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Sgt Meppen Warburton Walter in police uniform, Calcutta 1919


FIBIS resources

Roll of Indian Police officers 1861-1947 - Superintendents & Asst Superintendents Database set containing names of 1,711 officers, who, from 1861, served as Superintendents, and from 1893 as Assistant Superintendents, and above.

Madras Presidency

Administration Reports of the Madras Police

The Administration Report of the Madras Police returned between 1866 and 1893 (IOR/V/24/3129-33) are largely statistical documents but contain the odd family history snippet. Note that the format seems to change year on year. The Superintendent of each Madras district sent a report detailing incidents worthy of comment, some being major crimes, some being internal disciplinary matters. Although names are not often given, phrases such as "the Head Constable of --- station" are used, meaning that if you have a police ancestor in Madras at this time it might be worth checking these reports. If nothing else, the reports give a flavour of the police work. The series appears to be continued from 1894-1948 (IOR/V/24/3133-37) but the content of these files cannot be commented upon.

Editions found online:


  • Charles Tegart. He joined the Calcutta Police in 1901, becoming head of its Detective Department. He served almost continuously in Calcutta for a period of thirty years until he was appointed a member of the Secretary of State's Indian Council in December 1931.
    • Charles Tegart Wikipedia
    • "An Irishman is specially suited to be a policeman" historyireland.com
    • Charles Tegart : Hero or Villain? by Dr Sudhir Kumar Jha (former Director General of Police, Bihar) July 22, 2014. “British Raj in India”.
    • Charles Tegart of the Indian Police: an unpublished biography by Lady Tegart is available at the British Library with European Manuscripts catalogue entry Mss Eur C235 1881-1946
      • This review, from The Hindu, of the book Travel Writing and the Empire by Sachidananda Mohanty (Editor), gives details of one of the essays "Colonialism, Surveillance and Memoirs of travel: Tegart's Diaries and the Andaman Cellular Jail", where "Tutun Mukherjee looks at the "Memoir of an Indian Policeman", a compilation made by Tegart's wife of the diaries of Charles Augustus Tegart, British loyalist and Police Commissioner. The Memoir, Mukherjee notes, records a particularly violent chapter in India's colonial history, that of extremism, British repression and brutal colonial incarceration. Travelling to the Cellular Jail in the beautiful Andaman archipelago in 1913, Tegart notes the careful architecture of the prison, recording all the many ways in which the prisoners were kept under control, his eyes ever alert for lapses in vigilance".
  • Eric Arthur Blair who was in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927 is better known as the author George Orwell. His novel Burmese Days was first published 1934 and is based on his experiences in the Burma Police. Orwell was stationed from December 1926 to June 1927 in the northern town of Katha, on which the fictional town of Kyauktada in Upper Burma in the novel is based. Online edition: Burmese Days Gutenberg.net.au. For more details, see George Orwell

External links

Thugs and thuggee

Historical books online

Annual Report on the Police of the City of Bombay, for the year 1936 (Commissioner of Police, Bombay, 1937) Link to a pdf download Digital Repository of GIPE, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, India


Alternative spelling Thags, Thegs. The crime of Thuggee (Thugee)