Thrice Knighted Major-General Sir Wilfrid Malleson
According to the British Library, no portrait or
photograph of Major-General Sir Wilfrid Malleson has
survived. As many of you know, I believe that Sir Wilfrid
was the "Colonel Bradford" mentioned in theEye of
Revelationas the person who brought the Five Rites to
In the UK, David was just finishing my reprint edition of
The Eye of Revelation, when he read that there was no
known photograph of Sir Wilfrid. Surprised, David
looked up at the window sill and gazed at his wife's
photograph of the thrice knighted British Army officer.
His wife, you see, is the Granddaughter of Sir Wilfrid
Malleson, and her photo may very well be the only
surviving photograph of him.
David and Susan emailed me and I subsequently spoke
with them on the phone. They are warm-hearted and
down-to-earth folks. No cookout would be complete
without them. They provided more information about Sir
A life-long smoker, Malleson died in 1946 of throat cancer, something the Rites probably cannot protect against.
He was married twice. He had six sons by his first wife, but no children by his second, Lady Mabel.
Susan's father, Malleson's son, was born in Kashmir. This places Sir Wilfrid in the same district of the Himis monastery where he could have learned of the Tibetan monks practicing age reversal. It was this information that later lead him to search for the "Five Rites" monastery.
Even though Susan never knew herGrandfather, she took care of Lady Mabel who lived with her family for a time.
Lady Mabel, for reasons unknown, destroyed a priceless artifact of Sir Wilfrid's: a 20 volume, leather bound set of a life-time of photographs that Sir Wilfrid took of the various places where he servedduring his career. These albums would have told us so much about him and his career; and perhaps there were even photographs of a certain Tibetan monastery.
David and Susan forwarded me the photo at the right.
It is undated but my guess is that it was taken around
1904-1910, the time when he served on Lord
Kitchener's staff as head of the Intelligence Branch of
the Indian Army.
There were numerous scratches and marks on the photo
which I repaired in Photoshop. There is a ghost image
on the right-hand portion of the photo. My
understanding is that this photo was kept on a window
sill and the ghost image appears to have been caused by
the reflection of sunlight from a white lace curtain.
There is a "haunted" quality to Sir Wilfrid's eyes. They
are very intelligent but also strangely sad, perhaps due
to the horrors a soldier must sometimes face. That he is
dashing and handsome is unquestionable. Colonel
Bradford never looked better.