Cecil Olcher Fedden was the son of Frederick and Anastasia Fedden. He was born in Streatham and lived 89 Wolfington Road and baptised at St Peter's Church.
Not long afterwards the family moved to Barnet where his three siblings were all born. His father was a cashier with an Insurance Company and by the time of the 1911 census, at the age of 49, he was listed as retired. Cecil Fedden's mother died in 1903, the year after he joined CH.
Cecil Fedden was himself working as a clerk at an Insurance Company in 1911. His service in the war was with the Indian Army Reserve of Officers att 22nd Punjabi’s, Indian Army, with which he saw active service in Mesopotamia for over a year and where he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ctesiphon in late 1915. In The Blue of October 1916 there is a detailed account by Cecil Fedden of the events leading up to the Battle concluding with General Townshend’s arrival at Kut al Amara and the subsequent siege which, as Cecil Fedden described it, ‘ended so disastrously for us in May 1916’. On recovering from his wounds he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was based on the south coast in England.
He married his wife, Sheena, on 19 November 1917. The marriage had to be brought forward from its planned date due to Cecil Fedden being required in Italy. His father-in-law was Lt-Col Fraser, the Medical Officer for Berwick-on-Tweed, where the wedding took place.
Less than two months later Sheena Fedden was a widow when her husband died in a training accident in the English Channel off the coast of Hythe. Flying an Armstrong Whitworth F.K.3 two seater, the engine cut out at some 1200 feet in a snow storm. His observer survived the crash and was able to swim to shore. Cecil Fedden was the subject of an extremely brave rescue attempt by Lieutenant J S Hodges who had been accompanying him in another plane and witnessed the crash. Although a lifeboat picked both men up, Cecil Fedden unfortunately died of exposure.
Cecil Fedden’s brother also served in the War holding the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the HAC Regiment. He was killed in action on 3 May 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras memorial.
Cecil Fedden is also commemorated as follows:
- On the war memorial at Christ Church, Barnet;
- On the Berwick-on-Tweed war memorial, opposite St Mary’s Church;
- On the war memorial outside the Church of St John the Baptist, Chipping Barnet