23 November 1952 – In the marketplace of the Kenyan village of Kiruara, a young man claimed to have a vision of the end of British colonial rule and his preaching attracted a crowd of several hundred locals.  Several white police officers then arrived leading a unit of black policemen and loyalist “Home Guard” militia.  They ordered everyone to disperse but when the crowd stood their ground, the police and militia opened fire several times with automatic weapons, killing at least fifteen (if one relies on the official figures) and up to a hundred (according to eye witness accounts of the villagers).

No police officer or member of the militia was ever brought to trial for this appalling crime.(1)


  1. Caroline Elkins (2014), “Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya,” The Bodley Head, London p51  See also David Anderson (2006)”A History of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire,” Phoenix Books, p70. Anderson gives a slightly different account and gives the date as 22 November.

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