Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
Lieut-Colonel L.W. Amps and Mrs Mary Amps Page1
Ghazni Afghan Hounds UK, India, Afghanistan
(by Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson, November 2013)
With assistance from our UK correspondent
Please consider this a "Starter Page" about Lieut-Colonel L.W. Amps and Mrs Mary Amps. We have over many years researched and posted articles about the Amps and their Ghazni Afghan hounds. This section is intended to be about the Amps themselves rather than their hounds.
Links to previous articles about the Amps Ghazni hounds can be found at the bottom of this page. Our research is ongoing into the Amps and as soon as research workload and priorities allow we will consolidate and complete the Amps/Ghazni project.
The following section is compiled from research undertaken by Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson with additional information provided by our UK correspondent, a retired Univesity Professor who, as a young boy, and young adult, spent considerable time with the Amps at their various homes. Our correspondent has been able to provide insight into the Amps story. Our correspondent (now 75 years of age) kept in touch with the Amps for some 25 years. When our correspondent married, he and his wife continued to visit the Amps and Pat also visited our correspondent and his wife at their home in Northern Ireland and later also at their home in Scotland. Our correspondent recalls the pleasure he and his then fiance had showing Pat the sights of Northern Ireland when Pat visited them in 1964.
Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson, November 2013
With assistance from our correspondent
1. About "Major Amps" (actually "Lieutenant-Colonel" Amps) (1892 - 1989)
(1892 birth and family background)
Leon Williamson Amps was born in London on the 4th July 1892. He was universally referred to as "Pat", that is how his wife Mary addressed him. His father had been a draper running a business in Bruton St, London, before farming a large property in Danehill, East Sussex. Leon had a brother who also became an Engineer (and while ‘Pat’ went to India and Afghanistan, his brother John went to Sierra Leone and Ghana). They had a privileged upbringing – there was just the two boys, their own governess and several household servants. Their father was still alive in 1933 (living in Westminster, London). Pat was a commanding figure - 5' 11" tall, with dark brown hair and gray eyes
(1906 - 1914 education)
Pat Amps was educated at Marlborough College 1906 - 1910. Marlborough College situated in the attractive Wiltshire (England) town of Marlborough was established in 1843. It is an independent college (much like Harrow and Eton) and is a breeding ground for the future famous.
Past students from the college went on to become - Law Lords, Lord Chief Justice, Royalty family (The Duchess Of Cambridge's brother and sister were educated at Marlborough), Military Governors, Marshals, Generals, etc , a former Archbishop Of Canterbury, John Hunt of Mt Everest fame, Olympians, Politicians and Diplomats, Writers, Poets, Scholars and Academics, Celebrities, Musicians (eg Chris de Burgh of "Lady in Red" fame) etc. Marlborogh is a very important institution and often a pathway to greatness for many. It is a private college so students, or their wealthy families have to pay for their tuition. After Marlborough, the majority of students will advance to University, typically Cambridge or Oxford. Pat Amps graduated to King College, Cambridge University in 1910 and was there through 1913 where he gained a BA with honours in "Mechanical Services" (engineering) and later gained his MA at the same university.
Our correspondent informs us that a book, a class prize from Marlborough College was presented to Pat Amps. The book was signed by the distinguished Frank Fletcher, well known Master of Marlborough (1903-1911). It is pleasing to note that the book, Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho! seems somehow complementary to the character of boy, whose life would involve gallantry and distinction in the life of his country in two world wars and the periods of doubtful peace before and after the second world war, in Afghanistan
1913 (early employment)
Pat's first job was with Nobel's Explosives Co Ltd in Scotland on the the Ardeer peninsula which was the site of a massive dynamite manufacturing plant built by Alfred Bernhard Nobel. Having scoured the country for a remote location to establish his explosive factory, Nobel finally acquired 100 acres (40 ha) from the Earl of Eglinton, and established the British Dynamite Factory in 1871, and went on to create what was described then as the largest explosives factory in the world. (source re Noble - Wikipedia). Nobel also constructed canals and railways, something Pat Amps would come to do many years later, so Nobel was an excellent start to his eventual career direction. Pat worked with Nobel 1913-1914.
1914-1918 (enters military service)
In 1914 Pat joined the War Service via the Royal Engineers where he remained in service for the next 4 1/2 years, serving under Major M N Logan M.C. RE.
the Former District Engineer of the Kowloon Canton Railway Company who built the railway system in Hong Kong that connected Hong Kong to Canton in China (now Guangzhou). The railway line opened in 1911. Another example of Pat's early involvement in engineering. Several years later we will find Pat constructing Railway netoworks in the Indian Sub-Continent and France.
Pat served in WWI in the period 1914-1918. In 1921 Pat applied for a position and on the application form (see scan below) he wrote the following - "After being severely wounded and losing a foot". He was offered and accepted a post with the Ministry of Munitions, involving technical administrative work as Sub-section Director"
1919 - In November of this year Pat was employed at the Civilian Engineer Military Works Service, India where he was appointed Garrison Engineer in charge of Civil Works at Peshewar in the N.W. Frontier Province, Construction and maintenance of the Peshewar Water Supply system. During this stint of duty Pat was involved in road construction including blasting, responsible for a workforce of 800, railway construction, multiple water systems - design and construction, canal design and construction. Readers can see how this later life career stemmed from his early employment experience. Pat was an engineer all his life.
1939 Pat was General Officer Commanding (GOC), the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps.
1944 We believe Pat was a Major General in the War Office but are still researching the latter part of his military career.
1945/Post War - Pat retired with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Research still in progress on Pat's post war life. We know that Pat established an engineering company Logan and Amps in Hong Kong and travelled back and forth, but we need to research to fully understand the timeline. Our correspondent has provided us with information about Pat in the 1960's and beyond, up to Pats demise but we still have work to do to fill in some gaps and through the final years.
2. About Mary Amps (1885 - 1965)
Amy Mary Cecelia Johnson, (daughter of John Law), a widow, was born in 1885. Mary went out to India as the widowed Mrs Charles Johnson in early November 1923. She had a sister Catherine Law who she was close to throughout her life. Catherine was a very important aid to Mary in her Afghan hound activities. Mary married Pat in Bombay later in the month of November 1923, so presumably they met and became engaged while in England.
Mary Amps was born in Tettenhall, Staffordshire, where all her family grew up, she was a pupil teacher (a student who while a senior teaches younger children in school) remaining at school longer than many girls of her era (indicates she was an intelligent woman). Mary retained links with nearby Penn in Staffordshire for some years in between her stays in, India and Afghanistan.
Mary Amps generation found entertainment and enlightenment from reading books, magazines, newspapers and listening to the radio. Amongst Mary's favourite reading were the following -
-Selections From Modern Poets Made By J.C.Squire, London: Martin Secker, 1921.
-The Right Honourable the Earl of Beaconsfield K.G. and His Times by Alexander Charles Ewald, F.S.A.-
-Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
-The Hunting of the Snark, Lewis Carroll’s classic masterpiece of nonsense verse
-Rudyard Kipling, who Mary occasionally quoted from in her writings
-A Penguin Book of selections from the prose and verse of T.S. Eliot
Mary Amps was an independent thinker, and it has been suggested that Mary was a suffragist in some sense, but there is no suggestion/information that she was formerlly involved with the suffragette movement. We have witness to Mary's power of thinking and reasoning (and determination to prevail) in the dialogue conducted in the national press between her and Major Bell-Murray over correctness of type in Afghans. Mary was also a very competent writer, her article "The Land Of The Afghan Hound, 1930" is a lovely read/ (links to both articles are at the bottom of this page). Our correspondet feels certain that Mary Amps was involved in some way with women manufacturing munitions, and that may have been how she came to meet Pat originally?
Afghan hounds were not the Amps first dog - they had a dog at their home in Old Place, Farnham Royal (in Buckinghamshire in those days). It was a small dog (at least one), possibly a small brown bitch, possibly a dark coloured dachshund, rather an indoor dog.
1923 Marys address at this time was given as Ambleside, Penn , Staffordshire which is also the place where the Amps initially settled with their Afghan hounds when they returned to England for good in 1925.
1925 Mary once wrote about a health issue - stating that she had received Pastur treatment for a Rabies infection. This was in 1925 when she was at Peshewar where her Indian kennels were located. (She also had a Kennel in Kabul, Afghanistan). Mary apparently reduced her outings to shows from the mid-to-late 1920's, possibly due to ill health. We wondered if this was a legacy of her Rabies infection, but that is speculation. Research of newspaper archives reveals Mary was an active exhibitor through the mid 1920's particularly at west of England shows (close to the region where she lived). Mary was also known to suffer some discomfort from a troublesome hip which likely inhibited her ability to attend shows and/or exhibit her hounds. Eventually Pat and Mary moved house, to one that didn't involve Mary climbing stairs. Later in life Mary had some other health issues that involved a lengthy stay in hospital.
Mrs Amps, a romantic Roman Catholic was very keen on the Prince Regent’s wife by a clandestine marriage. She disliked the Prince, ‘Prinny’. Our correspondent informs us that for a time Pat and Mary lived in a house which had been lived in by the Regent and his lady. We understand this house was at Englefield Green near Staines. It is reported that Pat enjoyed showing visitors the quality of the lawn grass he had ‘inherited’ from the Prince’s time.
3. Married Life and Afghan hounds
1923 Pat married Mary on 23 November 1923 in Bombay, India. Pat was 31, Mary was 36. Mrs Amy Mary Johnson sailed from England to her ‘country of future intended residence’ (Afghanistan) on 2 November 1923. As this was just three weeks before the wedding we suspect she was visiting family/friends in the UK preparing for the big event. Her address at this time was given as Ambleside, Penn, Staffordshire. (Ed note: Penn is also where the Amps initially set up their kennels when they finally returned to England for good in 1925). An oft told true story is that Pat's new bride Mary was safely located in India while her husband, Pat was located in Afghanistan (at that time, military wives were not allowed to live in the fighting zones of Afghanistan). To placate/comfort his young wife, Pat sent her a gift of an Afghan hound puppy (Khan Of Ghazni) and this triggered the start of Mary Amps interest in the breed and the formation of her Ghazni Afghan hound kennels. Mary did spend time in Afghanistan. She had kennels located at Kabul in Afghanistan and kennels located in Peshewar, India. The Amps spent approximately two years in Afghanistan/India at this time.
|Photo, beieved to depict Maj. and Mrs Amps in Lahore|
1925 (Final return to England)
The Amps returned to England with several of their Afghan hounds around June 1925. They initially moved to a property in Penn, Staffordshire before eventually moving to the southwest of England (Bath, Somerset and later Teignmouth, Devon). They also lived at Staines, Middlesex (west of London), and we're currently researching the timeline for their residency at that location
The Amps lived in two different properties in Bath, (they had dogs at both addresses). Pat frequently left England, having established an engineering company named Logan and Amps in Hong Kong (there are a few details about this company on the Internet). It seems that Mary never accompanied him on his trips to Hong Kong.
At some time (possibly the mid 1950's) the Amps lived at "Old Place, Farnham Royal", we are still researching the timeline for that address, Farnham Royal is a small village in South Buckinghamshire, just north of London
The story of the eveolution and development of Mary Amps Ghazni Afghan hound kennels will be documented in a separate section. There are several links at the bottom of this page will serve as a good primer about the Afghan hounds.
4. After Mary Amps Death
After Mary Amps death, Pat Amps lived for a while near Sunningdale Golf Course (Berkshire, West of London). Our correspondent and his fiancee went there to visit Pat one summer evening in 1962 or 1963 and they were impressed by the standard of his cooking for himself. Pat eventually married again and went to live in the house which had been the home of his new wife and which was located in Staines, Middlesex (a different address to the Englefield Green/Staines residence)
Our correspondent exchanged letters with his friend the Lieutenant Colonel for several years. Our correspondent moved to Northern Ireland and then Scotland and Pat visited him and his wife in both places. Eventually letters stopped and our correspondent thought death or illness was the explanation. Our correspondent used to search for him on the internet and only found word of him quite recently, and then realised that Pat had survived for longer than our correspondent had known.
Ghazni Afghan Hounds Section. Steve Tillotson 2013
Lieut-Colonel L.W. Amps and Mrs Mary Amps By Steve Tillotson and Lyall Payne Nov 2013
Lt. Amps and Mary Amps "Nice Buddha; nice set of wheels" By Llewellyn Morgan (Oxford, England Sep 2013
The Hound In Afghanistan, Mary Amps, 1932
The Land Of The Afghan Hound, Mary Amps, 1930
Mrs Amps and her famous Afghan Hounds By Phyllis Robson 1930
Robert Leighton on Mrs Amps Ghazni 1926
Afghan Hounds In India, Steve Tillotson, 2012
Afghan Controversy What is the correct type? Amps and Bell Murray
Bill Hall Meeting/Interview with Major-Genl Amps 1970's
Susan (Sirdar of Ghazni daughter)- Identity Revealed. Lyall Payne and Steve Tillotson Sept 2015
Early Afghan Hounds Section
The Origins Section
Next Amps Page
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