Indian Army tradition

Service in the Indian Army and the Indian Civil Service goes back a long way in this part of the  family.

Thomas Edward Ivens (the younger), born in 1844, served in the Indian Public Works Department.

His brother John Henry Anderson Ivens was an engineer working on the Indian Canal network. An Application to join the Institute of Civil Engineers reads:

“…was educated at the Madras College and University ….. And the Royal Indian Engineering College, Coopers Hill. In 1877-78 he worked for 1.5 years on the Victoria loch Extension under … He then worked for 5 years in the Buildings and Roads branch of the Public Works Dept. Went of India in the N. W. Provinces under … but was transferred in 1883 to the Irrigation Branch in which he has since worked directly under … in making minor canals and building the tail ? of the  Saltree Piccus (?) Canal. In 1894 he obtained divisional charge of the Lower Ganges Canal Headworks, and carried out intensive training works. In 1896, he was placed in charge of the Rolsilkliand (?)Canals. In 1899 he was put in temporary superintending charge of the Lower Ganges Canal, and in 1900 was periodically Superintending Engineer of the Ganges Canal. In 1877, he passed the final examination of the Royal Indian Engineering College, and in the same year was appointed Assistant Officer, Public Works Department of India

30th June , 1900

Harold Thomason Carew Ivens, Thomas’ eldest son, born in 1880 went on to serve, first with a British regiment (Fusiliers), from which he subsequently joined the 26th (later 2/15th) Punjab Regiment, and by 1912 had already made something of a name for himself among his contemporaries by his performance in one of the Indian frontier wars.

His younger brother Charles Wilfred Macpherson, who was born in Simla, the Punjab in 1882, and after training at Woolwich with the Royal Horse Artillery, was sent back out to India in WWI. Charles Wilfred was married in Srinigar in 1908.

2004-02-29 13.39.18-3

Their mother (Thomas’ wife) Alice Georgina Isabella, was the daughter of Colonel Charles Waterloo Hutchinson of the Indian Army (Charles features in the main photo at Weston super Mare, sporting a wooden leg!) and was in turn the son of Thomas Frederick Hutchinson, Colonel in the Bengal Native Infantry. Even Charles’ uncle George was a General in the Bengal Engineers.

Alastair (aka ‘Carl’), Charles Wilfred’s only son, got himself transferred into the Indian Army early in WWII. The name he went by in the years after the war, Carl, or Carlo, was a result, he said, of his Indian fellow officers finding it difficult to pronounce the ‘Ch’ in Charles, and shortened it. I think he liked it, and it stuck.


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