CHIT-CHAT ~ 2015

    Jack & Barbara Lane
Jack Lane's initials are G.E.V. So, the name "Jack" must relate to his service in the Royal Navy. However, he did not endear himself to the drill instructor at the Police Training School, Mill Meece, not so much because Navy drill is different to Army (you don't stamp your feet on board ship) but because Jack had more WW2 medals than our man there, a former Guards SNCO, whose jealousy was palpable. Coming up to 88 now, Jack clearly joined the Navy as a youngster where his training as a radio technician proved a major asset to the Nyasaland Police. Pictured left with Barbara they are looking good and clearly enjoying life in Australia.
T Young - December 2015

Plus ça Change
David Corrall in No 1 dress on the left back in the 1960s displaying his usual efficent self and on the right, in January 2015, in Kerala, India, and on a houseboat ~ still obviously on the ball. David is normally resident in Johannesburg and he reports himself to be "relatively well". The picture suggests he is right and that he is still obviously enjoying his travels only confirms this.
Origin: Dave Corrall - December 2015
Note: For a full picture of David in India see Galleries "Police Days Extra".

Local Interest
Pictured left is Kondwani Banda with his wife Caroline and two children, Apatsa (2) and Mayambo (6). They live in Lilongwe and Kondwani visits the website from time to time and indeed has contributed. He has had some contact with the force over the years, his 'elder father' being Emiliano Fabiano Billie Gama, best known to many of us as simply "Sgt Billie" of the Traffic Department (see "A Familiar Face" below). Kondwani suggests we hold the next reunion in Malawi. How about it? Nkhata Bay or Cape Maclear maybe but, sadly, where many of us could make it, it is probably beyond most of us. Anyway, thanks for the idea Kondwani but we will just have to stay with our memories of your lovely country.
T. Young - December 2015

Mary Brill - Her Recollections
Mary has put together her memories as a Police Officer's wife. Reg, her husband, we all remember him - particularly the time that he was responsible for traffic - was posted variously from north to south during his service. Mary has recorded her recollections in a fascinating article which will bring back so many memories of our time there. Mary (left) is now 91 but she is blessed with a marvellous memory and using her tablet she is well up to speed with modern IT technology.
Click here to read and enjoy her memories.
Origin: Mary Brill - November 2015

New Colours
There was always a close relationship between the Police and the Nyasaland Battalion of the KAR and subsequently with the Malawi Rifles. Following the presentation of new colours to the current battalion Vanessa Farmery has put together a fine CD of the full parade. For further details please see
"Items of Interest".
T. Young - October 2015

John Wilkes recalls that whilst at DT&MC, Limbe, it was decided to renovate an existing building at the Police Training School. A few inviduals, mostly from DT&MC, including John, Gordon Samuel, Brad Gillies and Iain Cook, undertook the job of sorting it out. The entire inside was treated to wood panelling on all walls, the building of a bar etc, as well as including the toilets for boys and girls. Gordon Samuel had been in the building trade in his early years and was thus appointed Clerk of Works and Foreman. He is seen here standing by the new fireplace on completion day and the then very modern wireless console to the right. The circle of shields surrounding the Police Shield represents the various ex military/police service of the helpers.

From the John Wilkes Scrapbook
October 2015

The PWD have done the donkey work, the construction of Ncheu Police station nears completion, its first OC is ready to move in and the new fleet of Police Transport stands by ready for any emergency!
From the John Wilkes Scrapbook
October 2015

The Big Parade

July 1957 ~ Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in Nyasaland.
It's the PMF on parade and immaculate for HM the Queen Mother. Taking the parade was Jeff York and no doubt he was very proud to do so. Behind him, presumably, is the Commissioner, Charles Apthorp, and is it the Governor Sir Robert Armitage?
From the John Wilkes Scrapbook - October 2015

Special Police - Medical Department
Greg Koll has sent in the picture of the brassard left - "The Nyasaland Protectorate, Special Police, Medical Department". Can any of our members shed any light on this, who were the 'Special Police' and were they a branch of the Nyasaland Police? Greg who lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, is an avid collector of BSAP, NRP and Nyasaland Police memorabilia as well as having a 'weakness', he says, for colonial flags. Greg is now the proud owner of this very rare brassard which he acquired via "Bid or Buy", the South African on-line auction website.
T. Young - September 2015

Malawi Police Officers Queen's Crowned Badges
Nyasaland became independent as Malawi in 1964; however, as a member of the Commonwealth and until it became a Republic in 1966 the titular head of the country was, of course, the Queen. It seems that the various Police badges were redesigned (left) to reflect this change - i.e the same badge, with leopard and crown but lettered Malawi Police instead of Nyasaland Police. Greg Koll, of Kamloops in Canada, has some in his collection but the question is "Were they ever issued and in general use at any time?" Comment is invited.
T. Young - September 2015

Well - would you believe it!
Pictured left is Kanyarwunga born in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he is listed as holding a Degree in History at the University of Lubumbashi and a degree in Development Studies at the University of Geneva. He has written a number of books on a variety of African topics all published by NENA (Nouvelles Editions Numeriques Africaines). However, as a "blogger" and under the cover "History of Africa Otherwise" he has put together "Malawi: The incredible true story of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda".
Click here to read it.
Was Kamuzu an American imposter? ......... the speculation continues
Click here to read on

Comment is invited particularly, perhaps, from our former Special Branch contingent!
Origin: Internet - September 2015

David O'Neil ~ Another Maritime Epic
"Desperate Measures" and Lieutenant Robert Salter - ten years of his life and times in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. It was a time of survival for the fittest and luckiest, the voyages were long, arduous and dependent on the elements. With the contrast of boredom during blockade and the adrenalin rush of the bloody skirmishes life was a matter of the quick and the dead ............ and so continues David's latest novel. David was eight years in the Nyasaland Police (1956-1964) and has had a varied career since, 83 this month he remains a prolific writer as well as spending time otherwise as a tour guide to the Scottish Highlands and Western Isles. For a full list of his works plus a short CV
click here.
T. Young - September 2015

In the News
British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, undertook a widespread visit to Africa in early 1960 arriving in Nyasaland on Monday 25th January. It was here that rather a hostile reception had been prepared for him by several hundred Africans carrying placards and shouting slogans generally calling for the release of Dr Banda from detention - the State of Emergency still being in force at the time. So, although during his visit there were some clashes with the police at Chileka and Blantyre these were by no means so serious as Press reports would suggest.
Click here to view the Movietone News coverage of the visit and although Peter Long is clearly there who else can you recognise?
Origin: Ken Wilkinson - August 2015

Information Required

Ray Harper is on the left but who are the others - is one of them Binks Logan (third from the right), is it at Limbe station and if so what was the occasion? The babe in arms is Ray & Lisbeth's daughter Mary, then aged about 6 months which dates the picture as about 1957. Ray, we know, died at the young age of 49 whilst working with MOD (Army) and sadly daughter Mary died a few years ago at the same young age.
This picture and information has been provided by Ray's neice, Cathy Jewell - August 2015

The Police Mess Tableware
Does any of our members have any pieces of the Police Mess crockery. With the change over to the Malawi Police presumably it was changed after a respectable period - so what happened to it? There is a query in from one of our members who would like a piece to add to his collection of memorabilia. So if you do have any plates, cups or saucers, even if you can't spare a piece, please send in a photograph which can be printed and added to the collection.
13th August 2015

        No Problem:
        Courtesy of John & Pauline Wilkes - still in use and surely a great talking point at all their dinner parties!
        15th August 2015

Manufacturers of the crockery was Pountey's of Bristol. Bristol pottery was highly rated and Pountneys produced some very fine tableware. The company changed hands a number of times and moved to Cornwall before finally closing, probably the result of modern technology, in about 1969.
Origin: Internet - Aug 2015

Ceramic tiles
A ceramic tile featuring the 30 Tambala Malawi stamp picture of the Police band Drum Major in recognition of the Police half-century, 1921-1971, measures a mere 3"x2" - maybe not a complete wall but surely a neat insertion in the right place in any tiled area. Submitted to Nypol by Ian "Witty" Whitfield, editor and co-ordinator of the "Federal Saints" - the Saint Andrew's (Blantyre) School website newsletter of past pupils and staff. Those of you out there who were pupils there, had children there or remembers the place can
click here to visit this comprehensive and interesting website.
Origin: Ian Whitfield - August 2015

Note: Ian can arrange for mosaic tiles from any photo image in whatever size required. For instance, from other Nyasland/Malawi stamps, a sample as below ~ for further information and additional image examples email Ian at

Kathy Carr & the Nypol Reunion 2006
In his Newsletter No 3 of July 2015 our Organising Administrator (or the Dwindler-in-Chief) Christopher Bean wrote, "The official part of the (2015 Reunion) evening finished with an amazing presentation by Kathy Carr reading a piece which she wrote after attending the first Reunion in 2006. Her observations and feelings about the event were remarkable and delivered with great feeling". So, for those of you who were not there this year (2015) then a copy is attached hereto -
Click here to read it.
Note: In common with a number of wives Kathy was not present in Nyasaland with husband Bob, he was a single man at the time, and she knew no one else at the reunion that evening. However, it is interesting to note that she has visited the country since marriage - see "Galleries" for The Bob Carr Collection.
Origin: Kathy Carr - August 2015

   A familiar face?
This is Emiliano Fabiano Billie Gama, in the force from 1955 to 1985. Pictured as a Sgt, as an ACP (1973) before retiring as a Regional Commissioner (1977-1985) to settle at Luwinga, Mzuzu. A stalwart of the Traffic Department, he instructed at the PTS and was stationed variously throughout the country. A memorable occasion, he says, was among officers on convoy duty for the Queen Mother's visit 1957 and the only African riding a motorcycle. He is the Elder Father of Kondwani Banda of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Lilongwe, who has submitted this information. Surely remembered and we wish him well.
"Zikomo Kondwani for these memories".

"From the Horse's Mouth"
Ray Punter has come up with the goods and given us the full story of his encounter with the King of the Beasts. He has cleared up the various versions put forward by some of us on this website and elsewhere. He has very neatly set out in a factual report how close he came to the end of a promising career. He has done so without being dramatic or emotional but he has no doubt but what his companion did on that day saved his life and by way of recognition he has dedicated his account to the memory of that individual - Game Ranger Roye Tribe.

Click here to read the facts - "Ray Punter & the Lion of Kasiya".
Origin: Ray Punter - June 2015

Ray Punter and the Lion
Elsewhere on this website is at least one version of Ray Punter's encounter with a lion. T Young thought it was in the Kota Kota district and Ray's companion, the individual who dispatched the beast, Roy Tribe (pictured left). Mick Thacker, in Dowa at the time, seemed sure it was in Salima district and his companion Johnny Wiseman. However, Tony Dryman, has tackled the man himself and Ray confirms his companion was "Tribe" but the location was on eastern side of the country near the Northern Rhodesia border, somewhere to the south-east of Lundazi, where local villagers had cornered this unfortunate animal. Do we have any other versions or can we have a statement (under oath) from Ray - once he's put his fishing rod down of course.
Origin: Various - June 2015

Maybe they're not quite blockbusters
A couple of videos with no great names but occasionally featuring - nay, starring - Donald McCarry and a few extras enjoying the training facilities afforded to the Presidential Guard and certainly, no doubt reflecting the calibre of the instructors, a very efficient looking unit.
Origin: Donald McCarry - June 2015

Sad News
Christopher Bean reports the sad news that Joyce Tadman died on Thursday 23rd April. She died peacefully at home in Middlesex after many months of ill-health. She was eighty eight years old and she and Mike had been married for fifty five years. Christopher has spoken to Mike and passed on the condolences of the Association.
Origin: Christopher Bean - April 2015

Lions in the night
Lions have long been at home in the area of Fort Johnston, on both sides of the Lake and across the borders. In the late 1960s, for instance, they found ready meals in the flimsy grass huts erected in Namwera district by refugees fleeing from the independence struggle in Mozambique. They accounted there for some twenty plus souls. They caused terror too in quite a few villages elsewhere and it was John Wilkes in 1955, then OC FJ, who found himself, gun in hand, seeking out man-eaters in the bush whilst the lions took the opportunity to parade themselves outside his quarters back in the town! John is in process of writing his memoirs so, by way of explanation,
Click here to read this extract.
Origin: John Wilkes - April 2015

Tony re-vists NZ and things get fishy
Tony Drynan was back in New Zealand from 21st March to 11th April visiting Ray Punter. Weather looks to have been good and where else could you find such a handsome pair (the trout, I mean!)
Click here for a few of their pictures
Origin: Tony Drynan via Cristopher Bean - April 2015

Rona Marjorie Acton R.I.P.
It is sad news to hear from Geof Acton in Australia that his mother passed away on April 13th at the age of 97. She was well known to many of us having served with her husband, Les, in more than a few locations in Nyasaland/Malawi over so many years. Geoff advised us of this sad news by email and particularly for those who knew her he has included details of her passing and funeral arrangements. Please
click here to read it.
Origin: Geof Acton - April 2015

1964 - Police Training School

A smart turnout of the Directing Staff
On the left it's OC David Haye with Bill Lefevre (in No1 Dress) and on the right (front L-R) Ian Cook, Peter Lowe, Butch Nightingale, OB Ward, David Haye, Bill Shearman, Ian Hone, Bill Lefevre, Insp Matewere.

Sunmitted by Joyce Lefevre via Ken Wilkinson - April 2015

Remember this place?
You do? Then you will know that it's an early depiction of St Andrews School in Blantyre and the chances are then, that you were a student there. It would seem that it's the place where quite a few of our children got their early education and with the future of this association likely to be in their hands we need to hear more from them. Alison McLennan, the daughter of Fred Tomkins was kind enough to give us her story of her time in the country (see below). Now she has persuaded her brother Greg to tell us about his experiences there and he has put together a piece about his schooling at St Andrews from the age of eleven - from 1961 to 1964. So, how about some comment from fellow scholars and give yourselves something to blether about at the next reunion.    
Click here to read
Further, click here for the school website which is crammed with information, not only about the school, past staff and pupils but also about Nyasaland/Malawi in general.
Origin: Greg Tomkins - April 2015

1961 ~ Vehicle Inspection DT&MC Limbe

"The things we dream up in the interest of DISCIPLINE"!!
John Wilkes - April 2015

Happy, Happy Africa!
Pictured on the left is Alison McLennan, the daughter of Fred Tomkins who joined the Nyasaland Police in 1961 and who was largely employed in the Traffic department. He was well travelled in his working career which whereabouts included Cyprus, Africa, Europe, Wales and finally Australia. Consequently Alison and her brother Greg had a very varied and interesting life. So much so that Alison's now adult children suggested she write a book on her childhood as, to them, it seemed such a happy one - and they were right, she says. So she duly wrote a small book "just for the family" about their adventures and we are privileged here to attach a delightful extract of her time from the age of 10 in Nyasaland.     
Click here to read it and enjoy
Origin: Alison McLennan - March 2015


Donald McCarry with some of his many fans
Donald McCarry - April 2015

Mvula akubwera, Bwana!

It can rain in the UK but do you remember the tropical downpours in Nyasaland and the accompanying electrical storms - this road (to Fort Johnston) is about to become a river!
Donald McCarry - March 2015

Would you like to meet these three on a dark night?
Pictured (L-R) are Ken Wilkinson, Colin Beer and Peter Hewitt - a well-travelled trio. Ken and Colin first met at Hendon Police College in 1958 prior to joining the Nyasaland Police and over recent years they have met in London on a fairly regular basis at Wetherspoons pubs. Last month (February 2015) they were joined for the first time by Peter Hewitt. Peter, like Colin, had been in the Kenya Police and like Ken, in the Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary where they had last met almost 50 years ago. This mini reunion proved to be a very enjoyable and nostalgic meeting. Three old (!) former colleagues chewing the fat over a fine ale - an occasion which it is hoped to repeat in the future.
Origin: Ken Wilkinson - March 2015


The Commissioner of Police, Peter Long, entertains the President, Hastings Banda, in the Officers Mess at Police Headquarters and Pauline Wilkes does the honours.
John Wilkes - March 2015

Application for Transfer
The intelligensia of any police force is always found in the Special Branch. Such members are carefully selected from individuals who are sharp of mind, perceptive and empathetic in order to understand others' perspectives and anticipate the actions of those involved in any matters of security interest (or anything else) with clear elucidation an essential quality. The application of Constable Nyirenda of Blantyre Police Station in 1964 ticks all the right boxes and no doubt he became a very successful operative.
Click here to view his well worded application.
T. Young March 2015
(Origin: Neville Williams via John Wilkes)

Bernard ("OB") Ward CPM, QPM, MBE
The passing of "OB" Ward (pictured left in Honiara) is reported on 16th February 2015 at the age of 86. Formerly a member of Southend Constabulary he served in Nyasland from 1954 to 1966. Stationed mainly in CID and the PTS he was well known for his in-depth knowledge of law and his advice on such was always readily available to those less acquainted with the complexities of this subject. In 1968 he was in the Solomon Islands where he was largely responsible for setting up the Training School in Honiara and where, for his services, he was awarded the MBE. He left the Solomons in 1982 moving on to the Papua New Guinea Police where he served until 1988 and where he was heavily involved in setting up the Police Training College. On retirment "OB" and his wife Iris settled in Mundesley on the North Norfolk coast where he rapidly became quite a “Pillar of the Community” involving himself with the Mundesley Coastal Watch scheme and as a volunteer helper at the Mundesley Maritime Museum. He was also a leading light in the erection of a Monument on the Mundesley foreshore in honour of Bomb Disposal members who lost their lives clearing ordnance from the beaches there.
(Picture: Courtesy of Iris Ward)

The Queen Mother visits Nyasaland
Who is this smart and obviously efficient officer?
The Queen Mother made an official visit to Nyasaland in July 1957 and another unofficial visit in about 1959 (when John Burdon was co-opted as an additional ADC). The Queen's View on Zomba Plateau was named as a result the first visit. However, the picture is a still from the Pathe News film report of her 1957 visit and although the Police Officer at the rear of the car looks familiar I can't put a name to him. Are you this man or can you recognise him (or any of the others who appear briefly in the film at the link below?)

For a full viewing of the Pathe video film click here
T. Young February 2015

Dennis Johnston MBE
The death is reported of Dennis Johnston on 21 January 2015 at Exeter. He was 90 years of age. Previously a member of the BSAP he joined the Nyasaland Police in 1951. On leaving the Police he remained in Nyasaland to work in Government for which service he was awarded the MBE. He is remembered, in particular, for the sterling work he did as Superintendent, Mpemba Boys' Home, where those with juvenile convictions were given an education and training for which they were better equipped for employment on completion of their detention.
28 January 2015 - Picture: Alan Lane (Courtesy of the The Regimental Association of the BSA Police)

Note: Dennis was a family friend to the Dow family in Nyasaland, Andy Dow was a government servant in the Secretariat. Andy's daugher Frances maintained the contact with Dennis over the years and in response to one of her letters he replied with some detail of his time in the BSAP.
Click here to read a copy of that response.

A Varied Life
Ngwasi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda in elite company - Barry Thorne immaculate on the right and the Commissioner, Peter Long, immediately behind him. Barry, I'm sure, can tell us what this momentous occasion was. However, like so many of us who saw the end of Empire and with it an end to a potential career, Barry was obliged to move on after service in Nyasaland from 1961 to 1968. His life previously had hardly been without interest with active military service in the Gloucester Regiment (the "Glorious Glosters") in Kenya, Cyprus, the Aden/Yemen border, the Persian Gulf and Germany. In Nyasaland he was employed variously in general duties, the Training School and Special Branch. On leaving the Police he joined the UK Diplomatic Service and travelled widely (see "Then & Now") before retiring in 1993 to establish his own business in Maidenhead. However, where it has been suggested to many of us that we should record our life stories, Barry is one of the few who has taken it up and produced his own memoirs in the title
"A Varied Life" and it has certainly been that by a man of many talents.
T Young - January 2015

Most of us recall Philip Finney very well, he took over as Head of Special Branch from "Tommy" Thompson in 1958 after service in the Indian Police and British and Indian military intelligence, leaving Nyasaland in 1964. Eventually settling in Essex Phillip died in 1980, his wife Noel was a long time widow and passed away aged 97 this year (2015) on January 14th. This is sad news to those of us who knew her and although the memories are good the Association pass on their condolences to family and friends.
Terry Young - January 2015

R Illrich
Who remembers this man? Now sadly no longer with us he was stationed in the lower river (probably Port Herald) during the anti-federation riots of 1953. How long he served or anything otherwise about him I don't know but I do like the way he handled his official correspondence. To wit, with regard to an incident of intimidation during these riots
click here to view his brief exchange with the District Commisioner.
Terry Young - January 2015

Motivation or Inspiration?
It was whilst wearing the uniform on the left that Donald McCarry saw an advert for service in the uniform on the right. From the RAF Police (the beloved Snowdrops) to the Colonial Force. Why did he follow it up, he was doing well in the military, it was a sophisticated organisation, why abandon it for Nyasaland in the unknown depths of Central Africa? Why did any of us take up this option - adventure, romance, or the Legionaire's motive to escape boredom, women or crime? How did we declare our interest to the selection board and how sincere was it? If you have a story to tell about your recruitment then email it to
(Photos courtesy of Don McCarry)

Greetings from Tony Drynan
Settled in Rossmoyne, Perth or thereabouts in Western Australia, and although he hasn't made any of our reunions Tony is a great supporter of our association and in sending his greetings he reminds us that it was that astute man, Christopher Bean, who initiated it and continues to run its organisation with great efficiency. With close family ties Tony remains in good health, a keen caravanner until recently he was delighted to take up daughter Amanda's suggestion that they travel in something slightly larger and, subject to the weather, more comfortable by way of a cruise to New Zealand in the MS Oosterdam (right) over the 2014 Christmas period. Stopping to visit varied NZ locations they were met at Tauranga by Graham Punter and whisked off to spend the day with his father, Ray, in Rotorua. Ray (see below - from Zomba Plateau etc, etc) was in his element and organized a grand tour to see the hot springs, followed by a Maori Traditional Greeting in the Chiefs Meeting House, lunch at Ray’s house with the whole family in attendance and then a detailed tour of Rainbow Springs. This has been Ray’s territory for forty-one years now and the great esteem every one has for him has to be seen to be understood. It may be a field far from Winchester, Rhodesia, Rumpi and the Nyika but there is no doubt he has made it his own.
TJY for Tony Drynan - January 2015

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