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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Aylmer May Cemetery

Aylmer May Cemetery was founded in 1922 next to an old African burial ground, and named after Dr Aylmer May, Northern Rhodesia's first chief medical officer.

According to Gelfand [1], who gives a detailed account of medical services in Northern Rhodesia, the BSAC recognised that the success of their venture depended on their dealing with malaria, sleeping sickness and other endemic diseases facing settlers. At this time (before 1899) there were two administrative regions - N W Rhodesia and N E Rhodesia. When Major Forbes took over administration of the country there were already a few doctors belonging to the London Missionary Society south of Lake Tanganyika. One of the earliest was Dr Chisholm of Mwenzo Mission (Livingstonia, Malawi) and in Fort Jameson was Dr Roberts of the North Charterland Exploration Company. In 1899 Dr John McKenzie was appointed to the men working on the telegraph line from Karonga to Abercorn. Also mentioned is Mr R. Stewart-Wright, who came to Lake Tanganyika in 1887 and was known for his medical knowledge. At this time the population of about 150 Europeans was largely reliant on missionary doctors, who would travel long distances from their stations to treat patients.

In 1899, when Codrington became administrator of the territory, he attempted to negotiate formal payments to the doctors of the LMS to secure their continued help. However, the home society rejected his offers, feeling that their doctors would be diverted too often from their proper mission. Nevertheless they assured Codrington that help would still be on offer and donations were still welcome for these services. Codrington duly sent a donation of £50 to the LMS.

Meanwhile, Codrington worked on builing up the administration's own medical force, beginning with the appointment of Dr Spillane at Fort Jameson. Next came Dr Doveton A. Martin, who arrived in 1900 on the generous salary of £500 with free quarters. LMS doctors continued to treat patients as necessary, given the vast distances to be travelled and scarcity of medical expertise. The administration then required the LMS doctors to pay a £10 licence fee and a registration fee, causing a dispute only resolved in 1910, when the registration fee was waived, and the licence fee reduced to £5.

Aylmer May photo inside Murray memorial
By 1909 many more doctors had been appointed, Spillane retired from 7 years medical administration and Dr Aylmer May, the chief medical officer of NW Rhodesia, assumed responsibility for the medical work of both NW and NE Rhodesia. (The two territories were merged in 1911 to become Northern Rhodesia.)

In 1913 Dr May reported on the health of settlers in Lusaka and Chilanga,

'high mortality from climatic diseases among the Dutch immigrants of Lusaka district... Eight of the 12 deaths reported during the last 18 months were due to climatic diseases, four of these to blackwater fever.'

At this time Lusaka's drainage was notoriously bad, which is presumably why May refers to climatic conditions.

Following May's report Lusaka officially became a township and amongst other duties the management board was to supply 'every occupier of a home with a sanitary pail for every five persons'. Regulations were introduced concerning waste disposal.  But by World War I there was still no hospital in Lusaka. That was to come in 1918, consisting of two huts with two beds in each.

[1] Northern Rhodesia in the days of the Charter, M. Gelfand, 1961

Since 1999 a trust has been working on restoration of the Aylmer May Cemetery site and I was impressed by the welcome we received from the caretakers and the effort that has been made.

Although the cemetery was closed to burials in 1952, there is memorial wall for  ashes and I believe that family plots may still be open, as I saw much more recent headstones. Ask me if you want a photo of a gravestone - I got most of them.

Here you can see some photos of the site on Lagos Road ( Google Earth 15°24'30.46"S  28°17'54.25"E).

There are separate sections for Afrikaners, British (CofE), Hindu, Africans, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish graves within the same site!

There are several graves marked BESL, which seems to be the British Empire Service League, an organisation dedicated to supporting ex-servicemen. This group was formed in 1921 in Cape Town and later became the Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League (according to Wikipedia). It is also a fore-runner of the South Africa Legion.

tomb of Audrey Murray

The most notable grave (at least in terms of its visibility) is that of Audrey Murray, which you can see to the left.  Photos from inside this monument are below. You can read more of the Murray family history here.

The photo below shows Thomas Henderson Murray of 'Dragon' (presumably Dragoon) Guards Kalomo and Audrey daughter of Edmond O'Brien of Lakefield, Ferhard, Co. Tipperary.

Audrey Murray (O'Brien) wife of
Thomas Murray of Kalomo 

African burial ground
I was told that the African burial ground was centuries old. There are no markers, but the site is within the enclosure of the main site.

The Aylmer May website has a list of burials here. Ask me for a picture of a gravestone - I have photos of many of them.  I'm posting some here.

The names given are:

Aledeirim, Alexander, Allan, Allman, Angier, Anscombe, Anthony, Armitage, Armstrong, Arnaldo, Arnott, Ascott, Atkinson
Badat, Badenhorst, Ball, Bardell, Barkley, Barklie, Barnett, Baxter, Beaman
Cambell, Campbell, Carinus,  Carr, Cartmell, Cartwright, Celinska, Celliers, Cessler, Chavda, Chowles, Cilliers, Clacher, Clark, Clarke, Cloete, Coakes, Coetser, Coetzee, Coetzee, Coker, Collins, Conder, Cook, Cooke, Cooper, Copeman, Cormack, Coulson, Counsell, Cowie, Crause, Crosley, Crouse, Culverwell, Cusack, Czarnecki, Czerniecki

Dahl, Daly, Davel, Davey, Davidson, Davies, de Beer, de Gray Birch, Dean, Dechow, Desai, Diallo, Diew, Digby, Dixon (Dr Patrick Kerr), du Buisson, du Plessis
Earl Spurr, Ebert, Ecksteen, Edwards, Elliot, Ellis, Elridge, Elton, Elvidge, Emms, Erasmus, Erlank, Esterhuizen, Eva, Evans
Fanstone, Fauconer, Faulconer, Faurie, Feger, Ferreira, Fevrier, Few, Findlay Cooper, Fischer, Fitz Williams, Fitz-Henry, Fogerty (Irish architect, BESL), Forde, Foreman, Fourie, Foxwell, Foyster, Fredman, Frost, Fuller
Gabb, Gadd, Gair, Garrett, Gaszewska, Geldenhuys, Gelu, Georgopoullos, Gerber, Gerstner, Geyser, Ghumra, Girling, Gomes, Goosen, Gorden-James, Gordon, Gough, Grabowska, Greef, Greenberg, Grey, Grieve (memorial wall), Griffith, Grindley-Ferris, Grissing, Grosse, Grove, Gunning, Guttmann
Hall, Halsenda, Hamilton, Hand, Hankel, Harina, Harris, Hart, Harvey, Haslett, Hason, Hay, Hayes, Healey, Helberg, Helliwell, Herbst, Hicham, Higham, Hill, Hilton, Hodson, Hoffer, Hogg, Holland, Home, Hopgood, Hornby, Hovbert, Hugo, Hulme, Human, Hutchinson, Hyam
Innes, Isaac, Ismail
Jackman, Jacobs, Jaffray, Jakubowicz, Jarvis, Jay, Jensen, Johnson, Jones, Jooste, Jordaan, Joubert
Kallmann, Kay, Keith, Kelufwe, Keppie, Key, Keyte, Kietzmann, Kimpton, Kirby, Kirk, Kissock, Klein, Kleusch, Klis, Knight, Kohl, Kozak, Kozakiewicz, Krol, Kruger, Krzesinska, Kukne, Kwitkowska, Kwtkowsky
Lad, Ladds, Lajacz, Lamb, Landanski, Landless, Landsberg, Lang, Lapatto, Lazarus, Le Roux, Lean, Lee, Leslie, Letchworth, Lettmann, Lewis, Liebenberg,  Light, Limbada, Lindeque, Lindley, Lineker, Loewenstein,  Logie, Loosen, Lord,  Lovell, Lowe, Lunat, Luzanna
Mac millan, Macfadyean, Macfarlane, Mackenzie, Macrae, Majewska, Mallaghan, Manning, Manson, Maree, Maritz, Marmon, Marrapodi, Marriott, Martin, Masters, Masur, Matheison, Mathews, Mattiussi, Matuk, Maybin, McGaghey, McGregor, McIntyre, McKenzie, McLaren, Melville, Meman, Mendelsohn, Merico, Merry, Merwin, Methuen, Meyer, Meysher, Mieczystawa, Miller, Minnaar, Mistry, Mitchell, Mitchelson, Molyneux, Morris, Morton, Moss, Mostert, Mouritzen, Mroz, Mulla, Muller, Murphy, Murray, Murry, Myburgh
Nagdi, Naik, Naismith, Neethling, Nefdt, Nel, Nell, Nimmo, Noyce
Oberholster, Oberholtzer, Ogilvie, O'Gorman, Old, Omar, Omions, Oosthuizen, Ormsby, Osborne, Ousthuizen
Paduchowski, Palciwitz, Palmary, Pandor, Parekh, Parmar, Parr, Parsons, Patel,  Paul, Payne, Peacock, Penfold, Pentz, Peplow, Perfect, Perrin, Philips, Pickering, Pienaar, Pience, Pipenic, Plenkel, Poilly, Popiel, Posesisyna, Potgieter, Pottinger, Pratt, Prentice, Price, Prime, Prosak, Pukliez, Pullen, Pullock
Raaths, Radcliffe, Ralph, Rautenbach, Rebbink, Rex, Reynolds, Richardson, Rickett, Roberts, Robertson, Rocher, Roderick, Romans, Roos, Roper, Rose, Ross, Roux, Rutkowska, Ryan,

Salene, Salgueiro, Santos, Schafers, Schmid, Schoeman, Schwagel, Scmickerling, Scott, Scotten, Scott-Hayward, Senekal, Sergeant, Shapiro, Shardlow, Shawe, Short, Sialafyaka, Simon, Sivewright, Skinner, Skobie, Skwanek, Slement, Slusarewicz, Smit, Smith, Smith, Sola, Soloman, Sonnekus, Spain, Speck, St??, Staislawa, Staley, Stander, Stanislaw, Stanley, Stecko, Steer, Steirer, Stellon, Stephens, Sterk, Sterley, Steyn, Stols, Strauss, Strydom, Stylianos, Suchocki, Suleman, Swanepoel, Swanepool, Swarbreck, Swarmers, Swart, Sweet, Swiegelaar, Swiegers, Sykes, Szelpuk, Szezzpek, Szkwarkowski

Takarozyk, Tapson, Tattis, Tavares, Taylor, Teagle, Tee, Terblanche, Ternieseh, Thomas, Thompson, Thomson, Thornicroft, Thornville, Thorpe, Tillett, Timmins, Tregaskis, Triveda, Trivedi, Trundle, Trytsman, Turner, Twilley


van Biljon, van Blerk, van der Heever, van der Merwe, van Deventer, van Heerden, van Niekerk, van Rensberg, van Schalkwyk, van Staden, van Tonder, van Vuuren, van Werkhoven, van Werrhoven, van Zyl, Vaughan, Venter, Verinder, Vermeulen, Viljoen, Virgin, Visagie, Vlotman, Voges, Vos, Voss, Vozos

Wackrill, Waddell, Wade, Waldman, Walker, Walton Waring, Wassermann, Wasziewicz, Waters, Waugh, Wdowa, Webb, Weber, Wells, Wessels, Wheeler, Whittaker, Wienand, Wilks, Willans, Willey, William, Williams, Williamson, Wilson, Wiltshire, Wisnieska, Wisniewski, Wood, Wright, Wroe, Wulfsohn, Wulpowitz

Yarborough, Yeats, Young,
Zajaczkowski, Zambori, Zaverdinos, Zbiginien, Zofia, Zunckel

I've included a photo of the cemetery plan here, with larger labels on it for the main burial sections.

 James Zulu was the (very helpful) caretaker when I visited in 2011 and 2016. Here he is pointing at Hamilton's grave, which is number 1145, in the English Section on the right hand side near the gate. It's in the middle column, five spaces from Lagos Road, but all that's there is a number plaque. (I think the grave to the left of his is Waring.)

View of Hamilton grave area, English Section near the gate
If you would like to add or correct any information for any relatives or friends interred at Aylmer May Cemetery there is a contact address: Mrs. Carrol Fleming (scksflem@gmail.com) who runs the Aylmer May Cemetery website.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Chilumbulu Road grave, Lusaka

I'm back from another trawl of Lusaka, replete with more photos to share. I heard there was a lone grave on Chilumbulu Road and so set off to find it. Eventually it was spotted on a patch of wasteland, surely once an attractive spot, with a line of trees bordering the road suggesting that here was once someone's home or perhaps a farm. However, this is speculation. All I can say is that now it is little more than a public tip, with piles of smouldering smoking waste, criss-crossed by paths. And in the midst of this is a lone grave - as far as I could tell, just the one. There was some text on the cross, but it was hard to make out any letters.

The approximate location of this stone (as determined by hunting on google earth) is  15°26'53.38"S,  28°19'44.53"E.

It is a little way east of Libala Secondary School (which was looking quite decent from the outside).  Nobody I spoke to had any idea whose grave this is. Does anyone know? The first row seems to include the letters OM and the digits .7.45. The second row has the letters (R?) M (IN?) and the number 18.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The coat of arms

Here is some history of the coat of arms of Northern Rhodesia given in 'A brief guide to Northern Rhodesia', which you can read on the internet archive (p.132).

We are told that the fish eagle flying with its prey over a representation of the Victoria Falls harks back to David Livingstone's exploration as a forerunner of the European settlement here. The white lines represented the water, and the black lines the rocks of the precipice.

Discussion of designs for a coat of arms began in 1925, when one suggestion was for a representation of the constellation Orion, 'a mighty hunter who drove all the beasts of the field before him', on the basis that this was 'a prowess which distinguished most early Rhodesians.' In 1926 further design ideas rejected were a river scene (not suited to heraldry) and the sable antelope (already used by Southern Rhodesia). Any animal less than an elephant (as used by the paramount chief of Barotseland) or the buffalo (as used by Lewanika) it was said would be 'noticeable in African eyes', but a lion was not possible as that was used in Great Britain's royal arms.

In 1927, discussions between Sir Richard Goode and a heraldry expert yielded the design above. It was drawn by G. Kruger Gray to Sir Goode's design and accepted in the same year, being also approved by King George V in 1930 and granted as armorial bearings in 1939.

On this heraldry site it is pointed out that some people objected to the 'dead fish' the eagle held. There are connotations of colonial plundering in the eagle holding its prey in this way, though it seems unlikely that this was ever considered when it was drawn. More likely the fish was added to make clear that the eagle was a fish eagle and to signify the fecundity of the land.

The same design can still be seen in part in Livingstone's coat of arms, where Dr David Livingstone is one of two figures holding on to the shield. Here there is also an African man with a paddle, probably a royal paddler from the Lozi tribe, as would paddle the royal barge during Kuomboka.
The image above appears to be taken from a fairly recent stamp issue depicting the coats of arms of the 'four most important Zambian cities' - Kitwe, Ndola, Lusaka and Livingstone. It has also been pointed out that, of course, fish eagles are black and white, and not gold, as the eagle has later been interpreted. Now there is also no longer a fish in its talons.  (However, the fish eagle is the national bird of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and its call is used as the calling signal on at least one Zambian radio station.)

The legend says Procedens Floreo, that is, proceeding to flourish or prosper.

I am stumped by the circular cog at the bottom - could it be a paddle wheel? (I was very tempted to go into a long discussion of Livingstone's famous phrase 'I am prepared to go anywhere, so long as it is forward.')

It seems though that there is another interpretation, in which Livingstone's head emerges weirdly from the river and a man and a woman hold the shield, as on the national coat of arms.

The same design of water falling is also seen in the more familiar Zambian coat of arms. I well remember learning the meanings of the various parts of this when I was in primary school. Here again we have the golden eagle, or at least an eagle coloured gold, given that golden eagles don't occur in Zambia. This is also said to represent the abilities of the country to rise above its problems, as for the eagle on the Zambian flag.

A man and a woman, equally important, hold the shield, above the motto created by Kenneth Kaunda: One Zambia, one nation. We also see symbols of agriculture (the hoe, a maize cob), mining (a pick), also a mine shaft (near the man's leg) and a zebra (wildlife, tourism).  The prominence of the waterfall feature probably dates back to the time when Livingstone was the capital of the country, but also is important because Zambia takes its name from the Zambezi river, which flows over the falls.

As I was leaving Lusaka airport recently I suddenly realised I had all the coats of arms right in front of me on the wall! However, at the last minute I contrived to take lousy photos of them. I include a couple more below that weren't so bad:

Kitwe's says 'Let us build a city', Chingola's says 'Servire Creare Et', and Kabwe's 'The eagle carries us on high'.

I also made a point of trying to get Lusaka's ('Prospice') coat of arms and found it at the civic centre on a copper plaque, and also high on the outer wall, hence the odd angle (and again my airport shot was a disaster).

The railway bridge and boiling pot at Victoria falls

It is interesting that on the Livingstone coat of arms there actually appears to be something more like a river flowing over the falls! It is tempting to think that the bars across the falls are the railway bridge, but they do not resemble the bridge, which you can see below:
If you look closely, you will see some bungee jumping going on! This is taken from the 'boiling pot', the part of the gorge below the falls where the water is funneled through from the main cataracts. Here you can also start white water rafting trips, depending on the time of year.

It will probably take someone familiar with heraldry to demystify the Livingstone coat of arms further.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A brief guide to Northern Rhodesia

It is well worth trawling the internet archive for content. New material is liable to emerge at any time.
Here is an item relating to early independence (and before) era, online:

A brief guide to Northern Rhodesia  Unfortunately the epub seems a bit messed up - if you want to download it, try the PDF with text, which seems okay and not too large. It's a guide that's short enough to print, if the urge strikes you.

This is a booklet issued by the Northern Rhodesia Information Department and printed in Lusaka in 1960, so comes a few years before independence. It is described as 'a guide for intending settlers, visitors and others wishing to know something about Northern Rhodesia'.

We are told that the first explorer was 'a Portuguese half-breed Manoel Pereira' in 1796. (I find 'half-breed' really offensive, but I'm quoting....)  Pereira apparently crossed the Luangwa and Chambeshi rivers to reach the court of chief Kazembe, who had conquered large areas of land around Lake Mweru. He was soon followed by the governor of Sena (present day Mozambique) Dr de Lacerda in an attempt to open up trade routes, but Lacerda died on the way and Fr Francisco Pinto took charge of the expedition.

Next come two half-caste traders (I wonder if half-caste is the same as half-breed, sigh)  Pedro Baptista and Anstacia Jose, coming from Angola in 1802. In 1832 Major Monteiro and Captain Gamitto return to Kazembe's area, but after this Portuguese interest seems to decline.

We then get an account of Livingstone's time, on his mission of Christianity and commerce, and mention of some of those who followed in his immediate footsteps.

Lewanika with Revd Jalla
In 1893 the African Lakes Company transferred its concessions in
the north of Zambia and into Malawi and Tanganyika to the BSA and in 1900 their span reached further south following their treaty with Lewanika (see right, shown with Rev Adolphe Jalla of the Paris Evangelical Mission, in 1902).

There are sections on the centres of population, living conditions, farming, mining , 'African affairs', tourism and more.

There are also many references to further publications the interested reader could explore.

Here are some more pictures that may be of interest. The athletes here are Gordon Pirie and Yotam Muleya (racing in Southern Rhodesia).

Further mentions go to the Waddington Players (drama society) and their production of "Noah", the Lusaka Civic Centre (these days virtually invisible from the road), a Young Farmers club (not clear where), Regent Street, Kitwe, a rural parish church (unamed) in Abercorn (Mbala), a luxury hotel in Lusaka (puzzled as to which this is! could it be the Ridgeway?), students at David Livingstone Teacher Training college, the agricultural show (must be in Lusaka at this time) and the police motorcyle display team.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Last Kafue gravestones

This is my last Kafue graveyard posting. I decided to go up to 1970 (or so) and stop there, but I have photos of many later gravestones. If you are interested in a particular one, ask me and I'll see if I have it, though I'm aware that I did not get them all, as it was a particularly hot day!

General views of the graveyard can be seen here:

In this posting:

1. Van de Schyff / Schoeman, 1931
2. Birnard Stewart 1932
3. John Darg-Fraser, d 1934
4. Rossiter d 1916
5. Martha Muller, 1928
6. Hercules Muller, 1928


1. In loving memory of my dear wife, and our mother, Anna H. F. v. d. SCHYFF , born 22 Dec 1892,  died 26 April  1931.

2. To the loving memory of Birnard, infant son of Mr and Mrs J. R. Stewart, born at Kafue 20th June 1931, died at Lusaka 9th June, 1932. "Thy will be done."

3. John Darg-Fraser d. 19th March 1934
Presumably (given the unusual name) related to
"MRS. J. FRASER, 1895 or earlier Christian names Euphemia Darg. This lady had a son, Eon Roderick Davidson, born in Salisbury on 27/9/95. Her husband, John Fraser, was a mining engineer. Information, the Cathedral, Salisbury, Baptismal Register, Vol I, National Archives." As mentioned here under Rhodesian Pioneers.

4. W. L. Rossiter, died 22 Jan 1916

Could this be the same Rossiter mentioned in 'Showtime' (see elsewhere on this blog), an Australian who worked with a Higginson from Lancaster , in 1912, 'who traded grain along the banks of the [Kafue] river for 200 miles, using a small whaling boat left over from the railway construction and the steel hull of a launch brought out by the Rhodesian Copper Company for the Sable Antelope mine north of Mumbwa, but never used because of the rapids'.

I imagined these two Mullers must have been related. Perhaps someone will know them.
5. In loving memory of my darling daughter Martha Elizabeth Petronella Muller, born Sept 14 1909, died Feb 26, 1928, R.I.P.
6. Hercules Pitrus Muller, died Feb 18th 1928, aged 36 years, which makes him born around 1892.