Colin Heape’s Memories Of Africa

I was brought up as a “child of Empire”, living with my father and mother in the West Indies during the war. My father was Colonial Secretary to the Duke of Windsor in the Bahamas. We came home to the UK in 1945 and I was sent to school. I did not see much of my father again until he came home for good in 1949.

A career in the Colonial Police was one of the suggestions given to me by the careers advisory service when I left school in 1955. I had volunteered for the Royal Marines and served with them for my National Service from 1957-1959. I was coxswain of a landing craft on Christmas Island during the final H-Bomb tests in 1958.

As a boy, I had listened to my father’s stories about Africa. The Colonial Office had posted him to British Somaliland in 1919. So I had a Colonial background and was proud to serve the Empire. My father took me to the Colonial Office and I talked to his friends there. They told me that there was a worthwhile career in Rhodesia for young men like me. But by 1959 many politicians had already decided that the Empire was a millstone round the neck of the British Government. The Crown Agents officially recruited me for the Northern Rhodesia Police and I signed a contract that I would serve the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyassaland. In 1960 Prime Minister Macmillan made his famous “Wind of Change” speech in Cape Town and for all intents and purposes my career in Africa was over. The Federation was broken up and Northern Rhodesia was granted independence in 1967. We came home in 1962.

After training as a nurse at Kings College Hospital, my wife Jane was recruited to serve in the Federal Health Service of Rhodesia by the Society for the Overseas Resettlement of British Women. She was told that her prospects for promotion were excellent due to wastage from marriage. She went out with two friends in 1959 and all three of them got married in their first year out there. She was lucky to travel out to South Africa by ship drinking pimms with the officers. She was posted to Kasama to replace her sister, who was getting married to a Policeman. She arrived there several months before me and knew the ropes. The young single nurses spent quite a lot of their free time in the Police Club. Nursing has always provided good opportunities for women to travel.

I was flown out to Lusaka in August 1959 via Cairo and Entebbe. It was not a comfortable flight. I was met by a South African Policeman, who replied to my question “What’s this country like?” with “It’s covered in bushes.” Unlike Southern Rhodesia and Kenya, Northern Rhodesia was a Protectorate, and was administered by Britain for the Africans.

After four months training at the Police College, I was posted as an Assistant Inspector to Kasama in the Northern Province. I was one of the last European policemen to be sent on patrol in the bush among the native tribesmen. The most common complaint made to me by the Africans was that Baboons were destroying their crops. I caught malaria while on patrol and that is how I met my wife. As the most junior officer, I had to attend post mortems in the local hospital.   There was no refrigeration in the mortuary and the doctor was keen to do the job as quickly as possible. I became quite interested in anatomy.

We were married on 1st October 1960 in the Anglican Church in Kasama by the Bishop of Bulawayo. We were then posted to Bancroft on the Copper belt. My duties there were in traffic patrol on a motorcycle. I witnessed the mass exodus from the Congo by the European population of Elizabethville in 1961. We had to stop and search these poor refugees as they entered Northern Rhodesia. The strange thing was that most of them went back to the Congo, when things quietened down, and came fleeing out once more when the trouble flared up again. I also remember being sent to guard the local petrol station all night when trouble was expected on our side of the border. It was the only time that I had to draw firearms from the Police Store. The Africans were starting to organise themselves for independence and we used to attend their political meetings. We recorded the ringleaders’ speeches with large tape recorders, which were run off the batteries of our land rovers. If the speeches went on too long, the batteries were flat at the end of the meeting and we had to ask the Africans to push start our vehicles.

My wife and I enjoyed our relatively carefree life in Northern Rhodesia. We had a wonderful honeymoon in Inyanga in Southern Rhodesia. I was well paid in comparison to a similar job in UK, and our lifestyle was very good. You got six months paid leave every three years. Many of the senior Police Officers had come from the Palestine Police. A number of my fellow officers went on to join the Hong Kong Police. We were very undecided about what to do at the end of my first tour of duty. Our reasons for returning to UK after only one tour were mainly because we knew by then that my career in the Colonial Police would not last forever and we wanted to start afresh in UK while I was still young enough. I was only 24 years old in 1962. We could have had our passage paid by the Government to any country, but we chose to return to UK partly because we had neither of us met our parents-in-law.   After my six months leave, I joined Westminster Bank mainly because of the perks they offered. I could buy a house with a mortgage at 2%. The Bank had an excellent sailing club and the prospect for promotion was good. I became disillusioned with the bank after the merger of Westminster Bank and the National Provincial Bank. That ruined my chances of becoming a manger. I was lucky to be offered the chance to train as a Land Agent by the Factor of Locheil Estates in Fort William. We moved to Scotland in 1969 and have remained in the highlands ever since. I have enjoyed a good life working for three large Estates as a Resident Agent and have now retired to live on the Black Isle near Inverness.

I have not said much about the Africans except that we did not mix much in those days. There was such a cultural gulf between us.  The two communities lived separately and seemed content to do so. Our closest contact with an African was with our House Boy named William, who lived in a small shack behind our house, and helped Jane with the housework. Jane did all the cooking herself on a primitive wood-burning stove. William came looking for a job soon after we arrived in Bancroft. Domestic work provided employment for African men. African women never applied for jobs with Europeans. I was advised not to employ William by Special Branch, because he had been seen attending a political meeting, but we liked him and I ignored this advice. Domestic work provided employment for unskilled Africans and allowed them to earn money, which helped to support their families living in the villages. We never met William’s family, although I think he had a wife and children. William was such a kind, gentle man. He cried when we told him that we were leaving Africa for good.

The other African men I got to know were the Police Constables that I worked with.  When I left, some of the constables collected money for me. I regret to say, that such was the gulf of understanding between us, that I felt unable to accept their gift and gave the money back to them.

Below is a new piece, received August 2015. It was intended for Colin Heape’s grandchildren to read later when they wonder about his life as a young man, but he has agreed to share it.

Africa & The Northern Rhodesia Police

I left the Royal Marines in rather a hurry, because my mother had requested that I should be released early for compassionate reasons. My father was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in February 1958, and had a major operation in Chertsey Hospital while I was abroad. He had to have a colostomy as a result, which he found difficult to accept. It was a cruel twist of fate that he had to adapt to this final indignity after all that he had to cope with earlier in his life. He finally retired from the Colonial Office in 1958, and had to find us a new home.

My parents moved to Dorset and bought a house called “Spring Bank” near Whitchurch, while I was on Christmas Island. It was a rather strange to be coming home to entirely new surroundings with poor father still not well.  He had to be re-admitted to hospital in Dorchester and my mother was very worried, which is why she asked me to come home in April 1959. Luckily, he did not have to stay in hospital for very long and we all began to settle down to a new life together. I helped my parents plant vegetables in their new garden. Mother had taken a lot of trouble to decorate my bedroom in colours that I had chosen. Spring Bank was in a lovely situation quite close to the coast of Dorset near a headland called Golden Cap, where we used to walk with Florin, our Welsh springer spaniel. 1959 was a gloriously hot summer and I enjoyed riding my motorbike all round the Dorset lanes exploring the countryside.

But after a few months, the question of what I intended to do with the rest of my life, had to be settled. I applied to join the Colonial Police, which seemed the natural thing for me to do with my Colonial background. I was offered the job as an Assistant Inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police. Although I was going to work in Northern Rhodesia, I had to sign a contact agreeing to serve the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I did not have too much difficulty in being selected by the Crown Agents in London. I was told that the Colonial Police offered a worthwhile career for a young man. What seems strange now is that the United Kingdom Government was already planning to end Colonial rule in Africa. What I did not know was that Sir Roy Welensky, the Governor of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (the Central African Federation) was eager to encourage as many white people to settle out there as possible. His aim was to persuade the UK Government to grant Dominion Status to the Federation. His plan failed because of the fierce opposition of the majority Black population in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.  Southern Rhodesia was always the dominant territory in the Federation with by far the largest population of white settlers. It was already a self-governing British Crown Colony controlled by the Commonwealth Relations Office in the UK.

The niceties of this situation were not explained to me. I assumed that Britain would continue to govern Northern Rhodesia, and that my career in the Police Force was secure. I think senior figures in the Colonial Office must have found it just as hard to accept that the sun would ever set over the British Empire. What Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had to say in 1960 about a wind of change sweeping across Africa came as a shock to many people, including my father. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I now accept that Macmillan was right. The Central African Federation was brought to an end on 31st December 1963, shortly before Northern Rhodesia was granted independence and became Zambia on 24th October 1964. You only have to consider what has happened to the white population of Southern Rhodesia, as a result of Iain Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, to realise what a mistake that was. Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe under the control of Robert Mugabe in 1980. The white settlers there have suffered ever since.

Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) is a large country, comparable in size to France, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary combined. It is situated 15 degrees south of the Equator in Southern Africa bordered by The Congo Republic to the North, Angola to the West, Malawi to the East and Zimbabwe to the South. The climate is tropical, but because of the altitude, about 1400 metres in Kasama, the temperature rarely rose above 30c. Most of the Northern and Central Provinces were covered in deciduous forests with some areas of open savannah grassland, and some large areas of swamp. Malaria was endemic and sleeping sickness caused by tsetse flies could also be a problem in some parts of the country.

The first Europeans to visit this region of darkest Africa were the Portuguese in the 18th century. The first Briton to view the Victoria Falls was of course David Livingston on 16th November 1855. He was the first white man to cross Africa from West to East. Livingstone died of Malaria in the swamps of Lake Bangweulu in Northern Rhodesia in 1873. He became a hero in Victorian Britain, and inspired several Missionary Societies to send more people to Africa. In 1877, the London Missionary Society sent an expedition to Lake Tanganyika to protect the locals from the Arab slavers. I heard an interesting story about slavery in Africa while I was out there, which I have recorded later on. Inspired by Livingstone’s memory, the Free Church of Scotland Mission founded Livingstonia on Lake Nyasa in 1875. The Church of Scotland established the African Lakes Corporation in Nyasaland, which had a profound effect on the political development of Central Africa, and led to the first appointment of a British Consul for the area in 1883.

But the driving force behind British Colonial expansion in Central Africa was the millionaire Cecil Rhodes, who had made a fortune in the gold and diamonds mines in South Africa. His driving ambition was to establish British colonies north of the Transvaal. In the developing “Scramble for Africa”, the Portuguese in Mozambique, the Germans in Tanganyika and the Belgians in the Congo all had similar ambitions. Rhodes’s dream was to expand the British Empire from Cape Town to Cairo. He founded the British South Africa Company in 1889 and persuaded the British Government to grant his company a Royal Charter to administer the new territories. The first colonists travelled north in 1890 and established a settlement at Salisbury in Matabeland. By 1892, there were 1500 new settlers there. The new territory was named Rhodesia after its founder. In 1890, the Company extended its operations into Barotseland, which became known as North Western Rhodesia. Colonel Colin Harding was appointed the first Commandant of the Barotse Native Police, which consisted of 200 locals with Sikh NCOs stationed at Fort Jameson.  A North-Eastern Rhodesia Constabulary was formed in 1903. Captain Richard Bright, who was seconded from the Buffs (East Kent Regiment), became the first Commandant of that force of approximately 300 men. These were the forerunners of the Northern Rhodesia Police, and the two Police Forces were combined in 1911.

In 1924, the British South Africa Company handed back responsibility for administering Northern Rhodesia to the British Government. Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland then became separate Protectorates under the control of the Colonial Office in London. By the time I joined the Force in 1959, Commissioner J P I Fforde, commanded a force of over 700 white officers and 3,130 African constables.

The total white population of Northern Rhodesia had risen to 74,640 people by 1961, many of which came from South Africa in the 1950s to work in the Copper mines. Post-war austerity in Britain also encouraged people to look for a better life in the sun. And it was very pleasant for Europeans in Northern Rhodesia before independence. In 1953, the British Government combined the administration of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland by creating a self-governing Federation of the three territories run by a predominately white assembly, presided over by Sir Roy Welensky in Salisbury. The intention had been to create a multi-racial society in Central Africa, but the political aspirations of the Black majority of the population were not adequately represented. The boom in the world price of copper in 1950s brought many economic benefits, but the Federation was deeply resented by the Black majority, and by that time, the British Government did not have the political will to stand up to them. The days of the British Empire and white supremacy in Africa were coming to an end. I count myself lucky to have seen the last days of that Empire, which in many ways was benevolent, if compared to the way certain African dictators have treated their own people after independence. I have already written about our daily lives in Northern Rhodesia in “A Book for Margaret”, which is part of this trilogy.

The Police Force was run on military lines, so three years service in the Northern Rhodesia Police was really an extension of National Service for me. The main difference was that I had the rank of an Assistant Inspector, which was similar to a junior subaltern in the army. After completing the Initial Training Courses at Lilayi and Bwana Mkubwa, I was posted to Kasama. Kasama was the Administrative Headquarters of the Northern Province so the Government Offices called the Boma run by a Provincial Commissioner named Robin Foster, a Court House and Prison as well as the Police Headquarters were all situated quite close together in a square at one end of the main street of the town. My immediate superior was Chief Inspector Fred Buckton, who was in charge of the uniform branch. There was also a CID Section, Special Branch and the Police Mobile Unit stationed there.  Although it was an important administrative centre, there were only about 300 Europeans living in Kasama in 1959. There was also a small of community Indian shopkeepers. Europeans did not mix socially with the local African population in those days.  The Indians did not mix with either community.

So what was it like being a policeman in Central Africa? Most Africans lived in scattered villages communities in the Bush, which was how the outlying rural areas were referred to. I was fortunate to have been sent out into the Bush as part of my normal policing duties, so I did witness what their lives were like. I would go out on patrol for several days accompanied by six constables, but there were not many roads for vehicles in the Bush, and we had to ride bicycles along ancient tracks through the forests to reach the outlying villages. The Africans still lived a subsistence existence, not changed much since the days when David Livingstone had first walked that way 100 years ago. The tribal elders ran their own communities without much interference from the British Colonial Administration. The African villager lived an extremely primitive life in the bush, without any of the 20th century benefits of modern medicine, sanitation or education. I once pitched my tent in a field near a village, and discovered to my dismay that it was used as the communal lavatory. Their diet consisted mainly of cassava meal, which is very low in protein. Malaria was endemic among the Africans living in the bush.  I caught it myself after being out on patrol in the bush. We were sent on patrol to show the flag. The village elders never reported any serious problems to us. They dealt with any criminals amongst them according to their own customs. I was told the following story about how they administered summary justice. The villagers made very strong beer by fermenting millet. At their communal drinking sessions, each man sat round a foaming tub of beer drinking his fill through a straw, and passing the straw to the next man, when he had had his fill. A condemned man was passed a straw laced with poison by the man sitting next to him. Their only complaint to me was about the baboons, which raided their gardens and ate their crops. I was always being asked to shoot baboons. I remember arriving in one village and finding what I thought at first was a case of leprosy. An old man sitting outside his mud hut, had no fingers on his hands and the lobes of his ears and his nose were missing. When I enquired about him, I was told that his disfigurements had been inflicted on him as a punishment for committing adultery.  Back in Kasama, the local District Officer held court and administered British justice to any offenders we presented to him for trial. One of my more unusual duties was to attend post mortems at the local hospital. There was no refrigeration in the mortuary and so the doctor was keen to carry out the procedure as quickly as possible.  If it was suspected that a crime had been committed, a police officer had to attend the post mortem. I became quite interested in anatomy.  Because I had showed interest in the proceedings, I was invited to observe an operation on a living boy, who had fractured his skull by falling out of a tree.  What I had not appreciated was that unlike a corpse, a live patient bled profusely, and when the surgeon started to remove the boy’s scalp, I nearly fainted. One day a report was received that a man had murdered one of his wives, and I was sent out to investigate. It was late at night and I remember driving miles along very rough roads to reach the scene of the crime. When I eventually arrived at the village, and entered the hut, I found the poor woman was not dead; her husband had merely knocked her unconscious. Africans found it difficult to differentiate between death and unconsciousness. I beat a hasty retreat from this domestic affair. I was also called out once to attend a woman, who was giving birth.  Thank goodness that baby arrived before I did, and I was not needed on that occasion either. I did not have to arrest many people, but the life of a Colonial Policeman was varied.

My friend Hywel Griffiths, who was the District Officer in Kasama, related the following story to me about his experiences of visiting African villages. Hywel was conducting a meeting with the Village Headman and the Court Clerk in a village called Bwembya in 1960. They were all sitting in the shade of a Mango Tree surrounded by the villagers with the men at the front and the women around the edge, many of them feeding babies on their laps.  The clerk was checking the names on the tax register. Hywel was idly looking down the names in the register when one name caught his attention as being different. The name, which caught his attention, was Jean Baptiste Mangara. It was so unusual to find a foreign name on the tax register that Hywel called out “ Who is Jean Baptiste Mangara?” A figure rose from the group seated on the ground. He was an old man, perhaps 75 or 80 years old. He wore a faded old raincoat and gym shoes, and looked different to the others. His face, despite the lines of age, was still attractive and his expression was both intelligent and slightly amused, as if he knew the joke he was going to reveal to the DO. In a deep educated voice, he announced that he was Jean Baptiste Mangara. Hywel asked him why he was living there in Bwembya village and he replied that although he had been born in Tanganyika, he now lived in Northern Rhodesia, because many years ago he had taken a Bemba wife, and since his retirement, he had come to live in her village. Hywel then asked him why had had been given the name Jean Baptiste, and he replied that he had been educated by the White Fathers, who had taught him French and given him that name.

As the District Officer, Hywel was involved in much closer contact with the rural population. He could speak their language and had to spend much more time listening to them than I did. Listening to ordinary villagers talk about their lives; the significant events that had taken place recently, the weather, the crops, their quarrels and moans, was the only way to understand what their lives were really like and what problems they had to struggle with. The villagers used the occasion to present their demands for new schools, new roads, new hospitals, etc. But the British Government had only very limited revenue available in those days, and there was not a lot the visiting DO could offer. After cycling miles through the bush to reach a particular village, fighting off the brain-numbing effects of heat exhaustion, he had to engage in a lively debate with sharp village spokesmen in what was ultimately a futile discussion. Visiting the villages each year could become pretty boring. That is why, completely unexpectedly, a fascinating and intriguing personality captured his attention. Before he left, Hywel extracted a promise from Jean Baptiste to visit him in Kasama.

About a month later, Hywel was in his office at the Boma one day trying in vain to communicate with a man from the Belgium Congo, who could not speak English, when a shadow appeared in the doorway. It was Jean Baptiste Mangara. Hywel immediately asked him to speak French to the man from the Congo. Jean Baptiste spoke to the man in French on Hywel’s behalf, and after the interview was over, Hywel asked him if the man from the Congo had spoken good French. “Not bad” he replied with a typically Gallic wrinkle of his nose, which he also tapped with his finger “but not a very good nasal intonation!”  Hywel invited Jean Baptiste back to his house for some refreshment, and also to avoid any further interruption, and Jean Baptiste told him the extra-ordinary story of his life.

He had been born in 1879 in a village called Sadini near Bagomoyo in Tanganyika. One day when he was five years old, he was playing in the bush near his village when two men abducted him. The slavers took him to the island of Zanzibar, which was a notorious centre for slavery, and there he was lucky to be sold to the catholic orphanage, known as the Procura, established by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie who founded the White Fathers Catholic Mission to Africa in 1868. This orphanage was part of a grand strategy conceived by Cardinal Lavigerie to convert Africans to Christianity. He argued that foreign Missionaries alone could never achieve the conversion of Africa. After four years of education at the orphanage, the most promising and intelligent boys were sent to Europe for further training before being sent back to Africa as teacher-catechists.

Jean Baptiste had proved to be one of these gifted boys and had been sent to Marseilles and then to Malta for further training before finally being sent back to the Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia in 1896 to the Kayambi Mission in the Bemba tribal area near Kasama. Two years later, he married Angela Kanyapa, a local woman. In 1910, he left the employment of the church and joined the British South Africa Company. He was a good catch for the Administration, because he was an educated man, who could speak four languages, English, French, Cibemba and Kiswahili.  He had worked for the Government for over 20 years; finally retiring in the early 30’s aged about 55 years. On retirement the Government had given him 20 cows and he had settled down to farm near Bwembya. And that is where Hywel Griffiths the DO met him still living in 1960. Jean Baptiste Mangara died at Chitambi in 1972.  This remarkable story can also be found on Google. Jean Baptiste’s brush with slavery in 1884 is worth recording, and his outstanding achievements acknowledged.

After Jane and I were married in Kasama on 1st October 1960, I was posted to Bancroft on the Copper Belt near the border with the Belgium Congo. It was a smaller Police Station run by Chief Inspector Vaughan-Johnson. We became friendly with another young officer named John Gilpin, who still keeps in touch with us. Here I came in contact with the wealthy European miners for the first time. In the dry season, you could easily distinguish the miners’ houses from the dwellings of the Government employees, because the European miners were given unlimited supplies of free water for their gardens. The town itself boasted two pubs, a cinema called a bioscope, a bank, European shops and tarmac roads. I never went down the mine, which I now regret.

The British Government employees did not mix much with the South African miners. We spent most of our free evenings at the Police Club. The only real contact I had with a South African was when I arrested a very drunk miner, as he was about to drive off in his car. For some reason, I was in town dressed in my Police uniform, when this man came out of the pub and got into his car. I could not let him get away with this blatant disregard for the law, but I did not want to get involved with a court case just before I was about the go home to England on leave. I ordered the man out of his car and handed the keys to his friend, who did not appear to be so drunk. There was no breathalyser in those days.   Shortly after this, I received an invitation to a barbecue at the South African’s home. It was quite an evening, I remember, with lots of food and drink. The grateful South African presented me with a copper beer mug. He probably did not realise that I was going home on leave and would not be returning to Africa.

One event of international significance occurred in Northern Rhodesia in 1961. United Nation troops had been trying to keep the peace in the Congo following the fighting after the rise to power of President Tshome of Katanga. Conciliatory talks, chaired by Lord Lansdowne, were to be held on neutral ground in Ndola. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold took off from Leopoldville Airport in a Swedish Transair DC-6B jet aircraft at 1751 hours on 17th September to fly to Ndola. The Swedish pilot, Captain Halonquist, flew over Lake Tanganyika to avoid Katanga and reported that his aircraft was abeam Ndola Airport at 2347 hours. That was the last that was heard from him and at 0010 hours several people on the ground reported that they had seen and heard an aircraft overhead. But the plane did not land and radio communications with it were lost.  About this time, several people reported that they had seen flashes in the sky, but a Police patrol   from Mufulira Station found nothing. In the early hours of September 18th, Air Traffic Control requested the Royal Rhodesian Air Force to carry out a search at dawn. The RRAF pilot located the site of the crash later that morning and early that after-noon a charcoal burner named Mazibisa reported to Mufulira Police Station that he had found the crashed aircraft in the forest about nine miles from Ndola. Police Superintendent M T Cary, Senior Inspector T E A Wright, Detective Inspector G R Lowes and a police photographer immediately set out for the crash site.  They found utter desolation.  The aircraft appeared to have hit the top of the trees, tearing itself to pieces and finally bursting into flames. There was only one survivor, who died in hospital without regaining consciousness. Dag Hammarskjold was a Norwegian diplomat, who had been a well-liked and successful Secretary General of the United Nations. This tragedy caused a worldwide sensation and there were suggestions of sabotage. After an intensive investigation, the Commission of Enquiry into the crash found that the aircraft appeared to have begun its descent for Ndola Airport with its engines running and wheels locked in the landing position. It appeared that the pilot had been intending to land at Ndola Airport, but had misjudged his height from the ground and the plane had struck the treetops several miles from the airport.

I witnessed Europeans escaping from the troubles in the Congo on several occasions. Two of my Police colleagues were badly beaten up after a night out in Elizabethville. I also had to man the Border Post near Bancroft when large numbers of European refugees were fleeing from Elizabethville. These poor people arrived at the border with very few possessions seeking safety from the fighting. Most of the men had firearms with them, which we made them surrender. The odd thing was that as soon as the trouble had ceased, many of them went back again.

Most of my time at Bancroft Police Station was sent on traffic patrol. The roads between the towns on the Copper Belt were very straight and well surfaced with tarmac. There were some horrific accidents due to people driving at excessive speed. Apart from having to clear up the mess, I had to inform the relatives of the drivers, who had lost their lives. This was quite a hard experience for a young inexperienced policeman. I was only 23 years old. I enjoyed my duties in Kasama more, in spite of nearly having to deliver a baby.

By 1961, political unrest among the Africans was becoming more organised. Kenneth Kaunda the leader of the United National Independence Party was organising political meetings all over the country in an attempt to gain more representation for Africans. Kenneth Kaunda was the son of a Church of Scotland missionary from Nyasaland. Both Kaunda and Simon Kapwepwe, his vice-president, were born in Chinsali near Kasama in the Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia. I had to attend several political meetings in the Black Townships on the Copper Belt to record what the African politicians were saying. I remember Kenneth Kaunda and Simon Kapwepwe addressing these meetings. If anything too seditious was said, we were supposed to intervene, but we never did. In 1961, the Colonial Office extended the franchise to give more Africans the vote and that made it possible for UNIP to gain an African majority in the Legislative Council. This caused alarm among the European population. The writing was on the wall, and many people, including myself, decided to return to UK at the end of their contracts.

Jane and I left Africa for good at the end of my first tour of duty in April 1962. I have no regrets, although I did enjoy life in Northern Rhodesia. I was anxious to see my family again, and begin a new career in UK. Events have proved me right to do so while I was young enough to start afresh. I had witnessed my father struggling to adjust to life in UK after spending his whole career abroad.  Jane and I have enjoyed a long and happy married life together and I have had an equally interesting career as a Land Agent on several Estates in the North of Scotland.

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