1950-1959 | Kenya | Torture

General warns against inquiry into British crimes in Kenya

10 December 1953 On 10 December 1953, in a letter to the War Office, General George Erskine, commanding British forces in Kenya, admitted that he was aware that the police and army in the colony frequently resorted to summary executions and torture against suspect Mau Mau insurgents. ‘There is no doubt’, he confessed to Whitehall…

1950-1959 | Bombing villages | Kenya | RAF crimes

RAF starts Kenya bombing campaign – six million bombs dropped

18 November 1953 On 18 November 1953, the RAF commenced a massive carpet bombing operation against Mau Mau insurgents opposed to British rule in Kenya. Code-named Operation Mushroom, and deploying enormous quad engine Lincoln heavy bombers, the campaign was to see 900 sorties over the next two years dropping six million bombs, weighing 50,000 tons,…

1950-1959 | Kenya | Prisoners murdered

British captain tortures and executes suspect rebels

14 June 1953 At around 6 pm on 14 June 1953, Captain Gerald Griffiths began to interrogate two forestry workers suspected of taking up arms against British rule in Kenya. Earlier that day, as Griffiths had been leading a company of the King’s African Rifles into the Chuka region of Kenya to flush out Mau…

1950-1959

Top civil servant – End of Empire means ‘we shall starve’

7 January 1953 On 7 January 1953, Evelyn Shuckburgh, the Principal Private Secretary to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, noted gloomily in his diary: ‘In Kenya: the Mau Mau. In Egypt and Persia: the Americans refusing to support us. Even Iceland in process of destroying our deep-sea fishing industry. I see no reason why there should…

1950-1959 | Kenya

8 APRIL

JOMO KENYATTA SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS HARD LABOUR AFTER JUDGE IS BRIBED [ 8 April 1953 ] On 8 April 1953, Jomo Kenyatta, the moderate Kenyan civil rights activist and president of the Kenyan African Union, was sentenced to seven years hard labour to be followed by permanent exile to a remote northern area of…