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Glossary: W

A glossary of special terminology used in India during the British Administration.

Warehouses
The East India Company owned or rented several large warehouses in the City of London and vicinity for the storage of its trade goods - for a note on these warehouses and the people who worked in them (see Martin Moir's Guide to the India Office Records, p 40)

Warrant Officers
Officers appointed by warrant. In the EIC/Indian Army they held the ranks of Sub-Conductor and Conductor and were intermediate in rank between Non-Commissioned Officers and Departmental Officers. In addition, from 1882 a small number of British Army warrant officers with the rank of Sergeant-Major or Quarter Master Sergeant were appointed to non-departmental posts in the Indian Army.

Women's Auxiliary Corps - India (WAC(I)) and BURMA (WAC(B))
Established 1942. Non-combatant corps providing support services for the Indian Army and Burma Army in World War II. The equivalent of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in the UK.

Writer
Two distinct meanings, viz.:

(1) The lowest of the four classes into which the East India Company's civil servants were divided, the others being 1) Senior Merchant, 2) Junior Merchant, 3) Factor. The term reflects the fact that in the early years of the Company copying and book-keeping comprised the greater part of a writer's duties but it continued to be used as a rank in the Company's service long after the duties of the Company's officials had ceased to be primarily commercial - it last appears as a civil service rank in the East India Register in 1841.

(2) A copying clerk in an office. For copying clerks employed at East India House in London see p 6 of the 'Brief Guide to Biographical Sources'. As regards India several thousand copying clerks were employed by the Central, Provincial and District authorities but their individual names are rarely recorded in the official records.

Writers' Petitions
Appointment papers of the East India Company's young civil servants (1749-1805) J/1/1-19, giving details of parentage and educational attainment - the series is incomplete. It is continued by the 'Committee of College References and Papers' (1806-56), J/1/21-90 - see also East India College.