Lt. Col. Peter Lumsden’s Appointment as Quarter Master General of the Army in India


A very interesting contemporary letter on all four sides of a quarto bifolium written in a neat hand, setting out the case for the appointment of Lt. Colonel P. Lumsden, Bengal Staff Corps dated Simla May 12th 1868 and signed H. W. Norman, Col., Secty. to Govt, India. The letter, headed Military Appointment and addressed to The Adjutant General sets out the need for very special and peculiar qualifications and knowledge which neither Brigadier General Stewart nor Colonel Thesiger have had the opportunity of acquiring but which are possessed by Lieut. Colonel Lumsden in a very remarkable degree. The letter continues to discuss Lumsden’s relevant experience – a Political Mission in Afghanistan1857-58, service under Sir Robert Napier in Central India 1858, fitting out an embarking the China Expedition of 1860, and the Bhootan expedition of 1865-66 – concluding that the Governor General has confirmed his appointment.   mar4/1  SOLD 18th March 2023

Henry Norman [later a much decorated Field Marshal who was to turn down the position of Viceroy between Lansdowne and Elgin] notes that although Lumsden was only a Lt. Colonel, outranked by the other candidates for the post his specific experience outweighed this. Lumsden’s friend and mentor, Sir Robert Napier wrote several letters about the Army’s failure to promote him despite his service and posts.