Archive / Papers / Jones, J.H. Papers


Juxon Henry Jones went to India in February 1840 as Assistant Surgeon to the East India Company. These letters to his mother cover the first ten years of his appointment, until his first furlough. In the years up to 1850 Surgeon Jones was posted to Meerut, Landour, Dehra Dun, Delhi, Sind and lastly Hansir.

Photocopies of transcripts made by Mrs I. Macfarlane.

The letters describe the day to day existence of a medical officer in the various stations to which he was posted. The voyage out, lasting from February until June, is told of in some detail. The march from Chinsurah, near Calcutta, to Meerut is also described. It involved a distance of some 900 miles in three months. At Meerut Jones was appointed senior Assistant Surgeon in charge of Queen’s Recruits. Jones did a stint in Sind before its annexation and as a reward for his services there he was posted to the coveted station, Hansir, north-west of Delhi, in 1845. There he spent the remaining five years of his first tour in India. As well as complaints about the difficulty of saving money and of meeting attractive single English women, his letters contain illuminating remarks on how the British of that era coped with the terrible heat of North Indian hot weather seasons. There is not much reference to medical work, although he does complain of increased demands made on his time by the presence of European children in a station. His first term of service in India encompassed the period of the Sikh wars and his letters contain many references to these as well as to the Afghan wars and troubles in Kashmir. His letter of February 6, 1849 tells of the bloody battle of Chillianwallah and inveighs against the inefficiency of the Commander in Chief. He mentions the annexation of the Punjab and suggests that his mother visit London to see the Koh-I-Noor diamond. 185pp.