1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

Tuesday, 27th October.

see photographs below

We all lunched with the Chikyab Khempo, a mild and courteous white haired monk who is the bead of the Ecclesiastical party. (A copy of the bill of fare is attached to this diary.)

After this party several of as rode down to the bazaar with the ostensible intention of photographing the roofs of Lhasa. Actually our wireless experts wanted to see the Chinese aerial so that they could guess on what wavelength it worked. Now that winter is approaching wireless reception is improving. Several of us have sets by our bedsides and each morning before breakfast we hear the midnight news from London. Music from Germany, France, Holland, Hong-Kong and China all comes through perfectly. Nepean, in addition to his official work, has been in communication with amateurs in China Hong-Kong, the British East Indies, Assam, India, South, Africa, Mauritius, Brazil and many countries of Europe.

We all seem to be extraordinarily busy. Gould is watching the Political situation, drafting cypher messages, dealing with expenditure, etc. Morgan has established a great reputation as a doctor especially in removing cataracts and thus making the blind see. As well as his medical duties he runs the Mess. Nepean and Dagg, as is the way of, experts, spend their time pulling things to pieces and putting them together again. But the results are excellent and they never seem to have any pieces left over. Chapman still finds plenty of things to photograph, while developing takes up a great deal of time. He is also to be seen encyphering and decyphering messages, sorting and drying seeds and keeping meteorological and ornithological logs.



Tibetan or Chinese names of dishes.

On arrival - Indian tea with Jacob's biscuits and hard dried apricots.

Later- Bowl containing three sweet rose-flavoured dumplings in warm sweet milk. (Tung-yan.)

Chopsticks, and squares of Tibetan paper on which to put the chopsticks, were provided and renewed after this course.

After another interval many small dishes were put on the table. These contained:

Stewed mutton in gravy with onion and carrots.

Tinned herrings.

Halved green peaches.

Stewed peaches.

Tinned pineapple slices.

Dried dates.

Chinese sweets. (Koten)

Melon seeds.


Mongolian ham.

Yak tongue.

Pressed beef.

Plain beef.

Small dishes of sauce and a Chinese spoon were brought for the above and were retained for the rest of the meal. (Tsu-de’ :)

A Continuous supply of chang (Tibetan barley-beer) was provided.

Then the main course followed. The above small dishes were left on the table until the last course (15th) appeared and there was no longer room for them.

These courses appeared in one or two large China bowls which were put in the middle of the table so that each person could take what he wanted with his chopsticks or spoon.

The dumplings (courses 3, 6, 9, 14) - two or three on a small dish – were brought round to each guest.

1. Shark's fins and minced mutton in gravy. (Yu-ti.)

2. Fine mince rolled in butter with vermicelli, celery and cabbage. (Chi chou.)

3. Firm mince meat in pastry. (Sha-pa-le.)

4. Slices of a very firm fleshed fish (rather like tunny) with onion, carrot, and boiled bacon. (Bou-yu.)

5. Sea slugs in soup, with boiled pork. (Hay-sing.)

6. Round meat dumplings. (Rupoutsi.)

7. Green peas and mince. (Tre-ma.)

8. Hard boiled eggs, quartered and attached to a similar quarter of mince, in sauce. (Bo-bo-yun-tse.)

9. Pastry dumplings. (Chou-tse.)

10. Bamboo roots with boiled pork in soup. (Sin-tse.)

11. Eels in SOUP with pork and Onion. (Chang-yow-tse.)

12. Rice with raisins, cherries, etc. (chu-mi).

13. Small squares of sweet fried bread.

14. Jam dumplings with sponge cake. (Meko-pin lama cow.)

15. (a) Shark's stomach. (Yuto) (b) Boiled Pork and carrot. (Hlobay) (c) Minced yak. (Teru) (d) Pieces of mutton. ) (Hor-ru) (e) Steamed rice with four varieties of wet bread-pastry in the form of flowers, peaches horse-shoes and also soup. (Ti-mo-mo)

Author: Frederick Spencer Chapman [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt VIII p.3

Chikyak Khenpo


Chikyak Khenpo

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Kashag, Lhasa


Kashag, Lhasa

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Barkhor, Lhasa


Barkhor, Lhasa

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Chikyak Khenpo


Chikyak Khenpo

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