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Name: WORDINGHAM, Arthur

image of individual

Birth Date: 22 May 1885 Camberwell, bapt. 17 June

Death Date: 20 Aug 1956 Luanshya, N. Rhodesia

First Date: 1914

Profession: Farmer, Ol Kalou

Area: Gilgil, 1914 Mombasa

Married: In Nairobi 30 Aug 1927 Lucy Emily Skinnner (div. 12 Aug 1949) b. 10 July 1893 Kensington, London, d. 1990 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Children: No

Book Reference: KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Red 22, Leader14

War Service: East African units

General Information:

Gazette 3 June 1914 gun licence
Gazette 6 June 1961 probate
Sybil Skinner Robertson (great-niece) Prior to coming to Kenya, Lucy worked as a Governess in France, Bloemfontein, South Africa (June 1924 to Jan 1925) and Matron in Charge of White Girls at the St. George’s Orphanage. Cape Town. She left South Africa with a friend, Pam Bishop to go to Kenya.They read Gertrude Page’s books about Kenya which filled them with a desire to see the place for themselves. The arrived in Kenya in approximately 1922. Lucy was a matron in the Educational department, 9 Sept 1926 to 19 Feb 1927. She Left a post in April 1927 to go to Gilgil to get married to Arthur Wordingham. Their marriage certificate shows Arthur as a 42 year old bachelor, farmer, living in Gilgil and Lucy as a 32 year old spinster living in Limuru. They had a farm in Gilgil. The first year went well, but then the locusts came 2 years in a row, so they had no money and the bank took over. Arthur went to Dar-es Salaam to work on the harbour construction there. Lucy stayed in Nairobi, returning to work at a boys’ school as a matron in the Education Department again from 8 May 1933 to 21 April 1935. She could not be guaranteed a permanent post as a married woman unless no single women were available. There is a letter, dated March 25, 1935, acknowledging that as she has no paid leave, she must resign her post at the European School, Nakuru, and reapply on her return to Kenya. 
She then took a trip to England and when she came back, she stayed with Pam Bishop whose husband ran the Muthaiga Club, this is how she came to be Housekeeper at the Muthaiga Club. She tendered her resignation in March1, 1944 to go, as a volunteer, to the Middle East as part of the Kenyan Red Cross team for civilian relief work in the Balkans. She worked in a refugee camp in El Shatt, then in Greece and finally in Yugoslavia. Apparently there was a group of 8 of them that volunteered. After the end of her service in the Red Cross, she went to Canada to visit her brother. In 1950, she went back to Kenya. She was on Staff as Caterer and Assistant Matron at Kaptagat School, Eldoret, Kenya from May 1950. She left in 1953 because ‘unprotected women were not welcome' once the Mau Mau became active. 

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