the friend online
31 August 2007

Friends’ work in India and Pakistan 1946 to 1948 - preview

John Hawkins glimpsed the pain of Partition from letters written by Friends in India sixty years ago

There has been considerable media interest in the sixtieth anniversary of the setting up of the states of India and Pakistan
  • I have recently been cataloguing the very considerable correspondence between Quaker workers in India and the Offices in London held in the library archives at Friends House
  • In 1946 the work of a small party of Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU) members in India during the second world war was formally closed
  • Some of these people transferred to work with the Friends Service Unit (FSU) – a joint venture between the Friends Service Council and the American Friends Service Committee
  • This was at first concerned with bringing relief to members of the local population who were suffering because of the war
  • In particular they provided powdered milk in feeding programmes to many in need of nutrition
  • Their leader was Leslie Cross who was based at the Quaker Camp in Delhi with his wife, Kathleen, directing this work
  • They had the ears of Gandhi, Nehru, the president of India and Lady Mountbatten, the wife of the last viceroy

  • John Hawkins

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