Clogstoun, H. Cunningham, (1857-1936)

Herbert Cunningham Clogstoun was the special commissioner appointed by the Canadian government to report on claims for compensation arising from the Komagata Maru affair. He was then a recently retired Indian civil service officer and living in the Cowichan Valley near Duncan, British Columbia. There he had a 79 acre property that he bought in 1911. Clogstoun was born in the East Indies into a British Indian Army family; and he went to England to attend Sandhurst as a teenager. He trained at Wellington (military staff) College in India, served early in his career in the Bengal police, was assigned to special service with the Bengal government, and then entered the Foreign Service of the Government of India. He served as a representative of the British government of India successively in the princely states of Ajmer, Dholpor and Indore; in 1906 he was appointed tutor to the teenage Maharja Holkar of Indore. When the Canadian government required a special commissioner to look at the claims of the Komagata Maru Shore Committee for compensation for their losses with the Komagata Maru, they turned to Clogstoun as a person of eminence with long Indian experience and conveniently available. In his report of November 1914 he recommended no compensation. He suggested, instead, that members of the Indian community with claims against the committee should be encouraged and helped with their suits. With the First World War in progress, Clogstoun left Canada to serve in the Labour Corps as a captain and he entered the fighting zone in France in August 1917, to be mentioned in despatches and earn an OBE. He was living in Surrey in the south of England when he died.

Sources: C. Hyavando Rao, The Indian Biographical Dictionary (Madras: Pillar, 1915); Supplement to the London Gazette, January 1, 1906; Valerie Green, ‘Quamichan Inn,”If More Walls Could Talk (Victoria: TrochWood Editions, 2004). H.C. Clogstoun, “Canada. Commission to Investigate Hindu Claims Following Refusal of Immigration Officials to Allow Over 300 Hindus Aboard the S.S. Komagata Maru to Land at Vancouver,” (Vancouver, 1914).