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Lal Singh was an experienced and senior superintendent of survey - Extra Assistant Superintendent - in the Indian Government Survey Department. He had already worked in China, Tibet, as well as India before he met Aurel Stein. Stein specifically requested that he join the second and third survey expeditions. Rai is a special honorific title meaning 'brave'. Bahadur is an even more special and rarely given honorific title meaning 'valiant'. In addition, for his outstanding accomplishments Lal Singh was awarded two prestigious honors by the British geographic society - the Back Grant in 1909 and the Murchinson Grant in 1917.

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Here is a link to a very interesting article written by his great grandson for publication in a special publication of the British Museum. "Rai Bahadur Lal Singh: Sir Aurel Stein's Surveying Companion" by Daniel Lal Sander and Stephen Sander was published in "Sir Aurel Stein, Colleagues and Collections:" edited by Helen Wang, British Museum Publication Number 184, .


The reader will find Stein's praise for R. B. Lal Singh's work throughout Serindia, Innermostasia and his personal memoirs. Stein's confidence in Lal Singh's capabilities are apparent not only in expertise at the technical aspects of surveying but also in perservarence and willingness to continue work under extremely trying circumstances in desolate desert and very high and rugged mountains. Stein tasked Lal Singh with the most difficult independent surveying assignments that separated them for 3-4 months at a time. In addition when it came time to conduct a long caravan of camels loaded with the precious results of many months of excavations over the dangerous Karakorum Pass back to India it was Lal Singh who took charge of these caravans and brought the materials without any loss to India. He also consulted at Dehra Dun for the compilation of the maps that depicted his work and that of the other surveyors.


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