The Tiger man of Jabalpur

The Tiger Man, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Circa 1930

Image and Narrative contributed by Deborah Nixon, Australia

This image was found in my father Leslie Nixon’s private collection. He was born in Agra in 1925, was schooled in Mussoorie, and trained with the Gurkhas. Later he joined KGV’s 1st OGR (King George V’s regiment).

My Anglo Indian family has a history of having lived in India for four, or possibly five generations- they were all Railways people, and my father worked during the Partition to transport refugees in and out of the Gurkha head quarters. He archived all of the family images in India and thanks to him I have been lucky to have a ‘bird’s eye view ‘ of partition. He kept a lot of old army documents and memorabilia from the few years he served with the Gurkhas. When he migrated to Australia he went to University and became a Geologist.

There isn’t a lot to say about this image as there was nothing written behind it, but to me it is a very arresting photograph. My father says he remembers the ‘tiger men’ used to come around in Jabalpur, his family home, and dance as part of the Islamic festival Muharram and he imitated the dance himself as young children do.

There is another image and narrative on my father here that sheds some light on his life in India.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Bibhash

    Dear Deborah,did ur father happen to study in OAK GROVE SCHOOL.

    1. Deborah

      I’m Bibhashsorry didn’t see your comment. My dad was at St Georges in Mussoorie.

  2. Abhijeet chatterjee

    Fascinating anecdotes…what a time it must have been in India….wonder what the life of an officer was like in the army…..any pictures or tales…?

    1. Deborah

      It was an amazing time but also very tough going especially during Partition. As you would know this was a terrible time for all involved both soldiers and citizens. There simply were not enough soldiers to protect everyone on any side. Lots of photos, lots of tales and memories some I think my dad would rather not remember!

  3. Jason Tilley

    Lovely story, we have been in contact with each other before have we not Deborah? Please feel free to write to my e-mail or through my blog would love to see more of your partition photographs and hear your Anglo India story. Kind Regards Jason Tilley

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