John Masters

From FIBIwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lieutenant Colonel John Masters, DSO (1914–1983) was an officer in the Indian Army from 1934, with the 2nd Battalion 4th Gurkha Rifles from 1935, and novelist.

His autobiography Bugles and a Tiger; a Volume of Autobiography was published in 1956 and has since been republished under slightly different titles as Bugles and a Tiger, Bugles and a Tiger : a Personal Adventure and Bugles and a Tiger: My Life in the Gurkhas. It covers the Waziristan Campaign 1936-39. The second volume of his autobiography Road Past Mandalay deals mostly with the Burma campaign in the Second World War. Both volumes are available online, refer below.

His 1954 novel Bhowani Junction, set in the period of Britain's exodus and the Partition of India, was made into a successful film, starring Ava Gardner. The geographic location of fictional Bhowani Junction was most likely Jhansi, but the film was shot in Lahore.

External links

Online books


  • Bugles And A Tiger: A Personal Adventure 1956., mirror version from Digital Library of India. Also available titled Bugles And A Tiger: A Volume of Autobiography Internet Archive ( Lending Library. Only one person at a time is able to borrow, so you may need to wait for the book to be returned, First you must sign up with the Open Library. Waziristan in the late 1930s with the Indian Army.
  • The Road past Mandalay : a personal narrative 1961. 1979 reprint edition Internet Archive ( Books to Borrow/ Lending Library. 2nd volume of Autobiography, Second World War period. The short first part takes Masters and the 2/4th Ghurkas to Iraq and Syria. After a staff course back in India, the balance of the book concerns his time in Burma, with a Chindit Column.
  • Pilgrim Son 1971 Full title: Pilgrim Son : a Personal Odyssey. mirror version from Digital Library of India. 3rd volume of Autobiography. Masters' life as a writer.

Novels with an Indian background

Listed according to the period in which the novels are set.[1]

  • Coromandel! 1955. Internet Archive ( Lending Library. A 17th-century English lad runs away to sea and ends up in India.
  • The Deceivers first published c 1952. mirror from Digital Library of India. An English officer goes undercover to root out the ritual murders of Thuggee.
  • Nightrunners Of Bengal 1966 reprint edition, first published 1951. Internet Archive ( Lending Library. Also available 1955 edition, The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
  • The Lotus And The Wind first published c 1952., mirror from Digital Library of India. The Great Game of British and Russian agents on the Northwest Frontier.
  • The Ravi Lancers 1972. Internet Archive ( Lending Library. An Indian cavalry regiment is sent to the France at the outbreak of the First World War. Believed to be based on the real-life Jodhpur Lancers (Indian States Forces)[2].
  • Bhowani Junction 1954. mirror from Digital Library of India. Also available in the Internet Archive ( Lending Library. Britain's exodus and the Partition of India.
  • BBC Radio 18-part serialisation of John Masters' chronicles of the Savage family, spanning the years 1825-1946 based on the novels The Deceivers, Night Runners of Bengal, The Lotus and the Wind and Bhowani Junction, first broadcast 1984-1985.
  • To The Coral Strand, mirror from Digital Library of India. An ex-officer refuses to go gracefully after Indian independence.

Other novels

  • Fandango Rock 1959 mirror from Digital Library of India. Set in Spain.


  1. Wikipedia article
  2. Comment by Peter Moore on an archived webpage Soldiers Stories: Lieutenant Frank de Pass