Lady Sidney Farrar

Lady Sidney Farrar

My last blogs have been concerned with the role of European women in Kenya, particularly in World War 2. It has become clear that a leading role was played by Lady Sidney Farrar. Who was she? She was the daughter of the 7th Earl of Buckinghamshire, who boasted the names Sidney Carr Hobart-Hampden-Mercer-Henderson. He must have been hoping for a son when she was born on 17 April 1900, for he called her Sidney (also Mary Catherine Anne). She grew up at the family seat at Great Hampden, Buckinghamshire, but her early life is something of a mystery. She appears in the 1901 census, but none of the family (she had an elder brother and sister) appears in 1911, so they must have been abroad, possibly in India. The next we hear of Sidney is that she joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANYs) and served in France in World War 1. We hear nothing more of her until her marriage on 14 January 1924, to Captain Thomas Innes Farrar (born in British Guiana on 17 June 1896). We do know quite a bit about Thomas. He came from a family prominent in the religious life of British Guiana and the West Indies. His father Walter became Bishop of Antigua and of British Honduras. Thomas volunteered for active duty in 1914 and was commissioned into the 5th Battalion of the Royal Devonshire Regiment. He won the MC in the military campaign in Mesopotamia. After their marriage at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, the Farrars moved to Kenya. They first appear in the voters’ roll for Rift Valley in 1926,...
New from Old Africa books…The Sultan’s Spymaster

New from Old Africa books…The Sultan’s Spymaster

 The Sultan’s Spymaster by Judy Aldrick is launching with 4 events and book signings starting this Saturday the 26th.  We hope you can attend one of the launches.   Book Signing In Between the Lines book shop  Village Market, Nairobi Saturday, September 26, 2015 2-7 PM Refreshments available   Launch Event and signing National Museums of Kenya, Ford Hall Nairobi Sunday, September 27, 2015 2-4 PM Refreshments available   Launch Event and signing Fort Jesus hosted by Friends of Fort Jesus Tuesday, September 29, 2015 7-9 PM Refreshments available   Launch Event and signing The Secret Garden Restaurant Emerson Spice Hotel Kiponda, Zanzibar Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 7-9 PM Spiced tea and snacks will be served The Sultan’s Spymaster tells the story of  Peera Dewjee, an Ismaili merchant who crossed from India to Zanzibar as a boy. Later he became Sultan Barghash’s barber and valet, where he became a confidant to the Sultan and a trusted advisor. Peera Dewjee acted behind the scenes during momentous events in the history of Zanzibar and East Africa – the closing of the slave markets and imperial expansion by Germany and Great Britain.  The Sultan’s Spymaster displays 16 pages of rare photographs from Zanzibar as well as numerous old line drawings in the text of the book itself.  For those of you who can’t attend any of the launches, the book should also be available to order online on Amazon by the 26th of September. We will send out another announcement with details on how to...