These 2 pictures were painted by Col Wale in Egypt in 1884. The words on the back of one of the paintings (pictured below) state: "Photo (sic) of a street in Cairo painted by Col R.G.Wale of Shelford, Cambridge. Painted for my daughter Mrs Harcourt Powell 1884."
Originally it was thought that Col Wale might have been serving in the military in Egypt at the time he painted the pictures. However, according to family historian Graham Chinner, "the most likely explanation is that he went for a holiday to Egypt in 1884 - certainly it is most improbable that he went on military service."
Col Wale only served in the Cambridge Territorials (photo below from the Fanny Wale history book) and is not known to have served abroad.
The painting is dedicated to his second daughter, Cecil (but known as Cecie) Henrietta, born in 1857. In her late ‘teens she persuaded her father to let her train as a nurse - only recently a respectable aspiration thanks to Florence Nightingale. Cecil Henrietta survived the rigours of training and went to Malta to serve at an Army base. There she fell for a dashing but impecunious Irish Chaplain, the Rev. Harcourt Powell. Powell was winkled out of the army by an adroit manoeuvre. With help from her father, she bought the advowson of a vacant benefice in Northamptonshire. She then presented her lover to the living. It was not a posh parish and although she was Lay Rector, there was no rectory. But they managed to build a cottage and in fairly primitive conditions the Powells reared four children- including of course Norah and Blennie.
She died on January 3 1929, aged 74. There is a brass inscription for Cecie in All Saints Church, Little Shelford.
The Over 60's club in the village which was started by Cecil's daughter, Norah Powell was called by her the Cecil Club and was known by that name until quite recently.