Sir A. Conan Doyle Fights Fire

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Sir A. Conan Doyle Fights Fire is an article published in the Daily Mail on 16 august 1929, including a part of an interview with Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir A. Conan Doyle Fights Fire

Daily Mail (16 august 1929, p. 7)

Photos : Miss Jean Conan Doyle salvaging some of her belongings and (right) Sir Arthur carrying furniture from the house.

Family's Efforts to Save Home.



Sparks from the kitchen range were the cause of a fire which destroyed part of the beautiful old-world country home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the novelist, at Brook, in the New Forest, to-day.

Sir Arthur, who was walking in the forest when the outbreak occurred, at once rushed back to the house to lead his family and staff of seven servants in fighting the flames.

Lady Conan Doyle helped, as also did her sons, Denis, aged 20, and Malcolm, aged 18 1/2, and her daughter Jean, aged 16. The sons assisted the firemen, while the daughter helped in the work of salvage.


On the shoulder of Malcolm perched a parrot, which is the pet of Lady Conan Doyle.

When the Southampton Fire Brigade, which had to travel 12 miles to the scene, arrived, the thatched roof of the older portion of the building, which dates back 200 years, was ablaze, but after four hours' work the modern wing was saved.

Sir Arthur said:

It is a terrible affair, but, luckily, this is only my country home and not my headquarters. Therefore, the most valuable of our family effects, such as my library, were not endangered.

None of my MSS of Sherlock Holmes was in the house; luckily I left them at my other house at Crowborough. But a considerable quantity of valuable silver which has been in the family for several generations was melted by the flames.

What grieves me most is the loss suffered by my son Denis, whose room was filled with souvenirs brought back from the many parts of the world he visited with me on my lecturing tours. He was immensely proud of these, for they included skins of animals he had shot himself.