Austen Havelock Layard (1895-1956) served in the Indian Civil Service during the 1930s and 1940s. He worked in the Central Provinces, then between 1932 and 1947, held roles of Deputy Commissioner, Officiating Commissioner in various places, and Secretary to the Governor of Central Provinces. Post-independence, he held appointments in the Office of the High Commissioner for the UK in India, at Delhi and Calcutta.
Layard married Irene King in 1927 and they had two daughters who feature in the films. After her death, he married Elizabeth Byrne.