|Mena Garland on her 90th birthday|
I have received news that Major Herbert Garland's daughter Mena Garland (married surname O'Connor) passed away in Newport, Rhode Island, at 4am on Saturday morning aged 93.
Mena was Herbert's sixth child and was born in Cairo on 17 November 1919 during his brief tenure as the Director of the Arab Bureau and editor of the final issues of the Arab Bulletin. See: Bimbashi (Major) Herbert Garland's story in An Oriental Assembly
After long periods of ill-health brought on by the rigours of desert warfare Garland died from an aortic aneurism less than sixteen months after Mena was born, leaving scant record of the circumstances of his death. Remarkably, it took his daughter more than 80 years to discover her father's final resting place in an unmarked grave in the English town of Gravesend on the south bank of the Thames. Today that grave has the following inscription: “LOST BUT FOUND IN 2004”, a poignant reminder of the long journey taken by Mena to find the father she barely knew but who she wished to restore to his rightful place in the history of the desert campaigns of the First World War alongside Stewart Newcombe and T.E. Lawrence. It was a journey that ultimately helped reconnect the various strands of Herbert's family and renew worldwide interest in the career of the man recently called Lawrence's brother-in-arms.
|Bimbashi Herbert Garland|
Regrettably, Mena was unable to read my entry on Herbert Garland for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography which is due to be published later this year, but she always showed a deep interest and appreciation of the entries in this blog that mentioned his exploits.
See also: A young man's near miss!