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Henry Lake Wells

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Lieut-Colonel Henry Lake Wells (1850-1898), C.I.E. and R.E.

Died 1898 of enteric fever aged 48.[1]

1899 Obituary [2]

LIEUTENANT-COLOXEL HENRY LAKE WELLS, R.E., C.I.E., who died at Karachi, after an illness of only six day's duration, on the 31st of August, 1898, was a son of the late Reverend T. B. Wells.

He was born on the 8th of March, 1850, and received his commission in the Royal Engineers in 1871. During the next four years he served in England, qualifying as instructor in army signalling, and then, in 1875, proceeded to India. Here, after gaining valuable experience as an executive engineer under the Public Works Department, he raised a corps of Ghilzais for the construction of the road across the Khojak, and saw active service in the Afghan campaign of 1878-1880. He was wounded in an engagement in the Khojak district whilst commanding a detachment of Punjab Cavalry and the Sind Horse, and was five times mentioned in despatches for services rendered during the campaign.

After having been employed on special duty with the Indian Telegraph Department in surveying and reporting upon routes for a telegraph line connecting Srinagar (Kashmir) and Gilgit, he was in 1880, with the rank of Captain, appointed an assistant director in the Government Indio-European Telegraph Department, and was transferred to Persia, where he remained until within a short time of his death. In 1885 he received the local rank of major and was appointed to officiate as director of the Persian section of the Telegraph Department.

During his period of service in Persia he was granted a sword of honour by the Shah, and repeatedly received the special thanks of various Government departments for signal assistance rendered to them. The directors of the Indo-European Company passed a special vote of thanks to him " for admirable spirit and example set during the cholera epidemic of 1893," and in 1897 he was created a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire.

Colonel Wells contributed several papers to the Royal Geographical Society, of which he became a member in 1880.

He was elected a Member of this Institution—at that time the Society of Telegraph Engineers—on the 10th of January, 1884.

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