Sitting astride his faithful mount "Stinker" Gerard Charles Lisle Howell of the Indian Civil Service poses for posterity at Lahore, Punjab, India in 1900.
A native of India, Howell was born at Dhere Ghazi Khan in Punjab on 16 March 1875 the son of Lieutenant Colonel Horace Howell of the Bengal Staff Corps and his wife Ella. Like most Indian-born sons of British officers, the younger Howell was sent to England for his education attending Lancing School in Sussex and later Christ Church, Oxford. Passing his exam for the Indian Civil Service (ICS) in 1899 he returned to India and took up the post of assistant commissioner of the Northwest Frontier Provence. He was later Director of Fisheries for Punjab.
Remaining with the ICS until the beginning of World War One, Howell volunteered with the colours at the outbreak of hostilities being commissioned a lieutenant with the 36th "Jacob's Horse" Cavalry of the Indian Army and the Machine Gun Corps. He served with his unit (dismounted) in France and Flanders and according to Imperial Vancouver Island - Who Was Who, 1850-1950 Howell was gassed at the Somme. In 1918 the 36th was transferred to Palestine, and now acting in the regiment’s intended role of cavalry, and took part in Allenby’s advance to Damascus. Howell received the British War and Victory Medals for his service during the Great War. He had been promoted captain on 19 July 1917.
Having survived the war, Howell helped organize the British Trawlers Association, held an appointment as Secretary of the British Fisheries, and served on the Fisheries Research Advisory Committee.
Howell had married Miss Cicely Johnson in 1901 and the family (the couple had two sons) moved to Vancouver, British Columbia at some point after the war. As was the case with other Indian-born British like Rudyard Kipling, Howell it seems never quite left the place of his birth behind him and remained a member of the East India United Services Club after moving to Canada. In 1921 he authored the book Ocean Research and the Great Fisheries (1921) and sometime later a guide to an adopted hobby and past time Rudiments of Ski-Running.
Cicely died in 1928 and Howell returned to England at least once in 1939 via the Panama Canal aboard the Furness Line Pacific Ranger stopping at Los Angeles, California on the southward bound leg of the voyage. This trip may have been a permanent move as Howell died at Devon on 16 June 1949.
Karim Bux - Photographer