Tales of a Colonial Policeman

I seethe with envy when visiting colleagues in our offices in Yorkshire and beyond. Massive houses, free parking at the office, commuting through pretty lanes, change from a fiver for a decent pint and a bag of crisps.
Can't understand a word they're saying but hey ho, every silver lining and all that.
 
Back to the original subject. In response for quite a few request that I regale you all with more memories. Whilst not being mine, this is a dit I have pinched from one of the NRPA newsletters told by another chap who served in Chingola a few years before I was posted there. It shows some of the things that went on.

A Death in Police Cells
One evening, on Shift B, at Chingola in 1956 a group of africans
came to the Police station. They were escorting a huge African male
who wore awful , heavy wooden made chains around his ankles. He
kept screaming words that sounded to me as “Away”; he was
obviously very deranged. Following the law he was detained in one
of the small cells alone. He struggled so much that Inspector Reid,
the station inspector, decided that in the need for the safety of
everyone dealing with this poor chap he would have to be
handcuffed. The station handcuffs were, with considerable difficulty,
put on and he was detained as per regulations until he could be
seen by the Magistrate and the doctors.
The man never stopped screaming and reportedly continued
screaming all night causing a lot of complaints. I recall that the OC
phoned me the next day to enquire who had been torturing the poor
chap at about 21.00hrs the previous day.
At about 14.20hrs when I had come on duty again, next day, the
Prisoner Guard constable rushed into the Enquiry Office to report
that the lunatic was dead. Inspector Reid and I went across to the
cell block and there he was laid out, very dead. Inspector Reid tried
to remove the handcuffs prior to the body being taken to the
mortuary but alas, one lock would not open so the body was taken
to the Morgue at the African Hospital with the handcuffs still
attached to one wrist. I reported this to the OC who was not at all
pleased that a body might be seen by the doctors the next day
wearing a handcuff. I suggested to the OC that I should go up to
the hospital after the end of my shift at 22.00hrs . And saw off the
awkward cuff. He agreed to this plan.
I borrowed a good hacksaw from the armoury and accompanied by
my faithful dog, Desmond, I set out. The mortuary was situated
about 200 yards from the hospital in a dark area surrounded by
trees. It was an eerie spot. I felt quite apprehensive myself, being
very imaginative and having a fear of ghosts, devils and spirits since
childhood. However, duty called so I entered the morgue, switched
on the lights and began to check all the closed shelves where the
bodies were stored. It was very cold. I found our poor chap and
pulled out his shelf and straightening his right arm began to saw
through the handcuff. It took some time due to the hardness of the
metal. To cheer myself up I started to sing 'Whistle While You
Work' . My faithful dog Desmond who never had much of an opinion
of my singing, began to howl dismally,
“Its not that bad Des” I told him.
Then I heard a scream of fear from outside. I rushed and opened
the door to find an African orderly from the hospital, his face
transfixed in terror his eyes wide. He had been detailed to carry a
dead baby wrapped in a cloth out to the mortuary. He had dropped
the poor little corpse and just stood there transfixed. I realised at
once what had happened; the Africans feared the morgue especially
at night and this poor chap had heard, as he approached, the eerie
singing accompanied by the ghostly howling. He had been frozen in
terror.
I recognised him, having seen him many times at the hospital.
“Don't be afraid” I laughed, its only me, Inspector Lee, you know me.
He came to and started to get a grip on himself. “Ah Bwana”, he
said, “I thought the dead had risen up, or that some evil spirit was in
the morgue”. I gave him 2/6d for a beer and we parted friends. I
completed the work and took the sawn handcuffs away, returned to
the Station and reported all was well to the OC.
 
Phew. Well at least I honestly flunked Maths GCE second year I couldn’t get my head round. I tried three times at different times and no teacher could break that barrier. I never had pretences for Uni.
I'm the same. When confronted by numbers (in a challenging way) the shutters come crashing down - and it's a bugger getting them back up again. That said, I'm not a totally innumerate mong, as I doubt I'd have survived as well as I have. I'm just more... wordy - and easily spotted Effendi's outrageous misuse of possessive apostrophes.

In my day an O Level (GCE) was a respectable indicator of one's intelligence. The clever ones went on to get A Levels. University wasn't even mentioned.
 

Karamoja

Old-Salt
I also struggled with O level maths, especially geometry thoeroms. Luckily my maths teacher realised this and suggested I switch from sitting syllabus A (3 papers : geometry, algebra & arithmetic) to syllabus B which had two papers of a mixture of algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry and geometry constructions only. Got through with grade 4.
 
Just a quick update. I've managed to find a site with our NRP march past music, played by the old NRP band, "We are all of one tribe" properly known as Nkhwazi, all the musicians apart from the band master were African


It also has the BSAP (Southern Rhodesia police who were called the British South Africa Police) march past, Kum A Kaye, to which we in the north made lots of rather rude words to.

https://www.rhodesia.me.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Kum-A-Kye-by-BSAP-Band.mp3
 
Another tale from a colleague taken from our NRP association magazine showing a strange episode in what was a very dark period in NR history where the Lumpa church turned against the newly elected African government under Kaunda, who later ruthlessly supressed it using both the NRP & the Army.
A SURPRISE ENCOUNTER
In 1964 I was an Inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police stationed at the Mobile Unit, Bwana Mkubwa and the Platoon Commander of D3 Platoon.
In August 1964 my platoon had been called out to Chinsali to deal, together with other platoons, with the Lumpa uprising and we were camped at Chinsali Police Station. After the so called battle of Sione, in which my platoon was involved, we were tasked with extensive patrolling to try and limit the clashes between Lumpa supporters called Lenshena after their leader Alice Lenshena and supporters of UNIP (United National Independence Party) led by Kenneth Kaunda.
One evening I was briefed and in turn briefed the platoon that we had been tasked with clearing the road from Chinsali as far as 2 miles down the Great North Road, both of which were dirt roads, with the object of circumventing any possible ambush positions and ascertaining whether there was any Lumpa movement or activity in the area of the road to protect a re-supply Convoy.
The re-supply convoy would consisted of some 12 Heavy vehicles, the loads consisting of all manner of required items including ammunition, the convoy being guarded by a platoon from the Army also in vehicles. The vehicles would come from the Copperbelt and Lusaka, meeting up at the Kapiri Mposhi Junction, camping at Kapiri Mposhi for the night and then coming on as a whole up the Great North Road to Chinsali refueling halfway up the road from a lorry with 44 gallon drums, very early the next morning.
At Chinsali next morning, reveille was at 0500 hours, I left with the platoon at about 0600 hours and proceeded down the road checking out possible ambush positions and questioning the odd local that we encountered. No use starting too early as you need daylight to see under culverts.
I had a Platoon convoy of three Landrovers and a Bedford TCV. The Platoon members were armed with rifles, myself and my 2 i/c, Tom Mupapiri, had Sterlings and the Bren Group were tasked with convoy protection from the TCV cab hatch.
At about 1030 hours we had finished clearing the Chinsali Road, had turned south onto the Great North Road and were nearing the
end of our patrol task when we came upon a large culvert. I stopped the convoy, debussed the platoon to check the area when I glanced over to the other side of the road and saw to my utter astonishment a European Male in Civilian clothes standing on the road verge with a suitcase at his side watching us.
I gave orders for sweeps to be carried out either side of the road and under the culvert, with my 2 i/c supervising this exercise and placed sentries round the vehicles.
As a matter of record there was a burning village about a mile from us and tall plumes of smoke were rising from it, but no evidence as to who might be responsible or who might be the victim as UNIP and Lenshena were burning each others villages at that time.
I walked over to the European with Sergeant Major Simonze and abruptly asked him “Who the hell are you and what are you doing here” as I was in a hurry to complete the sweeps before the re-supply convoy arrived and looking back I regret that it was not the time for polite conversation.
He was highly indignant and immediately demanded to know, in a very British accent, why he should enlighten me with any information, except that he was a Naval Officer.
I in turn advised him that he was in the middle of what was virtually a war zone, pointed out the smoke, identified myself in terms of Standing Orders and advised him that if I did not receive satisfactory answers to my questions I would place him under arrest until I could verify his identity and purpose for being there, which I was legally entitled to do under the circumstances.
I cannot remember his name but I do remember that he came down off his high horse and stated that he was a Midshipman from a British Cruiser Squadron visiting Dar-es-Salaam, in Tanganyika.
He further stated that he was on leave making for Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia to visit relations and had hitched lifts. These lifts ended when the driver had turned off towards Chinsali, but pointed him in the direction of the Copper Belt and he had started walking to the position where we had discovered him.
He stated that he had no idea of the Lumpa Uprising and our presence was a complete surprise to him as he had been assured by the Tanganyika Police in Dar-es-Salaam, when he checked with them, that it was, as far as they knew, safe for him to hitch hike down the Great North Road. He then produced his Naval Identity Card to confirm his identity and his leave pass which were both in order.
I had a short way to go down the road before I completed our task so I informed him that I could not leave him at the side if the road nor allow him to proceed further on foot for his own safety.
I stated that he could come voluntarily with us or I could make it official and take him into protective custody. However if he came with me of his own free will then once back in camp in Chinsali I was sure that we could find him a lift to the Copper Belt and then he could proceed to Salisbury by train.
He was agreeable with this solution and stated that he wished to accompany us back to camp and take his chance in finding a lift south.
At this time Tom came up and stated that he had completed the sweep as ordered and that there was nothing untoward. I embussed the Platoon and put the Midshipman in the back of the TCV with the bulk of the platoon, finished the road check, retraced our steps and waited at the Chinsali turnoff for the convoy to come through.
The convoy came up to our position about 60 minutes later, and I think the sight of a heavily armed Army Escort with them finally convinced our reluctant Midshipman that I was not telling “porkies”. The Convoy passed us with much waving and we then followed them back to Chinsali without incident.
When I got back to camp at Chinsali I made a report concerning the presence of the Naval Midshipman to Superintendent Alan Lloyd, the Midshipman thanked us for picking him up and on the instructions from the Superintendent I handed him over to the tender mercies of HQ Staff.
I lost sight of him as we went out again early next day on another duty but I was advised on enquiry later that day that he had managed to obtain a lift in a Dakota to Lusaka.
My Sergeant Major opined that it was very lucky that we had come across him and not a raiding war party otherwise we could have found his dead body by the side of the road: He hoped that the Navy lad realized his good luck.
Whether he got to Salisbury I do not know as I never heard from him again but what extraordinary things happen when you least expect them and at the oddest of times.
 

anglo

LE
Just a quick update. I've managed to find a site with our NRP march past music, played by the old NRP band, "We are all of one tribe" properly known as Nkhwazi, all the musicians apart from the band master were African


It also has the BSAP (Southern Rhodesia police who were called the British South Africa Police) march past, Kum A Kaye, to which we in the north made lots of rather rude words to.

https://www.rhodesia.me.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Kum-A-Kye-by-BSAP-Band.mp3
I can imagine the black police marching, warms the cockles of your heart:)
 
The Great North Road was a magnet for all of those enterprising souls who wanted to do the Cape to Cairo drive, usually by Landrover but frequently in Morris Minors, Vanguard Standards and Peugeot 403s. In the late 50s/early 60s a great deal of it wasn't metalled, and so it was a nightmare of corrugation and either deep mud or dust, and the dust was ground finer and finer by the big Bedford, Mercedes and Fiat trucks beating North and South; huge pools of it would gather in the hollows of the road, capable, it seemed, of swallowing your little car whole. If you failed to close the ventilation hatches on your Landrover in time, it could flow in like red water and make the rest of your journey bleary-eyed. Still, at the end was Gin, Tonic and a little ice (or Canada Dry for the youth).
In Tanzania in the 80s, the German government paid for an excellent surface, complete with road signs in the German style, which could be baffling. Naturally, there was no maintenance contract (or the money was diverted) and so the vast potholes which developed became an even more dangerous menace to the shockups. I believe the Chinese have since taken on the task...
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
but frequently in Morris Minors, Vanguard Standards and Peugeot 403s.
And a Citroen Light 15.

And I seem to remember that dust was murram from the surface of the road.
 
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Karamoja

Old-Salt
Tanzania was hopeless at road maintenance. The potholes on the Moshe - Dar road were so big they had bridges! I drove to the Selous in the early 2000s and when fording a river, you would always see a derelict concrete bridge, built by the Germans, close by.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Yeah but not the whole trip. I actually swapped it for a Mk V Jaguar in Nairobi because it looked the part at that time but wasn't really a lot of use for anything off tarmac roads.

I should have some photos somewhere but most likely in the loft. I will have to look.
 
And a Citroen Light 15.

And I seem to remember that dust was murram from the surface of the road.
The PWD (Public Wreckers Works Department) before Independence would be permanently busy grading, laying and rolling the main roads; every few miles you had to overtake a Chokkie-Grader (well, that's what we called them). Laterite, however, doesn't wear the rains well at all; all gone by the dry season. Many years later in Sudan, I saw the cheap answer; oil, straight from the well, which glued the surface very nicely. The Greens would have loved it.
 
The PWD (Public Wreckers Works Department) before Independence would be permanently busy grading, laying and rolling the main roads; every few miles you had to overtake a Chokkie-Grader (well, that's what we called them). Laterite, however, doesn't wear the rains well at all; all gone by the dry season. Many years later in Sudan, I saw the cheap answer; oil, straight from the well, which glued the surface very nicely. The Greens would have loved it.
I've seen roads on the same principle, sand bound with oil, in the desert. One thing I remember from roads in East Africa, as a child in the back seat, was the corrugations which were less trouble if the car went above a certain speed. Also the PWD working as you say. Peugeot was a popular brand of car, with shade thing above the windscreen.
 
...corrugations...
There's a knack to dealing with them, and it depends on a complex equation involving their wavelength vs. the S1 Landrover's top speed. Get it wrong, though, and you're out at the side of the road with your mum holding her hands over your ears while the shocks are changed. A bust leafspring is even more entertaining. In my later, working, incarnation in Tz, I imported a fine SWB SIII, onto which I fitted elliptical springs and shocks which came from Oz. Luxury; only your teeth were rattled, rather than every organ in the body.

(Edit: oh, and Peugeot, the most popular car in Tanganyika/Tz by far. They won quite a few EA Safari Rallies, as I recall.)
 
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ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
EA Safari Rallies
Originally known as the Coronation Rallies for an obvious reason. I used to drive at one time for a chap called Bill and his partner who owned a garage near Jeevanjee Gardens and they would regularly participate in the Rallies.
 
Bill and his partner who owned a garage near Jeevanjee Gardens
That rings bells. Rajinder Joginder Singh seemed to win them all, though. I remember a book running at the Gymkhana Club with many spondulicks on it.
(Quick google: No, thinking of Bert Shankland.)
I was innocently lured into 'navigating' for a pal, Raman Daya (of Daya Chemists, if you remember) in his mother's car (Peugeot 403 or something like it). We went into a deep ditch about ten miles out of Dar on the Bagamoyo road, which, as he had failed to tell his mother what we were doing, was unfortunate. We weren't alone; a horde of similar adventurers followed the rally, which I think was in 1965, mostly coming to grief when attempting speeds far beyond those normally driven along Ocean Road. My brother was the 'Social and Entertainment Director' for the Alfa-Romeo team in a number of the events in the 90s. That really was his title; he was the manager of the Serena Beach Hotel up at Lamu at the time. I've seen some magnificent piss-ups in my career, but he was the Master.
 

Mufulira

Old-Salt
The PWD (Public Wreckers Works Department) before Independence would be permanently busy grading, laying and rolling the main roads; every few miles you had to overtake a Chokkie-Grader (well, that's what we called them). Laterite, however, doesn't wear the rains well at all; all gone by the dry season. Many years later in Sudan, I saw the cheap answer; oil, straight from the well, which glued the surface very nicely. The Greens would have loved it.
Sounds so familiar in Tanzania where road building was a forgotten art but as we had access to large supplies of Molasses (unrefined treacle) this was whisked with a little water and sprayed on our Mine-site roads and the dust and pot-holing was now managed and made a good firm surface. As Diesel was like liquid gold, I had looked for substitutes and the one was a shrub that didn't appeal to animals as a feed and that was Jatropha which bore plum sized "berries" when crushed gave an oil that was excellent for lighting, and the crushed remains as a fireside fuel.t certainly not edible. So diesel theft continued apace but in the same quantities.
 
I can imagine the black police marching, warms the cockles of your heart:)

Hmm.. African police yes but drunken Europeans used words like this but without the bleeps and definitely not as melodious as our African police. Thanks to (cutaway" for the link)

 

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