Mr. Henry George Keene, C.I.E., died at his residence at Westward Ho! on Friday, in his 90th year.
He was born at the East India College, Haileybury, where his father, who served at the storming of Seringapatam who with the first Lord Harris (his uncle), was Professor of Arabic and Persian, and Registrar. His mother, though she came of a New England family, was related to Lord Cornwallis. Educated at Rugby, under Arnold, and at Wadham College, Oxford, Keene went out to the North-Western Provinces in the East India Company's service in 1847. When the Mutiny broke out 10 years later he was Superintendent of the Dehra Doon.
In his subsequent service Keene was in frequent disagreement with his superiors, and he confessed that a certain "unfortunate habit of levity and not always seasonable joking" hindered promotion. A wit and raconteur, he failed to do himself justice as an official. He often had good practical ideas, but was too changeable and too little master of detail to them effect. So when he reached the 35 years' limit he had not got beyond the grade of a district and sessions Judge. But he retired with the decoration of C.I.E., and with a literary reputation which he was able to turn to account in providing for the needs of a large family.
Mr. Keene was twice married and is survived by four sons and five daughters. Among his sons are Mr. Henry George Keene, late of the Indian Financial Department, Colonel Alfred Keene, D.S.O., editor of the Journal of the National Service League, and Captain Geoffrey Keene, 29th Punjabis.