“An extraordinary family saga, the Kiernander contribution to South Asia”.

D.W. Martin, The Changing Face of Calcutta.

GAK Khan

Lt.Col. G.A.Kiernander with FM M. Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan.
(East Pakistan. 1966)

In 1965, my grandfather, George Albert Kiernander (1926-2006), then a lieutenant colonel in the Pakistan Army, wrote to the University of Uppsala in Sweden to research the history of the Kiernander family.  This foray into the archives inspired his cousin, Benjamin David Kiernander (b. 1914), to painstakingly trace, in the pre-internet days of the 1980s, the earliest recorded origins of the family, and to construct our first comprehensive family tree.

BDK 1949 Khartoum

B.D. Kiernander with the R.A.F.’s biggest bomber – the Lincoln.
(Khartoum, Sudan. 25 Jan. 1949)

Over the past few years, I have garnered from the internet and the British Library various snippets of information, and  the purpose of this blog is to bring together, and so make sense of, these fragments.  It is my hope that this will serve as a touchstone and a meeting place for others, so that our mutual history may be preserved and better understood.

The Kiernander family is rooted in British India, but branched across the British Empire and beyond, bearing testimony to a fascinating past.


  1. Ronald J Dosman
    December 20, 2016

    I am the Secretary of the OPP Veteran’s Assc. Chapter 3 Burlington, ON CAN. The following person is listed without further information in our Remembrance files and I have been trying to gather some info to complete the history.
    Could this person be the one and the same depicted in this article.
    from OPP Remembrance files. Photo is available.

    1926 – 2006

    • Aidan Kiernander
      July 9, 2020

      Apologies for the late reply. The George Kiernander you are looking for is my grandfather. If you should like any more information please don’t hesitate to email. Many thanks, Aidan

  2. Sebastian Cooper
    October 14, 2017

    My great grandmother was Kathleen Kiernander who married William Ellicott in India at the turn of the 20th century. She and William are buried in Calcutta. My mother is very interested in her Kiernander heritage and is planning to write a book on the life of Johann Zacharias Kiernander. We have visited the house where he lived in Axtad in Sweden and the local library in Linköping, where the helpful librarians provided us with several documents about his life.

    She would like to hear from any members of the Kiernander family who have any material about Johann that they would be willing to share with her and I would be grateful to receive any information via my email address and pass it on to her. Thank you.

    • Aidan Kiernander
      July 9, 2020

      Hello Sebastian,

      Apologies for my late reply. I have a great deal of info about JZK and would be very happy to share. I too am putting together something about JZK, and have been in close contact with the author Andrew Otis who wrote “Hicky’s Bengal Gazette” which features JZK quite prominentl. Please don’t hesitate to email me on

      Many Thanks,

      Aidan Kiernander

  3. Shafayat Ahmad
    August 3, 2020

    Greetings! This is Major Shafayat Ahmad (Retired). I am a retired officer of Bangladesh Army currently living in the US. While I was serving in Bangladesh Army, I belonged to the East Bengal Regiment, the very regiment where your predecessor George Albert Kiernander proudly served. He commanded the 4th Battalion of my regiment twice. He also served as the Commandant of the East Bengal Regimental Centre (EBRC) back in 1968-69; a post that is affectionately called the “Papa Tiger”. Hence, he was the only Papa Tiger of European origin and the last non-Bengali Papa Tiger before our independence in 1971.

    I did extensive research on the history of the regiment while I was serving at EBRC as a project officer to develop our regimental museum. Although I have retired from the army and left the country, I am still continuing my research. It would be an honour for me to get in touch with any of the descendants of one of our revered Papa Tiger.

    Warm regards
    Shafayat Ahmad

    • admin
      August 5, 2020

      Major Ahmad,

      Many thanks for your kind message. I have sent a reply to the supplied email address.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Warm Regards,



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