"He had been the Colonel's batman"

Officers in the British Army traditionally enjoyed the services of a uniformed personal attendant known as a batman, who helped with general personal care, cleaning and maintaining the officer's uniform, and performing other menial tasks. A batman would often continue into civilian service with the officer. The system was phased out in the British Army after the end of the Second World War.

A recent Times article revealed that the batman system was maintained by the Indian Army long after WW2.