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Name: THOMPSON, James Ramsay Vivian 'Jim' (Lieut.-Col.)
Birth Date: 25 Nov 1905 Gillingham, Kent
Death Date: Jan 1999 Canterbury, Kent
First Date: 1928
Last Date: 1942
Profession: Served with 3 KAR between 1928-32
Married: In Sheffield 1939 Denise Cynthia Maurice b. 2 Nov 1909 Hucknall, Notts., d. 2004 Petham, Kent
Book Reference: Rhino Link 3, Red 31, Rhino Kink 18
Rhino Link 18 - Obituary - At the age of 93 Jim Thompson was very likely our oldest Club member when he died in January 1999. After Wellington and Sandhurst, Jim was commissioned into the N. Staffordshire Regiment in 1925 - enjoying hunting, point-to-points and skiiing. In 1928 at the age of 22, Jim joined 3 KAR at Nairobi. He was regularly at the Muthaiga Club where, one New Year's Eve, he saw the Happy Valley people 'going round the world' in the ballroom. Delamere was amazingly agile and to see him on the mantlepiece was quite impressive! Jim hunted in the Ngong Hills and marvelled at the 'sheer colossal wonder' of the Rift Valley. At Meru, a golden age for Jim, the daily work on the range was rather archaic, all signalling being done by bugle and flag. Weekends were spent big game hunting and the evenings were spent round the fire when the men would chatter ceaselessly about tales of long ago. It was his love for hunting that earned him his nickname of 'Lancer' - at one stage he overshot his licence and had to resort to hunting with a spear!
At Wajir Jim and Jack Dugmore did everything including the weekly 'shauris' - everyone being delighted when a forgotten spell was removed and shooting on the range improved. They learned about tribal history, folk tales and religion, had interesting visitors and went to Moyale, Mandera and Kismayu as well as Bourra on patrol. Wajir seemed like a real outpost of the British Empire and when the rains came there was no word from anywhere for nearly two months.
With the advent of the lorry and when wireless sets arrived with signallers to look after them, it was regarded as the end of real life. Jim joined 4 KAR at Bombo and registered for the 1931 census some old Sudanese who proudly wore their father's medals from the Khedive ........ Hopes of active service were dashed and he left the KAR sadly in 1932. .......….
In 1939 he married Cynthia and lived in Poona and Calcutta (with a trek in Kashmir) before setting sail for Mombasa. In 1941, after a short time with the Kenya Regiment and 3/4 KAR, Jim joined 4/4 KAR at Aiscia near Diredawa as Second in Command, before moving to Gondar.
As there were no proper exercises they were not really ready for real war. The Brigade Staff never went near them and, like Inkerman, it was truly a soldiers' war. The battle was short and not very sharp and was a merciful escape. A few days later Jim found himself in charge of a camp of some 900 prisoners, all of whom he felt obliged to address on the subject of latrines! And at Ada near Harar he had the somewhat unusual job of setting up a regimental brothel because of the spread of VD. .......... (more - Army service)
Jim retired in 1954 after enjoying nearly 10 years in command and took an RO appointment at Shrewsbury. In 1959 he was glad to obtain an RO post back at his Regimental Headquarters at Lichfield, where he had been posted on first joining his Regiment. In 1966 he retired to Petham near Canterbury where he had spent some of his childhood at his mother's family home ......…
Gazette - 8/5/1928 - Arrived on 1st Appointment - Subaltern, 3 KAR - Lt. J.R.V. Thompson
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