George Roos-Keppel

Sir George Olaf Roos-Keppel, GCIE, KCSI (7 September 1866 – 11 December 1921) was a British military officer who served in the capacities of Political Agent to the Governor-General in Kurram and Khyber, and later as Chief Commissioner, North West Frontier Province from 1908 till 1919. He is also known for his role in 3rd Afghan War.[1]

George Olaf Roos-Keppel
George Roos Keppel.jpg
Born7 September 1866
Died11 December 1921
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1886–1920
RankLieutenant Colonel
Battles/warsThird Anglo-Afghan War
AwardsKnight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (1917)
Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India(1915)


Roos was born in the Park Lane area of London, the son of Gustaf Ehrenreich Roos, a Swedish merchant in England, and his wife, Elizabeth Annie Roffey, daughter of George Roffey of Twickenham. He changed his surname in 1890, to Roos-Keppel, at the request of his Dutch-Swedish grandmother. He was educated at United Services College, Westward Ho!, abroad, and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.[2]

George Roos was commissioned a lieutenant in the Royal Scots Fusiliers on 25 August 1886, and was promoted to captain on 1 September 1895.[3] He transferred to the Indian Staff Corps on 19 September 1897.[4] He was Political Officer in the Khyber when in March 1900 he was appointed to the temporary command of the Khyber Rifles, a frontier corps.[5] For his service on the North West Frontier of India, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in the 1900 New Year Honours list.[6][7] Promoted to the brevet rank of major in 1902, he received the substantive rank of major in 1904 and promotion to Brevet lieutenant-colonel in 1907. In 1908, he was knighted with the KCIE and was promoted to full Lieutenant-Colonel in 1912.

In 1913, Roos-Keppel, along with Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum established Islamia College (Peshawar), which was inaugurated by Haji Sahib Turangzai. Roos-Keppel was also president of Central Committee of Examiners in Pashto. He is credited with foreseeing the genius in the young Cambridge graduate Inayatullah Khan by appointing him, at the age of 24, the Vice Principal of Islamia College (Peshawar) in 1913, and then the Principal in 1917. He was appointed a KCSI in 1915 and a GCIE in 1917. He formally retired from the Indian Army in 1920 and died on 11 December of the following year, aged 55.

Academic contributionsEdit

Roos-Keppel was well versed in the Pashto language:


  1. ^ Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans, London: Macmillan, 1958
  2. ^ Moreman, T. R. "Keppel, Sir George Olof Roos- [formerly George Olof Roos]". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35823. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Hart's Army list, 1901
  4. ^ "No. 27168". The London Gazette. 23 February 1900. p. 1264.
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36093). London. 19 March 1900. p. 9.
  6. ^ "New Year Honours". The Times (36027). London. 1 January 1900. p. 9.
  7. ^ "No. 27150". The London Gazette. 2 January 1900. pp. 2–3.
Government offices
Preceded by
Chief Commissioner of the
North-West Frontier Province

Succeeded by
Preceded by
2nd term
Succeeded by
Preceded by
3rd term
Succeeded by