A hostage rescue; the copy of Colonel C.E. Bruce
Tales of Tirah and Lesser Tibet.
With Forewords by Lord Rawlinson & Sir John Maffey. Edited, with an Appreciation, by Basil Mathews. London Hodder and Stoughton 1924
Fourth impression, pp.253, portrait, 6 illustrations, 2 maps. A very good copy in original cloth. Spine and corners lightly bumped. The copy of Colonel C.E. Bruce, with a warm presentation inscription from the author dated 1924 thanking him for his assistance in freeing the hostage, and with numerous annotations by Bruce correcting facts or refuting exaggerations. Armorial bookplate of Colonel Bruce to pastedown.
A fascinating account of the two expeditions made by Lilian Agnes Starr (1885-1977), a nurse of the Peshawar Mission Hospital, into Tibet and Afghanistan. The first, in 1922, was a vacation with her single servant to Leh, capital of Ladakh, reveals an immensely rich culture brought to life by Starr's frank and vivid descriptions. The second expedition, in 1923, was a far more dramatic affair which earned Starr no small amount of fame in England and elsewhere. In 1923 the British cantonment Kohat, near the Afghanistan border, was raided by Afridi tribesmen and British citizen Mollie Ellis was captured. It was Lilian Starr who was chosen to find Mollie Ellis and negotiate her return, and upon her successful return was lauded world-wide. The writing, directly from Starr's personal journal and diaries, is frank and lends a realism often lost in other travel accounts. This work was so popular it went through three further editions in four months from its initial publication in November 1923. Colonel C.E. Bruce (1876-1950) was a British Indian Army Officer and colonial administrator involved in, among others, the Boxer Rebellion and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. He was particularly active in Balochistan, transferring to the Political Department sometime in the 1920s, and became the Chief Commissioner of Balochistan in 1930. He was District Commissioner in Kohat during the raid in 1923 and was subsequently able to meet and help to Starr on her mission.