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.”