John Masters, who was born in Calcutta in 1914, was of the fifth generation of his family to have served in India. Educated at Wellington and Sandhurst, he returned to India in 1934 to join the 4th Prince of Wales’ Own Gurkha Rifles. He saw service in Waxiristan in 1937 and, after the outbreak of war, in Iraq, Syria and Persia. In 1944, he commanded a brigade of General Wingate’s Chindits in Burma, and later fought with the 19th Indian Division at the capture of Mandaly and on the Mawchi Road. Masters retired from the army in 1948 as a lieutenant colonel with the DSO and OBE. He went to America and turned to writing. He is best known for his novels, published by Sphere Books Ltd, most famously Bhowani Junction. John Masters died in New Mexico in May 1983, at the age of sixty-eight.