Novelist: PC Wren

Percival Christopher Wren was another prolific writer, publishing over 33 novels and short story collections. Most have soldiering in Africa as a theme although only one concerns the Great War in Africa. He had a fascination for the French Foreign Legion although a recent researcher (Martin Windrow) suggests he never joined but knew people associated with the Legion. He was by all accounts secretive about his life.

1875 – 1 November, born in London
1903 – appointed headmaster to Karachi High School in India
1910 – 19 May, daughter died in India
1914 – 26 September, wife dies
1914 – 1 December, Reserve Officer of Indian Infantry Regiment, 101st Grenadiers
1915 – October, leaves reserves to join civil service
1917 – November, resigns from Indian Education service
1941 – 22 November, dies

Although Wren joined the 101st Grenadiers and that the Indian unit he was attached to served in East Africa during the war, it appears that he was recorded sick from 17 February 1915 until he left to join the civil service in October of that year. It is most likely that he never saw service in East Africa.

He published much on Indian education and related topics from 1910, his first collection of short stories being published in the UK in 1912.

Books on World War 1 in Africa

1920 – Cupid in Africa (Reading of Reading has a reader’s report on the book)


FictionDB for list of books by Wren
Fantastic Fiction
Wikipedia entry

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