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Charles Henry Fanshawe

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Charles Henry Fanshawe  (1874-1948)

Bill George

Browsing on ebay a few days ago for Fanshawe items I noticed a carte de visit for a handsome young boy sitting astride a toy horse. A winning  bid secured this image, taken by James Russell & Sons of Bath Place, Worthing, Sussex, which is inscribed on the rear ‘Charles Henry Fanshawe aged 2 years & 10 months & half’. When this charming photograph arrived I consulted  and H.C. Fanshawe’s The History of the Fanshawe Family (1927) pages 413-414 and was soon able to read about Charles’s interesting life.

He was descended from  William Fanshawe (1640-1708) and Mary Walter (1651-1693). Charles was born on 28th July 1874 at Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, the eldest child of Henry Ernest Fanshawe (1844-1913)  and Bertha Smith (1841-1931). His father, educated at Cambridge, was a schoolmaster, teaching classics. Charles Henry Fanshawe had four younger siblings; two sisters and two brothers. Both brothers took Holy Orders. He was educated at King’s College  Choir and matriculated from Cambridge University in 1893.

Charles wished to be a farmer, but his father wanted him to enter the army, which he did in 1894. He served in the Boer War, was mentioned in despatches, and received the Queen’s Medal with six clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps.

Charles Henry married Lettice Margueritte Butler Green (1872-1948) at St. Saviours Church, Claremont, Capetown, South Africa on 26th November 1902. They had known each other since  childhood as her father had been Vicar of Great Shelford. They had two daughters and a son. Their eldest daughter, Joan Fanshawe (1904-1963), was born in South Africa. He resigned his Commission in 1904 and Captain Fanshawe returned to England to run  a dairy farm at Barrington, famous for fossil hippopotamuses, Cambridgeshire. Their second daughter, Daphne Fanshawe (1905-1980) was born in Barrington. At the start of the Great War (1914-1918) he reenlisted in the Army Service Corps and was promoted  to Major in 1917. At the end of the war he left the Army and by September 1919 Charles was a farmer based at Dengie Manor, Essex.

He died, aged 73, on 12th May 1948 of Wycke Cottage, Maldon, Essex. His effects were valued at £1167.

The likeness of Charles Henry Fanshawe has now been donated to Valence House Museum, Dagenham.
31st March 2016

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