Col Ernest Harrold FENN M.R.C.S. C.I.E. 
- Born: 16 Feb 1850, Nayland SFK
- Christened: 24 Mar 1850, Nayland SFK
- Marriage: Bertha Alison JOBSON  on 25 Aug 1886 in Reg in Kidderminster WOR
- Died: 24 Nov 1916, Hagley Lodge Hagley Worcester aged 66
- Buried: Churchill Graveyard
Sponsors at Ernest's Baptism were, Sam Alston, Robert Tweed, Louisa Liveing.
Educated Sherborne College, then entered the Army Medical Staff.
The Sherborne Register 1823-1892.
Entries Jan-Jun 1861.
Fenn Ernest Harrold, s. of T.H.Fenn, Nayland, Colchester; born 1850; (S.H.); left 1865; medical entered Army 1875; served Afghan War 1879-80; appointed 1880 to Grenadier Guards, with whom he served in the Soudan in 1885; Afghan Medal and Bronze Star, Egyptian Medal, Khedives Star; mentioned in Dispatches; appointed to Personal Staff of Marquis of Landsdowne; Govenor General's Camp India.
Ernest Harrold Fenn.
b. 16 Feb 1850 Nayland, Sudbury, Suffolk d. 24 Nov 1916 Hagley, Worcestershire
Medal roll: Kandahar. Kandahar Bronze Star.
Educated at Sherborne College. Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) 1872. House surgeon at Middlesex Hospital c.1874. Licentiate Royal College Physicians (LRCP), Edinburgh 1875. Assistant Surgeon with 70th Foot 1876. To India on Crocodile Sep 1876. Afghan war - second campaign in medical charge of 6/8 RA, present at Zaidabad and march to Kandahar. 1881 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. Sudan 1885, present at Hasheen and Temai. Returned to England on Orontes Sep 1885. Surgeon Major (Coldstream Guards) May 1888. Medical Officer to Viceroy of India (Lord Lansdowne) 1888-94. Accompanied Sir Mortimer Durand to Kabul 1893. Companion of Indian Empire 1894. Scots Guards Oct 1894. Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel Oct 1895. Transferred to Army Medical Staff Apr 1898. Appointed Surgeon on the Staff to Viceroy of India (Lord Curzon) Nov 1898-1903 (present Delhi Durbar 1902, medal). Colonel Aug 1903. Retired Feb 1907.
Parents: Thomas Harold Fenn (GP, 1815-1870) and Maria Alston. Sister Lucy Vanderzee Fenn married Surgeon Major Edward Hopkins (also Afghan war). Married 1886 Bertha Alison Jobson (1859-1911). Children: Arthur Alston Fenn (Royal Fusiliers, Sherwood Foresters, DSO), Olive Mary Alison Fenn.
References: Shadbolt Historical p.245. Essex Standard 15 Sep 1888. London Standard 4 Nov 1898. The Graphic 9 Sep 1899. 1851 census: Bear Street, Nayland, Suffolk (1788/341/13). 1871 census: Bear Street, Nayland, Suffolk (1715/104/5). 1881 census: Grenadier Guards Hospital, Rochester Row, Westminster (113/53/5). 1911 census: Euston Station (hotel), St Pancras, London (RG14/683). British Medical Journal 9 Dec 1916, p.826.
Fenn Ernest Harrold: Biography 1850 Transcribed by British Library Ref: http://indiafamily.bl.uk/UI/NonTabBriefDisplay.aspx?SearchType=QuickSearch
1875 Army Medical Service.
6586. Ernest Harold Fenn.
Surgeon 30 Sept 1875; Surgeon Grenadier Guards, 27 Apr 1881; Senior Medical Officer Coldstream Guards 13 May 1888; Scots Guards 26 Sept 1894; Surgeon Lt Col. 30 Sept 1895; Army Medical Services Surgeon Lt Col (exch) 2 Apr 1898; Royal Army Medical Corps Lt Col 30 Sept 1895; Col 26 Aug 1903; Retired on Pay 16 Feb 1907. Seconded for service for personal staff of Viceroy of India, 8 Nov 1888 to 1 Mar 1894 and again 6 Jan 1899 to 19 Feb 1903. Afghan 1879-1880. Soudan 1885. C.I.E. 1894. b at Nayland Colchester 16 Feb 1850. Accompanied Sir Mortimer Durand on his mission to Cabul in 1893, and recieved thanks of Government of India. Re-employed during the Great War of 1914, from 13 Jan 1915. d at Hagley, Worchestershire, 24 Nov 1916.
Ref: Medical Officers in British Army 1660-1960. NZSOG.
C.I.E. Companion of the Indian Empire.
Surgeon-Major Ernest Harrold Fenn, Coldstream Guards, has been appointed Surgeon to the New Viceroy of India, and leaves England with Lord Lansdowne, on the 18th of November for Calcutta.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 28 September 1888
DEATH OF COL. E. H. FENN, C.I.E.
Yesterday week Col. Ernest Harrold Fenn, CIE. passed away at Hagley. Entering the Army Medical Staff in 1875, he first saw service in the Afghan War 1879-80. He was present at the affair at Zaidabad, and accompanied the force under Lord Roberts to the relief of Kandahar. He was mentioned in despatches. Joining the Grenadier Guards in 1881, he took part in the Sudan campaign 1885, being present at the Battle of Hasheen and the destruction of Temai. Subsequently he accompanied Sir Mortimer Durand on his mission to Kabul in 1893, and received the thanks of the Government of India.
He served for several years on the personal staffs of Lord Lansdowne and Lord Curzon, when Viceroys of India, and eventually retired from the army in 1907.
Col. Fenn until recently resided at Wolverley, and was a member of the County Territorial Force Association for some years. He was also a member of the Worcestershire Hunt Club. During the present war he volunteered his services and was employed for some months under the War Office, but owing to illness he was obliged to relinquish his appointment last year.
The Funeral: was at Churchill on Tuesday, and the service was conducted by the rector, the Rev. H. L. F. Sculthorpe assisted by two nephews of the deceased, the Rev. E. V. Fenn, vicar of Kirkby, near Liverpool, and the Rev. G. S. Hand, rector of St. Lawrence's, Norwich. The mourners were Mrs. E. H. Fenn (widow), Major A. A Fenn, Royal Fusiliers, and Miss Olive Fenn (son and daughter), and Miss Jobson (sister-in-law). Several of his old friends were present at the service, amongst whom were Major General R. H, and Mrs. Murray, Mr G. M. Brown-Westhead, Mr. Henry Howard, Dr. and Mrs M. Johnstone, Mrs. Sculthorpe, Mrs. Holyoake Wight, and Mr.Cland Trow. Many beautiful flowers were sent by friends at a distance.
Colonel E: H. FENN. Royal Army Medical Corps. Hagley Lodge, Hagley, Worcestershire, took part in relief of Kandahar under Lord Roberts and in Sudan campaign. Probate £8006 0s 0d
Ernest signed himself Harrold in correspondance to his moth
Peter Hopkirk's book "The Great Game" on the Afghan Campaign is informative.
Surgeons on the march to Kandahar
Listed below are the surgeon-officers I have been able to identify who marched with the Kabul-Kandahar Field Force in August 1880 . . . . .
Ernest Harold FENNSurgeon1850-1916. Later Grenadier Guards and Surgeon on the Staff to two Viceroys, returned to Kabul with Durand in 1893. 11/9 Royal Artllery
6/8 Royal Artllery Ernest Harold FENN Surgeon
Fenn, Ernest Harold. Surgeon, 6/8 RA
1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, Bear St Nayland SFK. Ernest is recorded as a son aged 1 born Nayland SFK
2. Ernest H Fenn: Images from his youth, 1853 1865.
Images as a child c1853, a young man at boarding school, older at Sherborne School.
3. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, Bear St Nayland SFK. Ernest is recorded as a brother (of Edward Head of House) aged 21 unmarried student of medicine born Nayland SFK
4. Ernest H Fenn: Images from his Service years, 1875 1916.
Images of Ernest 1897 with his medals, in full dress uniform note the epaulettes , called back in WWI.
With Sir Mortimer Durand on the successful Afghan Mission 1893
5. Ernest H Fenn: Relics from his service years, 1875 To 1894.
Copied from the Army & Navy Gazette.
By Isabella Fenn, Harrold's Sister.
"Surgeon E H Fenn Grenadier Guards will accompany Lord Lansdowne to India as Medical officer. He was in the Afghan Campaign of 1879-80 in medical charge of a battery of Royal Artillery and was present in the affair of Suidabed. Accompanied Sir Frederick Roberts in the march to Khandahar ( mentioned in despatches - medal with clasp and bronze decoration). Served in the Sudan Campaign in 1885 with the 3rd Batt. Grenadier Guards. Was present at the engagement at Hasheem and at the destruction of Temai; (medal with clasp and bronze star).
On the 31st March 1894, on the order of the Queen, Ernest was appointed a Companion of the most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, with suitable documents and insignia.
Ernest's dress sword, watches, epaulettes from his dress uniform, trophy's won in Army shooting competitions, Decorations for Service, the Czar's Cup. In possession of his family 2009.
6. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, St John's Parish Westminster London. Ernest's address was the Grenadier Guards Hospital Rochester Row, and he is described as "Officer - Resident Surgeon MRCS, unmarried, aged 31, born Nayland SFK".
7. Ernest Married Bertha Jobson in 1886: Family letters from India, 1890 1893.
My dearest Mother,
Bertha says I must write you a few lines today but I am awfully busy and have nothing to say - I thought you might like to see how the babies are getting on so I sent you a few sketchers of Indian life!! They are both very fit, especially Olive, I think Juggy must be about some more teeth as he isn't quite himself. W still keeps nice and cool here, and last night we had a thunderstorm and heavy rain which has made it very nice indeed - nothing is finally settled about our move but the ladies will probably move up about the 3rd or 4th of March and we shall follow three weeks or a month later - we are much troubled with rats at night and they eat up our candles (vide sketch) they take them bodily out of the candlestick and run away with them - B gets into a most awful fright, and I spend most of my night in lighting candles and driving them away. We also have a wild animal living on our roof, I don't know what it is but it looks like a monster ferret, it has not bothered us yet - curiously enough the rats never go into the nursery, I suppose the light keeps them away - I have had my photo done in my beautiful coat, I must send you one when they are done, it gives you a very good idea and fits magnificent - the gaieties are dying out, and we have only three dinner parties this week and only two next week - the last government house dance is on Thursday but there is a concert on the 21st and a big native reception on the 28th I am going to try and get away for three days next week to shoot duck my assistant and two friends went one day last week and shot 380 duck and teal - at present I am tied down here, as the Viceroy is laid up with lumbago, it's no joke treating a Viceroy as I am badgered to death by the press and public to know all about him and one has to do be so careful what one says about him, as everything is telegraphed all over India at once - he is getting up for a little bit today so I hope he will soon be all right - we enjoy the your letters very much indeed, it is so much easier to write an interesting letter from England than from India, as we know everything and everybody in your neighbourhood and you know nothing about ours - Globetrotters still arrive, the Duc D'Orleans has just left Government House, and a number of German princes arrive in a day or two - I am not making much money yet, I have to attend on the visitors but they have quite forgotten at present to pay anything - I want a fancy dress very much, please ask Edith what she can suggest for a man, I cannot think of anything pretty or inexpensive - I suppose B is writing as well so I won't go on any longer - love to you all your affect son Harrold
This last paragraph wasn't worth sending H
This is written to his mother-in-law, sketch's of life in India by Ernest.
En Route to Cabul
Sept 22 or there abouts 1893?
My dearest Bertha,
We were delayed by a breakdown on the line and reached Peshawar last Sunday evening too late to send a letter by last weeks mail. Sir Mortimer and I left Simla on Friday morning the 15th and reached Peshawar at 7 pm on Sunday we dined with General Kinloch then and left at 6am on Monday morning for the Khyber Pass. The 9th Bengal Lancers and us in the black the first 12 miles; we had a fearful storm about half way and were all drenched and so was our kit and bedding - no waterproof that was ever made could keep it out - and of course I had not mine with me - we had a drop of whiskey and started off to drive 23 miles more through the Khyber Pass and eventually got to Lundi Kotal where we halted a day to clean up and dry our things - on the 20th we set out to meet General Ghulam Hyder Khan, the army's Commander-in-Chief and as soon as we came to the frontier our escort left us and we started off with him and 200 Afghan cavalry and 200 infantry - such and awful looking lot, chiefly dressed like Cossacks with astrakhan caps. It has not been so hot as we expected but the flies and dust make letter writing more difficult than I can say - ones ink is solid with sand in five minutes and one has to sit on one's writing paper to keep it down. Our first camp was Dhakka on the Cabul river, when we arrived there Ghulam Hyder sent us a huge trailer? of at least 50 dishes of curry, pillows and all sorts of messes.
27th we marched from Dhakka this morning up at 6 am and went 11 miles to a place called Gudekas? - This is a very robbery place and we are not allowed to move out of camp. Yesterday evening we went out for a short walk of half a mile from camp and were surrounded by infantry men who came by, who would not allow a single villager to come within a mile of us. The dak (mail) runners are very uncertain I don't know when this will reach you - Colonel Ellis and I share a tent and get on very well - that old trouble of mine keeps the same and makes me feel very limp - there are any number of melons & pepes here the latter my good "Moonystone" & Moti are here both going very strong. I have also got that young boy as a bearer who I had when I first came out, the old man is looking after my things in Simla. Love to all let Isabella and Edward know that I am all right, I cant write letters in the dusty hot tent. Yr affect hushand Harrold
PS Kissis (sic) for babies.
8. Ernest Harrold Fenn: Family letters to wife and child Olive, 1893 1900, Cabul Afghanistan.
Vice Regal Lodge
Oct 3rd 1893
My dearest Bertha,
I have just received your letter of the 7th Sept and our mail to England leaves this afternoon. Your last week's letter also arrived by this post, I don't know where the delay occurred. We got here all right after a rather monotonous march through a hot dusty rough country - I am no worse than I was and I sometimes think that I am a little better. We are stuck in a house 4 miles out of Kabul and am not allowed to leave the garden on any pretence so are practically prisoners, I suppose the Amin is afraid of anything happening to us and also is afraid of us getting information out of casual people we meet. I hope he will allow us a little more liberty later on - we shall be here at least three weeks, I hope very much that we shall get back in time to go to Burma if H.E. goes. I was very sorry to hear about Isabella, I have written a few lines to Edward about her by the mail. I hope very much that Edith will be able to manage to keep on Churchill for a few months longer it would save us a lot of trouble. I have heard nothing of our movements since Sir H Norman resigned, as soon as a new man is appointed and I hear of our probable date of departure I will let you know. I am very glad that Alice G is going to be married at last they have stuck to one another pretty well. The key arrived all safely, I will hand Lily her present when I get back - we get no end of fruit here, apricots, grapes melons and pomegranates, but I am rather nervous about eating much of it - the Amir has not seen us yet but I expect he will in a couple of days - we might get through our business in a week, but he thinks infra dig to do anything in a hurry. Our bedding is quite lovely, the mattress is covered with beautiful cashmere shawls - the sheets are of King Kob work - the blankets are velvet beautifully embroidered and the pillows are covered with lovely flowered brocades.
Remainder of letter missing.
Vice Regal Lodge
Simla -struck out
27th Oct 1893.
My dearest Bertha,
This week's mail has not come in yet so I cannot answer a letter this time, I hope that your stay at Strathpeffer has done you good, in any case it was a nice change. We get back from Burma (Sir Mortimer and I follow them to Burma if we are too late to catch them up) about 15th December then for England on 25th January so we shall have a very really short season? at Calcutta; I shall be glad as I want to get well and altho I don't get any worse now I don't get a bit better - we are probably going to stay a few days in Ceylon and as H.E. will be sure to want me then I hope that he will pay my passage home.
I hope very much that they will be able to keep on Churchill for a bit as I should like a few weeks in the country when I get home - if your mother's health permits it you might either go to Devonshire or Cornwall for a month or go ahead for a bit but I expect Edith won't like being left alone. The negotiations are dragging along rather but on the whole they are going well and I think that the result will be very satisfactory, if they are we ought to get something out of it. I think they ought to give me something more than a CIE but I don't think for a minute that they will, but it will give me a lift up and must turn out a good business. I wonder if you remember a very nice woman named Mrs Geddes in Calcutta, a young woman with very grey hair, she died of cholera a few days ago, she was such a nice creature and looked after a lot of charities there.
There is an epidemic of influenza of rather a severe type in Simla amongst others.
Remainder of letter missing.
My dearest Olive,
I was very pleased indeed to get your nice letter, it came this morning. The old Bearer and the old Chaprassie send their love to you and Arkie. I hope you and Arkie enjoyed your birthdays and I hope that I gave you each a present but I don't know anything about it yet. I suppose that you and our Arkie never quarrel now and that you kiss him when he knocks down your houses and spoils your puzzles - you will be very sorry to hear that when you were younger and did not know any better you used to hit him back when he hit you - you will be very ashamed to hear this. "Bill" is quite well and the little girl who rides him now always gets off facing uphill so that he shall not get tired, I wonder if his former little mistress did this - I cannot quite remember. I hope you give Mary no trouble and that you don't lick your fingers
Yr loving fardie
9. Ernest Harrold Fenn: Afghan Mission 1893 - Award C.I.E, 1894, Afghanistan & India.
THE THANKS OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT :
On the 16th January 1894 the Secretary to the Government to India wrote to Ernest enclosing extracts, as follows, from a report by Sir Mortimer Durand1 on the mission to Kabul 18932. The Secretary advised that the Govenor General in Council cordially endorsed the acknowledgments:
"Of the Officers who accompanied me it is difficult for me to speak too highly, each one did his work as well as possible. Surgeon Major Fenn not only attended to the medical wants of the mission and followers but was always ready to help any Afghan who presented himself for treatment. Over a thousand did so, and I feel sure that Surgeon Major Fenn's kindly manner and careful attention to them did much to make the mission popular"
Surgeon Major E.H. Fenn, C.I.E.
Grant of the dignity of a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire to Surgeon Maj Ernest Harrold Fenn.
Under the signature of Queen Victoria
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India and Sovereign of the most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, To Our trusty and well beloved Ernest Harrold Fenn, Esquire, Surgeon Major Medical Department of Our Army, Greeting.
Whereas We have thought fit to nominate and appoint you to be a Companion of Our said most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, We do buy these Presents grant unto you the dignity of a Companion of Our said Order, and hereby authorise you, to have, hold and enjoy the said dignity and rank as a Companion of Our said Order, together with all and singular the privileges their unto belonging or appertaining.
Given at Our Court at Osborne under Our Sign Manual and the Seal of Our said Order, this first day of January 1894, in the Fifty seventh year of Our Reign.
By the Sovereign's Command.
Queen Victoria's various signatures are recorded on https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=queen+victoria's+signature&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ARitUqysD6fYigfk8oGICQ&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=621
Surgeon Major E.H. Fenn, C.I.E.
College of Arms,
Queen Victoria Street, E.C.
March 31, 1894.
The Queen having been graciously pleased to appoint you a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, I have the honour by directions of the Secretary of State for India, to transmit to you the enclosed Warrant, granting to you the rank and privileges appertaining to your dignity in the said Order, together with the Insignia of the Clafs of the Order to which you have been admitted.
I beg at the same time to enclose a copy of the usual form of acknowledgement of the receipt of the said Insignia, which I will thank you to sign and return to me.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
Albert W Woods.
Registrar to the Order.
1. Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary for State of India was appointed administrator of the Gilgit Agency (now part of Pakistan), he opened up the region by building roads, telegraph, and mail systems while maintaining a dialogue with the Mir of Gilgit. He intended to improve the road from Kashmir through the princely states of Hunza and Nagar and up to the frontier with Russia.
2. On November 12, 1893 the Agreement Between Great Britain and Afghanistan was signed in Kabul (The result of the 1893 Afghan Mission) The Agreement reconfirmed the 1873 Agreement, required Afghanistan to withdraw from the territory north of the Amu Darya that it had occupied in 1884, and called for delimitation of the boundary east of Lake Sari.
10. Ernest Harrold Fenn: Afghan Mission 1893 - Gift of the Czar, a Cup, 1902, India.
Dear Colonel Fenn
Many thanks for your extremely kind letter which I received yesterday when I arrived here, and hearty thanks for all your great kindness to my Cossack - he was awfully proud that you came and saw him personally and I think that helped him much more than all medicine. He has no fever now but he is very weak yet. Major Marshall thinks just as you did that the best thing is to take him as soon as possible up to the hills as a change of climate should certainly make him good. So I leave the 29th for Srinagar, were I will stay a couple of days and return then to Leh and further over the high mountains through W Asia, Russia, and home - home - I have never felt the real meaning of this word so deeply as in now
I will not forget to write you from Stockholm and tell you how this journey has been done.
Please say my heartiest greetings to Mrs Fenn and all my friends at Gov House - inclusive A.S. Amir Baksh - he is a splendid man; my Cossack sends his thankful greetings too.
Believe me ever
dear Colonel Fenn
de Russie á Bombay
27 July 1902
Lieut Col E H Fenn C.I.E. R.A.M.C.
Surgeon to His Excellency the Viceroy.
During the stay of Dr Sven Hedin at Calcutta you were so kind to attend the Russian Cossak Shahdourof of the escort that had been given to that explorer by order of His Majesty the Tzar, to accompany him on his journey.
Having been informed by Dr Sven Hedin1 of the care you have taken of our Cossack , I thought it my duty to submit the matter to my Government.
I have now received two presents2 that His Majesty the Tzar3 wishes to confer on you and your assistant, Mr Amir Baksh, as a testimonial of His gratitude. As I am not sure if you are in Simla and how long you may stay there, I would be much obliged to you if you would let me know where to send you the presents.
I have the honour to be,
your most obedient servant
W de Klemin
Imperial Russian Consul.
Kabul Kandahar March.
Thirty two years ago the famous march took place and on Thursday, sixty surviving Officers assembled in the Cecil Hotel to celebrate their annual festival. . . . . . with a presentation to their chief, Field Marshall Earl Roberts V.C. . . . . . Present were . . . . . Col E Harrold Fenn C.I.E.
Ref: Extracted from The Times 15 Jun 1912 Pg 10
1. Dr Sven Hedin 1865 - 1952 was a distinguished Swedish explorer, scholar, author, photographer, artist and debater who explored and mapped much of Asia.
2. The present proved to be an attractive traditional cloisonne Kovsh style drinking cup, presently in the possession of Mrs Angela Wilson 2010, with the correspondence.
3. This event is interesting coming at a time of the end of "The Great Game" an active rivalry for most of the 19thC between Britain and Russia for dominance and control of Central Asia. Britain exerting its influence from India in the south, Russia from the North. In 1907 Britain and Russian came to Entente with a seris of agreements. 21stC readers should note with interest Afghanistan was a key piece in the "Great Game".
Details and results of the "Great Game" remain controversial.
11. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, The Euston Hotel St Pancras LND. Ernest is recorded as a visitor aged 61 married retired Army Colonel born Nayland SFK
12. Ernest Harrold Fenn: Letters to his Son Alston in India & Obituary, 1912, Kidderminster.
12th Dec (19)12
My Dear Alston,
We were very pleased to get two letters last mail, one had evidently missed the week before - you seem to have had a nice duck shoot, I believe by your description it was the first jheel (lake) I ever shot over when I arrived in India in /76 - I (sic) was very deep and about 12 miles from Meerut, I was for about a week, in the rest camp at Meerut after disembarking. I always remember it as I lived at the 15th Hussars mess and did myself well and when I asked for my bill when I left I found that they did not make honorary members, and I had been their guest all the time. Monty and I have had several mornings ferreting and get about a dozen each time, it is great fun I think, and I have been shooting pretty well, better than at pheasants. I am going to a big shoot tomorrow, which Arthur Jones, the master of the Worcestershire hound, is giving at Abberley, I have never shot there, I hope I don't disgrace myself - and I hope my car will get there. We have another shoot here on the 20th, but then is not very much left - we have shot about 250 pheasants up-to-date and shall probably get another 50 - I shall be very glad if you go to Chakrata instead of Delhi, so do all you can to arrange it - I think the great thing in India is to get through your time in the healthiest place, however dull it may be - the great thing is to get back fit, and not saturated with malaria as I was for so many years - I wish you the best of luck in your next try at C you have so few above you now - I think I told you all about Wigrams wedding it was a most interesting gathering for us, as we met scores of old Simlar and Calcutta friends - Olive is in London with aunt Edith trying to help her get her kit for Egypt - I still bet 3 to 1 against her going - as she changes her mind every 3 or 4 hours, whether she can face it or not - I am very sorry for her as she is a bag of nerves, and it is a big undertaking for her, but it will be a great disappointment to Olive, and Edith ought never to have promised it if she had any doubts. We are no nearer a house in London, after interviewing agents, and arranging with builders, sanitary engineers and architects about various improvements and spending no end of money going to London, your mother who 24 hours before was fairly in love with a house, suddenly hates it and everything is "as you were".
Yr affect father
E Harrold Fenn
26th Dec 12
My Dear Alston
Xmas has disorganised everything, the postman is calling for letters at 10 am today instead of 6 pm so we are only able to send you a few lines.
What excitement there must be in India over the attempt on the Viceroy. I knew the poor old Jemalan? who was killed, he was a very old government house servant. It is not a bit like Xmas here, rain and wind and mild - it spoils the whole show. We drank your honors health last evening in a bottle of 1860 port it wasn't quite right and I feel rather a worm this morning. We had a shoot at Murrays last Monday and got 14 pheasants, I am just beginning to get on them now that the season is over. I managed to bring down several up in the clouds much to my delight. I am thankful Xmas Day is passed I have been distracted with carol singers, handbell ringers, Territorial bands and Boy Scouts - I think it wrong for Territorial bands to go about playing for what shillings they can pick up. Tom Knight had seven of his best Xmas turkeys lifted on Xmas Eve, after feeding them up for six months - George Montague and Maud came to tea yesterday, and gave us some of his long winded pointless stories. Our car has jacked up and can't go at all, I don't know how we shall get about but I am walking into Kid; this morning to see what I can hire. I hope your knee is holding out all right, I am still anxious about it. I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year and many of them.
Yr affect father
Ernest married Bertha Alison JOBSON  [MRIN: 8], daughter of Robert JOBSON  and Lillias COCHRANE , on 25 Aug 1886 in Reg in Kidderminster WOR. (Bertha Alison JOBSON  was born on 26 Apr 1858 in Wordsley STS and died on 25 May 1949 in Eastbourne SSX.)