John Gordon Lorimer, was an official of the Indian Civil Service, most of whose career had been on the North West Frontier. In November 1903 he was placed on special duty for a period of six months to compile the Gulf handbook. Lorimer was a conscientious worker with an obsessive appetite for detail. For the next ten years, aided by a small group of equally dedicated researchers, he worked systematically through the government archives in Bombay and Calcutta, carried out field trips and surveys in the Gulf and repeatedly petitioned the Government of India to extend his appointment in order to allow him to complete the work thoroughly. The Government of India acceded to his requests with a far-sightedness for which historians should be grateful, noting that Lorimer´s ´zeal and industry have enabled him to accumulate a mass of fresh information ... and the Gazetteer will amply justify the amount of time and labour spent on it´." 1
"On the morning of Sunday 8 February 1914, John Gordon Lorimer, the officiating British Resident in the Persian Gulf at Bushire, retired to his dressing room to ascertain the exact calibre of his automatic pistol as he wished to order cartridges from Bombay. He was later found lying on the floor, dead, at the age of forty-three, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound." 2
"The Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia was compiled by officials of the British Government of India during the decade after Lord Curzon's Vice-regal tour of the Gulf in 1903. The original intention was to provide British agents and policymakers in the Gulf, India and London with 'a convenient and portable handbook to the places and interests with which they are likely to be concerned'. Better documentation was regarded as an essential prerequisite to the strengthening of British influence in the area during a period of increasing international tension. The resulting five thousand pages far exceeded both in quality and in quantity the expectations of the officials who had commissioned it."
The book was declassified in 1955. 4
2. Daniel A. Lowe, "'Persian Gulf Tragedy': the Death and Legacy of John Gordon Lorimer," Qatar Digital Library, Retrieved Sep 4, 2016.
3. Cambridge Archive Editions, Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia,
http://archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=2, retrieved Sep 4, 2016