1950-1959 | Kenya

British general warns against prosecuting Kenyan militia for murder

9 June 1954 On 9 June 1954 ,  General Erskine, commanding British troops in Kenya, advised the War Council against prosecuting members of Kenya’s Home Guard for murder. ‘They do a very good job because they do it from the heart and with faith in the Kenya Government… I must warn the War Council that…

1950-1959 | Backing Apartheid | Collective punishments | Concentration camps | Kenya

Thousands of black Nairobians transported to concentration camps

24 April 1954 On 24 April 1954, British troops, under orders from General Sir George Erskine, started to round up thousands of Africans living in Nairobi and deport them to  concentration camps. The operation was part of a deliberate policy of apartheid and collective punishment aimed at crushing the nationalist Mau Mau insurgency.  Military vehicles…

1950-1959 | Collective punishments | Kenya | Livestock targeted

Collective punishment against Kenyan villages deemed to be ‘hostile’

2 April 1952 On 2 April 1952, the Collective Punishments Ordinance was passed by Kenya’s British run colonial government. It allowed the governor to authorize fines as well as the requisition of cattle, crops and property on already impoverished populations, ‘where a tribe or group has been (deemed to be) openly hostile to the authorities.’1…

1920-1939 | Civilians slaughtered | Kenya

Settlers, police and soldiers shoot dead hundreds in Nairobi

16 March 1922 On 16 March 1922, according to various official sources, Kenyan colonial soldiers and police shot dead 20 protesters in Nairobi though the real figure for those who died on the streets or later in hospital is now estimated to have been in the hundreds. The demonstrators were angry at the arrest two…

1950-1959 | Kenya | Prisoners murdered

Eleven Kenyan political detainees murdered

3 March 1959 On 3 March 1959, prison guards at Hola, a remote mosquito infested prison in Kenya, were ordered to beat a group of 85 political detainees who had dared to complain that their forced labour assignment was an impossible task.  At the blow of a British officer’s whistle, five hundred askaris, armed with heavy batons,…

1960-1969 | Kenya | Media propaganda | Refusing refugees

Preventing Kenyan Asians with British passports from ‘flooding’ Britain

2 March 1968 Immediately after midnight, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 became law. Its official aspiration was to introduce new restrictions on all Commonwealth immigrants, although it was openly acknowledged that its real raison d’etre was to prevent the arrival of thousands of Kenyan Asians with British passports who faced the prospect of forcible repatriation…

1900-1919 | Crimes against women | Kenya | Rape

Colonial Secretary warns against ‘immoral relations with native women’

11 January 1909 On 11 January 1909, Lord Crewe, Secretary of State for the Colonies, issued his ‘immoral relations’ memorandum. It cautioned all members of the Colonial Service on ‘the grave injury to good administration’ and ‘the disgrace and official ruin which will certainly follow’ should they become involved in ‘arrangements of concubinage with girls…

1950-1959 | Kenya

British general advises against prosecution of Kenyan militia

9 January 1955 On 9 January 1955, General Sir George Erskine, commanding British forces in Kenya, advised the War Office not to prosecute any Home Guard loyalist forces for murder, torture and other war crimes. ‘I do not like.’ he explained, ‘arrangements by which loyalists charged and arrested at present will have their cases proceeded…

1950-1959 | Kenya | Torture

30 SEPTEMBER

MAYOR OF CARDIFF INSISTS THE SWASTIKA FLAG IS FLOWN OVER THE TOWN HALL [ 30 September 1938 ] Today in 1938, the Swastika flag was raised over Cardiff’s Town Hall, where it fluttered alongside the flags of Britain, France and Fascist Italy. The instructions came directly from Tory mayor Oliver Purnell and within hours he…