Lt. E.G.P.Fenn – Born in Colchester, died in Palestine – forgotten in C21st?

***See end of this article for new material***

Local historian Joan Soole has brought to our attention that Lieutenant Edward Gerald Palmer Fenn, son of a prominent Colchester family, is not included in the town’s Roll of Honour for those who gave their lives in the First World War.

Edward G and Adria M Fenn at GFEdward Gerald Palmer Fenn version for netThe photographs show Edward and his sister Adria on the terrace at Grey Friars circa 1899, and a portrait taken after Edward had enlisted.

He was born 2nd September 1894, possibly at home in Grey Friars, High Street, Colchester, the son of Dr E.Liveing Fenn, a respected physician who owned the house at the end of the C19th. Edward died 19th September 1918, killed in action at Kefe-Kasim, Palestine aged just 24 and was buried at Wadi Rabah.

Edward was killed by a sniper on the first morning of General Allenby’s successful campaign, known as the battle of Megiddo, which, with Lawrence and the Arab forces attacking from the east, drove the Turks out of Palestine.

More information in this brief document, click on title to open:   Lieut Edward Gerald Palmer Fenn

*** JUST RECEIVED … For his nephew Edward’s comprehensive, thoroughly-researched tribute – full of fascinating insights, including poignant letters to and from Mrs Fenn – click on this title … FENN, Edward Gerald Palmer

We are most grateful to Edward and the Fenn family archive on the website:


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  1. Reply
    Edward Fenn

    Many thanks to you and the local historian for the recognition of Edward G P Fenn. I can safely say for his bereaved mother that this recognition would be another comfort to her, for a loss which she and many other millions of mothers never completely recovered from. Attached is a piece I did for our local branch of the NZ Genealogical Society. You will find his mother’s shocked unbelieving letter to the War Office in it.

    1. Reply
      Project Team

      Many thanks for the support from your family archive. It has provided an invaluable insight into the social history of Grey Friars and Victorian / Edwardian society in Colchester. (Edward’s piece on his uncle is available above).