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The Indian Forestry Department of India was created in 1867, under the leadership of Dr Dietrich Brandis [1]

FIBIS resources

  • "The Indian Forest Services in the India Office Records: Questions and answers for researchers" by Ian Baxter FIBIS Journal Number 30 (Autumn 2013) pages 23-31

Training of Officers

  • 1867 - 1885 student officers received training in France and Germany.
  • 1885 -1906 student officers received training at the Royal Indian Engineering College at Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK.
  • 1906-1927 student officers received training via Oxford , Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities.
  • 1927 -1938 student officers were trained at the Imperial Forest Research Institute at Dehra Dun, which had been established in 1906.

Some sources of records

Asian and African Reading Room (British Library)

  • Names of individuals may be found in the annual directories on the open shelves
  • The forestry department was considered part of the Public Works Department. References to employment service may , therefore, be found amongst the L/PWD records at the British Library. For example, L/PWD/8/11 relates to Birth/baptismal certificates in candidates' application papers for the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill 1871-1903.
  • L/PJ/6/776 – relates to Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Forest Service candidates' application papers (1906)
  • Forest Department 1893-1900 Information to be found in L/F/10 221-228
  • See also Bengal Civil Servants 1706 - 1917 where it is indicated that there are over 50 'misfiled' record copies of Uncovenanted Officers in the Forestry Dept between the covenanted servants for 1884 and 1885 (L/F/10/45 - IOR Neg 57085-6 )
  • For more about the L/F/10 records, see L/F/10 Records of Service 1702-1928

Records Online

Lists of Officers in Survey and Forest Departments on 1st October 1873 Pdf download from Pahar- Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset.

Z-Force in Burma, WW2

Employees of the Burma Forest Service, the Bombay Burma Trading Corporation and Foucar Brothers, one of the large timber companies operating in Burma, were recruited to the 'Z-Force', a WW2 joint Allied reconnaissance and sabotage unit, who became 'Johnnies'. It was decided to recruit volunteers who were prepared to go into Burma, hide themselves in selected areas, and report back any information that they could pick up. "All had a thorough knowledge of the jungle, its inhabitants, and their language; all were tough and used to living on their own far from civilization; and all possessed courage of outstanding quality".[2][3]

Also see External links below.

Also see

Books by Forest Officers are included in

External links

"Wood Who Buried In Woods: Hugo Wood- 1870 to 1933"

Historical books online

  • Various editions of the monthly magazine The Indian Forester covering a period between 1880 and 1911, with some for the 1930s, can be found at Editions from c 1884 have the additional title A Monthly Magazine Of Forestry Agriculture, Shikar And Travel. Note however, some editions are do not have a date of publication, or are classified as published in 1875.
Additionally, most of the editions Volume 1, 1876 to Volume 33 , 1907 are available to download as a pdf files from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset, located under “Journals”.
Many individuals are mentioned in the included "Extracts from Official Gazettes". As an example of the latter, Appendix: ”Extracts from Official Gazettes” (125 pages) following page 484, Volume XXIV (1898)
Editions of Indian Forester are available from KrishiKosh, Institutional Repository of Indian National Agricultural Research System, with links to pdf downloads
Vol 25 1899, Vol 28 1902, Vol 29 1903, Vol 30 1904, Vol 31 1905, Vol 32 1906, Vol 33 1907, Vol 34 1908, Vol 35 1909, Vol 36 1910
Vol 37 1911, Vol 38 1912, Vol 39 1913, Vol 40 1914, Vol 41 1915, Vol 42 1916, Vol 43 1917, Vol 44 1918, Vol 45 1919, Vol 46 1920
Vol 47 1921, Vol 48 1922, Vol 49 1923, Vol 50 1924, Vol 51 1925, Vol 52 1926, Vol 53 1927, Vol 54 1928, Vol 55 1929, Vol 56 1930
Vol 57 1931, Vol 58 1932, Vol 59 1933, Vol 60 1934, Vol 61 1935, Vol 62 1936, Vol 63 1937, Vol 64 1938, Vol 65 1939, Vol 66 1940, Vol 67 1941, Vol 68 1942
In addition, there are some later editions from the 1980s onwards.
Jungle by-ways in India; leaves from the note-book of a sportsman and a naturalist by Edward Percy Stebbing 1911 The author spent sixteen years in the Indian Forest Service
Volume I only (although catalogued Vol. 2] 1911 edition, published in four volumes.
The author was appointed as Assistant Conservator of Forests in 1866 at Hoshangabad, C P.
  • Forest Life and Sport in India by Sainthill Eardley-Wilmot, late Inspector-General of Forests to the Government of India. 1910 The author joined the Indian Forest Service in December 1873 at Lucknow.
The Life of an Elephant by S Eardley-Wilmot 1912
  • Experiences of a jungle-wallah by Hugh Nisbet 1910 Southeast Asia Visions. The author worked for the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation from 1879. The company logged teak in the Burma forests.
The company is mentioned evacuating the European families of its forest officers in 1942, in Songs of The Survivors, page 56, stories about the Goan community and the Trek Out of Burma in 1942.
Indiaʼs Forest Wealth by E A Smythies 1925
Big Game Shooting in Nepal by Smythies 1942. Full title: Big Game Shooting in Nepal. With leaves from the Maharaja's sporting diary by Evelyn Arthur Smythies. Link to a download, Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. If download button does not display, locate under Books/ Nepal/1942.
E. A. Smythies Wikipedia. Forester and philatelist.
Ten Thousand Miles on Elephants by Olive Smythies 1961. Link to a download, Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. If download button does not display, locate under Books/ Nepal/1961. Wife of E. A. Smythies. "It documents the lives and conditions in various places in India, as well as the wildlife and the experiences of travelling". Olive Smythies also wrote Tiger Lady : adventures in the Indian jungle 1953, available at the British Library UIN: BLL01008310976 and Jungle Families 1954 UIN: BLL01003427846. Article: "Lady and the Tiger" page 4 The Australian woman's mirror. Vol. 29 No. 45 (30 September 1953)
  • With A Camera In Tiger Land by F W Champion 1928 (first published 1927) The author was in the Imperial Forest Service of India, a keen naturalist and photographer.
The Jungle In Sunlight And Shadow by FW Champion 1934. version, mirror from Digital Library of India..


  1. Dietrich Brandis - Wikipedia.
  2. Medals of Major C.G. ´Micky´ Merton, November 25, 2010, now an archived page.
  3. Denis Wilmot Rae, born circa 1908, an archived webpage.