McCLUSKIEGANJ
An Anglo-Indian Junction

Hello Traveller, Welcome to this page which I call "McCluskieganj - Junction" , and dedicate to Kitty and the residents of McCluskieganj. Although the place called "McCluskieganj" is not a railway junction, I intend to help join as many Anglo-Indians and others who are interested in the Place, the People and Anglo-Indians, together by giving them access to other McCluskieganjwallas, reuniting as one family at the 'junction' , I hope so!! If you know anyone who has been there or is from there can you please bring me up to speed, and I will help 'junction' people, like I did for K.G.F (Kolar Gold Fields ). Although I have never visited the place neither do I have any attachments, I am just captivated by the ambiance that is portrayed through a documentary film, I'm sure you will also agree with me once you have managed to get hold of it and experience the pioneering spirit of the early Anglo-Indians. McCluskieganj is located about 40 miles from Ranchi, in the State of Bihar. One of the nicknames for the place was "Chota London" ( we have a (Chota) 'Little England' and 'Little Texas' in Bangalore!!). The early residents were Anglo-Indians of British, Scottish, Irish and Eurasians (Portuguese) descent. Many of the settlers were from the Railways, and I guess trying to turn to 'Farming' at McCluskieganj would have been difficult.  Mr. Ernest Timothy McCluskie, an Anglo-Indian businessman from Calcutta, was the Founder of this Anglo-Indian Colony, which he rightly named 'McCluskieganj'. The McCluskieganj Railway Station is in Jharkhand.

Why I have started this page, is because  I had seen a very touching documentary video by 'UKTV' called 'McCluskieganj' which someone sent my dear friends Audrey and Brig. Leslie King. Watching the documentary, I really was touched by the conditions of  the Anglo-Indians in McCluskieganj and wanted to write about it on my homepage section covering Anglo-Indians.

For those of you interested in the details of the documentary the following information is what I took down from the movie credits:
Movie Documentary Name: McCLUSKIEGANJ
Camera : Mike Coles, Camera Assistant: Richard Comrie, Sound Recordist: Keith Rodgerson
Electrician : Richard De Souza, Production Co-ordinator: Lalit Vachani, Production Assistant: Vijay Raman, Production Liaison: Shenny Italia, Dubbing Mixer: Peter Hodges, Graphics: Gus Henry
Production Manager: Tinka Gordon, Researcher : Andree Jenni, Film Editor: Dick Pull
Executive Producer: Rod Caird, Producer: Sue Hayes, Director: Andy Stevenson
VPL for (c) Granada Television Limited, MCMXCIII

The Main Characters of the documentary dialogue were Wilfred Arthur Stringer and Ivan McTell,  Ian Jack gets a thank you credit, and there were many interviews (Ms. Morris, the Camerons, McTell, Tipthorpe, to name a few) with the local resident families. I am not really sure when the film was made, but there is one reference to a date that in 1993, Wilfred Stringer returned from UK back to McCluskieganj, and that his dear friend Ivan had already passed away. I was touched by Kitty Texeira's situation, nobody seems to tell us how she landed in such a situation, and her family? It's definitely non-fictional!! It reminded me of some of the Anglo-Indians we used to find in the past around Austin Town, Bangalore, now they have migrated, I'm not sure where to.

I tried to find out more about the place by checking the Net and discovered that there was an article on McCluskieganj by Alex Perry in TIME Asia Magazine July 15, 2002, Vol.160, No.1. titled "Letter from India: No Place Like Home" , the article could not fully capture the actual atmosphere of the place as viewed in the documentary, I guess for want of print space in the magazine.

I was surprised and very happy to see in another 'google' search that a familiar name turned up in a research on McCluskieganj -  ' Memory, identity and productive nostalgia: Anglo-Indian home-making at  McCluskieganj' by" Dr. Alison Blunt", whom I immediately requested to please share details from her thesis on McCluskieganj. I met Dr. Alison when she came to Bangalore a few years ago and visited the Kings, who were then staying in the Cathedral School premises (now they are at their own place: Audrey & Brig. Leslie King, 104, 2nd Main, 9th Cross,  Gospel Street, St. Thomas Town, Bangalore 560084).

I also put a request marker for more info on the ever obliging India-List, which is a genealogy sharing mail group. I received some very encouraging responses and directions which I share below. If anyone would like to share their pictures and memories of McCluskieganj, I welcome the same and it will definitely add more to the memories of the place. I would have gone to McCluskieganj myself and photographed the place, but it is too far from Bangalore. I could manage photographing Whitefield , another Anglo-Indian Settlement, near Bangalore, and of course Bangalore itself!!

Do you want McCluskieganj to be a statistic?
'.. there were 300 Anglo-Indian families, now there are only 20!!', or do you want McCluskieganj to be an example of  a proud culture, a legacy of grit and determination of a generation that shouldered responsibility in surviving even after all scurried from a sinking ship. I call upon families who originated from McCluskieganj (McCluskiegange as it is sometimes spelt) to put your effort in changing the situation of the place. Give hope where there seems to be so many negatives, Put aside ego, pride, snootiness and all that people say exists around the place. Prove to the world that they are wrong, establish contacts back in your roots, make McCluskieganj flourish in economic stability, by NRI's investing in hospitals, education, cultural philosophy, buy back some of the properties that seem to be going in the ruins. To those of you who have property, or even feel that you don't need it anymore, cultivate it, or sell it to someone of the Anglo-Indian community who is willing to do so, but do not let your community down by folded-arms and non-support. There are many Anglo-Indians who cannot afford a roof, open your doors to keep them as hostelites on your land. If someone can send me the list of addresses / emails of the 300 hundred or more of these families that started McCluskieganj, and their addresses where they are today, I will make an endeavour to try and reach out to them through this page and pass on any message that the 20 remaining families want to send them. After all, I am an outsider, so what I say does not count, but when it comes from within, it really matters.

From the video, I enjoyed the McCluskieganj Band,(I am not sure what they call themselves, but take it from me, their sound is good, I am a musician and know what I am talking about) they were really good, and talented, and although they played to a few old residents who danced thinking nodoubt of what the late Ivan McTell would say 'those were the days' memories, it would have been really encouraging to find some young people on the floor as well, but with 20 families left, what can you expect? Think hard all of you who have come from McCluskieganj and settled around the world and India, remember your place, visit or write to people there once in a way, and Christmas 2002 is around the bend, do something. Someone I am sure, yes, one of you could remember Kitty and her children. The All India Anglo Indian Association (AIAIA) (Calcutta, President, can you help?) or the Anglo Indian Guild (Bangalore, Mr. Jos Fernendez, can you help?) may have something to offer, perhaps in terms of 'information' more than cultural? Don't worry, Bangalore also has it's share of disillusions, I have come across various spellings for McCluskieganj such as mccluskieganj, mccluskiegunj, macluskieganj, macluskiegunj, mccluskiegunge. .
cheers
Ronnie,The Bangalorewalla


Linking the McCluskieganj - Junction
Articles, Web Pages and Correspondence related to McCluskieganj...

  • Some pictures of McCluskieganj on a webpage
  • An article by Ashok Sharma, Associated Pres s , 'Between Two Worlds' (Hinduism Today, May 1998)
  • Article by JAGRITI VIHARA
  • Another Page
  • Anglo-Indians In Touch, A Community Newsletter Vol. XXXII November 1996
  • Another Page
  • INDIA-L Archives: March 1998
  • Articles on Anglo-Indians (A - D)*Bert Payne's Library Author .. .
  • Jorgenson: Ethnic Boundries
  • Another Page
  • Gerry McPhail's McCluskieganj page
  • An article by S. Muthiah, '150 years of Contribution' Hindu Newspaper Monday, Sep 02, 2002
  • Anglo Indians of Jharkhand and some Neighbouring parts of Orissa Bihar & West Bengal by Mike Daniells, with Addresses
  • TIME Asia's article by Alex Perry "Letter from India: No Place Like Home"

  • My good friend and my brother David Johnson(who is a Vet in Sydney) too, Fr. Gordon Didier'Serre, mentioned that there were a few Anglo Indian colonies / Settlements like Mccluskieganj around Calcutta area where his older family menbers used to talk about, where there were picinics, dances and many other social entertainment in abundance. Can anyone remember and send me the details to add to this page or make up a new one. - Ronnie
    Some of these places could be: Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Chakradharpur(CKP), Asansol(West Bengal), Jharsuguda(Orissa).

    (To those of you who responded, Thank You Individually & Collectively)

    From: ThistleINCE@aol.com  To: ronniejohnson@hotmail.com
    Subject:: Re McCluskieganj Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002 05:41:47 EST

    Visited this settlement as a 5/6 year old in 1938/39 with parents who thought they might like to retire there later.  Nothing came of our visit, because we did not retire there, but moved to Jubbulpore (Jabalpur now!) in 1942.
    Where can I lay my hands on this cd documentary?  Would be very interested to view it.
    Thistle Ince, on the Hampshire/Surry border in England.



    From :  "Dick McCluskie" <mccluskie@myezmail.com, Date: 14 Dec 2002 12:08:48-0800 (PST) > To : Shirley West
    Subject: McCluskieganj
    Hello Shirley, Many thanks for sending the emails about McCluskieganj.
    There are a couple of websites on the internet which may be of interest to you and your friends, who we are copying in to this email.
    They are as follows:
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Gerry_McPhail/
    Hope this is a good starting point. Also, attached is a very recent photo of ourselves!! Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
    Dick & Peter McCluskie

    From :  "Bob Howson" < bob_howson@hotmail.com > To : ronniejohnson@hotmail.com
    Subject :  Re: [India-L] McCluskieganj, an Anglo-Indian Settlement ,  Date : Tue, 3 Dec 2002 09:41:45 +1100
    Hi Ronnie,
    My grandfather "Melville Ethelbert GRIFFITHS" live in the McCluskieganj and ran a plantation there. I am trying to find info on him, he was born in 1887  in Pashawar which is now in Pakistan. Could you tell me the title of the movie about the ganj ?
    Regards,  Bob Howson,  Australia  Researching: Howson / Griffiths / Hart / Eyre / Clark / Trotter / All From UK
    Does anyone have more information to send back to Bob please:
    From :  "Bob Howson" < bob_howson@hotmail.com > To : ronniejohnson@vsnl.net
    Subject :  Griffiths / Hart from McCluskieganj ,  Date : Thurs, 12 Dec 2002 6:23 AM

    Hi Ronnie,
    my mother and family lived in the Ganj up until 1951. Her father is " Melville Ethelbert GRIFFITHS " born 1887 in Pashawar, Bihar. Melville was a guard on the railway then became the station master at Bahawelnager. He retired on a pension from the railway and also bought a farm in the area. My grandfather's dad is " Lawrence Charles Griffiths."
     
    I'm having a little trouble finding his info at this stage, hopefully I may find him on the LDS index film I've ordered. My mother said there were lots of pictures taken of him while he was on the railway. Being a station master I feel there must be something out there somewhere.
     
    Melville married " Beryl Mignion HART " daughter of Dr. Samuel HART, again that's all I have at this stage. Was there any census done in that area leading upto 1951 ?
    Anyway your website is really interesting and I must get hold of the video of Mc Cluskieganj. I hope to track it down here in Australia if possible.
    Wishing you and the family Merry Xmas and hope to hear from you soon.
    Regards, Bob Howson, Australia.
    PS: Please Reply to bob_howson@hotmail.com
    http://www.genealogy.com/users/h/o/w/Robert-Howson/


    From :"Warren Brown"  To :ronniejohnson@hotmail.com
    Subject :Re: [India-L] McClauskiganj, an Anglo-Indian Settlement
    Date :Mon, 02 Dec 2002 23:43:06 -0800
    Dear Ronnie,
    The TIME magazine had a feature on McCluskiegunj a few months ago, why don't you check out their web site. All the best.Sincerely, Warren Brown
    "Knowledge is useless until it is transformed into benefit through action."
    Mr.Warren Brown, Librarian, Goethals Indian Library, St.Xavier's College, 30 Park Street, Kolkata-700 016 West Bengal,India


    Alison Blunt <A.Blunt@qmul.ac.uk> To  "Ronnie Johnson" <ronniejohnson@hotmail.com>
     Subject Re: Bangalore and McCluskieganj  Date :  Tue, 03 Dec 2002 18:21:16 +0000
    Dear Ronnie,
    It is lovely to hear from you, and to hear news of you and the Kings. I was delighted to see an interview with the Kings (and particularly as it was by Vinisha Nero, who I really enjoyed meeting too) in the latest issue of 'Anglos in the Wind,' ( see Anglo-Indian Publications for more details )and a really lovely photo of them. What is their new  address? Do please pass on my best wishes to them both. I do hope that they,  you and all of your family are keeping well. I have very fond memories of my  visit to Bangalore.
    In the meantime I have been writing various papers from my research. I am  attaching the one that I have written about McCluskieganj, which is  forthcoming in a journal called Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2003). As you will see, there is quite a long theoretical introduction to  ideas about memory and nostalgia before I turn more specifically to discuss  McCluskieganj. I am really interested in the reference you sent to an article in TIME Asia Magazine, which I haven't seen but will definitely look up. I  refer to a number of other newspaper articles, and a book by Kuntala Lahiri  Dutt called 'In search of a homeland,' which was published in 1990. There is also a recent novel called 'McCluskieganj' by VK Jha (1999), which is a work  of fiction, but uses the names of real residents, both past and present.  As  my paper is coming out in print, and I have signed an agreement saying that  it has not been published elsewhere, either in print or electronic form,  please don't attach the text to your website.  But I'd be really glad if you  included the abstract, and my email address - and I will certainly send copies of the paaper to anyone who is interested.
    (Sorry readers, but you could directly contact Dr. Alison Blunt for a copy, as I cannot attach the one Alison sent me - Ron).
    Another paper of mine has just come out in a journal called 'History Workshop Journal,' and is entitled ''Land of our Mothers': Home, identity and  nationality for Anglo-Indians in British India, 1919-1947.' I can send you anoffprint of this paper if you like. I am also attaching another paper, which will bepublished in early 2003 in the International Journal of Population Geography.  This is called 'Geographies of diaspora and mixed descent: Anglo-Indians in  India and Britain.' Again, please don't include the text (as the same
    copyright agreement applies), but certainly include the abstract and my email  address if anyone would like me to send them a copy. I have also written a  paper on the migration of Anglo-Indians to Australia. This appears in the electronic journal 'International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies'  (www.alphalink.com.au/~agilbert).
    I'm sorry to hear that work has been proving difficult for you. I do hope  that the situation improves. Please pass on my very best wishes to Maisy and  to the Kings.
      With best wishes
      Alison


    From : "Anthony & Shirley West" <west@iverbucks.freeserve.co.uk>  To : <ronniejohnson@hotmail.com>
    Subject : McCluskie   Date : Tue, 3 Dec 2002 18:47:02 -0000
    Hello Ronnie
    Your message via John Feltham re McCluskieganj shrieks of Serendipity.  Only yesterday I met Dick McCluskie at a retired staff lunch, when he told me he was from Bangalore.  We got talking, as my grandparents lived in Bangalore and I knew it as a child in the 1940's.  We had a mutual acquaintance in the two Owen brothers, Arshem and Leo.  He then said his family had started McCluskieganj near Calcutta, and did I know of it?  No, was my reply.
    Then this morning, there was your e-mail!!!  Any other time, I would have passed on to the next email, but not today.  As luck would have it, we all met again at a colleague's funeral today, so I have passed on your email to him.  He says his son is on email, and they will be contacting you.
    Dick McCluskie's snail mail address is: 3 Blaydon Close, Ruislip, Middlesex. HA4 8AD
    Kind regards,
    Shirley


    From: begen@lineone.net   To: ronniejohnson@hotmail.com
    Sub: RE: [India-L] McCluskieganj Page  Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 23:57:23 +0000
    There is a comprehensive website on McCouskieganj hosted by Gerry McPhiall. I can't remember the link at present. I did contact him as my grandfather and his brother had property there and their names were listed on his site. He acknowledged my interest and promised to get back to me ..but never did ...but it would be worth looking at his site.
    My family name is Lakin.
    Beverly
    (I have located this web page and listed it among the pages related to McCluskieganj that I found on the Net,- Ron, Thanks Beverly)


    Memory, identity and productive nostalgia: Anglo-Indian home-making at  McCluskieganj

    By Dr Alison Blunt,  Department of Geography, Queen Mary College, University of London, Mile End Road,  London E1 4NS  A.Blunt@qmul.ac.uk

    McCluskieganj was founded by the Colonization Society of India in 1933 as an independent homeland and nation for Anglo-Indians and was home to 400 Anglo-Indian families within ten years. Its founder  described Anglo-Indians as 'the only community in the world who are homeless wanderers in their own country' (1935). Settlers sought to create an independent nation located within, but distinct from, British India. McCluskieganj was equated with an Indian 'mooluk' (home/land) but in racially exclusive terms, and loyal to British India even as it sought independence from British patronage. Although settlement  was thought to liberate Anglo-Indian men from the emasculation of British patronage, it was legitimated in terms of British colonization. By likening McCluskieganj to British settler colonies in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the CSI promoted a model for India gaining Dominion status. Indian maternal descent was disembodied at McCluskieganj in two main ways: first, by erasing it in favour of maternal images of India itself, and then seeking to control Mother India and Mother Earth through colonization and domestication; and, second, by identifying Anglo-Indian women as pioneering homemakers within European traditions of colonization. This paper examines the foundation, promotion, and legacy of McCluskieganj by focusing on the monthly journal The Colonization Observer, brochures produced to promote settlement, and interviews with past and present Anglo-Indian residents.

    I explore domestic and national home-making at McCluskieganj in relation to ideas about identity, memory and productive  nostalgia. Key questions include: how did settlement at McCluskieganj enact and embody a collective  identity and memory for Anglo-Indians? To what extent did a desire for home and homeland represent  a productive nostalgia in relation to British imperialism and decolonization? How does residence at  McCluskieganj in the past and present challenge Raj nostalgia and the stereotypical portrayal of Anglo-Indians within it? The paper has three main parts. First, I explore the dynamics of home, homeland and nation for Anglo-Indians and the extent to which McCluskieganj represented a paradoxical space of belonging in relation to British and Indian homes and identities. Second, I investigate how and why Anglo-Indian settlement was represented in terms of colonization and its embodiment through images of Anglo-Indian men as imperial subjects. Finally, turning to images of  Anglo-Indian women as pioneers and homemakers, I explore racialized images of femininity and domesticity that helped to erase a maternal line of Indian ancestry at the same time as India was depicted as the motherland.

    Alison Blunt is Lecturer in Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Her current research
    focuses on geographies of home and identity for Anglo-Indian women in India, Australia and Britain in
    the fifty years before and after Independence. She is writing a book entitled Domicile and diaspora:
    Anglo-Indian women and the spatial politics of home (Blackwell) based on this research. Her other
    research interests include imperial travel and domesticity (including a book entitled Travel, gender and
     imperialism: Mary Kingsley and West Africa, Guilford, 1994, and papers on British women in India
    during and after the 'mutiny') and feminist and postcolonial critiques of geographical knowledge
     (including a co-edited forthcoming book, Postcolonial Geographies, Continuum, 2002). Please contact  Alison if you would like copies of working papers from her research on Anglo-Indian women and the spatial politics of home
    (A.Blunt@qmul.ac.uk ).                                                                        Back to the top



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    The names of families that settled and contributed to this community ** :
    C & B Angleo * E L Adams * A S Adolphus * C Arnold * Axelby *
    Baxter * S A Bower * W Beardall * Dr P Bedell * F J Bernard * E Battles * M Breakey * Backman * V Baxter * D Beglin * Barlow * V Beveridge * A Brighton *J MacNamara *J Beale * M Beacombe * O Barnett *J Bader * E Booth * L Brendish *
    Colin & Marjorie Cabral * C Cole * B Conner * W Conner * G Carpenter * E Coates * C Collinson * R Conn * E Copcutt * J Cress * E Crummey *
    H Davis * A Dorton * C Dobson * A D'Silva * A D'Souza *
    Everett *
    G Facey * L Fernandez   *L Forder * H Fordham * Francis * Franklin *
    J Gaughan * H Gibbs * M Gilbert * G Glaskin * A Gordon * Capt Grubber *  Melville Ethelbert Griffiths *  
    B Haden * E Hayman *J Hubbard * J & C Huson * Hanson * Hargreaves * A Heppolette * K Hourigan * T Halden * J Halsey * W Haigh * J Hanson * Hart  *  Holmes *
    G Inglis *
    A S Jahans * Johnson * A Jones * A Jackson *
    C Knyvett-Hoff * B Kingham * Capt I Kozloff * B Kirpatrick * King * M Kearney * Klien *
    Lamborne * A Lester * L Locke * F Loveday * D Lawrence * O Lakin *
    Ernest Timothy McCluskie * M McCormack * JManuel * Marcelline * J Mason * D Matthews * A Mendies * Merideth * Midford  * C Moore * P Moore * K McDougall * R McInnis * J Martin * K Marker * E Maher * W Martin * R Martin * Money * M Morris *
    S Nash * Dr Nicholas * Newing * A Norris * T Norris * D Nulty *
    E &R O'Connor * P O'Hara * Oliver * W Orr * I Ottmann *
    Pitts * Potter * A Pryer * A Palmer * U Palmer * Perkins * C Perks * F&W Pratt * Prittyjohns *
    J Rodgers * B & M Rose * E Ryan * J Rimmer * H Renny * Robinson * T Rothwell * R Roy * Rozario *
    A Scott * H Steele * E Stewart * W Stewart * H Shelverton * A Scott * Oscar Smith * Simmonds * R Sparkes * W Stanes * T Stoutt * E Sutton * Stringer * P Stuart * J Smith * E Skilton * A Swete *
    Texeira * F Thaddeus * E Taylor * V Tully * F Thomas * P Thomas * Thorpe * E Thurley * Tipthorp * Tripp * H Tocher * Capt Townsend *
    J Usher *
    G Velloms * J Vansteins * H Vardon *
    S Williamson * A Wincott * Walker * Wilson * R Wiltshire * S Woods * Wright *
    **The above list is derived from The Colinzation Observer 1936-41 (from Gerry McPhail's Page )    
    Back to the Spot

    Thought for the Day:" Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, Fon in the manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did they fathers to the false prophets." Holy Bible: Luke 6:20-26



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