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JONES, Gavin S.

[Drop-head title:] The Story of My Escape from Fatehgarh.

Availability: In stock

Published: [Cawnpore] Printed at the Pioneer Press, by Geo. Sim, 1913

Stock Code: 131741

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of this privately printed and "hair-raising" Mutiny narrative (Richard Holmes), inscribed on the front free endpaper by the author's son: "from T. Gavin Jones, Sept. 1916". This is a slim but important civilian first-hand account, recounting Jones's "harrowing flight with a hapless band of missionaries, indigo-planters and government clerks from the frying pan of Futtehghur towards the fire of Cawnpore" (Reitz p. 96). Very scarce, Copac locates just one copy among British and Irish institutional libraries (British Library) and OCLC adds Wisconsin only (erroneously giving the date as 1886, the date of the author's postscript). The printer's code indicates that as few as 25 copies were printed on 7 October 1913 (No. 96 25-7-10-'13. It was originally published as "The Story of My Escape from Futteghur" in the Cornhill Magazine (1865), although BL notes that it was first published in Blackwood's in 1859.

Gavin Sibbald Jones (d. 1913) played a key role in the development of Cawnpore (Kanpur) as an important industrial centre and was a friend of the young Sir John French; he is described by French's biographer, Richard Holmes, as a "spirited individual" and "a man of action who had settled in Cawnpore after his hair-raising adventures during the Indian Mutiny" (The Little Field-Marshal: Sir John French, 1981, pp. 16 and 23). "In the story of his escape... Mr. Gavin Jones has given an account of... what was an almost incredible deliverance from death... Jones was an engineer engaged on construction work for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. At the outbreak of the Mutiny he was staying on leave at Fategarh with his brother, who was an indigo planter" (Cosens & Wallace, Fatehgarh and the Mutiny, Lucknow, 1933, p. 86).

Provenance: embossed library stamp to front free endpaper of Alan Harfield, career officer in the British Army, deputy director and historical officer at the Royal Signals Museum, author of a number of military histories, including The Indian Army of the Empress (1990) and British and Indian Armies of the China Coast (1990).

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Octavo. Original green fine diagonal-rib cloth, front covered lettered in gilt, covers with blind triple-fillet border and ornamental corner-pieces, pale yellow coated endpapers.


Light silverfishing to covers, minor soiling to front endpapers. A very good copy.


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