on 17 December 2012
This book was first published in 1993, has 310 pages, 23 chapters, 8 B/W photos and 2 maps. CHARLES POCKLINGTON CHENEVIX TRENCH was born on 9.6.1914 in SIMLA, India. He was educated in Oxford and in 1943 was in Tunisia. In 1946, he retired from the Army and entered Indian politics until 1947. He moved to Northern Frontier District(NFD) of KENYA as DC(District Commissioner) and in 1963 returned to Somerset, England and taught English, Swahili and Urdu. He retired to Nenagh, Co-Tipperary. His 1st wife was Jane Greffon and they had 1 son and 2 daughters. After divorce, his 2nd wife was Mary Kirkbride with whom he had 2 daughters. He died on 29.11.2003, aged 89.
The book starts with 1st interest shown in Kenya by the British in 1880. In 1888, IBEA Company sent officers into interior of then Chartered BEA, to supply UGANDA Protectorate. It was the excitement of killing Big Game and profits from the sale of ivory, that attracted many men to East Africa. By 1895, British Government took over the East Africa Protectorate(EAP). Uganda Railway came from MOMBASA(1896) to KISUMU(1901). Along came more administrators and more paperwork. Justice was despensed with Indian Penal Code, while British Protectorate was 2000 years behind India. By 1902, many settlers were invited to this 'white man's country', but the administrators thought it was 'black man's country'. Some of the administrators were said to be of 'low class'. In 1905, the Colonial Office took over the responsibility of the EAP. Numerous DC's were posted in various areas of the Protectorate.
By 1912, all administration Officers were expected to dress in white or khaki uniforms. Some wanted Africans to provide labour for Europeans, but others were trying to protect the natives. Some DC's took to drink, others like in KISUMU committed suicide. The NFD at MOYALE and WAJIR were just difficult to police. The country became Kenya COLONY on 1.1.1920. AS NOW, THE ADMINISTRATION KEPT THE COUNTRY TICKING OVER AS QUIETLY AND CHEAPLY AS POSSIBLE. This book tells many stories of DO, DC and PC in Kenya Colony. In 1920's, people were dying of malaria at the coast. The NFD was under military administration from 1921 to 1925. More stories of DO are told between 1935-1945, with problems during the War and with the Shifta gangs. NFD was renamed as Northern Province.
In 1950, NAIROBI became a city, administered by a city council. The law and order DC wanted Europeans 'in' and to keep Indians 'out'. The poor Africans came in thousands to live in Nairobi streets with no housing for them, and they still do. The paperwork increased substantially after the 2nd World War. The Kikuyu were not allowed to grow coffee until 1943 and tea until 1949. By 1948, mau Mau secret society appeared with aim to kill Europeans. The state of emergency(JOCK SCOTT) was declared and on 20.10.1952, JOMO KENYATTA and other African leaders of Kikuyu were arrested. By November 1956, the MAU MAU emergency was over and it was formally declared as ended in Feb 1960. Mzee Kenyatta was released in 1961 and was elected as Prime Minister. Most European DO and DC's left Kenya after their jobs were taken by Africans.
Trench has researched the Kenya history and administration from 1892 to 1963 well, using a lot of unpublished material. Some other books with similar theme are:-
(1) Kenya From Within, MacGregor Ross 1927
(2) Kenya From Chartered Company to Crown Colony, Hobley 1929
(3) Early Days of East Africa, Sir F Jackson 1930
(4) White Man's Country, E Huxley 1935
(5) Sun Sand and Safari, Carson 1957
(6) To My Wife, 50 Camels, Reece 1963
(7) Deserts Dusty Face, Trench 1964
(8) John Ainsworth,Pioneer Kenya Administrator, Goldsmith 1955
(9) So Rough a Wind, Blundell 1964
(10)History of East Africa, Harlow/Chivers 1965
(11)British Rule in Kenya, Mungeam 1966
(12)John Ainsworth and Making of Kenya, Maxon 1980
Having born in Kenya, I found this book interesting.