January 21 2007
Ali Zaman has sent the following--and we thank him.

We appreciate the information below and  thank the members of Paneery Club for honouring
some of the Pioneers of the Tea Industry in the Mangaldai District--We have passed our
sincere thanks to Rajat Dutt the President of Mangaldai club and asked him to pass our
thanks onto the membership

Mr Rajat Dutt, Senior Manager Borengajuli and President Mangaldai Club, informs that a
resolution was passed at the last AGM  of the Club to honour the dead buried at  Paneery
Cemetery, in front of the Club. The ceremony will now be an annual event in the clubs
calendar. The original headstones were removed to a central graveyard in Pertabghur TE,
some years back, and replaced with replicas to avoid depredation by elephants.
The graveyard now forms an integral part of the club and is well cared for.

Photographs of the inaugural ceremony, honouring the pioneers, with a list of
their names are shown below

1. W. J. S. FEA,   
    50 Yrs.
23 Yrs.
3. MARGARET BURKE ( Nee Mc Arthur ),
  45 Yrs.
 47 Yrs.                                                          
 23 Yrs
6. CHARLES WILLIAM,                            
 2 Months 13 Days.                                                      
 44 Yrs.

10. RICHARD GRAY SIMPSON,            
Born & Died.                                               
9 Months.
12. EDWARD D. ATKINSON,               
 34 Yrs.   
 22 Yrs.
 30 Yrs.                                                        
47 Yrs.
 29 Yrs
No name and date on 4 nos Graves ( minor ).

October 2005


This is a recent photograph of the cemetery --it is located outside the Jorehaute Company Division of Numalighur Factory Compound. We are indebted to Vikas Joshi the current Manager who has been responsible for clearing it up and ensuring ongoing maintenance of the cemetery.

Thank you Vikas

We are also indebted tom Bibek RAYCHAUDHURI for his help and hard work in digging out the facts in this story together with Venk Shenoi who first alerted us to it, and kindly forwarded the photographs

Bibek writes:

The graveyard at Numalighur is one of the oldest ones, I presume, where planters who died in the neighborhood were buried. I am sure, there are a few more of these scattered all over Assam, which were needed, in view of lack of road communication, in those days. However, this one was in a sadly neglected state, till the present management of Jorehaut Tea Co. cleared it all up and is being tended regularly. It is located just outside the compound as one enters the factory gate of Numalighur and the present Manager, Vikas Joshi, takes keen interest in ensuring proper maintenance.

I did some research on the names written on the stones, through an amateur Genealogist, Writings in bold are in respect of persons employed by Jorehaut Tea Co. and those details are extracts from the "History of Jorehaut Tea Co. Ltd.: Past and Present members of the Company from 1858 to 1946".

John Henry Kemble Manager of Diffloo Tea Factory died at 

Numalighur 9th October 1872.  

Bibek writes: I am enquiring with the Kemble One Name Study in case anything is known about him. There is a record of a William Kemble marrying Elizabeth E Hinde in 1865 in the Bengal marriage index

 Edward Ledlie French, son of Henry Gloster French of Calcutta for several years Manager of Numalighur Division of the Jorehaute Tea Co. who died at this factory on 28th April 1873 Aged 28 years

In the Bengal Presidency records, Edward Sedlie French (sic) is shown as being born 11 Apr 1845, son of Henry Gloster French and his wife Charlottee Louise. I found another child of this couple, named Gloster Henry French born 21st Sep 1841, Calcutta. I looked in the 1901 UK census for anyone born in India with the odd first name Gloster, but found nothing. I did find a Gloster Marshall, aged 36 born in Lambeth and living in Clapham who was a Teabroker's Clerk, so may be some connection? Gloster Henry French is shown as marrying Sarah G. Weston in 1876 (Bengal Marriage Index). Mr. French was formerly an indigo planter for many years, latterly was employed in the Railway Department prior to joining Cinnamara as an Assistant Manager. He subsequently assumed charge of Numalighur in November, 1865.  Mr French died from epilepsy on April 28, 1873.  


Dr J.R.Elliott Died on October 1876 aged 35 years


Dr John R. Elliott, M.R.C.S; L.R.C.P. - Prizeman in Anatomy, Barthotomew's Hospital, aged 30, when appointed on October 18, 1873 as Medical Officer to relieve Dr. Grey whilist on leave and thereafter stationed at Numalighur. Died from heat epilepsy on October 20, 1876.  

S.L.E.Skeen of Methoni

An odd name. I found three Indian birth references to the name, but none that relate to an S.L.E. In the Bengal Marriage Index, there are two Skeen marriages.

1887 Liela L. Skeen to Henry T. Prinsep

1888 Frederick A.G. Skeen to Frances M. Greason  

This head stone is very clear as to the person's place of birth but regretfully we have no name therefore falls into the category of "Unknown"

John E. Bartlett  Born 5th June 1846 Accidently drowned at Dhunseri Mookh Assam 2nd October 1885

precise birth date always helps. There were several John Bartletts with English births registered in Q2 1846, but none shown with a middle name E. Could be Scottish or born in India.

John E. Bartlett, son of Dr. William Bartlett, Ladbroke Square, appointed on April 3, 1866, arrived in Assam on December 30, 1866. He fell from the river steamer at Dhunseri Mookh on October 2, 1885 and drowned. His body was recovered on October 5 and buried at Numalighur on October 7, 1885.

The Editor contacted Peter Bartlett who started in tea in 1968 and is now retired and living in Uk and this was his answer:

Many thanks for your e-mail on the subject of the Numalighur cemetary stones. Yes, John E. Bartlett was my Great Great Grandfather's brother. It was mentioned to me when I first considered going to Assam in 1958 that the last family member who took to Tea had come unstuck in a drowning incident. Mention was made that he had gone to the Jorhaut District but that is all I was told. Now you have come up with his name, dates of birth and death and the fact that he was drowned at Dhanseri-mukh and buried in the Numilighur cemetery .. none of which I was aware of! Fortunately the family didn't know I was joining the same Agency, James Warren, or there might have been ructions! J.E.B. must have been one of the early pioneers of the Assam tea industry.

Thanks a million for solving a family puzzle; I have long wondered whether there was any truth in this story of long ago and now I know it was true .. and I must pass the news on to the few other Bartletts who might be interested.  

 Herbert Comley 
who died at Behora 16th April 1891 aged 44 years

A somewhat unusual name. He's probably the Herbert Comley born in Whitechapel Q1 1847. I think he had a family whom he brought back to England while he stayed on in India, since I found this family in the 1881 census in Finchley :-  

Dudley Egerton Clair-Smith--
Died at Lattakoojan 7th November 1891 aged 24 years 7 months and 19 days

It's not clear to me that Clair-Smith was always a double barreled name. 
I can find almost no reference to it in this way.  But there are some
tantalizing references in the Indian records that might relate in some
way to this family. For example:

Queenie Phyllis Clair Smith born 28 Oct 1893 bap 25 Dec 1893 Calcutta
daughter of Henry Davron Clair Smith and his wife Esther Gertrude.
Walter Henry Clair Smith married Emily Falkner Cooper 27 Nov 1888
(Bengal Presidency records).
Ernest B Clair-Smith married Ellen Caroline Meares 1891 (Bengal Marriage Index)
I tried searching the 1901 UK  census for Smiths born in India with the middle
Clair - nothing.  There are also no Clair-Smiths at all.  


Arthur Pelham Kentish  
of Mithunguri Assam, died 13th November 1907, aged 49 years.
A distinctive name, but seems to draw a blank.  There is a GCA
Kentish in the Bengal Marriage Index for 1893


   Infant son of Mr. F Mulvey  

Jack Percy died on June 28th 1909, aged 41 years.