The Kipling Society

Newsletter 1

November 2016

This is our first newsletter, emailed to all members who have asked for it. If you have not yet asked to be on the list, and would like to receive it by email please contact The aim will be to send out future issues between the quarterly Kipling Journals. I will keep the newsletters as simple as possible, but welcome views and advice on format and content.

There are also fliers in the December Journal regarding the John Lockwood Kipling Exhibition, and the Annual Luncheon, which will carry some of the same text. John Walker, Hon. Chairman of Council

John Lockwood Kipling: Changing Worlds

King’s College London, 4th March 2017

This one-day interdisciplinary international conference, co-organised by King’s College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum, is centred on the career and artistic networks of the draughtsman, designer, architectural sculptor, art school teacher and colonial museum curator (as well as sometime journalist and folklorist) John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911).

Overshadowed, since his death, by the literary fame of his son Rudyard, in his lifetime Lockwood Kipling was recognised as a major cultural figure in colonial India. He made far-reaching contributions to the growth of museums in India and to the revival of traditional crafts and design. His mark is still visible within the urban fabric of the cities he inhabited— in the reliefs that adorn the portals of the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai (formerly the Crawford Market) in Mumbai or the Museum and National College of Arts buildings in Lahore.

He is also a controversial figure, especially in modern-day India and Pakistan. The conference serves two purposes: we wish to examine Lockwood Kipling’s remarkably varied career, but also to debate and contextualise his legacy.

Papers are welcome from scholars in the fields of literary and historical studies, and art and design. 250 word abstracts should be submitted to Dr. Alexander Bubb (KCL) and Professor Sandra Kemp (V&A) by 14th December 2016, at the address We encourage abstracts to respond to one of the following themes:

  1. Networks, partnerships and collaborations (e.g. George Birdwood, Caspar Purdon Clarke, Lockwood de Forest, Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, Bhai Ram Singh, Aurel Stein).

  2. Architecture and Pedagogy (e.g. Gothic Revival, Indo-Saracenic, drawing manuals and textbooks).

  3. New technologies and new narratives (e.g. print, photography, book design).

The conference is timed to coincide with the first exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Lockwood Kipling at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in partnership with the Bard Graduate Center, New York: Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London, which opens at the V&A in January 2017 and in New York in September 2017.

Tour of the V&A’s Lockwood Kipling exhibition, for members of the Kipling Society

25th February 2017 at the V&A, 8.45-10.00 am

There will be a tour of the John Lockwood Kipling exhibition for Kipling Society members by the curators before the exhibition opens to the public, on 25th February 2017. If you would like to attend, please contact the chair, John Walker on 01622 890366 or by 31st December 2016. There are 25 places available for this tour. Successful applicants will be notified by Saturday 14th January, 2017.

Please ensure that all enquiries are directed to John Walker, and not to the Museum.

Kipling and Schools

Mary Hamer writes: This past year, as members may know, the society held a pilot competition, ‘Writing with Kipling’ for children in Year 5(9 and 10 year olds). Teachers reported that the children greatly enjoyed the chance to use their imagination, while teachers themselves were provided with supporting materials. We are hoping to run the competition again and to engage more schools.

Are you able to put us in touch with a primary school or a primary teacher that you think might be interested in entering? Please contact Mary Hamer on

A New Treasure Trove: splendid photographs of Kipling at Bateman’s and a new piece of verse, with a lively caricature of a young friend.

Thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of The Hon.Lady Alexandra Roche, we have access to a collection of photographs which will delight all enthusiasts. Some of these are published for the first time in the December Journal. Looking ahead to the March issue, we will have a new piece of verse associated with the images, and a vibrant sketch by Kipling himself.

Kipling’s reading – a possible source

A non-member reports the purchase of a copy of Steamships and Their Machinery by John Wilton C. Haldane; E. & F. N. Spon (1893), with Kipling’s bookplate. Since “McAndrew’s Hymn” was first published in December 1894, and “The Ship that Found Herself” in December 1895, the correspondent asks whether there are signs that this book, still popular enough to be in (flow) print today, was the source for either, or both. Of the story, Alastair Wilson says (in the New Readers’ Guide): ‘Some seamen have gone so far as to write: “It is all absolutely correct technically.”’ He goes on to say ‘We shall see’.

The War Memorial at St Aubyns School

The Society has been contacted by members of SAFE (St Aubyns School Field Evergreen) who are seeking to protect the site of John Kipling’s preparatory school in Rottingdean. There are reports that developers are hoping to move some of the contents of the school chapel, including the memorial to students killed in the First World War, to another school in Oxford.

If you have a special interest in this matter, I can supply further details. We have asked to be kept informed of any further news of this plan, which is apparently being justified on the grounds that the chapel (itself a listed building, I now understand) is in poor repair.

The New Readers’ Guide:notes on the Verse

We need to move on with notes on some of the verse, and would welcome offers of help from new or existing editors. Please do look at the New Readers’ Guide section on the website, and contact me if you could offer notes on a piece that has not already been covered. So far, we have notes on well over four hundred, but there are some important titles still to do.

The Annual Luncheon

Our speaker next May is to be The Rt Revd and Rt Hon The Lord Williams of Oystermouth, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Please do look out for the flier in the December Journal to book places for this event. The closing date for bookings is 26th April 2017.

Readings at Bateman’s

Members of the Society met at Bateman’s in September to share their favourite pieces of Kipling’s verse and prose. It was a very successful day, and we are booked for a similar session on Sunday 13th August next year. Please do mark the date and come along. There is also talk of a marathon reading of the verse, for twenty four hours (there would be plenty of material to fill the time). Let me know what you think of the idea, and if you would be interested in taking part.

A Survey of Members’ Views

We intend to circulate members with a short survey, asking for suggestions to change or improve the Society. If you would like to offer ideas now, please do contact me.

Great British Railway Journeys

Keep an eye on listings for this BBC2 series, in which Michael Portillo travels by rail around Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A recent stop was at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, where our Honorary Archivist, Toby Parker, was interviewed in the Kipling Society Library.

John Walker, November 2016

©John Walker 2016