Kenya Police Archive

Our assosciate member, David Reeve, has been appointed as the Association's archivist. David is the son of our former colleague, the late Bill Reeve, and has taken a keen interest in the history of the Kenya Police. He will be asking members to assist in his collection of material and it is hoped that he will receive an enthusiastic response. More details later but in the meantime his email address is

History of The Kenya Police

Reproduced below is Sir Richard Catling’s foreword to W R Foran’s 
                                          “The Kenya Police 1887 – 1960”

You will see that Sir Richard expressed the hope that further volumes would be added to the Force’s history. As far as I know this has not happened. Is it too late?

R Williamson 

FOREWORD by the Commissioner of Police R. C. CATLING, C.M.G., O.B.E

This is an appropriate time to produce the first volume of the history of the Kenya Police. For one reason, because there are still officers available, either serving or retired, who have been able to look back over the years-even to the very early days-and so provide Major Foran with a good deal of material. For another, because 1960 is a year of change and constitutional advance in Africa which, although unlikely to affect the organization and functions of the Kenya Police. will undoubtedly bring with it changes in the composition of the Force, not the least of which will be the gradual replacement of expatriate officers in the senior ranks by local men. To that extent therefore the character of the Police, constant for so many years, will undergo change. And it is right that it should be so.

The author takes his story up to the official end of the Emergency. Yet police responsibilities have not decreased with the successful conclusion of the war against militant Mau Mau; they have changed in character and in some respects have increased in complexity. They call for the intelligent employment of manpower and mechan­ical aids to policing and above all for courage and impartiality, quick and logical thinking and a clear understanding of their role by all ranks.

To glance backwards in time for a moment there is no doubt that the Police have grown in stature; good has come out of evil to the extent that the Force, although severely strained by the Mau Mau rebeIlion, came out of the Emergency with improved living and working conditions, equipment and, not least, benefited by an in­jection of new blood in the form of the transfer to it of officers from other forces with new ideas and concepts. Since 1954 emphasis has been on training and consolidation, on producing policemen of quality with pride in themselves and their Service and with an im­proved knowledge of their profession and purpose. To look forward at what is ahead of us I see no reason for this emphasis to be changed. There is no doubt that the progressive introduction of local men into the higher ranks will present difficulties. We are unlikely to have all the time we would like in which to do it; our facilities for training and for giving practical experience to those considered to be in the field for advancement to greater responsibility may not be as ideal as we would wish; we may make some mistakes in our efforts to select the right men for advancement. Yet if we are as determined as we must be in tackling this task the change should be effected without much loss of efficiency or morale.

I have referred to this book as the first volume of Kenya's police history because I am hopeful that at appropriate times in the future further volumes will be added. For despite political changes the Kenya Police will remain and continue to develop. In the time that it has been my honour and privilege to serve with the Force I have been impressed, not only by its resilience, ingenuity and high purpose, but also by the increasing awareness of all ranks of their true status in society. It is important for police and population alike that there is clear recognition of the fact that policemen are the public's own servants, as well as officers of the law, employed by the public to do certain work for them and to relieve them of the duties which by common law belong to every citizen. It is equally important that the policeman should enjoy a status which will command the respect of the population. It is my hope and belief that in the years which lie ahead this status will be accepted and understood more clearly and definitely, to the mutual advantage of both parties.
December, 1960

In Memoriam - Rajinder Singh Khehar

It is with much sadness that I have to inform you all of the passing, yesterday, 9th April 2017, of my dear friend, Rajinder Singh Khehar,after a long illness.  Rajinder was 88.  All his family was with him at the time he passed away.
Rajinder joined Kenya Police in 1947 and was a contemporary of our Chairman, Paddy Kearney.  He joined as a constable and rose to the rank of Superintendent of Police.  Before retiring from the police he was one of the Divisional Commanders in Nairobi Area.  All his service was in Nairobi.  He was popular not only with his fellow officers but the community at large, especially the Asian community.

When I joined the police in 1955 I was posted to the Nairobi Area special branch.  Rajinder, who was already with S.B., took me under his wing and showed me all that was to know about the "cloak & dagger" nature of the job.  I shall be ever so grateful to him.

The academic and professional achievements of his children and grand children made him very proud - and why not!

On behalf of us all in the Kenya Police Association, Mohinder, my wife, and I send our heart-felt condolences to Rajinder's wife, Dharshan, and his children.  May God bless the departed soul with eternal peace.

Tarsem Singh Rumpal

Sec. Kenya Police Association.

Nairobi Traffic Squad - 1930

Somewhat overstaffed one would have thought!

CID HQ 1935

Recognise F C Brookes?

Photograph Archive

New photographs have been added to the Archive. They could be of particular interest to those who served at CID Headquarters.

Signals Training School

New Photograph sent in by Elizabeth Fielding

Graham Tudor

Graham Tudor retired as Hon. Secretary to The Kenya Police Association at our AGM in June 2016 after twenty years of hard work, administering the Association very efficiently.

Graham’s wife, Kerry, gave full backing and support to Graham during that period, helping with computer work and arrangements for our annual functions.

Unfortunately, Graham suffered a mini stroke recently and around the same time Kerry also endured health problems, so this fine partnership needed to end. Graham passed the Hon. Secretary task over to fellow Committee Member, Tarsem Rumpal and moved, with unanimous approval, to the post of President of our Association, where his experience and wise advice will valuable to us all.

Graham spent thirteen years in The Kenya Police, serving in The NFD, Nyeri and Nairobi.

The Committee and all Members thank Graham and Kerry for their hard work and dedication the Kenya Police Association and wish them well in health in the coming years.

From John Newton
The Kenya Police – A Living History

How it Started

I am Treasurer of The Kenya Police Association in Britain and an Author and Publisher.
The idea of a Living History came to me whilst receiving many telephone calls from my colleagues or wives and widows during a specific project that needed lots of contact with my Police colleagues, wives and widows.
One morning I chatted individually with three widows who all had interesting tales of their time in Kenya as Police wives. I listened with close attention and sympathy, realizing that they now had no one to talk to about their experiences in their normal day-to-day life. Who would understand now, the trials, tribulations and excitements of those days sixty or seventy years ago?
At the end of the third conversation, it came to me that they were reciting real and true history, so I sent an Email and letter around to all on our contact lists in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and USA, explaining my idea and asking for their stories to compile into a book. I made the strong point that I did not want a lot of blood-and-thunder Mau Mau stories. I asked for tales that would show how we lived, worked and did our duty throughout Kenya, not just among the Kikuyu.
At best I expected thirty or forty stories. In the event I received eighty, with not a dud among them. Police Officer and their wives, widows, sons and daughters sent me a series of fascinating tales that I found absolutely absorbing, although I had lived through similar experiences.
Using an artist – a close friend – I commissioned line drawings to accompany a number of the stories. He had never done such art before, but I gave him the stories I thought could take an illustration and he turned out a series of absolutely wonderful pictures that jump from the page and help make the book even more vibrant. I gave him no instructions on what to draw. I simply sent the stories and he chose the subject from what he read into the tale being told. He refused any payment and even tried to split the cost of lunch with me when I invited him and his wife out in gratitude for the lovely line drawings.
In each story I edited carefully, usually with the author in order to preserve each individual Voice. No words of mine are in any of the stories and I made an astonishing number of friends during the editing process in coaxing the editing from them. Many I edited by telephone, both in Britain and abroad. Others I edited by Email.
Being a proper history book, I published as a hardback for extra quality and longevity.
The First Living History went so well I have so far reprinted twice. In addition, it has been well received outside the niche of our worldwide Kenya Police Associations. The first volume seemed to capture the imagination of those who had not written and compelled them to write.
After publication, so many stories continued to flow in, I had to compile a second volume, codenamed LH2. The codenames are because, while preparing LH1 I never expected to compile a Second Living History and writing the words “The First Living History”, or “The Second Living History” is such a mouthful.
I published LH2 during early May. So many stories continued to come in during preparation of LH2, I planned a short rest, then, with the number of stories remaining from LH2 and more still coming in, I am about to get going with LH3. By all means don’t stop. Send more stories if you have them in your head. I imagine LH3 will be complete by May 2017.
Thanks to all those who sent such wonderful tales for the first two books You have as much credit for the success of these two volumes as me because, without your wonderful tales, I would have had nothing to produce and publish.
If you are abroad and decide to buy the books, go to and enter the ISBN numbers in the search box. For LH1 enter 9780957583856 and for LH2, 978095757363. This will bring the books up immediately.
Wordery is a first class British company and ship post-free throughout the world and even discount the book. If you are in Britain, buy from me, John Newton, 39 Taylors Ride, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 3JN.

All good wishes

John Newton

Landline: 01525-378193
Mobile: 0796-883-7705

In Memoriam

Peter Wilkins                            1st November 2015
Don Paxton                               25th November
John Hill                                    6th December
David Corless                           23rd December
Tim Morgan                              December
Bernard Charles Andrews        2nd January 2016
Dan Thomas                             19th January
Len Reeves                               24th January
J.O.(Jim) Hollis                          3rd February
Gordon Lindsey                        26th May
Doug Mower                             31st May
Arthur Lawton                           9th June
Ian Hamilton                             14th June