Geoffrey Wheeler

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For other people named Geoffrey Wheeler, see Geoffrey Wheeler (disambiguation).
Geoffrey Wheeler
Born 22 June 1897
Died 1 February 1990
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1915-1949
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire

Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Edleston Wheeler CIE (22 June 1897 – 1 February 1990) was a British soldier and an historian of Central Asia.

Life[edit]

Wheeler followed in the footsteps of his father, an infantry officer, and was commissioned into the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment in 1915. In 1918 he transferred to the Indian army. He initially served in the 1/6th Gurkha Rifles, and later in the 7th Rajput Regiment. From 1919 to 1925 he was attached to General Staff as an intelligence officer covering India, Palestine and Malta.[1]

In 1926 Wheeler served in Mashhad, Iran as the British Military Attaché and he was stationed in Iraq from 1928-1931. Wheeler spent the next decade and a half in India where he severed in the External Affairs Department, the Ministry of Information and General Staff Army Headquarters.

In 1946 Wheeler was stationed at the British embassy Teheran, Iran (1946–1953), where he served as both the Press and Oriental Councillor until he returned to London in 1950. [2][3]

[4][5] He retired from the Indian Army in 1949 as a Lieutenant-Colonel.

In Wheeler 1953 retired from government service and founded the Central Asian Research Centre in London. He served director of the center until 1968 and editor of its journal Central Asian Review, one of the main venues for Central Asian research.[2] He also sat as the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society from 1961-1966. [6]

Wheeler married Irena Bulatova in 1927, who died in 1973. They had one son.

Wheeler died in Surrey, England. His memoirs "Fifty years of Asia" are located at Oxford University, St Antony's College in the Middle East Centre Archive. Wheeler’s career is extensively covered in Myer’s Islam and Colonialism: Western Perspective on Soviet Asia.

Writing[edit]

Wheeler’s writing focused on the history of Central Asia from the time of the Russian conquest of the region in the mid-nineteenth century to Soviet occupation of Central Asia in the 20th century. Wheeler’s work is notable because he was one of the few scholars working to promote Central Asian Studies at a time when the field was in decline due to travel and research restrictions Soviet authorities imposed on academics. Wheeler engaged in the debates that raged in Central Asia Studies during the Cold War: what was the nature of Soviet colonialism in Central Asia and how was Central Asian ethnic identity formed. His books and articles were widely read amongst scholars and appear in the holdings of academic libraries around the globe.

Works and Related Materials[edit]

  • Geoffrey Wheeler Collection: TS Memoirs ‘Fifty years of Asia.’ GB165-0298. Oxford University, St Antony's College, Middle East Centre Archive. NRA catalogue reference: NRA 20811 St Antony's College.
  • Wheeler, Geoffrey. "British Policy in Central Asia in the Early Nineteenth Century. The Mission of Richmond Shakespeare." Central Asian Review. VI, No. 4. (1958.)
  • "Islam in the USSR." Central Asian Review. 9, IV. (1961.)
  • The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia. London: Weidenfelf and Nicolson, 1964.
  • Nationality and Nationalism in Soviet Muslim Asia.. Azad Bhavan, 1961.
  • "Religion and the Soviet State: a Dilemma of Power." National and Religious Consciousness in Soviet Islam. Ed. M. Hayward and W Fletcher. London: Pall Mall, 1969.
  • The Peoples of Soviet Central Asia: A Background Book. London: Bodley Head, 1966.
  • "Race Relations in Soviet Muslim Asia." Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society. 47, II. (1960).
  • "Russia and Islam: New Trends in Soviet Policy." Central Asian Review. 4, I. (1956.)
  • Russia and China in Central Asia. Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 54, III. (1967.)
  • "Russia and the Middle East." Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society. 44, III. (1957.)
  • Swords and Plowshares; The Indian Army as a Social Force. Washington: The Government of India Information Services, 1944.
  • "The Turkic Languages of Soviet Muslim Asia: Russian Linguistic Policy." Middle Eastern Studies, XIII, no. 2, (1977.)
  • Wheeler, Geoffrey E. "Soviet and Chinese Policies in the Middle-East." The World Today. v. 22. no. 2. (Feb 1966.)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bloch, Jonathan and Fitzgerald, Patrick. British Intelligence and Covert Action. Ireland: Brandon Book Publishers, 1984. p. 271
  • Dorril, Stephen. MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. New York: The Free Press, 2000. pp. 535, 568.
  • Leach, Hugh, Luce Irigaray, Kullada-Kesbooncho Mead, and Susan Farrington. Strolling About on the Roof of the World: The First Hundred Years of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs (Formerly Royal Central Asian Society). London: Routledge, 2003. pp. 121, 202. ISBN 0-415-29857-1.
  • Ramsay, Robin. A Who's Who of the British Secret State. Hull: Lobster, 1989.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geoffrey Wheeler Collection". Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford. OX2 6JF. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Will Myer. Islam and Colonialism: Western Perspective on Soviet Asia. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002. p. 103-4. ISBN 0-7007-1765-X.
  3. ^ "Guide to collections relating to Iran/Persia". Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford. 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  4. ^ "Geoffrey Eddleston Wheeler". NameBase. Archived from the original on 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  5. ^ "Papers of Lt Gen Thomas Jacomb Hutton, MC, KCB, KCIE (1890-1981)". Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London. 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  6. ^ Leach, Hugh , Luce Irigaray, Kullada-Kesbooncho Mead, and Susan Farrington. Strolling About on the Roof of the World: The First Hundred Years of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs (Formerly Royal Central Asian Society). London: Routledge, 2003. pp. 121, 202. ISBN 0-415-29857-1.

External links[edit]

Islam and Colonialism: Western Perspective on Soviet Asia. by Will Myer