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File 3516/1914 Pt 14 'German War: Persia; general situation' [‎137v] (279/532)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (261 folios). It was created in 8 Aug 1915-30 Nov 1915. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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19
As already reported, Haji Ali “ German! ” is believed to be half German,
bavins been (according to report) born of a German circus rider by a Moor or
Algerian. Some notes about him appear on page 40 of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. Ad-
ministration Report of 1912.
Since he joined the Lingeh branch of Messrs. R. Wonckhaus and Company fly
he has always been the righthand man of the respective Managers, entering
with zest into all their nefarious schemes. He was of great assistance to
Mr. Brown in collecting (and possibly fabricating) documentary evidence in
the Abu Musa case. He also used to assist and often arrange any little arms
smuggling operations in the time of Mr. Randall and other Managers. I also
remember when Gray Pauls first started at Lingeh Haji Ali frequently used to
get up rows with their coolies, and on several occasions he tried to seize boats
loaded with shells which were brought for Messrs. Gray Paul and Company
against a loan.
He accompanied Herr Manicke to Shiraz towards the end of May, and
there is fairly good ground for supposing that when they passed through
Bastak, he put up Ali Kambari and other notorious ruffians of the district to
attack the Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s Camp at Salak on Kishm. It is,
however, impossible to prove this.
As Haji Ali considered himself a German and identified himself absolutely
with the firm of R. Wonckhaus and Company, I beg to suggest that he should
be interned in India until the end of the war in the same manner as the
superior employees of the firm.
A copy of this has been sent to His Majesty’s Minister, Tehran, and to the
Chief Political Officer, Basrah.
Enclosure.
No. 310, dated the 25th September 1915.
From—M r. W. R. Howson, His Majesty’s Vice-Consul, Lingeh,
To— Major A. P. Trevor, C.I.E., Officer on Special Duty (in the absence of the
Resident, Bushire).
With reference to my telegram No. 106, dated the 24th September 1915, I
have the honour to inform K you that on the 21st instant I received information
from two sources that Haji Ali Germani had left Lar for Lingeh. The same
night I despatched three Tangistani sowars under their chief Kaiyid Muham
mad Hussain with two local men as guides with instructions to arrest Haji Aii
who would probably be travelling in disguise, and to take him to Kung. The
party met Haji Ali disguised as a Persian at Chumpa some 20 miles north of
Lingeh on the 22nd and brought him in the same night. I rode out with a
small escort and met the party at Bardagoon and took them on to Kung where
the prisoner was handed over to the Haviidar commanding the Vice-Consulate
guard.
The same night I questioned Haji Ali and also took an inventory of his
belongings. Lnclosed herewith is a short summary of the prisoner’s statement.
It will be seen that he has given no information of value but this can be
accounted for by his fear of punishment from his own countrymen, in fact he
told one of my men that he would be killed even after the war if it were
known he had given us information.
The arrest was planned and carried out with secrecy and no one in Lingeh
had an\ inkling of it till the morning of the 23rd. The same day the Deputy
Governor wrote to me officially expressing his surprise at my action which he
said constituted a breach of Persian neutrality and requesting me to release
Haji Ali. He at the same time promised to despatch him into the interior
without delay. I replied to the effect that the reason of Haji Ali’s visit to
Lingeh was to foment trouble, and seeing that he (the Deputy Governor) was
powerless, owing to the existing relations between himself and his tufangchis,
to take the necessary measures, I had taken it up on myself to have the
man arrested. I said I calculated my action was in the interests of both the
Persian and British Governments.

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Content

The volume concerns the situation in south-western Persia during the First World War. The main focus is the British occupation of Bushire.

The volume covers:

  • Attack on British Consulate at Ispahan, which resulted in the wounding of the Consul and the death of one of the Sowars employed as escorts at the Consulate.
  • German activity in Persia; movements of German agents.
  • Turkish officers in Persia.
  • Possible Russian occupation of north-western Persia.
  • Attitude of Persian Government and situation at Tehran and in the rest of Persia.
  • Information suggesting that maps of Persia, Afghanistan and Mesopotamia were made available by the Germans to the Turks.
  • Rumoured arrest of British Consul at Shiraz.
  • Appointment of Darya Begi as Governor of Gulf Ports.
  • Alarm caused by advance of Russian troops.
  • Evacuation of British Consul from Kermanshah.
  • Arrest of British subjects from Shiraz.
  • Demands of Khans in return for the release of Shiraz prisoners.

The volume’s principal correspondents are: Charles Marling, British Minister at Tehran; British Consuls at Kerman (C T Ducat), Sistan and Kain (Francis Beville Pridaux), Isfahan (G Grahame), Khorasan, Yazd, Lingeh [Bandar Lengeh] (W R Howson); Percy Cox, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. ; Arthur Prescott Trevor, Deputy Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. ; Foreign Secretary to the Government of India; Thomas William Holderness and Arthur Hirtzel, India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. ; War Office; Charles Hardinge, Viceroy of India; Walter Langley and Maurice de Bunsen, Foreign Office; War Office; George Buchanan, British Ambassador in Russia; Darya Begi; the American Embassy in London; the Adjutant General in India.

There is a letter in French, from the French Embassy in London; there is a translation of a newspaper article, from Jam-i-Jam.

Extent and format
1 volume (261 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 263; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 3516/1914 Pt 14 'German War: Persia; general situation' [‎137v] (279/532), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/490, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100044312164.0x000050> [accessed 5 December 2019]

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