The surgeon who saved hundreds from the Plague

Nellie, Mabel & Dr. Bharat Chandra Ghosh. Kashmir. 1928

Image & Narrative contributed by Alison Henderson Ghosh, U.K

This is an image of my great cousin Nellie Ghosh, great aunt Mabel Henderson and her husband Dr. Bharat Chandra Ghosh. Nellie was Mabel & Bharat’s daughter – and they lived somewhere in India and their house was called “Homelands”. The photograph of the house surrounded by Palm and Coconut trees suggests a coastal area. I have been researching the Ghosh family for years but haven’t yet found much information on the family after 1929.

I do know that Mabel’s father was a tea/general provisional merchant based in Edinburgh, U.K.– Mabel had three brothers, John, William and Daniel. William was a well known Scottish composer/musician and he wrote music for church organs and also recorded to vinyl, Daniel became a smuggler and was last heard of in the Caribbean. And there were three sisters; Kate & Bunty who both migrated to New Zealand, and Helen, my great grandmother, to Ireland – they were all very musically and artistically gifted. About Bharat’s family I found out that his father, Ishan Chandra Ghosh was a Professor of Mathematics and his mother’s name was Anorndomohi Ghosh – her maiden name was Sarkar.

I am unsure about how they met, but Bharat and Mabel were married in Scotland in 1905 in the district of St. Giles. Bharat qualified as a doctor in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and at the time of their marriage they must have moved to India because he worked for the Punjab Medical Department, and then he subsequently joined the Indian Medical Services. According to the India papers in the National Library of Great Britain, Bharat was based in Ambala, Punjab as an Assistant Surgeon where he inoculated hundreds of people against the Plague in 1901-02. He was also a member of the India Medical Service at the Theatre of War in World War I.

His name appears in the quarterly Indian Army list from January 1918 to July 1922.

Date of Appointment:  6th October 1917
Rank :   Temporary Lieutenant
Promotion:   6th October 1918 to Temporary Captain

I am on the lookout for leads on the Ghosh family whereabouts after 1929, and would be happy to hear from people who may know more.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Hello from New Zealand. I have just stumbled on your story. Nellie, Mabel & Dr. Bharat Chandra Ghosh, are relatives in my family in New Zealand. Mabel is a Sister to my late Paternal Grandmother, “Bunty”, real name Evelyn Henderson, making Mabel and Bharat my Grand Aunt and Uncle, and Nellie a first cousin of my late Father, Derek Henderson Meredith. Bunty was married to my Grandfather, William Meredith, son of William Elliot Meredith and his wife Sarah (Parkinson). Bunty was only in New Zealand less than a year, and then went back to Scotland, where she lived her life out. Katherine was living in New Zealand with husband Hugh Corbin, before my parents Derek and Agnes Meredith, arrived here in 1952 from Scotland. I knew about the Henderson brothers, Uncle Willy (William) the composer and that Uncle Danny (Daniel) had disappeared somewhere in the Carribean, said to have been ill at the time. Would be happy to be in contact if you would like to connect to work out our shared family connection.

  2. Eric M C Ghosh

    Dr B C Ghosh was my Dad’s Uncle. My Grandfather’s brother. This is how I am related to Dr BC Ghosh. I try and get more information once I visit that part of the globe.

  3. Robin Ghosh

    Dear Bhaskar,
    I too am a descendant of Ishan Ghosh. He was my great grandfather. My father was Jotish Chandra Ghosh. He was born in Montgomery/Sahiwal, in 1927. Please feel free to contact me so we can map out our family tree.
    Sincerely, Robin Ghosh.

  4. Eric MC Ghosh

    I’m Eric M C Ghosh living in UK. I’m a family member of Dr B C Ghosh. Please keep me posted of any one I’m not aware of.

  5. Bhaskar Ghosh

    Dear Madam,

    I am Bhaskar, one from the Ghosh clan and I am trying to map my family tree. I had hear that Late Ishan Chandra Ghosh was one from our family and was delighted to read your post.

    Please please do contact me on my email ID. I would love to get in touch with my roots.


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