Barton - Dick

Richard (Dick) Giles Barton son of Archibald Barton.

When he retired in 1938 he was the superintendent of six Gardens in the Jokai group.

I was born in Tinsukia in 1924 and have hundreds of photographs from my mothers album covering all those years in Assam and a few others from our visit in 2004 for my 80th birthday!

Photo : My sister and I on the North Bank. 1931.

My father, Archie served his apprentiship at Vickers in Barrow-in Furness and travelled to Assam in 1903 to join the Jokai group at Kutchujan. He had damaged his Achilles tendon so when he went to join up in 1914, he was advised that he should stay in Assam, After the war my mother Margaret Prichard travelled to Assam to meet her brother, Monty who was in the ICS. Thus they met and were married in 1923 in Alresford, Essex I was born in Tinsukia in 1924. My sister was born in the UK in 1926 and we both finally left India in mid 1931.
When he retired in 1938, my father Archibald Barton was superindent of six gardens for Jokai.

I returned to Assam for a brief consultancy job for Oil India and again, for my 80th in 2004. The welcome then was overwhelming. “Why have you not been before/”. “When are you coming again “. A special club night was set upto greet us. We stayed in the Mancotta bungalow and met the grandson (son ?) of Field Marshal Slim.

Now, in a wheelchair in a splendid Care Home, I have been extracting and colourizing many photos from my mother’s album. Some will appear on this site but maybe a list of people mentioned would be more useful ?

I have this picture of Nehru in the Panitola compound but there is another with my mother that I left at Panitola in 2004 and foolishly kept no copy. If anyone can find it, I’d love a copy.

The burra bungalow at Panitola had a large room over the carport surrounded by mosquito wire. I use to love running along and bouncing off the wire. One day it had been taken away for renewal. I still have the scar from a descent to ground.
In early 1931, I was given a child’s carpentry set. I nailed doorstops behind each door. They were still there in 2004.
At that visit I saw a room in the office block absolutely full of bags of old reports and correspondence. Oh what a treasure trove of history if anyone could transcribe them !

I’m told that I could speak Hindustani fluently when we left but it has all but gone.I tried a – what’s the word ? - but no luck.


Richard (Dick) Giles Barton.