Sunday, September 07, 2008

Col AJ Pugh 1871-1923

Col Archie Pugh (standing, in light suit) with colleagues in Calcutta. He was Colonel of the Calcutta Light Horse from 1912 - 1922 and founded Pugh & Co, Solicitors in Calcutta. Click the heading for some more photos

Col Archie John Pugh CBE, VD, Herry's grandfather, was born on 3rd December 1871 in Wales and died at Cwmcoedwig, Llanfarian on 15th June 1923. He was educated at Winchester and married Marian 'Nina" Fraser Arundel, second daughter of Sir Arundel Tagg Arundel in Calcutta on 28th December 1894.

The wedding of Lt-Col Archie Pugh and Nina Arundel in Calcutta Cathedral in December 1904. For the names of those appearing in this photo, click here

His father was Lewis Pugh Pugh (1837- 1908) JD, DL, MP of Abermad and Cymmerau who was educated at Winchester and Corpus Christi, Oxford and and Member of Parliament from 1880 to 1885. He married Veronica Harriet Hills (1844-1931), daughter of James Hills of Neechandapore and Charlotte Marie Savi, in Calcutta Cathedral and became Attorney-General of Bengal during Lord Curzon's Viceroyalty. Lewis Pugh was born Lewis Pugh Evans, but took the surname Pugh in 1868 instead of Evans, when he inherited the estate (Abermad) of his great uncle. He called himself Pugh Lewis Pugh and his family called him 'Puff-Puff'

Below is Col Archie Pugh's obituary from the Indian Press

Death of Col AJ Pugh
Prominent Calcutta Man

Many in Calcutta and outside will learn with regret of the death in Wales on 15th June of Col AJ Pugh, CBE, OBE, VD, ADC, MLC
As a member of the Bengal Legislative Council, a Commissioner of the Calcutta Corporation and an enthusiastic officer of the Calcutta Light Horse, Col Pugh had done much for the public life of Calcutta, and his influence will be missed in many spheres.

Colonel Pugh, was the son of the late Mr Lewis Pugh Pugh, was born on December 2nd 1871, and was educated at Winchester School. Coming to India in December 1889, he was enrolled as an attorney at the Calcutta High Court on January 9th 1895. He early identified himself with the Calcutta Light Horse, with which body he was connected for 33 years, only retiring from the position of Commandant last year.

Col Pugh, who was awarded the Volunteer Long Service Medal and the Volunteer Officers' Decoration (he served as a volunteer for 32 years) on assuming command of the Calcutta Light Horse in 1912 was responsible for not a few improvements in the Corps, one of which was the innovation of camps out of Calcutta - at Sonapur, Dum Dum, Maduhpur, Simultalla and Jasidih - in place of those formerly held on the Maidan.

With the introduction of the India Defence Force Act, Col Pugh was asked to continue his command of the Corps. He was also appointed military representative on the Exemption Tribunal, a post which was anything but a popular one. Nevertheless, he discharged the duties assigned to it so satisfactorily that he was subsequently awarded the OBE.

Continuing his command of the Corps after the introduction of the Auxiliary Force Act, Col Pugh latterly did good work in securing remounts and also in encouraging recruiting for the Corps.

As a Commissioner of many years standing, Col Pugh's services have been highly appreciated both by the European and Indian communities. His speeches were invariably based on common sense and a constant desire to serve the best interests of the community as a whole. He was a member of several committees connected with the Corporation, and his advice was always received with respect. [He gave an address to Lord Carmichael's Committee in 1914 which survives]

His membership of the Bengal Legislative Council (as a representative of one of the European Constituency) allowed Col Pugh to put to practical use his deep interest in, and wide knowledge of, the Reforms. He was asked to give evidence before the Franchise Committee of the Houses of Parliament [for a most interesting note of the evidence he gave and the context in which it was given, see an e-mail from an Indian political scientist, Abhay Datar wrting in November 2008].

He was head of the well-known firm of Pugh & Co, solicitors.
Obituary from the Indian Press 21st June 1923 (with photo)
A photo of the silver salver presented to Col AJ Pugh by the members of the Calcutta Light Horse in 1922 is

The Inscription reads:
Presented By Members of
Calcutta Light Horse
Col AJ Pugh CBE, VD
as a token of esteem
and appreciation of his great service
and devotion to the Regiment
1890 to 1922

Return to Archive Index
Return to Marion Arundel (Nina) Pugh (Lady Herbert)
Return to Annette Lawford
Return to Pugh Evans Family History
Return to Pugh Evans Family History II


  1. Hi Herry - this might be very far-fetched I was wondering if you had any information on Pugh & Co Solicitors? I have records & letters from 1920's of my Great Grandmother in Calcutta - and I'm after some information that was to kept with them....long shot, but here's hoping!