CHIT-CHAT ~ 2021

It is sad to learn the passing of Les Sampson on 24th November 2021 of cancer with other medical complications. A supporter of the Association he served from 1964 to 1986, the last expatriate Officer in the Force. Joining initially as a radio technician, he obtained a pilot's licence and went on to command the Police Air Wing.

Where was your overdraft?
Was it with the Standard Bank? If so you may well remember the Blantyre branch. Nypol member, Nyasa Police Special Mike Hunt, was an employee and he has contributed a picture of the 1957 staff as well as that of the the United Banks rugby XV.
Click here and see how many you recognise. Further ~ For Mike & the Specials Click here

The first Reunion took place in July 2006 and since then have taken place every year, apart from 2020 when the event had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
Fifteen Reunions have taken place to date with the first seven at the Hilton Hotel, Coventry, one at the Aspect Hotel, Tamworth, and the last seven at the Holiday Inn, Coventry, where we have always been very well looked after. Our attendance this year, 2021, numbered 35, which is a record for the past four occasions.
Galleries contain a full range of photographs taken at every Reunion and provide a unique record showing former and existing members. Some of those who first attended in 2006 were also present this year.
Every Reunion has provided many happy memories for those who attended. To close, who can remember the occasion some years ago when one of our much missed late members was proposing the toast to the Nyasaland Police His speech continued for so long that it was only brought to a conclusion when one of those present rang the speaker’s mobile phone!
We were pleased to receive greetings and best wishes from a number of those unable to attend the 2021 Reuinion, these included Mary Brill, Margaret Burdon, John Clements, Sue Harling, Eric Hopes, Peter Ledger, Don McCarry, Alison McLennan, Ray Punter and Richard Smallshaw. Click here for news of those who, in their greetings, added matters of personal interest
Origin; Ken Wilkinson - Sept 2021

Vanessa takes the Initiative:
Taking stock of life in the Faroes Vanessa Farmery, following her marriage to Jens, found time to visit the War Museum where she learnt of the British occupation during WWII. As the grand-daughter of a Hull trawler skipper, she was particularly touched by the work of the Faroese fishermen who fished throughout the conflict and bravely ran the gauntlet of the enemy at sea and from the air to supply fish to the UK - and not all made it safely home. However it occurred to her, with Nypol giving her an appreciation of the National Arboretum, that a memorial there to these trawlermen would not be inappropriate. Her initiative quickly gained support and "The Faroe Islands War Memorial Project" was set up with Vanessa established with two others on the organising board. Further, the Project website can be viewed at

Penelope Ann RUDDLE ~ RIP
We are sad to report the passing of Penelope Ruddle, wife of Canon Don Ruddle (ex Nyasaland Police). Condolences have been sent to Don and family on behalf of the Association.

Mary Brill - Zikomo Kwambiri
Nypol Senior Member Mary Brill, now well into her nineties, is well known for her skill in producing the unique Dorset brooch. This brooch was originally made in 1893 by Carrington & Co, of Regent Street in London, a fine jeweller to British royalty. Mary has made those shown and has donated them for the Reunion Raffle to be held on 16th September. Ladies, they look good with any style of dress - Gentlemen, they make ideal gifts.

It is with sadness that we learn that Mike Garner passed away on 1st August 2021. He was 88 and died of medical complications following a fall and a broken hip. Mike served in Nyasaland from January 1956 to 1960 and in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) from 1961 to 1967 before settling in Australia. A supporter of the Association further details can be found in
"Then & Now"

Remember W.R. (Bill) Johns

Bill Johns served in the Nyasaland Police from May 1959 to November 1963 having previously been in the Civil Aviation Dept from 1954. Daughter Caroline kindly forwarded these pictures. Top left it's Bill, top centre he is with another member of the force who is holding a snake and right the location of their house in Chileka. Below and ready for tennis are (L-R) Marjorie Brown (Cindy kneeling), Alec Shand (Nyasaland Police from 1951), Elsa Johns, Bill Johns (with Caroline), Linda Johns. (Note: Full size pictures available in Galleries - Police Days)
Question: Who is the Officer holding the snake - the harmless end of a green mamba!
Origin: Caroline Johns

Arboretum - Ten years on

Pictured above are Association members Allan and Ronelle Bean. They took time out to visit the Nyasaland Police Memorial at the National Arboretum, Coventry, on 28th May - some ten years after its installation in 2011. They are pleased to report that the stone remains in good condition and that the surrounds are well tended and in good order. (Note: Full size pictures can be found in Galleries - Police Days Extra)
      Click here for Allan's introduction and notes on the day
      Click here for the round tour of the Memorial stone.
Origin: Allan Bean

Police Wives
"How many do you recognise?"

Pictured above, in about the mid/late 1960s, is Miss Cecilia Kadzamira, the official hostess of Malawi and "First Lady" during the regime of Hastings Banda, with the Zomba Headquarters Police wives at a reception she hosted in their honour at Government House. (See Police Days Extra for full-size picture)
Origin: Margaret Bacon (Back row, second left)

It is with sadness that we learn that Norman Anderson died today, 19th April 2021, he was 85 and had been unwell for sometime. He served three years in the Nyasaland Police having joined on 28th February, 1961. He was a strong supporter of the Association and his contributions can be found in
"Then & Now" and in Galleries the "Norman Anderson Collection".
On behalf of Nypol the Association Manager, Ken Wilkinson, has passed on heartfelt condolences to his family.

Circa 1895 - 'The Makua Policemen'
The first of any Nyasland law enforcement ??

In 1889 Harry (later Sir) Johnston engaged fifteen Makua policemen/askari with the permission of the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique (see Johnston. British Central Africa. Methuen & Co. 1897). At this time, the terms policeman, soldier and askari were entirely interchangeable. Makua was a considered choice as they could be translated into disciplined troops and, coming from Mozambique, they had no local tribal loyalties within British Centrel Africa and so could be relied upon to carry out orders without fear or favour. Also, they could be used as soldiers, whilst still be called police, in aggressive actions of subjugation which could then euphemistically be referred to by the more palatable term ‘police actions’. The five pictured above may well be from among this first intake of fifteen.
Origin: David Stuart-Mogg, Editor of the Society of Malawi Journal (Historical and Scientific)

Mary and the Nyasa Garden
How many of us abandoned attempts at gardening in Africa to the ravages of those Nyasa nyerere, in particular the white variety, who could soon put an end to any optimism of producing fresh home grown produce from what had been some encouraging green shoots? Well Mary Brill wasn't one. Throughout her time in the country she grew vegitables and flowers from postings in the north to those in the south and from the high plateaux to the lakeshore with considerable sucess. Maybe no more than one might expect from this remarkable Senior Member.
Click here to read of her efforts.

It is sad to report the passing of Alan Chandler earlier this year. He was 83 and had been unwell for sometime before being among those unfortunate enough to have caught Covid 19, followed then by pneumonia which was the ultimate cause of death. He joined the Nyasaland Police in September 1959 serving variously throughout the country. Highly regarded, he was well known to our members and it was good to meet up with him again at the Reunion in 2007.
On behalf of Nypol the Association Manager, Ken Wilkinson, has passed on heartfelt condolences to his family.

Mary's Memories Extra
Nypol Senior Member Mary Brill, now in her mid-nineties, has deployed her remarkable memory to the benefit of us all with a series of articles about her life in Nyasaland from her first arrival in the country in 1951 - a mere seventy years ago - and from life in a tent to the luxury of electricity and running water.
Click here to enjoy.

New Gallery
It is pleasing that Noel Nichols has allowed Nypol access to his fine collection of photographic slides covering those years he spent in Nyasaland. In addition to his duties they clearly tell of his travels about the country and, in particular, how he enjoyed spending time in those scenic mountain and lakeshore areas.
Click here to view his collection

Simon Burgess - Tragedy in Zambia
It is sad to report that Simon Burgess, (son of Brian), was tragically killed by an elephant on 10th November 2020. Simon was Director at Wilderness Trails Zambia Ltd, and in particular he was involved in the South Luangwa National Park which borders with Malawi.
Click here for the report and the many tributes he received on the Facebook page of the African Professional Hunters Association.

      Co-operation - The Northern Rodesia Police and Nyasaland Police
1. June 1953, three platoons of the NRP Mobile Force were sent for duty in Nyasaland.
2. October 1956, three platoons of the Nyasaland PMF and seven officers went to Northern Rhodesia to provide assistance during disturbances on the copperbelt. (See Chitchat 2014)
3. March 1959, three NRP mobile platoons operated in the Central Division. The platoons, 150 personnel, used forty-one vehicles and covered over 45,000 miles. (Statistics from NRP History by Tom Wright 2001)
4. April 1959, twelve NRP Assistant Inspectors were seconded to the NP for six months and flew together on an RRAF Dakota into Lilongwe. The majority were deployed on station duties, whilst two - Tom Willows (pictured, Tom on the left with Ken) and Don Hargreaves - were allocated to the PMF as Platoon Commanders with Ken Wilkinson and Colin Beer respectively as 2/ic.
After his return to NR, Don (see below) later joined the Nyasaland Police and we were delighted to have him!!
One of the seconded NRP was Colin Jennings. He was posted to Ncheu under the OC, Arthur Dyer, and he later wrote of his experience which is published in the NRPA Newsletter - 'Nkhwazi', No 98, Feb 2019. (Note: His date recollection of 1960 is incorrect).
Click here to read Colin's article.
Origin Ken Wilkinson

Don Hargreaves
Don served in the Nyasaland Police from 1960 to 1962 and was mainly employed in Special Branch. However, whilst a member of the Northern Rhodesia Police he was detached to Nyasaland for some six months with a Platoon of the Mobile Unit during the emergency in 1959 and deployed to the Lilongwe District. Following his Polce service he went on to a distiguished career mainly in matters of international security in countries which included UK, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and Australia.
The attached are extracts from his forthcoming book - "Memoirs of a British Intelligence Officer".
Click here to read.
See aslo:   “Galleries” - The Donald Hargreaves Collection
See also:   “Then & Now” - Hargreaves, Donald.

It is sad to report the passing of Michael Maude who died on 24th January 2021. Recovering successfully from cancer surgery on 6th January and awaiting discharge from hospital a Covid 19 virus test proved positive. He was transferred to a Covid hospital where sadly he deteriorated very quickly. Michael was 87, he joined the Nyasaland Police in June 1961 and had previous service in the BSAP from 1954 to 1958. He was a skilled joiner and a keen, experienced yachtsman.

The Nyasaland "Specials"
Pictured left (from the Jon Dennison Collection) is Commisioner of Police, J.V. Mullins, being introduced to Mr Peterkins who was in charge of Special Constables, Cholo District. Otherwise the Association has little knowledge of this section which gave valuable support to the Force during the "Emergency" in 1959. However, Michael Hunt, on the staff of the Standard Bank at the time was so involved and tells here of an unfortunate incident during his training. Unfortunate it may have been but his contribution is appreciated as would be any further information by any of these former Specials.
Click here to view Michael's contribution

It is sad to report the passing of Malcolm Bacon who died peacefully and in care, following a chest infection aggravated by the Covid 19 virus on Monday 18th January 2021. Malcolm served in the Communications Branch of the Nyasaland Police for some ten years from 1964 to 1974 and was stationed variously in Force HQ and all three Divisional Headquarters during that time. On leaving Nyasaland he went on to similar duties in Zambia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the Metropolitan Police.
Click here for further details recorded in "Then & Now".

"My Life in the Nyasaland Police"

This book was put together by the late Malcolm Llewelyn. He served in the Nyasaland Police from 1951 to 1963. During his time there he saw service in just about every department from action with the PMF to admin duties in HQ Zomba and was detailed for a variety of duties throughout the country - from Port Herald to Karonga. Consequently he was well known, he was justifiably well regarded by his superiors, very well liked and popular with his colleagues both senior and junior. He has covered his time with remarkable detail of both his work and of his colleagues. The very generous but limited offer of free copies was closed after son Ian LLewelyn and family distributed some 50 copies to friends and Nypol members. However copies are available for purchase at the very reasonable price of £8.00 including postage. For further information contact Nypol by email at nyasa.police@gmail.com

Reminder - Nyasaland-Malawi - Historical Moments - Enjoy regular updates
This is a Facebook Page for those of you with a continuing interest in Nyasaland as it was or Malawi as it is. It covers a variety of interests from pre-colonial days to early Independence and brings back so many memories for those of us who served there. Once logged in the page is open for your pictures, stories and memories, good or bad - all are welcome so post generously and share.
Click here to view

With help from a number of members we have identified all but two of the Police hockey team. The names have been added below to those so remembered but there remains two of them who have yet to be named*. There they are, ringed, could it be that they were drafted in and having only limited links to the Police - as was Sinbad Illingworth, for instance. If you can name them or even have some idea of who they might be please let us know - email: nyasa.police@gmail.com.

Back row: Cyril Marlow, Jack Burge, Sinbad Ilingworth, Ray Powell, Vic Smithyman, John Mullin, Jon Dennison, Frank Chevallier
Front row: Robin Gorham, Alex McDonald, Jack Grincell, *See below, David Nash, ...?...

*Thank you Valaine Middleton (nee Cantlay) - one of the original "Saints" - with the information that the player twixt Jack Grincell and David Nash looks like Johannes Klopper, a hockey player, who she knew at St Andrew's School.
Origin - Association Manager

Palestine Police Reunion
Ptctured below are former members of the Palestine Police serving in the Nyasaland force at their reunion in the Flamingo Night Club, Blantyre.

Robin (Matey) Martin - Palestine 1936-1948, joined Nyasaland Mar 1949; Jack Humphries - Palestine 1939-1948, joined Nyasaland Aug 1948; Matt Kirkham - Palestine 1937-1946, joined Nyasaland Nov 1953, Alec Shand - Palestine 1936-1946, joined Nyasaland Aug 1951; Alan Lodge - Palestine 1936-1945, joined Nyasaland Aug 1954.

Origin - John Kirkham

Hints on the Preservation of Health
This booklet, "Hints on the Preservation of Health in Tropical Countries", was issued by the Crown Agents to those of its officers appointed to posts in Nyasaland and, no course, elsewhere in the world. Published in 1953, and hard come by nowadays, it is thanks to Mick Thacker that there is now a full copy on the website. Click here to read seven chapters of advice on a variety of matters from personal hygeine to communicable diseases as well as alcoholism and sun-stroke. Much of it makes good sense today given the ongoing pandemic. Many of us remember it but how many of us put it to good use?
Click here to read.

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