The Royal Society for Asian Affairs invites applications from individuals who will be aged 18-25 at the time of the proposed trip, for the RSAA Travel and Adventure Award (formerly the Sir Peter Holmes Memorial Award for Travel).
THE NEXT AWARD FOR TRAVEL IN 2019.
The Award is to encourage individual purposeful travel in Asia by young people, organized by themselves and not part of a group organized by another organization. Applicants should submit a plan of a project involving travel in a country or countries of Asia and relating to the geography, history, politics, environmental conservation, culture or art of the area to be visited. Any part of Asia, including the Middle East, may be chosen. Plans should be costed as far as possible and should state the duration of the travel involved and how the costs will be met. The award will be made on the basis of originality, coherence, evidence of background knowledge, and the degree to which the project is likely to add to general understanding of the area chosen and/or to benefit local people or the applicant. Preference will be given to projects that are not requirements in an academic or other course and ideally should not be part of or related to the curriculum of the applicant’s current course.
Applicants should provide their postal address and contact details for two referees. They should be resident in the UK, but any nationality is welcome. Candidates may be called to London for interview. However, to avoid unnecessary expense, the aim is to make the award on the basis of written submissions, which should be no more than two sides of A4 in length and should, if possible, be sent both in electronic form and in hard copy. A one-page CV, including date of birth, must be submitted, with a statement detailing how the applicant heard about the award. An acknowledgement of the application will be sent on its receipt.
The successful applicant must submit a 1500-word report within 6 weeks of completion of their trip and will be expected to make a presentation to the Society about the project after its completion, and to provide a photographic or other pictorial record.
The present notice refers to travel in 2019. The award will consist of up to £1000 and two years’ gratis membership of the Society. The adjudicators have discretion to divide the award among more than one candidate if appropriate.
Applications should be sent by 23 November 2018 to The Secretary, The Royal Society for Asian Affairs, 1a St Martin’s House, Polygon Road, London NW1 1QB (email: email@example.com and copy to firstname.lastname@example.org), to whom any queries should be addressed. The Society will notify successful candidates in January 2019 (exact date to be confirmed).
Hover over a recipients name to view more details about their projects.
Name: Ben Sun
Name: Rathin Pujari
Name: Roshni Mansfield
Name: Michael Gach
2018Haamed Al Hassan
Name: Haamed Al Hassan
Name: Ryan Young
Studying Sufi culture in Pakistani Punjab
Name: Rizvi Sumar
Documenting the institutions of Parsi and Jewish life in Hong kong since 1997
Name: India Fallon
Producing a film on protecting the rights of Dukha reindeer herders in Mongolia
Name: George Brill
Documenting subsistence skills in maritime South-East Asia
2017Mr Tim Cope
Name: Mr Tim Cope
Mr Tim Cope travelled the entire length of the Eurasian steppe alone for three years on horseback from Karakoram – the ancient capital of Mongolia – through Kazakhstan, Russia, the Crimea and the Ukraine, to the river Danube in Hungary. This was a journey made in the footsteps of Genghis Khan, and, as far as is known, it is the first time it has been retraced on a horse.
In 2004, at the at the age of 25, Tim Cope set out on a ride which eventually was to involve thirteen horses, many of which ended up being stolen. Travelling for three years he covered over 6,000 miles accompanied by his dog. He witnessed how traditional nomadism hangs on in a post-Soviet Union world. After his journey, he published “On the Trail of Genghis Khan: an Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads” in 2013, and his documentary film of the journey won several awards.
From the publicity about his journey, Tim Cope has extended knowledge about this Central Asian region and its peoples, and in undertaking it, he made an exceptional and unusual achievement demonstrating outstanding courage, endurance, fortitude, personal effort and ingenuity – factors which are the basis of the Special Award. The award will be presented in Australia through the British High Commission at an event later this year.
Name: Thomas Bennett
India: Travel to Ladakh and Himalayas with Himalayan Health Exchange (HHE) to improve local well-being through public health strategies and primary care clinics.
Name: Timothy Seers
Cambodia: To undertake a research project in malaria control
Name: Catherine Hsu
Vietnam & Taiwan: A four-week placement at the Ho Chi Minh Hospital for Infectious Diseases (HTD) and a three-week placement in the oncology department at the National Taiwan University Hospital
Name: Esther Park
Pakistan: To explore systemic health-care issues alongside the culture and religion and how they all interact with one another. To find out the strengths and limitations of foreigner-led charity medical services and what difference such services can make to the women of the society, who are often reckoned as second-class citizens due to cultural or religious reasons.
Name: Fatima Junaid
Jordan: to observe and describe the provision of palliative care in the Middle East
Name: Hasan Suida
Beirut: how art is being used as a tool for change in response to the troubles there
Name: Ravi Kumar
Solo travel following footsteps of K P S Menon in Baluchistan, Punjab & N Pakistan
Name: Christian Dixon
Research into displaced Syrian & Iraqi Christian refugees going to Lebanon, Turkey & South Kurdistan
Name: Laura Foley
Name: Arani Vivekanantham
India: Clinical and Research Placement at Christian Medical College, Vellore
2016Naa Akle Dromo Okantey
Name: Naa Akle Dromo Okantey
India: Study into sex workers healthcare in Maharashtra
Name: Kasha Rogers-Smith
India: Conduct a survey of pre-hospital care received by spinal cord injured patients in a specialist spinal hospital in New Delhi
2016Ali Rezaei Haddad
Name: Ali Rezaei Haddad
Iran: The Influence of Iranian Lifestyle and History on the Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis
2016Mr William Lindesday OBE
Name: Mr William Lindesday OBE
Mr William Lindesay OBE,
Mr William Lindesay O.B.E. will be the 8th recipient of The Special Award. He is a graduate of the University of Liverpool, specialising in geography and geology, who in 1987 made what China’s official Xinhua News Agency described as “the most successful foreign exploration of the Great Wall” when he made a 1,535 mile solo journey on foot along its length. During this endeavour he survived illness, injury, extremes of temperature, viscous dogs, arrest and deportation. From 1994 he made systematic research of the Great Wall in the Beijing region and brought the Chinese media’s attention, in 1998, to the fact that the environment around the wall was degrading. Consequently he organised two major clean up missions, which resulted in the Chinese government awarding him their “Friendship Medal” that year.
Next, Lindesay founded the “International Friends of The Great Wall” in Hong Kong in 2001, so as to assist the Chinese authorities in their funding and efforts to preserve the wall’s authenticity. Working together they successfully nominated the wall to be included in the World Monuments Fund’s “2002 List of the World’s Most 100 Endangered Sites.”
For his work on the wall, William Lindesay was awarded the O.B.E. in July 2006. Two years later he received awards in China, which include “Top Ten Volunteers in Beijing” and “Top Ten National Defenders of Cultural Heritage”.
Lindesay has written many articles and reports about the wall and his books include:
“Alone on The Great Wall” (1989); “Images of Asia: The Great Wall” (2003); “The Great Wall Explained” (2012); “The Great Wall of Two Williams” (2012, in Mandarin)
Lindesay has lectured about the Great Wall to many learned societies in China, the USA, Hong Kong, Germany and Great Britain. In 2008 he staged exhibitions in Beijing and at the western and eastern ends of the wall as well along the wall’s route. These were followed in 2010 by a television documentary for the National Geographic television channel. Subsequently, in 2011 and 2012, Lindesay led two pioneering expeditions with fellow researchers to investigate “The Wall of Genghis Khan” in Mongolia.
The Society’s “Special Award” was instituted in 1998 by resolution of Council to “be made in recognition of exceptionally outstanding and unusual achievement in Asia… in any sphere, including service to humanity, contribution to science, the extension of knowledge, innovation, individual ingenuity and resource, personal effort and courage, endurance, fortitude or contribution to culture.” In conclusion, Mr William Lindesay fulfils many, if not all, of the above criteria for his major efforts to help conserve, protect and increase knowledge about The Great Wall of China.
2016Dr John Curtis & Dr Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
Name: Dr John Curtis & Dr Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
On 23 March 2016 the Council of the Society resolved to award the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal jointly to Dr John Curtis and Dr Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, of the British Museum, in recognition of their outstanding contribution towards the improvement of cultural relations between Great Britain and the Islamic Republic of Iran by arranging the exhibition Iran and the World in the Safavid Age at the British Museum, patiently and tirelessly negotiating the loan of many items from Tehran and, subsequently, the loan of the Cyrus Cylinder from the British Museum first to Tehran and thereafter to a number of museums in the USA, thereby accomplishing an outstanding feat of cultural diplomacy at a time of difficult political relations between Iran and the West.
2016Mr Michael Asher
Name: Mr Michael Asher
Michael Asher is a notable desert explorer who has traveled thousands of miles on foot and by camel. He has lived in Africa for much of his life. As a young man he served in the Parachute Regiment and the SAS. Later, he worked in The Sudan as a volunteer English teacher when he took to desert travel in Kordofan and Darfur, thence to Egypt along the ancient slave-trade route on which he based his first book In Search of the Forty Days Road. From 1982, Asher lived with the Kababish tribe in Kordofan for three years, after which he took a famine relief camel caravan to the Bejan people in the Red Sea Hills. In 1986, with his wife, he traveled 4,500 miles with camels to make the first recorded crossing of the Sahara from west to east on foot. in 1992, Asher crossed the Western Desert with a local companion from Mersa Matruh, Libya to Aswan, Egypt. With his wife, he has crossed the Thar Desert in India by camel and the Uruq-ash-Shaiba, the highest dunes in the Empty Quarter of Arabia. A further journey on foot was made on the pilgrimage route around Mount Kailash, Tibet. Asher has published twenty one books and has worked for the UN Agencies WHO/UNICEF, UNEP AND UNPOS involved in famine relief, training peacekeepers, human rights and disengaging guerrilla forces. for the British Council he trained police in Western Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. He has campaigned for the preservation of the ecology of fragile desert and semi-desert environments as well as the forcible removal of indigenous peoples from then.
His desert journeys and his appreciation of their environments and indigenous people with whom he has traveled , in what is a fast disappearing way of life, together with his studies of Thesiger and Lawrence, make him a worthy recipient of the Memorial Medal, in pursuance of the Council’s resolution on 23 March 2016.
2016May Homira Rezai
Name: May Homira Rezai
Afghanistan: to look at the lives of the Hazara people
Name: Tarquin Bertram
Nepal: Explore the differences in healthcare needs and provision across the varied landscape of Nepal
Name: Valmir Selimi
Cambodia: Attend the Cambodia Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) to view and experience a range of surgical procedures
2015Cara Ann Mason
Name: Cara Ann Mason
Mongolia: Evaluation of the effect of medical education
Name: Amber Barthorpe
Japan: Comparing the characteristics of Japanese suicide and British suicide attempters from comparable tertiary healthcare centres of all ages
Name: Emilia Smeds
China: to look at the changing fortunes of bicycle culture
Name: Ben Jones
Iran: to create a photographic record of the markets of Iran
Name: Daoud Jackson
Turkey: to research the architecture and building decoration of the Seljuks
Name: Katherine Crofts-Gibbons
Uzbekistan: to recreate the journey of Rosita Forbes
2015Dr Christoph Baumer
Name: Dr Christoph Baumer
Christoph Baumer: Explorer & Historian; Founder and President of the Society for Exploration of EurAsia
On 18 March 2015 the Council of the Society resolved to award the Sir Percy Sykes Medal to Christoph Baumer in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards knowledge of the cultural history of Central Asia. His expeditions to the Taklamakan and Lop Nor deserts and to Tibet, where he discovered a number of unknown ancient settlements; his tracing of the spread of the Assyrian church from south-eastern Turkey to Mongolia, China and southern India; his expeditions to document all the Buddhist monasteries of Wutai Shan in north-west China; his founding in 2004 of the Society for the Explorations of EurAsia, active in five Central Asian countries, together with the publication of his many sumptuously illustrated books on these subjects, have not only brought to life the stones and artefacts of long gone or disappearing civilisations but also show the contemporary human story in a manner that is both scholarly and accessible to the amateur.
2011Mr David Hempleman-Adams
Name: Mr David Hempleman-Adams
David Hempleman-Adams’s interest in adventure was inspired by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for which he holds a gold medal and is a Trustee. In 1998, he was the first person to achieve the Explorers’ Grand Slam; by climbing the seven highest summits in the world’s seven continents and reaching the magnetic and geographical North and South Poles.
In 2000, in the style of Jules Verne, he flew solo in a balloon across the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole. David broke five world records in 2007 when he flew the smallest gas balloon in an open basket across the Atlantic from St.John’s, Newfoundland to Nolay, France. In October 2008, David and co-pilot Jon Mason won the Gordon Bennett gas balloon race, the first time a British team had achieved this since the competition was launched 104 years ago. He has 46 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale world aviation records. David has recently returned from a two month long expedition on the north side of Everest. He successfully reached the summit at 8.05am on the 21st May 2011. He has now reached the summit from both the South and North sides.
He has held a passion and special interest in the Far East since he made his first visit to Nepal as a young intrepid explorer at the age of 20 when he trekked to Everest Base Camp. He has given hundreds of lectures and talks in schools on his expeditions to help educate young people and raise awareness of issues affecting remote regions including climate change and is a founder member of the Mitchemp Trust, a UK based charity supporting disadvantaged youngsters and giving them an adventure experience.
2013Mr Muhammed Syahmi Roslan
Name: Mr Muhammed Syahmi Roslan
Malaysia: Confusion: prevalence of dementia, delirium, depression and anxiety in hospital elderly, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
2013Ms Tianying Zhang
Name: Ms Tianying Zhang
Vietnam: Adult & paediatric infectious diseases: research into Klebsiella pneumoniae oropharyngeal carriage in rural and urban populations.
2013Ms Jennifer Dodds
Name: Ms Jennifer Dodds
India: Qualitative survey re reasons of early removal of copper interuterine devices amongst Adivas women in Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu, India.
2013Ms Jennifer Myo
Name: Ms Jennifer Myo
Cambodia: Demographic health survey of Katchcam Village, Lumphat District, Ratakiri, Cambodia.
2013Ms Frances Yarlett
Name: Ms Frances Yarlett
Cambodia: Demographic health survey of Katchcam Village, Lumphat District, Ratakiri, Cambodia.
2012Ms Michelle Wilmott
Name: Ms Michelle Wilmott
Various: joint project comparing end-of-life care in widely differing countries and situations
2012Mr Arjun Kingdon
Name: Mr Arjun Kingdon
Various: joint project comparing end-of-life care in widely differing countries and situations
2012Ms Sonia Sharma
Name: Ms Sonia Sharma
Malaysia: study of the helminth carriage in children living in rural villages in Sarawak
2012Ms Lucy Loong
Name: Ms Lucy Loong
Various: to gain insight into how healthcare & conservation can work synergistically for local healthcare.
2013Mrs Nancy Hatch Dupree
Name: Mrs Nancy Hatch Dupree
On 25 September 2013, the Council of the Society resolved to award the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial medal to Nancy Hatch Dupree in recognition of her contribution to education and research in Afghanistan and, in particular, the establishment of The Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University. She and her husband, Louis, were forced out of Afghanistan in the 1970s and based themselves in Peshawar, Pakistan, where alongside helping Afghan refugees, they began collecting historical documents that now form the nucleus of the Afghanistan Centre. Louis died in 1989, but Nancy continued their joint work and returned to Afghanistan in 2005. There she arranged for the records, almost 300 sacks full, to be returned; however with nowhere to store or present them, she set about the establishment of the Afghanistan Centre. Her efforts prevailed and, with funds from the Finance Ministry and land from the university, the Centre is a testament to Nancy’s dedication to promoteeducation and research into Afghan history.
2012Major Geoffrey Langlands
Name: Major Geoffrey Langlands
On 3 October 2012, the Council of the Society resolved to award the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial medal to Major Geoffrey Langlands CMG MBE in recognition of his contribution to education in Pakistan. First teaching English and Mathematics for 25 years at Aitchison College, becoming Principal of the Cadet College at Razmak, in the Tribal Areas and then, in 1989, taking over a school in Chitral in the Hindu Kush, now formally named the Langlands School and College, and overseeing its growth from 86 to 900 pupils, both boys and girls. He formally retired in early 2013 and resides again at Aitchison College, Lahore.
Name: Sebastian Rumsby
Vietnam: travel to research recent changes in water puppet performances
Name: Anna Kellar
Tajikistan: travel to explore four valleys in Western Badakshan province.
Name: Rohit Dasgupta
India: travel to rural belt around Bihar/Orissa to find out more about ‘Launda’ (dancing boys) community
Name: Kim Jacobsen
India: travel to Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu State to interview Irula tribe re snakes in areas of human habitation.
Name: Jamie Maddison
Central Asia: following in footsteps of Sir Charles Howard-Bury, who travelled there in 1913.
Name: Giulia Camerra
China: analyse causes & consequences of labour shortage hitting manufacturers; will visit 8 textile factories
Name: Shaun McPhee
China: Study of N Korean children in China; long history of migration from N Korea for work, freedom & food.
Name: Felix Vicat
Sri Lanka: interviewing military leaders of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam having spoken to those who won.
Name: Daria Singh
Mongolia: Six months work with Wild Camel Protection Foundation for the breeding & calving season.
Name: Andrew Daynes
Pakistan: Focusing on oral histories/recollections of Gilgit uprising & their thoughts for current & future Gilgit.
Name: Mohammed Khuram
China: retracing George Hayward’s & Robert Shaw’s journey in 1869 from Yarkand to Kashgar (by horse)
Name: Idris Ouahes
Israel: Travel to 5 countries in the ME to study the back-ground of Father Antonin Jaussen, priest & spy WW1
Name: Matthias Determann
Saudi Arabia: travel to study changes in the public sphere, especially in Riyadh & its surroundings
Name: Hannah Warren
India: travel to Madhya Pradesh to study & make pictorial record of female weavers in a community.
Name: Peter Cole
Yemen: travel to Yemen to make a study of the Mehri tribe.
Name: Sonal Barot
Japan: travel to gain a deeper understanding of what lies behind the Indian dance style ‘Bharata Natyam’ in Japan.
Name: Nicholas Farrelly
China: travel to the Jingpo Wunpawng Manao Festival in Lonchuan County, Yunnan Province.
Name: Alice Ekman
China: photographic project in four coastal cities (Beidaihe, Tangu, Tianjin & Qinhuangdao)
Name: Aidan Harris
Tibet: Tibetan identity inside Tibet compared to those in exile; includes travel to Lhasa, Sakya, Amdo & Shigatse.
Name: Ben Caldecott
Malaysia: Survey of environmental & livelihood change in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak.
1985Professor Mary Boyce
Name: Professor Mary Boyce
In recognition of her work in connection with Zoroastrianism.
1988Lady Alexandra Metcalfe
Name: Lady Alexandra Metcalfe
In recognition of her work in Asia for the Save the Children Fund.
1998Mr. Peter McMillan
Name: Mr. Peter McMillan
For his ingenuity, resource and courage in re-enacting the original flight in 1919 from Britain to Australia by the Smith brothers in a replica Vickers Vimy FB 27A bomber.
1999Dr. Ina Russell
Name: Dr. Ina Russell
For long and dedicated service to the Royal Society for Asian Affairs both as a Member of Council and as an Honorary Secretary.
2003Miss Susan Farrington
Name: Miss Susan Farrington
In recognition of her contribution to the aims of the Society, in particular to a sympathetic understanding of British links with Southern and South East Asia.
The award recognises her painstaking and enthusiastic work in locating, researching and recording British graves outside the remit of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the Indian sub-Continent and in South East Asia, both on behalf of the British Association for Cemeteries of South Asia and independently. Her role in recording on audio-tape and in print the memoirs of former British Crown servants in Asia. Several of these records have been deposited in the archives of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. Her major contribution to the Society’s Centenary History, both by independent research and in preparing the text for printing and publication. Her role in administering Operation Raleigh in Pakistan in conjunction with the Adventure Foundation, Pakistan.
2004Miss Mary Mackay
Name: Miss Mary Mackay
In recognition of her active loyalty as a member of the Society and her generosity to the Library and Archives of the Society.
Mrs Mackay’s donations to the Library are particularly valued and noteworthy because they relate to British experience in Central Asia during the late nineteenth century and first decade of the twentieth century, overlapping the period when this Society was founded and developed as the Central Asian Society. Her loyalty to the Society has been demonstrated by regular attendance at meetings to which she travelled from Northumberland. She also took part in travel by members of the Society to Iraq in 1978, to Kashgar in North-West China in 1990 and to Uzbekistan in 1994. From the visit to Kashgar, she contributed a number of outstanding photographs to the Society’s Archives.
2005Miss Caroline Hawley
Name: Miss Caroline Hawley
This award recognises her distinguished career as a foreign correspondent in the troubled areas of the Middle East, which have included tours in Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
It reflects especially her continuing service with the British Broadcasting Corporation in Iraq, both before the outbreak of war in that country in March 2003, and in its aftermath. It acknowledges her determined approach to factual reporting and her courage in seeking, in very difficult circumstances, to convey to the British public the realities of present-day Iraq. The consistent quality of her reporting in hazardous conditions has evoked admiration from a wide public and has followed a distinguished tradition set by former journalists and BBC World Service reporters also honoured by this Society.
2011Dr. Alex Duncan
Name: Dr. Alex Duncan
Dr Alex Duncan first went to Pakistan to teach English in his gap year, and remained interested in Asia. Following his medical training in Cambridge and London, he did some brief spells in hospitals in Pakistan before doing his GP training. He married in 1997, and they went to Pakistan in 1999, working with Afghan refugees, and to Afghanistan in 2002. He and his wife and four children lived in a village high up in the Wakhan Corridor of north-eastern Afghnistan for six years, trying to improve the health of some of the poorest people on earth. They lived in a typical Wakhi one-roomed mud hut with no running water or drains, no beds and little food, using many blankets to negotiate the -25ºC winter temperatures.
The region had a terrifyingly high mortality rate from respiratory diseases among the children, caused by cooking in the one-roomed houses that everyone in the region live in. This increased the mortality rate in children by 10% and when Dr Duncan and his family arrived there in 2002 a third of the children died before the age of five. The number of deaths was a big shock to his wife Eleanor, a linguist, who had taken on the role of talking to the local women and teaching her own children. Five years later this mortality rate in children had dropped to a quarter.
In January 2010 Dr Duncan and his wife were each awarded an MBE for their work in Afghanistan. In recognition of their time spent in the Wakhan Corridor improving the health of the people there and in pursuance of the Council’s resolution, this award is made and a citation is presented on 11 May 2011 to Dr Alex Duncan MBE.
2011Major Roddy Jones
Name: Major Roddy Jones
Major Roddy Jones is a long standing member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Arabia and Afghanistan until the late 1960’s when he suffered a severe leg injury. After retirement from the Army he remained working in Saudi Arabia and Oman as Keeper of the Arabian Horse Stud Dhirab and as a Field Officer at the Oryx Preservation Park Jabuni in Oman.
In 1997 he became involved in the Afghan Mother and Child Rescue organisation in the Panjshir Valley. Working in the area had been made very difficult by the eruption of the Taliban in the region, but Major Jones set to work supervising the building of a Mother and Child Health Clinic at Rokha in the Panjshir Valley. After its completion in 2000 other clinics were started in the Panjshir Valley and despite his leg disability he makes twice yearly visits either from Kabul or from Dushambe in Tajikistan, depending on the political situation.
In recognition of long service in Arabia involved in research, equine stud management and the Oryx Conservation Project in Oman, and for over ten years primary humanitarian involvement in the Afghan Mother and Child Reserve Clinics in Afghanistan in pursuance of the Council’s resolution, the award is made and a citation is presented on 11 May 2011 to Major E R L Jones.
2004Mr John Hare
Name: Mr John Hare
John Hare, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers’ Club of America has lectured to the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, the United Nations, the Great Britain-China Centre, the Grocers’ Livery Company and the Scientific Exploration Society.
He has lectured in the USA to the National Geographic Society, The Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, the Explorers’ Club, the China Institute, to Societies in Hong Kong, China and Kenya and to numerous schools and colleges. He has also lectured aboard the Queen Mary 2.
In 2004 John Hare was awarded the Ness Award by the Royal Geographical Society for raising awareness about wild Bactrian camels and the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal for exploration under extreme hazard by the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. In October 2006 the Royal Scottish Geographical Society awarded him the Mungo Park Medal for distinguished contributions to exploration.
2001Mr Colin Thubron
Name: Mr Colin Thubron
A regular lecturer at the RSAA, Colin Thubron CBE received his medal in 2001 for his literary output, lectures and broadcasts, the product of forty years of travel in Asia through which he has enlarged knowledge of its peoples and cultures.
1998Mr Hugh Leach
Name: Mr Hugh Leach
Hugh Leach OBE spent his career as a soldier and diplomat in the Arab world and has served with both regular and irregular Arab troops. He is the Society’s Historian and the author of Strolling About on the Roof of the World.
He received the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal in 1998 for exploration and research in Arab countries and NW areas of the Sub-continent, and leadership of Young People’s expeditions.
1995Mr George Popov
Name: Mr George Popov
Mr. George Popov MBE was awarded his medal for his lifelong services as a locust control expert in Central Asia and Arabia.
1986Mr Sandy Gall
Name: Mr Sandy Gall
Mr. Sandy Gall CBE received his medal for his hazardous inquiry into the intervention by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and the consequences for that country. He has previously lectured to the Society and also written for Asian Affairs.
1985Sir Christian Bonington
Name: Sir Christian Bonington
Sir Christian Bonington CBE is a British mountaineer. His career has included 19 expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mt. Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna.
1980Miss Elizabeth Monroe
Name: Miss Elizabeth Monroe
Miss Elizabeth Monroe received the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal for services to Arab studies. She has written extensively about a variety of topics including Philby of Arabia and the 1973 Arab-Israel War.
1974Professor Robert Serjeant
Name: Professor Robert Serjeant
Prof. Robert Serjeant MA PhD received his medal for services in the Yemen and South Arabia. A fine Arabist, he worked extensively in Aden, as well as other parts of Arabia, and held a number of academic positions, including as Director of the Middle East Centre at Cambridge University.
1973Sir Olaf Caroe
Name: Sir Olaf Caroe
A prolific writer for Asian Affairs, Sir Olaf Caroe was Governor of the North West Frontier Province 1946-47. After leaving India, he became a respected writer on Asia and the Middle East.
1970Professor Seton Lloyd
Name: Professor Seton Lloyd
Prof. Seton Lloyd CBE was President of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, and Professor of Western Asiatic Archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London.
1969Sir Max Mallowan
Name: Sir Max Mallowan
Sir Max Mallowan CBE was a prominent British archaeologist specialising in the ancient history of the Middle East. His excavations included sites at Ur and Nimrud, about which he published Nimrud and its Remains.
1966Sir Charles Dalrymple Belgrave
Name: Sir Charles Dalrymple Belgrave
Sir Charles Dalrymple Belgrave KBE was a senior adviser to the rulers of Bahrain from 1926-57. He was responsible for the establishment of civil and criminal courts in the country, and he went on to write about Bahrain extensively.
1965Colonel Sir Hugh Boustead
Name: Colonel Sir Hugh Boustead
Colonel Sir Hugh Boustead was a British military officer, modern pentathlete and diplomat. He earned two military crosses and was Commander of the Sudan Camel Corps during WW2.
1964Mr D Neville Barbour
Name: Mr D Neville Barbour
Mr. D Neville Barbour was an Indian Civil Servant, Arab scholar and writer. A one-time correspondent of The Times, he took a particular interest in the Palestine, and was a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and their cause.
1961Brigadier Stephen Longrigg
Name: Brigadier Stephen Longrigg
Brigadier Stephen Longrigg OBE DLitt received his medal is recognition of his work in Iraq and his books on political and economic development in the Middle East.
1960Dame Violet Dickson
Name: Dame Violet Dickson
Dame Violet Dickson received her medal for her work amongst the Bedouin women of Arabia, and her study of desert flora and fauna.
1954Sir Wilfred Thesiger
Name: Sir Wilfred Thesiger
Sir Wilfred Thesiger KBE DSO was an explorer and travel writer. Known also as Mubarak bin London (the blessed one from London), he travelled extensively in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.
1953Lord John Hunt
Name: Lord John Hunt
Lord John Hunt CBE DSC was awarded the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal for his 1953 conquest of Everest.
1949Lt Colonel F Spencer Chapman
Name: Lt Colonel F Spencer Chapman
Lt Colonel F Spencer Chapman DSO served in Malaya during WW2, where his specialty was guerrilla warfare. He published a number of books about his travels including Lhasa: The Holy City and The Jungle is Neutral, which is about his time surviving in the Malayan jungle.
1948Sir Henry Holland
Name: Sir Henry Holland
Sir Henry Holland CIE MB ChB FRCS FICS received his medal for his medical work in Afghanistan and Baluchistan.
1947Sir Charles R Pawsey
Name: Sir Charles R Pawsey
Sir Charles R Pawsey was a British military officer and colonial administrator. Hew as Assistant Commissioner to Assam and District Commissioner, Naga Hills during the Burma Campaigns 1942-44. The Battle of the Tennis Court was fought in the grounds of his bungalow.
1944Miss Ursula Graham Bower
Name: Miss Ursula Graham Bower
Miss Ursula Graham Bower received her medal for anthropological work amongst the Nagas of North East India.
1943Major General Orde Wingate
Name: Major General Orde Wingate
Major General Orde Wingate DSO created the Chindits and is considered as one of the founders of modern guerrilla warfare.
1942Miss Mildred Cable
Name: Miss Mildred Cable
Miss Alice Mildred Cable received her medal for exploration of the Gobi Desert. She joined the China Inland Mission in 1901, initially working in Shanxi and then in Gansu. With her two companions, Eva and Francesca French, she travelled 1,500 miles across Central Asia, to Russia via Siberia, and spent a year living in Xinjiang.
1941Captain C E Corry
Name: Captain C E Corry
Captain C E Corry was awarded his medal for his work amongst the Marsh Arabs of Iraq.
1940Major General F G Peake
Name: Major General F G Peake
Major General F G Peake (also known as Peake Pasha) was a British Army officer and creator of the Arab Legion. He served in the Sudan Camel Corps and later became Major General in the army of Transjordan.
1939Mr Harold Ingrams
Name: Mr Harold Ingrams
Mr. Harold Ingrams CMG OBE is credited with ending the blood feuds of the Hadhramaut.
1939Mrs Doreen Ingrams
Name: Mrs Doreen Ingrams
Mrs. Doreen Ingrams received the medal jointly with her husband for ending the blood feuds of the Hadhramaut.
1938Major C S Jarvis
Name: Major C S Jarvis
Major C S Jarvis CMG OBE was a noted Arabist, naturalist, and Governor of Sinai.
1937Sir Charles Bell
Name: Sir Charles Bell
Sir Charles Bell KCIE CMG was a Tibetologist and Britain’s de facto Ambassador to Tibet. He was at various times the British Political Officer for Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet, and he participated in the Simla Convention in 1913.
1936Lt. General Sir J B Glubb
Name: Lt. General Sir J B Glubb
The first recipient of the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal was Lt. General Sir J B Glubb, the soldier, scholar and author who led the Arab Legion from 1939-56.
2011Professor Avi Shlaim
Name: Professor Avi Shlaim
On 16 March 2011 the Council of the Society resolved to award the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal to Professor Avi Shlaim, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study of the Middle East in general and the Arab-Israeli issue in particular. Born to Jewish parents in Baghdad in 1945, he later did his national service in the Israeli armed forces. His distinguished career as writer, commentator, lecturer (to the Society among others) and academic culminated in the Professorship of International Relations at St. Antony’s College Oxford. His academic interest in the history of Israel began in 1982, when the Israeli government archives about the 1948 Arab-Israeli war were opened. He is considered one of the leading ‘new’ historians, a group of Israeli scholars who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel.
Professor Shlaim’s frequent visits to the area have added insights and authority to his writings. His publications have been pre-eminent in the revisionist interpretation of Israel’s policy towards the Arab world during the sixty years following the achievement of statehood. His remarkably lucid style is always thought-provoking and often overturns orthodoxies on the Arab-Israeli issues. Particularly relevant are two of his works regarded as classics on the Middle East: ‘Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine’ (1988) and ‘The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World’ (2000).
Professor Shlaim has stimulated wider and more informed interest in Israel and Palestine and the broader region, in keeping with the aims of the Award and the traditions of the Society. In pursuance of the Council’s resolution, the award is made and a citation is presented on 11 May 2011 to Professor Avi Shlaim, FBA
2009Mr John Keay
Name: Mr John Keay
In recognition of his outstanding literary contributions about the history of Asia. John Keay is an English journalist and historian who specialises in writing about India and the Far East, often with a particular focus on their colonisation and exploration by Europeans. He first visited India in 1965, and has made regular returns ever since including several visits to cover elections and conflicts as a political correspondent for the Economist.
He became a full-time author in 1971, publishing his first book ‘Into India’ in 1973 which stayed in print for 30 years. Since then he has been the author of over 20 books, all factual, mostly historical and largely to do with Asia. Reviewers and readers praise his work for its combination of meticulous research, irreverent wit, powerful narrative and lively prose. In the 1980s he worked for BBC Radio as a writer and presenter during which time he wrote ‘India Discovered’, the story of how British Colonists came to find out about the great artefacts of Indian culture and architecture. He is now hailed as one of our most outstanding historians.
2007Professor Fred Halliday
Name: Professor Fred Halliday
Fred Halliday FBA is a Fellow of the Royal Academy. He has been Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics since 1985.
2006Dr Shirin Akiner
Name: Dr Shirin Akiner
In recognition of her contribution to the study of Central Asia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, her frequent visits to the area have added insights and authority to her writings which have helped in increase a general understanding of regional developments, including the emergence of political systems and the role of Islam in the Central Asian States. Her publications have cast light on such subjects as the emerging political order in the Caspian states, the formation of Kazakh identity and minorities in a time of change. Her role as an editor or co-editor has added much to scholarship about the area and her lively and sometimes controversial engagement in discussion of regional issues has stimulated wider interest in Central Asia in keeping with the aims of the Award and with the traditions of the Society.
2005 Mr William Dalrymple
Name: Mr William Dalrymple
In recognising that his writings and broad-casting have stimulated a wide interest in several regions of Asia. The travelling and historical research integral to his work have increased public knowledge of those regions and conveyed a message of tolerance and mutual understanding. The themes of quest and journey that recur in the content and titles of his books aptly fit the criteria for the Medal. Together with the learning which dedicated research has brought him, he exemplifies values for which the Royal Society for Asian Affairs stands and for which it considers him eminently worthy of the award.
2004Mr Charles Allen
Name: Mr Charles Allen
Mr Charles Allen is a respected scholar and writer. He has lectured to the Society on topics as diverse as the search for Mt. Kailas and Asoka Maurya.
2002Mr Maurice and Mrs Taya Zinkin
Name: Mr Maurice and Mrs Taya Zinkin
The award recognises the joint contribution of Mr Maurice Zinkin OBE and Mrs Taya Zinkin to increasing man’s knowledge of India and the surrounding region, and to stimulating interest in Asia more broadly, through their joint and individual publications as well as through their output over a period of some 30 years of articles and reviews in the Society’s Journal Asian Affairs, and in Mr Zinkin’s case through his membership for 12 years of the Journal’s Editorial Board. These activities have earned them widespread esteem for their deep understanding of an extensive range of Asian topics. The award is made in recognition of her work and that of her late husband.
2001Sir Mark Tully
Name: Sir Mark Tully
For increasing man’s knowledge of the Indian sub-continent through his work as a journalist, broadcaster and writer, and for the empathy he has for the Indian people and the esteem in which he is held by them.
1999Mr Peter Hopkirk
Name: Mr Peter Hopkirk
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to increasing man’s knowledge of Central Asia through his extensive travels, scholarship and writings.
1994Professor Akbar Ahmed
Name: Professor Akbar Ahmed
In recognition of his notable contribution towards promoting knowledge and understanding of Asia and fostering cultural relations between Commonwealth and Asian countries.
1992Professor Albert Hourani
Name: Professor Albert Hourani
In recognition of his long and distinguished academic record and wide range of writings covering the history, culture and politics of the Arab and Islamic lands.
1990Sir Denis Wright
Name: Sir Denis Wright
In recognition of his knowledge of, and involvement in, Anglo-Persian relations and his advancement of understanding between the two countries over many years. And as an author.
1987Professor Charles F Beckingham
Name: Professor Charles F Beckingham
Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of London. In recognition of his work in Islamic Studies.
1983Mr Tim Severin
Name: Mr Tim Severin
In recognition of his work as an author, traveller and historian.
1980Mr David Stronach
Name: Mr David Stronach
In recognition of his services to archaeology.
1977Mr Basil Gray
Name: Mr Basil Gray
Keeper of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum.
1975Professor Sir Cyril Philips
Name: Professor Sir Cyril Philips
Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies. An academic who has furthered communications between Asian countries and this country.
1974Dr Gunnar Jarring
Name: Dr Gunnar Jarring
For his contribution to the fields of learning and diplomacy and to the knowledge of Turkestan.
1973Professor William Watson
Name: Professor William Watson
For his contribution to the knowledge of East Asian Civilisation.
1972Mr W E D Allen
Name: Mr W E D Allen
For his work on Caucasian and Turkish history.
1971Professor Giuseppe Tucci
Name: Professor Giuseppe Tucci
For distinguished services to archaeology and study of Tibet and Buddhism.
1970Colonel C H Ellis
Name: Colonel C H Ellis
In recognition of his work on Transcaspia and adjacent regions.
1969Mr S C Sutton
Name: Mr S C Sutton
For his work as Director of the India Office Library.
1968Mrs Violet Conolly
Name: Mrs Violet Conolly
For her work as a Russian Specialist.
1967Mr C J Edmonds
Name: Mr C J Edmonds
Cecil J. Edmonds was a British political officer who served with the British Expeditionary Forces in Mesopotamia and western Persia, and later in the civil administration of Iraq. From 1935 to 1945 he was adviser to the Ministry of Interior in Iraq.
1967Lt Colonel G E Wheeler
Name: Lt Colonel G E Wheeler
Director of the Central Asian Research Centre.
1965Professor C von Furer Haimendorf
Name: Professor C von Furer Haimendorf
Anthropologist, Traveller and Author
1964Dr Laurence Lockhart
Name: Dr Laurence Lockhart
Traveller, Scholar and Historian
1963Mr Hugh Richardson
Name: Mr Hugh Richardson
For Service in India, Tibet and his ‘History of Tibet’
1962Sir Reader Bullard
Name: Sir Reader Bullard
Diplomat and author
1960Professor Ann K S Lambton
Name: Professor Ann K S Lambton
1958Lt. General Sir Francis Tuker
Name: Lt. General Sir Francis Tuker
1956Mr Douglas Carruthers
Name: Mr Douglas Carruthers
Naturalist, Explorer and Author
1955Mrs Ella Maillart
Name: Mrs Ella Maillart
Traveller and author
1954Mr Tom Stobart
Name: Mr Tom Stobart
For his work in filming the conquest of Everest
1951Dame Freya Stark
Name: Dame Freya Stark
Traveller and author
1947Mr Fakhri Dai Gilani
Name: Mr Fakhri Dai Gilani
1941Professor Sir Keppel Archibald Cresswell
Name: Professor Sir Keppel Archibald Cresswell
Authority on Muslim architecture
LATEST RECIPIENT BIO
- 2017 for 2018 travel recipients: George Brill, India Fallon, Samar Rizvi and Ryan Young
- Job title:
George is looking into subsistence skills of maritime communities in Indonesia
India is going to Mongolia to study the Dukha tribe
Samar is studying the Jewish/Parsi trading communities in Hong Kong
Ryan is off to Pakistan to study the Sufi culture