section is a card meant to outline the force's intended course (a 1500-yard march, a course correction to 35 degrees, a further 1050 yards followed by a correction to 80 degrees, followed by a further 1800 yards to the enemy position). Apparently, Walshe and his fellow officer-trainee actually executed a night reconnaissance based on their plan prior to completing the assignment, for it includes their observations on what worked and what didn't, the legibility of the cards to be issued to the force, and the relative night-legibility of different compasses. A list of 'points to remember' follows, including observations on the value and utility of panoramas and sketches in the field.

While no general maps accompany this section, throughout both the instructions for the assignment and the student's orders there are copious map references; it is clear that there existed a specific map to which both the instructor and the student referred, but it is not named.
Walshe the Teacher: Indian Staff College, Deolali, India November 1908-1911
A New Initiative
This section begins with a letter from then-Secretary of the Army Council and Assistant Secretary of the War Office, Sir Reginald Herbert Brade, raising the need for educating officers in the duties of military intelligence, and the need to provision 'well qualified officers as instructors and lecturers for Intelligence Courses.' Following this is a general description of the course to be taught, along with a general syllabus to be followed. This is useful for considering the organization of the remainder of the archive, for in 1910 Captain Walshe would be made an instructor of the course: the bulk of the archive consists of his own précis for his lectures.
Intelligence Course Instructions
  • Introduction from R. H. Brade, 10/30/08. 1 p. indigo.
  • Intelligence Course General instructions 4pp. indigo
  • Intelligence Course Syllabus 4pp. indigo
The organization of British military intelligence was a gradual process, which began in earnest in the 19th century. The War Office, itself established in 1857, formed the Intelligence Branch in 1873. But many aspects of intelligence were divided between arms of the military: The Admiralty, (responsible for the Navy) formed the Naval Intelligence Department (NID) in 1887. The War Office, on balance, was oriented towards the Army, and formal coordination between the two did not appear to take place until 1909 with the formation of The Secret Service Bureau.

This document, composed in 1907 and forwarded in 1908, came from the desk of Sir Reginald Herbert Brade, Secretary of the Army Council and Assistant Secretary of the War Office. It represents an effort on the part of the War Office to professionalize the Army's intelligence operations. The Object is described as follows:
The object of the Intelligence Course is to give a certain number of regimental officers some preliminary training in Intelligence Duties, so that they may be fitted to be attached to the General Staff to assist in the performance of these duties in the field.
What follows in the syllabus is an outline of what was viewed as the purview of the intelligence officer: in many respects, what we would now consider in terms of reconnaissance:
Duties of Officers employed on Intelligence Service, training of observation and memory, tact, languages, riding, sketching and reporting, tactical and strategic knowledge. Reconnaissance, guiding troops, examination of persons and documents. Preventing the enemy obtaining information. Interpreters. Guides. Scouts.
It is interesting to note that 'Reconnaissance' includes what are termed 'Memory Reconnaissances; reconnaissances of inaccessible ground (with and without a map).' Specific attention is given to panorama sketching in this context, and to the analysis of maps found upon the enemy on battlefields.
Intelligence Class 1910
  • 'Précis of Lectures Intelligence Class 1910' Manuscript, 3pp. Course outline, indigo, 21pp. Plus manuscript addendum 1p. Plus
  • 1st (Peshawar) Division Intelligence course (August 1-27, 1910) 5pp.
Based on the framework of the above syllabus of 1907-8, Walshe - then a newly-minted intelligence instructor - produced a precís of the lectures he would undertake; this provided an outline for the lecture notes to follow. It offers glimpses of the officer himself, both in elements absent from the official syllabus, or made more prominent. In his introductory lecture, for example, he is keen to stress upon his students the 'opportunities for distinction' afforded the intelligence officer; and the whole second lecture pertains to panorama drawing, a relative footnote in the official syllabus. This reflects both Walshe's facility as a draftsman, but also emphasizes the importance of this discipline in an era in which photographic equipment was unreliable, bulky, and dangerous.

While much of the course's focus appears to be on general principles, later sections focus on particular theaters of importance:
  • Wartime intelligence in India
  • West Africa
  • Intelligence systems of Japanese and Russians in Peace and War.
  • Organization of British and Colonial Forces and of some Great Foreign Armies.
Section thirty-three is dedicated to analysis of the Afghanistan situation, and significant portions of the archive focus on the Afghan theatre: not surprising, as Peshawar was the headquarters of the British Indian frontier overlooking Afghanistan, and its garrison could be expected to be forward in any campaign there. That being the case, Peshawar was (and remains today) a global espionage hotspot, being the gateway between the Indian Subcontinent and Afghanistan and Persia.
Lecture Notes 1910
  • 1: 'Introductory Intelligence Generally' Manuscript, 11pp.
    Just as the introductory lecture was intended to inform Walshe's students of the context in which their class was taking place, so does it provide the same to the modern reader. It assumes that a general mobilization of forces in India might be expected, and that in the event there would be required some fifty field intelligence officers to be in place: hence, the Intelligence Course, to train prospective officers for that duty. It was new: 'Up to last year there was no list kept of Officers specifically suitable + instructed in this difficult + important work.'

    The special problems facing the British Indian army reveal cultural assumptions inherent in colonial warfare: 'The strength, organization and system of foreign armies… can be studied in peace. Their main thoroughfares, railways, canals, population, wealth, local produce + industries, shipping, is published in all civilized countries… But it is a different matter in uncivilized + little known countries such as those in which our army has so often to operate.'

    Walshe goes on to enumerate significant examples of recent wars in which the successful - or unsuccessful - accumulation and application of intelligence played a notable role: The Franco-Prussian and Austro-Prussian wars, the Boer War, the Russian campaign against Khiva in 1873, French African efforts in 1893, the 1896 defeat of Italy at the Battle of Adwa, the British 1882 campaign in Egypt, and the Russo-Japanese war are all referred to in some detail.
  • 3: Reconnaissance (Many Examples Shown) manuscript 7pp. typescript 5pp
    Among various fascinating observations on the primary role of the horse in reconnaissance and the promising advent of the aeroplane, there is an astonishing revelation on the former underutilization of maps in strategic reconnaissance, and Walshe's insistence on the importance of the map and the panorama sketch to effective reconnaissance reporting.
    We were not well taught Topography at the 'Shop.' To begin with it was wrong to call the subject Topography I think. Reconnaissance would be a much better name. Most of us did not grasp the principles of what we had to do… one never took out available maps, nor even ever saw them. The Ordnance Map of the country round was a sealed book to us + one had a feeling that it would be dishounourable ever to look at one. This feeling was so strongly inculcated that I can remember having it when I was a youngster in the Service. More than once, when sent out to do reconnaissances, I did not take a map for this reason. I need not tell you to make every possible use of all available maps. As a rule, it is a good thing to take out an enlargement of the map with you + put in any extra points on the ground. Use every help you can get hold of, you are not being examined and it is not 'cribbing.'
    Walshe goes on to describe the proper scales to use in making sketch maps of various sorts of targets; his typeset notes include his assignments to his students, which include making panorama sketches, and sketch plans of defensive positions.
  • 4: The Collection of Intelligence in Peace / The prevention of its acquisition by the Enemy. manuscript 3pp. typescript 16pp.
    It becomes apparent that the development of British intelligence institutions, particularly in India, followed directly on the onset of the Great Game. In describing peacetime intelligence work in India, Walshe notes Up to the second Afghan War need of Intelligence Department not realized. Russian menace was distant. Small wars occurred periodically as now, on North West Frontier. But Politicals did all collection of Intelligence in peace… it worked, after a fashion till second Afghan war in '79. Then it was found that theatre was quite outside sphere of political spies, and no one knew anything of strength, strategy or tactics of Afghan Army.
    An extensive section on maps proposes the dissemination of good maps to troops in the field, their revision and also their application in reconnaissance. Particularly fascinating is the idea of the use of 'skeleton maps' to note new information.
    Good way as follows: - Keep two or three maps going. Put in position and strength (of the) enemy on 1st map according to information received 1st day. This map is then shown to G.O.C. 1st evening but then taken back and kept by Intelligence Officer till next day. Second day situation (then marked) on same map in different colour. Enemy's first day's positions on it as well. Join up the two positions by lines to show routes, if possible. Map now shows strength, position, and movements as far as known. New positions then copied on a 2nd map and 1st put up to G.O.C. again… 2nd maps replaces 1st and so on.'
  • 5: Intelligence Duties in the Field. manuscript 10pp. typescript 14pp
    It is perhaps instructive that, in the field, the Intelligence Officer is not particularly engaged in the production or use of maps: the focus of instruction here is rather on qualities of judgement, manner, discretion, attention to detail and 'pluck.'
  • 6: Practical Astronomy. manuscript 10pp.
    This subject is necessary for Topographical Surveying. It is also very useful for all Reconnaissance + every I.O. should know something of the stars.' Maneuvers by night, as touched on in Walshe's own education as a spy, still relied heavily on being able to judge directions by the stars in 1910. In order to teach this art, Walshe has to give a brief explanation of the nature of the Solar System and the place of the world in it. (eight planets, Pluto not having been discovered yet.) The subject appears to have been a challenging one for Walshe to present in digest: His handwriting grows somewhat wilder in this section, and nearly half of the manuscript is subject to the author's crossings-out and redactions.
  • 7: The Guiding of Troops By Day and Night. manuscript 10pp. 10 pp typescript.
    By 'Guide,' Walshe is not making a general reference to an officer leading his men but specifically referring to individuals tasked as guides for an armed force, whether employed from a native population or drawn from an Intelligence Department, particularly when accurate maps are unavailable. (A remarkable instruction: 'Make guide (temporary) rehearse route beforehand. If suspect him, cut off trouser buttons.' (so that he cannot run away if he proves to be false.) This recommendation appears twice, including the suggestion to tie the hostile guide to a staff officer or another soldier.

    It is interesting to see, in Walshe's teaching of night maneuvers, echoes of his student work on the same subject. Some of the same sketches and lessons are still emphasized, to the extent that Walshe may well have used his student work as a foundation for his new notes.
  • 8: Memory Sketching. manuscript 3pp. 1 p. indigo.
    (See also 'Drawings,' below. ) Walshe proposes the use of the sketch from memory as an important tool in reconnaissance, as (especially in wartime) the scout seldom will be afforded time by the enemy to sit and draw his defenses in detail. In order to train the visual memory, he proposes an outdoor version of 'Kim's Game,' in a remarkable in-context Great Game reference to Kipling's epitome of the Great Game adventure story. It is in the context of this section that the collection of Walshe's own drawings (see below) should be viewed.
  • 11: Intelligence in War (in India) manuscript 9pp. 9 pp typescript. 9 pp. indigo (copy)
    This represents a fascinating report, from the horse's mouth, of the role of the British military in India at the beginning of the 20th century, and consequently the role of Intelligence for the army in India. Much relies on analysis of historical events, notably the '57-'58 mutiny, and the development from scratch of an intelligence service by Sir James Macgregor. There is discussion of the development, following the 2nd Afghan war, of a military intelligence capability to shore up shortfalls of the Political/Civilian intelligence arm which, though effective in peacetime, proved ignorant of Afghan military strengths. With regard to Afghanistan in particular, Walshe has this to say: we cannot call Afghans very friendly, as a rule, but - bulk of population to line Kabul - Kandahar, + some in northern parts probably our well-wishers. Devout Mahomedans like us better than Russians. We drink less, and Russians use of Ikons - rank idolatry! Also we treat our native subjects better. Still nearly certain that people of Afghanistan will be some for us, some for Russia, some for neither. All will fight someone for the fun of the thing.
  • 11a: Intelligence in War (West Africa, Somaliland) manuscript 5pp.
    This much shorter set of notes focuses on the 1890s conflicts in central/western Africa. Given the deep European ignorance of the land they were trying to extend influence upon, the task of mapping became foremost in intelligence work. Walshe reveals the cultural sensibility of his day in describing English war in Somaliland, the heading being Int. Duties in Savage Warfare. But again, almost the first challenge to the Intelligence Officer he describes is the absence of good maps, and the necessity to produce them during operations.
  • 13/ 13a: Codes and Ciphers, manuscript 12pp.
    This introduction to the art of Cryptography is, on its own, a fascinating document. It gives a brief history of the use of cryptography in war, describes the desirable features of ciphers to be used in the field, and then looks at a handful of substitution codes, transposition systems, and some simple 'grille' and 'wheel' ciphers.
  • 14: Organization of our British and Colonial Forces and of some great Foreign Armies. manuscript 9pp.
    After a brief history of the development of the British Army after the Conquest, Walshe outlines the organization of the Regular Army, the army in India, colonial forces in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and in Africa. (Britain and India combine to 536,000.) He goes on to summarize the organizations of the armies of Germany (620,000 at peace, 3,250,000 mobilized), France (600,000 peace, 3,600,000 war) Russia (1,300,000 peace, 4,000,000 war) and Japan, 219,000 peace vs. 1,000,000 wartime.)
  • Afghanistan. indigo, 36pp.
    This individual set of typeset notes is the densest of the archive, emphasizing the importance of that theatre for intelligence work in the Peshawar region. It consists of a history of Afghanistan from 1700 to 1907, followed by a detailed geographical description of the country. Both the First and Second Anglo-Afghan Wars and the Indian Mutiny are covered in some detail, and the balance of power between Britain and Russia in the theatre appears prominently.

    Walshe notes in manuscript that the lecture should reference 'The map in Military Report on Afghanistan,' that report likely being the 1906 report produced by the Indian Army Intelligence Branch. In the description of the country's geography, Walshe emphasizes Peshawar's strategic importance - in the event of a British invasion of Afghanistan, the northernmost of two lines of attack would originate in Peshawar.
Further Documents
  • Relations between intelligence Officers and Political officers on the Frontier. (Undated) manuscript, 2pp.
    This manuscript - marked 'confidential' at its head - covered what would have been an extremely delicate aspect of Walshe's intelligence work: the relations between Army intelligence officers and the officers of the Indian Foreign Department, known as 'Politicals.' The formalization of British military intelligence would put Walshe and his newly-minted officers in potential conflict with the already-entrenched Politicals, who up until the advent of the new military intelligence organization had monopolized spy work in the Indian frontier.
    It is unfortunate for I am afraid that they view the development of intelligence Department in the Army with suspicion, as likely to encroach on their particular spheres… further it should be borne in mind that the habitual role of the Frontier Political (is) that of a keeper of the peace at all costs… bear in mind that from the 2nd Afghan War onwards the political forecasts of military situations have been quite sufficiently often wrong to render it inadvisable for a military commander to accept them without careful consideration.
  • Supplementary Materials
    The following appear to relate specifically to Walshe's instructional work, as reference material for lectures he himself relied on (as any good teacher will do when subject matter falls outside of their specialty.) The subjects they cover are among those stipulated in the official syllabus, but appear to have been sufficiently out of Walshe's specialization that reference to these articles would have been advisable.
  • Draft: Military Government, Discipline, Spies, Flags of Truce, Censorship and Captures. (Indian Supplement.) (Undated) letterpress, 12pp.
  • Coast Defenses/Coastal Reconnaissance, William M. Ogg
Throughout the archive, Walshe stressed the importance of sketch-drawing in reconnaissance work - drawings from life, and also drawings from memory. Walshe notes that the skill of drawing was less difficult than supposed, but notes (in Memory Sketching, above that 'Practice with this, as with Panorama sketching, is the great thing. Prac. Makes perfect.' Walshe clearly took his own advice to heart, in his travels throughout the region and in his activities as big game hunter. These drawings that follow are not the works of an amateur, but are the evidence of a professional intelligence officer honing his skills and his eye at every opportunity.
  • Manuscript pencil sketch of the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, drawn on 3 x 5.5 inch envelope addressed from JAS. Davison and Company Engineers and Ironmongers of Lahore.
  • Sketches of Ibexes, pencil, 3 sheets of 4 x 6 notepaper.
  • Ram sketch: (Marco Polo Sheep?) pencil, 5.5 x 8 inches.
  • Landscapes, pencil, 2 sides 4 x 6 notepaper.
  • A superb trio of drawings of a Himalayan Lynx. Manuscript pencil, inked on 8 x 5 inch notepaper.
  • Coast Defenses /Coastal Reconnaissance, William M. Ogg
The archive, as a unit or in its parts, is one-of-a-kind. Even the printed map of Bombay Harbor appears here in its only known example, apparently printed expressly for its use by the Staff College in 1906. It does not appear in OCLC. Notwithstanding its lacunae (we particularly wish for Walshe's detailed notes on Panorama Drawing, listed in his Précis as section II, which has not apparently survived) this is a unique and irreplaceable snapshot of a part of the world as entangled in intrigue now, as it was a hundred and ten years ago. The entire archive demands, and will doubtless reward, dedicated study.


Frederick William Henry Walshe (1872 - 1931) was a senior British Army officer during the First World War. He was educated at Bedford School and at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1892, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery in 1897, and rose to the rank of Captain in 1899 - his unit having been changed to the Royal Field Artillery in 1899. His duties took him to India, where in the first decade of the 20th century he received intelligence training and himself became an instructor in that art in the years leading up to the Great War. During the First World War, he would serve in the Gallipoli Campaign, Egypt and in France. Surviving the war, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. The Russian Civil War would find the Brigadier in southern Russia, part of the expeditionary force supporting White Russian forces against the Bolsheviks. He would become Aide-de-camp to King George V between 1920 and 1928, with further postings in Turkey, Mesopotamia, and again in India, between 1924 and 1928. Learn More...


Good condition overall for its kind; edges of many sheets much worn with occasional areas of loss. Map condition as in body of description. Sections bound together with string, sometimes paperclip, with inevitable damage to paper. Still a remarkable survival and legible, useful historical source.