Patrick Brendon, I.C.S. Joined service 1937 and held posts in Punjab; Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon 1945-47.
Donated by Mr Brendon.
Small Collections Box 5
- Typescript memoir by Mr Brendon: Disaster in Gurgaon’.
Mr Brendon explains that he wrote this memoir because he disliked the use of the chapter heading ‘The Meo Rising’ in Sir Francis Tuker’s book While Memory Serves (London, Cassell, 1950). Brendon maintains that the story was more one of Hindu aggression and Meo and Muslim resistance.
The account begins with war-time constitutional and political developments as seen by Mr Brendon. He then describes his arrival in the Gurgaon District of the Punjab in January 1945 and his early days there. He is shown as exercising an individualistic and perhaps somewhat unorthodox approach to the problems of the District. He explains that partly because of its position, and partly for other reasons, Gurgaon was rather distinct from other areas of the Punjab. He is critical of Sir B. Glancy (Governor of the Punjab) for not inviting the League to form a Government after the 1945-46 elections and makes the point that it was only the next Governor’s (Sir E. Jenkins’) superb administrative skills which kept the Khizar Hyat Khan Union Party coalition in being.
In Brendon’s account 20 February 1947 marks a clear divide. This was the date when H.M.G. announced its decision to leave India by June 1948 and it was followed by the resignation of the Khizar coalition. From this point, Brendon relates, the Congress lost interest in avoiding disturbances in Gurgaon. From his own viewpoint it marked the end of any light relief in the daily round of administration.
Brendon divides the final phase of the disturbances into two. Those occuring in March 1947 and those beginning late May 1947. He stresses the particular difficulties caused by the departure of experienced British officers; the growing communalism in the services, both military and civil; and the part played by the adjacent Princely State of Alwar. There is an account of a visit of Sardar Baldev Singh and Sardar Patel to the District at the end of May. 64pp.
- Two letters from Tuker to Brendon evidently written in 1951 and commenting on the memoir. Also an explanatory letter by Mr Brendon dated 21 September 1988.
- Newspaper cutting: ‘Wedding frogmarch for the bride who chose Mr Wrong’, The Telegraph, 14.8.1988