Oct 192020

15 Melville Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1LY

15 Melville Terrace

Born in 1886, Jung Bahadur Singh was an advocate for marginalized colonial subjects in British Guiana (now Guyana). While his time at Edinburgh is poorly documented, we know that he lived with his wife, Alice Bhagwandy Singh, and their children at 15 Melville Terrace. After the abolition of chattel slavery, Britain began to recruit indentured labourers as a substitute. Indentured labourers were paid to work in the Caribbean but were expected to return to South Asia after a 5 year period. Singh had close and personal experiences with indenture – both of his parents were indentured labourers in British Guiana, and between the ages of 16 and 28, he had worked as a medical dispenser on immigration ships. As a result, he became dedicated to representing the plight of diasporic Indians, and when he enrolled to study medicine at Edinburgh in 1914, he became a prominent member of the Edinburgh Indian Association. When Singh completed his studies and returned to British Guiana, he fought for the rights of the Indo-Guyanese to participate in their own governance, to have their non-Christian rites legally recognized, and to receive better pay.

Jung Bahadur Singh and Alice Bhagwandy Singh
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