Our History

Preserving the memory of our ancestors is at the heart of our work. Here you can find out more on the history of Gul Mawaz Khan and the Raja Family, along with a timeline of critical events that lead to the creation of this foundation.

Gul Mawaz Khan

Honorary Captain and Risaldar Major Gul Mawaz Khan was Babar Raja’s great grandfather, and a major player in the Arab Revolt and World War I. Born to a famous military hero, Major Nadir Ali Khan (see below), Gul Mawaz grew up with the values of loyalty and courage instilled in him from a young age.

An accomplished horseman, he quickly rose through the ranks of the cavalry and became noted for his calm and clear head in the face of conflict. He was made a Risaldar Major (cavalry officer) in the 19th King George V’s Own Lancers. He was later appointed to appear on King George V’s official staff in 1911, and, for his services in World War I, received the Order of British India, second class and then in 1919, first class.

The main person to correspond personally with King Hussein bin Ali of Mecca on behalf of the British, Gul Mawaz Khan was a crucial figure in the war effort. The Ottoman Empire, fighting alongside Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany, posed a serious threat to the British during World War I, and convincing Arab factions to support the British was a game changer for Britain.

The success of the intelligence mission, in which he developed networks of support for the British in the Arab Revolt and gained intelligence on enemy activity, and was also acknowledged by King George V.

But his efforts were never fully recognised, despite being recommended for the Military Cross. This oversight was such that his superiors in the Indian Office wrote of the incident to Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain, in 1924, stating to that Gul Mawaz Khan had been “badly mistreated… he has sacrificed a great deal and has received no compensation. In these serious times in India those who are loyal and true deserve the full thanks and recognition of the government.”

Raja Family timeline

  1. 1831

    Nadir Ali Khan is born on 21 October

  2. 1858

    Nadir Ali Khan enters into service with the 18th Bengal Lancers

  3. 1873

    Gul Mawaz Khan is born on 25 April

  4. 1878

    Nadir Ali Khan is promoted to the rank of ‘Risaldar’


    1878-80

    Nadir Ali Khan serves in the Second Anglo Afghan War

  5. 1880

    Nadir Ali Khan is promoted to Risaldar Major

  6. 1887

    Nadir Ali Khan serves as Royal Escort, and one of only 13 Indian Officers, to Queen Victoria during the Golden Jubilee celebrations


    Nadir Ali Khan receives the Order of British India 2nd Class on 12 August


    Nadir Ali Khan receives the Afghan and Jubilee Medals

  7. 1888

    Nadir Ali Khan receives the Order of British India 1st Class on 21 June

  8. 1890

    Nadir Ali Khan passes away from pneumonia on 13 April

  9. 1892

    Gul Mawaz Khan joins 18th Bengal Lancers (later 18th King George’s Own Lancers)

  10. 1902

    Gul Mawaz Khan is one of the 12 Indian Cavalry contingent officers selected to escort the Coronation procession of King Edward VII, and receives the Coronation Medal

  11. 1904

    Colonel Raja Nausherwan Khan Janjua is born

  12. 1911

    Gul Mawaz Khan is appointed to appear on King George V’s staff as Orderly Officer during the Delhi Durbar


    Gul Mawaz Khan receives the Delhi Durbar Medal and Royal Victorian Medal for personal services to King George V

  13. 1912

    Gul Mawaz Khan is promoted to Risaldar Major

  14. 1914

    Gul Mawaz Khan receives the Victory Medal


    1914-1917

    Gul Mawaz Khan participates in the Arab Revolt as a go-between with Britain and King Hussein of Mecca

  15. 1915

    Gul Mawaz Khan receives the 1914-1915 Star, a British War medal for services during World War One for operations in France and Belgium, with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and operations in Trans-Caspia

  16. 1918

    Gul Mawaz Khan receives the Order of British India 2nd Class for his services in WWI

  17. 1919

    Gul Mawaz Khan receives the Order of British India 1st Class for his service

  18. 1920

    Gul Mawaz Khan becomes a Viceroy’s Commissioned Officer (VCO), and is promoted to Honorary Captain

  19. 1921

    Gul Mawaz Khan retires, later serving as an aide-de-camp to two consecutive Governors of the Punjab province, India, Sir Edward Douglas Maclagan (1919-1924) and Sir William Malcolm Hailey General (1924-1928)

  20. 1925

    Gul Mawaz Khan is appointed as one of members of a high powered Indian Sandhurst (Skeen) Committee. The aim of the committee was to look into the possibilities for the ‘Indianisation’ of the Army. Gul Mawaz Khan is one of the signatories to the committee’s reports submitted to the Government

  21. 1942

    Colonel Raja Nausherwan Khan Janjua participates in the Burma operation in World War II

  22. 1945

    Gul Mawaz Khan passes away, surrounded by his family in February 1945, leaving his wife, Sajjadan Bibi, and his two sons, Raja Framurz Khan, a police officer, and Raja Nausherwan Khan, a King’s Commissioned Officer from the RMAS


    Raja Farhat Nawaz is born on October 16

  23. 1959

    Colonel Raja Nausherwan Khan Janjua dies on the 13 July

  24. 1971

    Babar Raja is born on December 10

  25. 1974

    Qaiser Raja is born on October 10

  26. 2009

    Raja Farhat Nawaz passes away leaving his wife, Bilquees, and his two sons, Babar Raja, a Civil Servant and Qaiser Raja, a Banker

  27. 2018

    The Gul Mawaz Khan Foundation is founded in 2018 by Babar and Qaisar Raja.

Nadir Ali Khan

Risaldar Major Nadir Ali Khan Sardar Bahadur, was one of the British-Indian Army’s most successful, highly decorated soldiers, and a brilliant strategist. He was one of only 13 Indian officers to serve as Royal Escort to Queen Victoria during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 1887. He was recipient of the Afghan War Medal and Jubilee Medal in the same year.

Noted for his dedication to his regiment, he was also nominated for the Indian Order of Merit – one of the highest awards of the day – for his efforts and service.

 

 

Fighting some of the most notoriously merciless forces of the time, he carefully managed his soldiers’ behaviour to ensure minimal injury, death and cruelty. He famously fought against 700 Wazir warriors with only 37 soldiers, and managed to disperse them and prevent them from attacking a British convoy. Stories of the British Indian Muslim cavalry officer being full of adventure, danger and bravery captivated the imagination of the British press and public.

Nadir was such a valuable part of the force that he was even photographed by Queen Victoria’s own photographers, A&G Taylor, an unusual occurrence in all but the most impressive of Indian soldiers’ records.

He died of pneumonia after 32 years in the force, while still in service. Through this initiative, his descendents hope that his contribution will live long in the memory.