Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.
In 1914, Mason"s First World War service took him to France (the Neuve Chapelle sector and Loos) before, in January 1916, he landed at Basra, Iraq. He entered Baghdad as Intelligence Officer with the Black Watch. He was promoted to Brevet-Major and three times mentioned in dispatches.
Following the Armistice he was the first to take cars across the Syrian desert.
Mason returned to India after the First World War and began preparing for his most important scientific project, the exploration of the Shaksgam Valley, in 1926. At that time the only westerner to see the valley had been Younghusband.
Now Mason began its survey using a photo-theodolite and stereographic techniques, laboriously collecting great quantities of data. Mason was elected as the first statutory professor of Geography at the University of Oxford in 1932, becoming a Fellow of Hertford College.
His academic work, linked to the Himalayan Journal which he had founded in 1929, addressed the challenge of naming ranges in the Karakoram region.
In 1940 Mason was contacted by Ian Fleming (who later wrote the famous James Bond stories) and Rear Admiral John Henry Godfrey about the preparation of reports on the geography of countries involved in military operations. These reports were the precursors of the Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series produced between 1941 and 1946. Mason directed a team of academics at Oxford who contributed around half of what was, at the time, one of the largest geographic projects ever attempted.
Kenneth Mason retired from his Chair at Oxford in 1953.