Home Guards Killed While Returning Escaped Prisoners

Home Guards Killed While Returning Escaped Prisoners

Solomon Njihia was the head chef for the Rift Valley Academy kitchen when I was a student there in the 1970s. I just heard he has passed away. Another link to Kenya’s past has gone. About eight years ago I interviewed Solomon and he told me a story of how he and a group of home guards captured some escaped prisoners after the Naivasha Prison attack during the early years of the Emergency. The story appeared in issue 11 of Old Africa and we thought it would be good to share it again.  Home Guards Killed While Returning Escaped Prisoners Told by Solomon Njihia Kairu   1953 We noticed a group of people walking up the road in a line at about 11 p.m. near the Kiambogo School above the AIM Kijabe mission station. We went out and stopped them by shouting, “Halt!” We asked who they were. They replied, “We are the ones who were released from the Naivasha prison by the Mau Mau.” They explained they just wanted to find their way home. Many of our people worked at the mission or had gone to school there. A number of us had been recruited to serve as home guards. Some of our home guards started slapping the escaped prisoners with their hands. Others said to stop because we didn’t know if these people were bad or not. They had been in prison, but that didn’t mean they were Mau Mau. We decided to tie them up and return them to the police. We found ropes and tied the escaped prisoners two by two. We borrowed a Mercedes lorry...
Wavell 100 Year Memorial Tour

Wavell 100 Year Memorial Tour

Join Guerrillas of Tsavo author, James G Willson on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th January 2016 when he will lead a tour Commemorating the centenary of the January 1916 Mkongani Battle, Kwale, where Major Arthur Wavell MC and 15 of his loyal Arab Rifles lost their lives. In thanks giving for protecting Mombasa from this invasion by the German Schutztruppe, the grateful town’s people erected, in memory to the Arab Rifles, the obelisk standing beside Fort Jesus. This tour will walk the battle site; visit Wavell’s stockade; pay respects at the memorials to the fallen. There will also be an evening multimedia presentation on the life and times of Wavell. All this will take place while enjoying the beauty and wildlife of the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Over-night at Shimba Hills Lodge and/or KWS Sable Self Catering Bandas. For further information and bookings contact james@guerrillasoftsavo.com Signed copies of Guerrillas of Tsavo will be available....
Escape from Singapore

Escape from Singapore

Escape from Singapore Our December-January edition of Old Africa magazine has a story by Barbara Dods. She tells about growing up in Nairobi while her father, Arthur James Scott Hutton was the architect overseeing the building of Kenya’s Government House (which later became State House) and the Law Courts in the late 1920s and into the 1930s. After finishing those jobs, Arthur Hutton took a job in Singapore. He was there when the Japanese attacked in World War 2 and his family was in Australia. He had a narrow escape when the Japanese overwhelmed Singapore. For weeks Barbara Dods and her mother and sisters didn’t know what had happened to their father. Barbara has a copy of the letter her Father wrote to her Mother describing his escape from Singapore. We had planned to use it as a sidebar article to accompany Barbara’s memories of growing up in Nairobi. But we ran out of space. So here’s the letter. And if it piques your interest, be sure to get a copy of Old Africa issue 62 where you can read Barbara’s story about her Nairobi childhood.   Written by Arthur James Scott Hutton at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay, 11th March 1942. Margaret My Darling, I have not dared to tell you of my whereabouts before this but I am hoping that mail from Bombay will reach you in Perth. You will have received my Bombay cable informing you that I was free, safe and well and you may have had official notification from Ceylon of my safety before my cable. I felt your anxiety on my behalf from...
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...