Colonel Chesney

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George Tomkyns Chesney (30 April 1830 - 31 March 1895) was a British Army general. He entered the Bengal Engineers as second lieutenant in 1848, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1869, Colonel in 1877, Major General in 1886, Lieutenant General in 1887, colonel-commandant of Royal Engineers in 1890, and General in 1892.

He was the originator of the Royal Indian Civil Engineering College at Coopers Hill, Englefield Green, Egham, he was also its first president (1871–1880). He wrote a work on Indian Polity (1868), dealing with the administration of the several departments of the Indian government, which attracted wide attention and remains a permanent text-book. He also wrote the highly influential short story The Battle of Dorking: Reminiscences of a Volunteer in 1871, which started the genre of invasion literature and was an important precursor of science fiction.

Mahatma K.H. wrote of him in October 1882: "I have a letter from Colonel Chesney — very polite and quite diplomatic. Several such messages may do for an excellent refrigerator.".[1]


  1. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 91 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 286.