Kacheri Cemetery, Kanpur
One of the ways in which Bacsa seeks to further its objectives is to “establish for public benefit and access, cemetery records, whether visual, written, aural or electronic, which shall be stored in perpetuity and made available for public access”. Our founder Theon Wilkinson set about this task with his customary determination, and over a period of thirty years built up a substantial archive derived both from his own research into cemeteries and all things Indian, and from the many Bacsa members who sent him information of all kinds.
The result is the Cemetery Archive containing:
1. Cemetery Files
2. Other archive resources, comprising United Kingdom Monumental Inscriptions (UKMIs) relating to India, family histories, and reference materials.
In the course of administering Bacsa and implementing its objectives the Association’s officers, chiefly Wilkinson as Secretary, accumulated the files contained in the Administrative archive which allows the historian to study how Bacsa was founded and developed, and how it pursues its activities.
There is also a Burials database containing the names of about 50,000 people buried in India and others buried in the UK but who lived or served in India or elsewhere in Asia, derived from Bacsa’s Cemetery Record Books and collection of UKMIs.
Where are they?
Both the Cemetery archive and the Administrative archive are open to public access at the British Library in London where they are held as individual collections in the India Office Private Papers (under shelfmarks Mss Eur F370 and F605) and can be consulted in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room. Persons wishing to do so must have a British Library Reader Pass: click here for details of how to obtain one. On your first visit the staff on the Enquiry Desk will be happy to explain how to order the files. If you have questions regarding the files which they cannot answer the Bacssa archivists Richard Bingle or David Blake firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com may be able to help.
The archives contain material dating from Bacsa’s foundation to roughly 2011. Some files have continuation files not yet transferred to the Library: enquiries to Richard or David as above.
Imperial India: Find your Ancestors
This is the title of a 14 day tour, 17th-30th October 2018, led by Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, MBE (editor of our Journal Chowkidar). It will trace the history of the British Raj from its last capital Delhi to its original captal Calcutta, including visits to Meerut, Lucknow, Cawnpore, Serampore and Chandernagore.
The tour is organised by Indus Experiences a long established tour company based in Harrow, and is limited to 18 people, so an early decision to go may be advisable.
To book or for further information on the tour please contact the company:
tel: 0208 901 7320
The company donates £25 for each person joining the tour.
For further information on tours the company can offer see its website: https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk