Captain Barff and Zardin
(By Steve Tilotson, Lyall Payne, John Bloor, 2014)
(And with great thanks to Capt Barff's Grandson - Wiliam Barff)
Capt and Mrs Barff and Hounds (Photo taken in India)
1. INTRODUCTION - A SIGNIFICANT DISCOVERY OF PHOTOGRAPHS (Thank You Helen Stephens, John Bloor, Wiliam Barff)
Once in a while, a researchers dream comes true - the discovery of something historic and significant, and that is precisely what occured earlier this year. This all started when Helen Stephens an owner of a puppy bred by John Bloor (Pashtari Afghan hounds, UK), was approached by a man at a UK dog show and introduced himself as William Barff, Grandson of Captain John Barf (Zardins importer). William Barff explained that he had an album of photos compiled by Captain Barff. Helen contacted John Bloor, Chairman of UK Midland Afghan Hound Club who in turn contacted William Barff. William was not aware of the signifigance of his Grandfathers interest and achievements in Afghan hounds and was also not aware that breed rsearchers Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson had undertaken considerable research into the Barff family history and their hounds. In fact, a lot of the biographical information researched and compiled by Lyall Payne was new information for William Barff.
Arising from the John Bloor/William Barf contact was an exchange of bio information about Capt Barff and his family, which is so valuable as it enables us to validate the excellent research work findings undertaken by Lyall. William kindly made his Grandfathers photo album available to John Bloor who scanned the previously unseen photographs that you will see in this section.
This discovery is truly a researchers dream and credit is due to Helen Stephens for her initial contact and initiative in contacting John Bloor, and especially to John Bloor for doing all the legwork to contact William Barff and liasing with him and enabling the world to see, for the first time, hitherto unbpublished photographs of Zardin and the Barff family..
Several years ago AHT published a number of articles about Zardin and his eventual UK Owner (Mr Shackleton), Llinks to these earlier AHT articles are included at the bottom of this page.
John Bloors interaction with William Barff and the new information and photographs is a double-excitement. Not only do we get to enjoy previously unpublished photographs of Zardin and his kennelmates, but we also get to see previously unpublished photgraphs of Captain Barff and some of his family. Are we excited - you bet!!
2. BARFF FAMILY BIO INFO (researched by Lyall Payne)
(These are temporary notes, we will repalce them with Lyall's more structured notes shortly)
Captain John Barff (23 March 1871 - 19 April 1941) came to New Zealand as a wool broker in 1893. His grandfather was a magistrate. Capt Barff himself seemed quite the adventurer (travelled all over – Cuba even). He was a naturalised citizen of the US, Two of his brothers were killed serving in India. He married in India where he was Secretary of the Officers Mess at The Quetta Club for some years (it was at this time he acquired Zardin). Later, in the 1930's Capt Barf was appointed Manager of the Roman baths in Bath, England. (the selection process was a very public exercise it seems from the newspaper clippings of the day. Capt Barff and his wife lived far apart for some time prior to their deaths. The family home, long after Zardin was passed on to others was called ‘Zardin House’, at Bourne, in Farnham, Surrey. The Barff family were originally a Wakefield, Yorkshire family, Capt Barff and his father were born in Merton, Surrey Capt Barff's family produced some eminent sea captains and mariners. His son (Arthur John Goodeve Barff (awarded RNR Officers Decoration 1943) born in Quetta entered the Nautical College at Pangbourne in May 1920, became Lieut-Col in the navy (is buried on Malta). His youngest (Edward) was killed in 1939 serving aboard the HMS Penelope, The ship (HMS Penelope) was later torpedoed by the Germans in 1944 and 417 lives were lost. His son George Frederick Alister was awarded the MC in 1940. Capt Barff's brother had an eminent and rewarded naval career (he was Arthur Douglas Barff OBE Retd Naval Commander). Interestingly Kanpur is 1400 kms from Quetta where Capt Barff was Secretary of The Quetta and that experience helped him later in getting the job at the Roman Baths in Bath, England in 1908..
Regrding the Roman Bath management appointment, this was played out in the local papers – the first choice was not John Barff – but the other, primary, candidate would not resign his current position as he qualified for a lifetime gratuity if he stayed on for longer than the Bath Committee were willing to wait!! So Capt Barff got the appointment. Press announcement below -
Roman Baths Committee press announcement 1908
Capt Barff married in Cawnpore (now Kanpu) India. Eldest child (Geraldine Inez) was born in Notting Hill, London, , 2nd child was born in Quetta and last two boys were born in Notting Hill (we think at Capt Barff's fathers address - 50 Ladbroke Rd).
Capt Barff Marriage Announcement 19th November 1902
In 1911 Capt Barff was off again on his travels, his wife and children remained at 'Zardin House' in Royal Farnham. Capt Barff was with the Duke of Wellington regiment and after getting wounded in one of the Afghan wars he ran the Officers Club in Simla before returning to the UK with his family and dogs in 1911
3. SIMLA/QUETTA/CAWNPORE (Courtesy Wikipedia and others)
We mention the above three towns because they are significant components in the British Military's time in India. Simla was a retreat or leisure centre, with a moderate climate that would have been very theraputic for soldiers normally facing the hostile enemy in the hostile climatic and topographic environment. Capt Barff managed the Officers Mess at Simla and he would have gotten to meet just about every important Military officer in India as everybody aspired to spend time at Simla. Quetta was a huge military encampment, also with a more moderate climate and extensive leisure, social, and cultural activities. Capt Barff managed the Quetta Club, and again would have gotten to know everybone. Finally Cawnpore, a site of a terrible massacre by the Sepoys and an equally terrible reprisal by the British Military. Cawnpore was where Capt Barff got married and lived for periods. So these three places, famous and important military towns, were where Capt Barff resided when he was in India. We provide some summary info about these three places bdelow -
(variously Shimla) - Shimla features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) under the Köppen climate classification. The climate in Shimla is predominantly cool during winters, and moderately warm during summer. Temperatures typically range from -4 °C (25 °F) to 31 °C (88 °F) over the course of a year. The average temperature during summer is between 19 °C (66 °F) and 28 °C (82 °F), and between -1 °C (30 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) in winter. The accounts of the England-like climate started attracting several British officers to the area during the hot Indian summers. By 1826, some officers had started spending their entire vacation in Shimla. In 1863, the Viceroy of India John Lawrence decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla. He took the trouble of moving the administration twice a year between Calcutta and this separate centre over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach. The settlement grew rapidly , from 30 houses in 1830 to 1,141 houses in 1881.
Left - Jakhu Temple, Simla, 1910, Right Christ Church Simla
The British had a huge encampment at Quetta (Baluchistan, Afghanistan - Now part of Pakistan). In 1828 the first westerner visited Quetta. It was briefly captured by the British during the First Afghan War in 1839, in 1876 Quetta became part of the British Empire. British Troops constructed the infrastructure for their establishment as it was a strategic location. By the time of the earthquake on 31 May 1935 Quetta had developed into a bustling city with a number of multistory buildings. The epicentre of the earthquake was close to the city and destroyed most of the city’s infrastructure and killed an estimated 40,000 people.
Left - Quetta Club Officers Mess, . Right - Quetta Cantonment
In the 1800's Cawnpore was an important British garrison with barracks for 7,000 soldiers. In 1857 (Indian Mutiny/ First War of Independence) the native Sepoys massacred several hundred English men, women and children. The English returned to Cawnpore and inflicted an "unrestrained response" upon those they deemed to be guilty of the massacre. The Well at Cawnpore is of particular significance, but we will let readers research that subject at their convenience.
Cawnpore Well (Left), Cawnpore City (Right)
Mrs Barff relaxing reading a book, Cawnpore, India
In 1935 at 67 years of age Capt Barff made one last trip out to India staying several months before returning home. We think it’s fair to say that Capt Barff was quite the adventurer – and it does appear that the sea and travel is well in the Barff blood ! Our contact (William Barff) continues this tradition and has an active interest in the East and will shortly be travelling out there again.
PHOTO LEFT - Capt Barff, (Zardin center) and two other hounds in Cawnpore India PHOTO RIGHT - Capt Barff and friends and hounds in Cawnpore India
Original AHT Zardin Page
Mr Shackleton (Zardins 2nd owner) Page
1906 Indian Kennel Club Description Of Zardin
Press Cuttings about Zardin compiled by Steve Tillotson 2015
1907 Zardin meets the King and Queen of England
Next Captain Barff and Zardin Page
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