Archive / Papers / Tewson Papers


Given by R.R. Tewson. A tea-planter in South India c. 1937-67.

Small Collections Box 23

In his typescript memoir ‘The Carefree Days of Planting’, Mr Tewson gives a frank account of his life as a planter. The memoir begins in 1933 when Tewson started as a junior in the London office of a Glasgow firm of East India merchants. It continues with his journey to India and describes the facilities the company made available as well as relating in some detail social life and leisure activities. Tewson joined the local Auxiliary Force and explains what this involved.

At the outset of the second World War, Tewson enrolled with the Mountain Artillery Training Centre at Kakul. Postings took him with Indian forces to Aden, Italian Somaliland, Kenya, Abyssinia, Palestine, the N.W. Frontier fighting the Faqir of Ipi and Arakan. In the later stages of the War he helped with information work in East Anglia and the United States and assisted in the re-occupation of the Rhineland.

After demobilization, Tewson resumed life as a planter – carrying over some lessons from Army days in his treatment of the workforce. He was made manager of a very large estate where he made considerable improvements. However, independence soon took place and Tewson found he must operate in different circumstances. He experienced the growth of communism in Kerala and ultimately had to work under a communist government. Eventually he was made redundant and he describes his feelings on leaving India.

The memoir concludes with a description of the jobs Mr. Tewson has held since his return to Britain. 26pp.