Sir John Ure KCMG LVO


After fighting as an officer in a Scottish Regiment in the Malayan jungle in the 1950s, Sir John Ure read history at Cambridge and, on graduating, joined HM Diplomatic Service. His first post was to Moscow at the height of the Cold War, from where he travelled extensively to central Asia and the Caucasus,often shadowed by the KGB, and on occasion penetrating across the frontiers into Afghanistan and Iran. He also served in the Congo and Portual and his ambassadorial appointments included Cuba, Brazil and Sweden.

On retirement, he turned to writing and is author of a dozen well-received and widely translated travel and historical books. He writes regularly on trave for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and has served on the council of the Royal Geographical Society and as Chairman of Thomas Cook 'Travel Book of the Year' panel. His recreation in 'Who's Who' is "..travelling uncomfortably in remote places and writing about it comfortably afterwards."

Lectures to The Society

Title Type Date
Shooting Leave: Spying Out Central Asia in the Great Game Lecture Feb 2010
Central Asia/Iran: In Search of Nomads Lecture Jul 2005

Articles in the Journal

No Articles Found

Images of Asia

Forthcoming Events

Wed 24 Sep Why Kashmir is Still Important at The Royal Astronomical Society
Wed 1 Oct Experiences of Asia at The Royal Astronomical Society
Tue 7 Oct K2: The Italian Mountain? at The RSAA Library
Wed 15 Oct The Great Game: Central Asia Overland at St Peter's Church Parish Hall


Expedition Silk Road Treasures from the Hermitage Exhibition at the Hermitage, Amsterdam, ends 5 September 2014 more…

Dunhuang Culture and Art Hong Kong Heritage Museum from 28 November 2014 - 16 March 2015 more…

PIAC 57th Annual Meeting 9 - 14 September 2014 more…

Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle A rich collection of items from across Asia, the Middle East and other areas more…

Contemporary South Asian Youth Cultures and Fashion Symposium 25 and 26 September 2014 more…

Recent Recordings

Soqotra: Life in the Arabian Periphery Thanos has an excellent collection of photographs of Socotra having participated in two expeditions there

Churchill's First War: Young Winston & the Taliban A riveting and revelatory account of Winston Churchill's first campaign, in Afghanistan in the 1890's, offering shocking parallels into today's Afghan war

A Journey to the Source of the Oxus


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