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Name: TURNER, Alfred John

image of individual

Birth Date: 1858

Death Date: 16 June 1917 Nairobi, pneumonia

Nationality: British

First Date: 1903

Last Date: 1917

Profession: Appointed Headmaster of the first Day School started in Nairobi in 1904 and established by the Uganda Railway. The Protectorate Govt. took over the school in 1908 and moved to their new quarters in 1910.

Area: Nairobi

Married: Alice Mary b. 1881; she was also the first Headmistress of the school

Children: Gerald (1900); Edna Crystelle (m. George William Harris Stuart Watt) (18 Dec 1895 Saharanpur, Bengal, India-5 Mar 1964 Coolah, NSW, Australia)

Book Reference: Gillett, SE, HBEA, Cuckoo, Permanent Way, EAHB 1905, Red 25, North, Drumkey, Advertiser, EAHB 1906, Harmony, Globe, Nicholls, EAHB 1907, Barnes, Leader14, Red Book 1912, Mills Railway

General Information:

Gazette 20 June 1917 probate
SE - A.J. Turner - Schoolmaster - Dec 1907
Together with his wife they worked for many years, maintaining a high standard of education and discipline.   
Cuckoo - 1904 - In the centre of First Avenue, almost facing the offices, was the Railway School - the first educational institution in Nairobi. This was presided over by H.J. Turner and his wife.
Permanent Way - Formerly of the Indian Education Dept. ....... a man of sterling qualities, will never be forgotten by the first generation of Europeans reared in EA.
Red 25 - 'Education in the EA Protectorate began in October 1904, with the appointment of Mr A.J. Turner, of the Indian Educational Dept., as Headmaster of the Railway School, Nairobi. At that time there were few Europeans in the country and education was only required for the children of European, Eurasian and Indian employees on the Uganda Railway. ............ in 1910 ... the Board of Education ... proceeded to separate the provision for European, Indian, Arab and African education and a separate European School was founded under Mr A.J. Turner in the former Police Barracks adjacent to Government House. ...... The European School, Nairobi, opened with 110 children and gradually increased the number until it obtained its maximum of about 250 children in 1918 ....….'
Drumkey 1909 - Education Dept. - School Master - also Mrs A.M. Turner - School Mistress
Drumkey 1909 - Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, The Caledonian Society of BEA
Drumkey 1909 - Head Master, The EAP School, Nairobi. This was first opened as a Railway School in January 1904 with 22 children. It was taken over by Government in April 1907 and is now a Government Day School. The number of children on the rolls in October was 65. A Boarding School for European children has been sanctioned and will be built shortly, so that in 1908 there will be a Boarding and Day School for Europeans, and a Day School for Eurasian children. Mr Turner is Head Master and Mrs A.M. Turner Head Mistress with Miss E.F. Adamson as Kindergarten Mistress.
Drumkey 1909 - Lodge Scotia, No. 1008 S.C. - Bro. A.J. Turner, Proxy Master
Advertiser - Friday April 2, 1909 - Prize Giving at Government School by Lady Hayes-Sadler
Member of Lodge Harmony - Joined 7/1/07, died 1917
The Globe Trotter - 6/3/07 - Railway School prizegiving - " ….The programme was a varied one comprising various drills, recitations and songs by the children and I must say all excellently rendered, showing great care and attention on the part of Mr Turner the Head Master, Mrs Turner and Miss Davidson, and great precocity on the part of the children. ….."
Nicholls - Upon reaching Nairobi in 1900 the Uganda Railway set up its own school there for children of its white workes. Soon this educational establishment decided to accept settler children as well, and the teachers, A.J. Turner, a thin, dour man, and his wife A.M. Turner, had a total of 38 pupils by 1904. …….. By the second term of 1904 10 pupils had left Mr Turner's school out of a roll of 70, but by August 1906 his roll had risen to 99.
Barnes - Nairobi South Cemetery - Alfred John Turner, died 16 June 1917 aged 59
Leader14 - Caledonian Society (Nairobi) - President
Red Book 1912 - A.J. Turner - Nairobi
Red Book 1912 - Education Dept. - Headmaster "A" School Nairobi - A.J. Turner
Gazette 4/7/1917 - Obituary - His Excellency deeply regrets to announce the death from pneumonia on 16/6/1917 of Mr Alfred John Turner Headmaster of the European School Nairobi. Mr Turner joined the Protectorate service on 15/12/1903 as Headmaster of the Railway School, Nairobi. In September 1910 he was promoted to the Headmastership of the Protectorate Day and Boarding School into which his former school was absorbed which appointment he was holding at the time of his death. His deep love of children completed the gentleness and modesty of his character and his jealousy for the good name of his school was rewarded by the universal respect in which he was held by pupils and parents alike. A true teacher he avoided all that was showy transitory and evanescent and sought to cultivate in his pupils a genuine appreciation of all that is good and true. The Protectorate Government deplores the loss of a loyal and efficient officer, the people of East Africa that of a faithful servant and friend.
HBEA 1912 - Headmaster, Nbi. Govt. School
Mills Railway - Although the school was acknowledged to be a necessity it was not opened until January 1904 with A J Turner as headmaster and then to 19 Europeans and Eurasians only though Goan and Parsee children were admitted in the following month. Shorthand and physiology were among the subjects taught. A school for Indian children was started in February 1903 with 6 pupils.
Old Africa - 19-1-16 - Christine Nicholls - A J Turner, a thin, dour man, and his wife A M Turner, had a total of 38 pupils by 1904. The school roll shows that many of these came from schools in India because their fathers had previously worked on railways there, a few from schools in South Africa and one from the Loreto Convent in Nairobi, a small school begun by Roman catholic nuns and sometimes called St Joseph’s Convent. By the second term of 1904 ten pupils had left Mr Turner’s school out of the roll of 70, but by August 1906 his roll had risen to 99.
With the completion of the railway, Mr Turner’s school became the general European school in Nairobi, known as Nairobi School. It became a boarding establishment accepting children from all over the country and was taken over from the railway by the government in 1908. From 14 March to 27 April 1908 it was closed due to an outbreak of typhoid fever. In 1910 the school was moved into the old European police barracks on Nairobi Hill. New buildings of wood and corrugated iron were erected, as boarding blocks for 130 boarders, two miles away by the old Buller’s camp near Nairobi Club. There were now 107 on the roll, including at least one child born in Nairobi – Jean McQueen, born on 9 November 1899. The children’s ages ranged from 6 to 23, the older ones being Boers who had started school much later than their fellows. A few children came to Nairobi School from two new schools established in the past few years – Mrs Pailthorpe’s in Parklands and Miss E B Seccombe’s in Nairobi.
Iain Mullingan: The road beside the Nairobi Primary School (previously the Kenya Girls High School)(between Protectorate Road and Mackenzie Road), was long called Turner Road until after independence it when was renamed Dorobo Road.

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